Every starting airbrush artist or scale-modeller will get to a point in his life when he has to decide which airbrush to buy. I’ve planed to create this category for a long time but I could never find the right moment to start it off.
Here we go! I started it and my first patient is Aztek 7778 airbrush. I think that many skilled airbrushists will skip this post as they probably have their experience with this brand or even with this particular airbrush gun.
If you are new to airbrush then read this posts for beginners first. And only then I recommend you to read reviews. I can’t promise that I will fill this category really soon but I’ll try.
To be honest, and pro’s will agree, if you decide to choose an airbrush, please choose carefully. Your choice will then be your pain in a butt. The quality of airbrush gun can give you freedom or you can waste a lot of time (not mentioning the frustration).
Let’s have a look at what the manufacturer says about his product:
- When cleaning you don’t have to take it apart
- Light and well-balanced
- Can be used with gravity or siphon feed
- Single or Double Action regimes
- Wide selection of nozzle tips and paint reservoirs
So let’s see if it’s true.
For the asked money Aztek gives you a nice collection of tools. First thing you’ll see is a nice box made of “red wood”. I’m not a big expert so I can’t tell if it’s really a red wood but the box is really beautiful and stylish.
- airbrush itself
- silk pocket for airbrush (not that important but still gives you nice feeling)
- air-hose and all the connectors you need to connect it to your compressor
- and a special cap to connect the airbrush to a can with compressed air.
Large set of Nozzle tips
- 9304C, for fine lines: 0,3 mm (tan) – not suitable for acrylic paint
- 9305C, for general purpose: 0,4 mm (grey) – not suitable for acrylic paint
- 9306C, large pressure tip: 0,5 mm (turquoise)
- 9307C, for use with uneven surface: 0,5 мм (pink)
- 9340C, acrylic paint general purpose: 0,4 mm (black)
- 9341C, acrylic paint general purpose: 0,5 mm (white)
- 9342C, special tip for small and medium areas: 0,53 mm (red)
- 9343C, for large areas: 0,7 mm (orange)
- 9344C, for very large areas: 1,02mm (yellow)
Set of Interchangeable reservoirs
These are described as gravity and siphon here but I would say that it is gravity – side and siphon-side feed.
- gravity feed: 3ml, 7.5ml and 10ml
- siphon feed: 28ml and 33ml
- special reservoir 2.5ml that can be taken apart into two pieces (very comfortable to use if you change nozzle tips very often as when you take the tip off paint won’t leak)
And one more 12ml with a bit similar but kind of different construction. The only one without lid.
Special Tool Key
This key can be used for three different purposes:
- Pushing out the blinder from the hole where you mount the reservoir
- Taking off and on nozzle tip
- For cleaning the airbrush canal
It depends on the country but there wasn’t a local manual for my country and I would appreciate some instructions for nozzle tips as there weren’t even description for their use (I had to go online and find it myself).
Nozzle tips itself don’t have any description on them (only thing that describes them is colour :)
Guide disk (dvd), even two of them (in English).
They strongly advice you to use those tips as per instructions (following the rules). Otherwise you can have spits, sprays or clogging. For example difference between acrylic and non acrylic nozzle tip
even finish of nozzle tip for acrylic paint helps to prevent clogging and gives it the right air flow. But you have to be careful with this one as the end of needle is totally unprotected. Generally the storage of nozzle tips is designed very well what protects them and you can see all of them in at the same time without the need to shake the box.
To my surprise Aztek has more sets similar to this one in their offer (totally 3 at the time of writing this article).
Aztek 7778 is the most expensive but most completed set.
Aztek 4809 – has several nozzle tips limited to 6 (tan, grey, turquoise, white, black and red or orange – not sure). Reservoirs are the same but instead of 12ml one there is another special 2.5ml one. There is no pocket for airbrush storage. Not sure about hose, as when you check the images on internet it is not in the box, but e-shop has it listed in specifications. Also there is no lid for can with compressed air but instead of tool key there is connector for compressor.Aztek 4709 – is the same as 4809 but airbrush body is plastic (so it is probably the cheapest one)
Design and Usefulness
I’m not sure how to explain or review the design as this is a bit different from what many pro’s are used to see and use. Unusual design.
Personally I would say light and comfortable in hand. Balance and weight claimed by manufacturer are really one of the pros of this tool. Hose connected to the rear was a bit unusual for me as I felt that it can’t be good but after some time I even forgot that there is something different. The pedal is fluent with a bit more of resistance than I expected. If you go to your local shop and they have this on offer, ask the seller to hold it in your hands so you will get the feeling of it (I would recommend to do this when you buy any airbrush). E-shops don’t have this ability so you have to believe everything you find on the internet.
The fitting of reservoirs is interesting – they can be done from any side so it doesn’t matter if you’re left- or right-handed. Fitting is easy and quick.
Fitting the nozzle tip is easy as well. If you don’t have enough power in your hands you can use the tool key to fix the nozzle.
And the magic wheel for switching the action regime
First impression when you see the wheel – you may think that it’s for control of needle move. In this case you just change the needle starting position. If we screw the needle to most right we get maximum flow of paint at all time (there you go – single action). But if you screw the needle to the most left the paint flow will be blocked and it won’t work at all. So you will have to find a position somewhere in the middle which you’re comfortable with. This can be done in 30 secs and I think that this kind of system can help to adjust the airbrush for special type of work. You can not only switch regimes but even adjust them.
Nice box, wide selection of nozzle tips and something on top – that’s good, but how’s about functionality, does it work as good as it looks? Well, much depends on how you will get used to it. With my skills I would say that nozzle tips spray very good. But if we look at width of final lines, hmmm.. not that awesome.
1 – 0.3mm (tan tip), 2 – 0.4mm two lines (black tip), 3 – 1.02mm (yellow tip), 4 – 0.5mm (red tip), 5 – 0.5mm (pink)
Number 5 on the picture was made with different pressure (hight in the middle, lower around it). With smallest tip (tan colour – 0.3mm) I could not get line thinner than 3mm. The black one (0.4mm) for acrylic colours was better in my opinion in quality and contrast. It really depends what kind of colour you’re going to use and which nozzle tip. This set can give you a wide spectrum of possibilities with some restrictions in fine art. If I take the number of nozzle tips in this set I would expect more from it. Especially I was amazed by comfort when you need to change the tip or colour. The whole process is so quick that I spent about 30 minutes to test all the nozzle tips with base coat included.
As per manufacturer description – to clean the airbrush you don’t need to take it apart. Whole process of cleaning is described very well in user manual. I have to say that amount of reducer used in cleaning was really low, compared to my previous experience with other airbrushes. The full cleaning takes 3 minutes (I wasn’t working very long so it wasn’t very dirty). I found one bug, nozzle tips. I don’t think they get cleaned properly as per description in user manual. I noticed some particulates after cleaning and if it happens every time, after longer period it could lead to problems. To take the nozzle tip apart could help but the manufacturer does not recommend to do so.
I didn’t have the tool for a long time to enjoy it, but in that short time I came across some problems that I would like to share.
At first you need to get used to Airbrush itself. Before you start using it, experiment with all the tools you have in the box and try different pressures as it’s a ‘different game’ when you change the pressure. So try to find optimal combination for you. The smallest tip for acrylic is 0.4mm which is too much :(
As I mentioned before, the size of the set is asking for more, but I overestimated its potential. Even that cleaning won’t take your time but in the future it could lead to a problem with clogging of nozzle tips. Spare parts for airbrush gun itself are bit difficult to get. Other parts of the set like bottles and tips are selling separately.
After looking for other people reactions I found that very common problem is that wire inside the gun will ripe up after about 6 months of use. And as I said manufacturer isn’t selling spare parts for the gun. To avoid this do not make rapid moves with the pedal. Overall feeling is that most of your money you will pay for a nice packed stuff that can be used but with some limits.
support airbrushdoc by shopping at Chicago Airbrush Supply
If you have any experience with this tool please leave your comment, what do you think about it and what are your recommendations.
Love the 7778!
Hi Peter! Thanks for your comment. May I ask what kind of painting do you do with 7778 ? I’m just curious ;)
I have one of these and like it a lot better after I learned to take the tips apart for cleaning.It is still very easy to clean.
Hey Mike, thanks for your comment. I have not tried to take the tips apart, maybe some day when I get my hands on this set again.
I was asked to do a few demonstrations in art fairs in Holland in the eighties of the previous century by Testor. and I actually liked the gun. At the time I used Rotring Artist Colors (which were finely pigmented acrylic inks) and they behaved quite well in the Aztek. People from the airbrush scene were ROTFL when they heard I was hired by Testor to shoot with the Aztek, but a portrait I sprayed with it on T-shirt came out nice. It is the third from the left (Geronimo) in this page of my blog: http://communicats.blogspot.nl/2012/10/indians-in-my-living-room.html (unfortunately I don’t have a larger image).
Later I used it to spray acrylic paints (after Artist Color was no longer produced) and if you use the Aztek in a thinly diluted mix – paint : water = 1 : 10 or more – the gun handles ok. Lukas Illu-Color and Holbein Aeroflash are easy to spray with the Aztek’s finest nozzle. That particular Aztek I assume to be an earlier model than the ones they are currently selling, but I think people who buy it will get a reasonably good gun for a fair price.
Thanks Chris for your honest opinion, I think everyone reading this review in the future will appreciate it. Thanks
BTW, your art is awesome!
Thanks Sergej. In this clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPSvVVHZtLM&list=PL7E977A8A336E8A55&index=1&feature=plpp_video French artist Raymond Planchat uses an Aztek to paint a mouse on a Harley tank, which shows the possibilities of the gun. Obviously this guy is quite skilled, but its unique design has good potential.
Nice. I think that the final result depends more on the artist, his talent and skills he has than on the tools he uses ;)
Yes The Aztek is a very different Airbrush, but that also mean there are a lt very “simular” airbrushes and the best thing about the Aztek is that finaly a firm from bottom redesigned and made better what could be made better. Easy to clean, not supposed to be taken apart to be repaired a nozzle that can be used with most other Aztek designs, the nozzle just for what you are doing and easy to put in take apart for cleaning in a material that allow you to leave it in acetone if that is what can solute the paint. I love the Aztek 1000S that you sometimes can find under other brands. Looks like something from Startrek but a trigger system so smooth in your hands and a small adjusting wing, that can even adjust the spraycone diameter, still nothing here come withut a price, as if you don’t close the small adjusting wing paint will start dripping thru but worth the risk from my point of view — never seen any other Airbrush, where you can adjust spray cone diameter. And that Aztek 1000S even said to be obsolute, is just one of several designs. An airbrush that is both one and two function enginious. And the many different cups, a resonable price also for replacement nozzles, — Well I can live with the design.
It is not the Airbrush I pick for the finest work, there I am more used to the tradisional brushes. But the Aztek are handy and flexible and will not leave you with a airbrush where it is a problem if paint has blocked something becaurse it is so easy to clean, to use to get to know. It is much better than it’s reputation and something of a workhorse.
Thank you Per, nice informative comment.
Habibulin Azat – Airbrush in Briansk
ART4CAR Airbrush on carbon Nissan GTR
Bruce Lee Quote