Gaahleri GHAD-68 Pistol-Grip Airbrush dn models scale model masks

Gaahleri GHAD-68 Pistol-Grip Airbrush

Intro

Gaahleri GHAD-68 is the second airbrush from that new company we get to test. The results we got from the first one were rather encouraging, so the expectations for the pistol-grip offer are even higher. That of course is a tricky thing when you get to test Chinese made products. From China, you can get the very best porcelain products on the planet. In the same time, you can get the worst production flaws ever known to man. So it is a so-so situation, especially when it comes down to precision tools, such as airbrushes. Luckily, Gaahleri proved their worth thus far and evidence for that are the numerous YouTube reviews you can watch and enjoy. But let’s see what we got in the face of GHAD-98. We might find a thing or two that other’s haven’t.

Gaahleri GHAD-68 Pistol-Grip Airbrush dn models scale model masks Beneath the box and the instructions is the Test Sheet. Useless in this specific case.

Packing

GHAD-68 came in nice black box, wrapped in thin cardboard-like sleeve, describing the contents and the features of the product inside. This is an Advanced airbrush according to Gaahleri – and logically: compared to everything else that they have in their line. On the sleeve side there is a 5 mark square scale, ranging from Extreme Detail to Extra wide, and GHAD-68 is positioned exactly in the middle of all that. Medium, Fine and WIde are all within its range, Medium being in the center of course.

The cardboard box itself is posh, but we weren’t overly excited about that. What made the biggest impression is the interior of the lid, which is a thorough description of the airbrush in the form of graphic break-down of each and every part that found its place in this pistol-grip tool. It is printed on fine sticker, with deep and dark-ish colors, giving it extra stylish impression.

Gaahleri GHAD-68 Pistol-Grip Airbrush dn models scale model masks

The rest is placed in a foaming material, but not the cheap one that we are used to from most of the airbrushes coming from China. Here, material is nice and the parts’ beds are precisely cut, leaving no loose ends. Everything is in its best possible shape thus far. However, at this point we think you would agree that it is way too early for conclusion of whatever kind.

Instructions/Test Card

GHAD-68 comes with proper English instructions, a logical and self-explanatory addition, which unfortunately most of the Chinese production companies fail to deliver when it comes down to airbrushes. Here, Gaahleri made an effort and created pretty neat picture-enriched guidance, sufficient enough to guide the novice through the first steps of airbrushing. Exactly as it should be.

Test Card included is a complete let-down on the other hand. It is, unfortunately – printed. In other words, it is a picture, completely worthless as an addition. It is meaningless to have test document, proving that the printer that Gaahleri had at the factory works. Our guess is that they have couple of different patters and they randomly print out and put those in airbrush boxes alongside with the instructions. Initially, we could not confirm that, but the company itself confirmed that this is a print, which we criticized strongly in our email conversations. But again, too early for conclusions at this point. Not that this marketing trick is not cheap, but let’s see what follows. Our testing is important, not theirs.

Gaahleri GHAD-68 Pistol-Grip Airbrush dn models scale model masks

Box Contents

Inside of the foaming beds, we have the airbrush, which comes with a plastic handle and air-route extension within it. If you try and laugh about that later statement, be sure to check how much you have to pay for those two Iwata goodies when you buy TR1 or TR2 Revolution airbrushes. Next are the extra needle and nozzle. They are both carefully packed in transparent plastic containers and are containing the 0.5mm setup. The one on the airbrush from the get go is 0.38mm. Gaahleri offer other variations as well.

There are two paint cups, 1/4 & 1/2 oz. In addition to that, the threaded bed molded on the airbrush is sufficient enough by itself and can hold paint for your fine lines, mottling, corrections or whatever small-quantity-paint needs. So not two, but three paint cup options are available in this airbrush. Again, if you are smirking at this statement, please be sure to check the paint cup of Iwata HP-BH for example.

Gaahleri GHAD-68 Pistol-Grip Airbrush dn models scale model masks Note the manufacturing flaws in the right of the opening above the needle. Not an issue luckily.

There is a tube of lube, which is more of a paste-like, not liquid, like the one we used to use regularly. But by itself this is a nice touch, since every airbrush should be properly maintained and if you are a novice and don’t know that this is a thing, then you can waste a perfectly good gun. Thankfully, this bonus is added here and whatever the quality of the lube is, it is far better than not having any.

Finally, there is a half of a quick release and a zip-lock with few o-rings in it, also a nice touch from Gaahleri. O-rings are cheap and mostly interchangeable between brands, but again, in order to have the experience, sometimes you have to sacrifice a tool or time. Sometimes both. Especially if you are a newbie. Gaining knowledge demands it. With GHAD-68 package, this is minimized thanx to the logical add-ons to the set.

Gaahleri GHAD-68 Pistol-Grip Airbrush dn models scale model masks The lube.

Ergonomics

Ergonomically speaking, pistol-grip airbrushes are the best. It doesn’t get any easier than that. While with conventional airbrushes you have to push the trigger down for air and pull it backwards for paint, with trigger-type airbrushes, you just pull. Initially the air starts, then the paint. But here it is all in one direction. With conventional airbrush, you can add too much air or too much paint, any of which can cause a mess.

The trigger itself is longer and pivots in a way, that gives you wider range of movement, improving the precision. That is possible with taller trigger on conventional airbrush, but as long as in this case is nearly impossible. Besides, if  you make it longer, the air movement range will be messed up when you have to push for air and you muscle memory will be challenged.

Gaahleri GHAD-68 Pistol-Grip Airbrush dn models scale model masks

That is why, trigger-style airbrushes are easy. They are a good fit for every regular Joe out there. You don’t need to be as talented as Michelangelo to make it work. Which we love about them. Fine lines, mottling, complex camo schemes – all doable. And cleaning is a breeze too. But for that we’ll talk later. In conclusion about how comfy this GHAD-68 is – “very” is the short answer.

Testing Results

We tested the airbrush in summer conditions, at high humidity – 77% according to the local weather station – and 29 degrees Celsius. We diluted the paint a bit on the thinner side, just to be sure that we will achieve the best possible results and in general it sprayed perfectly. Well, it is not TR1 for sure, but is close in performance and it gets closer in one’s mind when you compare the price tags of both.

Gaahleri GHAD-68 Pistol-Grip Airbrush dn models scale model masks f-16 test 1/48Black paint used as base here. Note the even finish & satin looks. Seems like GHAD-68 is working just fine. Test bed F-16 in quarter scale.

Fine lines are easily doable, mottling is a breeze. Even though “Medium” is what Gaahleri rates this airbrush in terms of precision, it looks more like a “Fine” to us. But that is not what its meant to be used for according to its maker. Which makes the results more satisfactory in general. That means, that for primers, clear coats, base layers of paints – everything should be beyond expected in terms of performance. We would add that GHAD-68 can be used easily for pre-shading even with fine lines, where errors can be covered easily and sometimes happen unexpectedly, mostly due to the longer spray sessions. In other words, for general use, this airbrush is great choice. At that price it has – it is a pure bargain.

Gaahleri GHAD-68 Pistol-Grip Airbrush dn models scale model masks Gaahleri GHAD-68 Pistol-Grip Airbrush dn models scale model masks Fine lines is not what GHAD-68 is meant to be used for. However, a picture is worth a 1000 words.

Cleaning

Back in a day, when we first got our Iwata TR1, being our first trigger-style airbrush, we got a 10 year warranty with the provision that you should not disassemble your airbrush in order to keep it safe. The question “How the heck will I clean this?” is perfectly in order here. Well, you flush. And thoroughly. If you wonder how that works, well, if you want 10 year warranty, you will need to spend extra on a cleaning solution. Every single spray session is concluded with one or two full cups of cleaning liquid, which depends on the paint you spray with. Luckily, we found a very cheap window cleaning formula that flushed all Tamiya and Vallejo paint with ease and even more luckily, those latter two were among our most used brands.

Imagine how much we would have spent for pricier cleaning liquid formula. But as of today, more than 13 years later, the airbrush is in perfect condition and was disassembled only once – 3 years ago. Another perfectly fine example why pistol-grip airbrushes are great. Nevertheless, we suggest to remove the needle every once in a while and clean it properly and more rarely – do that with the nozzle too. At least with Gaahleri pistol airbrush. Other than that, principles are the same for any brand.

Gaahleri GHAD-68 Pistol-Grip Airbrush dn models scale model masks

Conclusion

Gaahleri are oriented towards the general airbrush user according to what we grasped from our testing. They are very affordable and perform better than expected. Especially if you know how to make your paint right. Their range of tools vary, but the GHAD-68 is in a special position, since it covers a lot more than just any regular airbrush. It fills the gap that most of us open due to the lack of natural talent and hand-precision. All that thanks to the ergonomics of the handle and the design and the length of the trigger. On top of that it adds ease in the most unpleasant part of the airbrushing – the cleaning session. It saves time and definitely mitigate risks from constant disassembly and hand cleaning every element.

We can only highly praise this trigger-style airbrush and although we cannot recommend it as your sole gun for every purpose, we think it can easily bear the “workhorse” title on most of the benches, accompanied by a high-precision and more expensive tool from high-end brand of your choosing. The latter one will definitely be needed for sniper special ops on your model. For everything else – you can have GHAD-68 to take care of.

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