I’ve mentioned before my first airbrush, a Badger 200:
I bought it in 1978 and it saw a good decade or so of use before getting packed away. When I rediscovered it, I knew that if I was ever going to use it again, it would need a good refurbishment. At the time, I’d already assembled a small stable of Iwata airbrushes, so tending to the Badger wasn’t high on my priority list. Still, it was on the list.
One of the aspects of Badger that is often lauded is their excellent customer support. Quoting from their website:
BADGER AIR-BRUSH CO. MANUFACTURED AIRBRUSHES HAVE A LIFETIME LABOR WARRANTY. Whether it be a “finally necessary” airbrush refurbishment or a “for whatever reason” major repair, if your Badger airbrush needs service, the labor is FREE of charge. Additionally, on the rare occasion there are notable repair related parts’ costs, it is Badger Air-Brush Co.’s practice to notify the airbrush owner prior to completing the repair (as long as we have the necessary contact information). In many cases the only cost for service of your Badger airbrush is the cost of sending the airbrush to us. Once we receive the airbrush we usually just repair it and send it back – no questions asked.
Feeling that the time had come (I was starting to consider a new gun), I packed up my 35-year-old friend and sent it to its maker. Today, a few weeks later, a box arrived with my rejuvenated buddy. It looks wonderful.
The main body, trigger, and some of the air valve assembly are the same, but so far as I can tell, everything else is nice and shiny new. They didn’t manage to rid it of all the old built-up paint internally, but it much better than it was.
I like the fact that even though so much is new on the brush, it still feels like my old gun…just refreshed. Here’s a close-up of the main body and the olde-tyme serial number sticker. The chrome on the body is really pitted from past use. And that’s still ages-old paint on there (gotten when I was painting a TOS-era Enterprise, if you must know). My paint. There is no doubt that this is the same airbrush. Oddly, the thing that’s making me the most giddy, other than actually having the airbrush back, is the new handle. It’s so much nicer than the old, cheap, ill-fitting, blue plastic original. Just that one cosmetic change makes this airbrush seem more professional. Kudos.
In the end, what does this mean? Well, I’ve got an airbrush that its going to be joining the stable just as soon as I slap a quick-connector on it…as a varnisher, at first, I think. This doesn’t mean I’m giving up my workhorse Iwatas. There is very little argument from any quarter that they are really nice guns. What it does mean is that I’m giving very serious thought to sending Badger my next art-level airbrush sale. Because I started with Badger, and they’ve demonstrated loyalty to their customers, and because they offer really good value for the buck, I’ll likely give them the nod. Don’t let people tell you customer service doesn’t matter. It matters to me.
Oh…in case you were wondering: They were as true as their word. All I ended up paying was the cost of shipping the airbrush to them.