Testors Aztek A480 Airbrush Set

SET #: A4809
PRICE: $262.49 MSRP
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Set includes everything you need except volatiles.

This is the top of the line Aztek dual action air brush with a metal body. Testors was kind enough to send a complete set that includes all the pieces listed below. It comes is a superb mahogany presentation case that is perfect for storing the airbrush and all the accessories. Included are the following:

This airbrush is also available as the A470 with a plastic body. The metal body has good heft to it and fits well into my hand. The nice selection of tips offers several for use with acrylics and with lacquers and enamels. The instruction DVD that comes with the set explains the operation of the airbrush as well as maintenance, troubleshooting and some creative use information. All very well done with easy to follow instructions.

I was especially struck by the repeated comments not to disassemble the tips or the airbrush for cleaning. I know that several of you have done so in the past with little trouble, but I have to assume that most who try make a mess of things. Were there one thing that I think should be added, it would be a sheet that explains each of the tips and their particular paint use. The Testors web site does provide this information, but it would be nice to have it included with the product.

OK, so you are probably wondering just how well this works. As you know, I've been using other brands and felt that the Aztek should be given a good check-out. Attaching the hose to my compressor was not a problem though one has to take care not to over-tighten. Having the hose run behind my hand was a new feeling that will take a bit of getting used to, but it does keep the hose out of one's work. Aztek airbrushes have the option to not only use siphon bottles, but also paint cups. The design is such that these can be fit to either the right or left side of the airbrush. The large bottle in the set has a cap that will fit directly onto Badger bottles so those who have a supply of these and old Gunze paint bottles will find that a nice touch. Also a nice touch is that most of the paint cups have a top on them. Those of us who have spilled paint from these will appreciate this.

I sprayed several types of paint with this, changing to the appropriate tip when needed. Lacquers, enamels and acrylics all sprayed with equal ease. I did notice that the larger tips have a plastic needle whereas the finer ones have it made of metal.

Learning how to do fine lines and adjusting the airbrush for them does take a bit of getting used to if one has been using other air brush brands. But if you think about it, it works the same way. Moving the adjustment on the back of the airbrush will restrict the movement of the needle, just like on other air brushes. This will allow for it to be converted into a single action unit if one needs to have a consistently sized spray pattern.

Due to the design of the airbrush, clean-up is one of the easiest of any I've used. Since paint doesn't get back into the body and the needle is part of the tip, there is never a worry about the action getting stiff from dried paint within. The tips can be soaked in all sorts of cleaners and the wrench used to secure the tips also has parts to help loosen any built up paint. I found that a standard non-abrasive pipe cleaner was able to clean any paint from the siphon tubes and the entry hole in the airbrush itself.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at how well this airbrush handled and performed its tasks. If less weight is required, then the A470 with its plastic handle would be the one to get. I fully plan on using this one on several projects in work to see how I like it in the long run. From my first few days using it, I think it will soon become a favorite. To me, this would very much be a viable option to anyone considering the purchase of a new unit.

January 2009

Thanks to and DLV Company for the review kit. You can find Aztek airbrushes and products at a variety of hobby and craft outlets or on-line at www.testors.com

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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