Grex Tritium TG Review

I’d heard a lot of really great things about the Grex Tritium TG airbrush, and so when I received one as a gift this past Christmas, I was pretty jazzed.

Every other airbrush I’d ever used up to that point had more or less the same “stick” design. Single or double-action, internal or external mix, all were designed to be held like a pen. But the Tritium was different, with its pistol-style grip, which many reviews praised for providing a more stable painting platform.

On top of the pistol grip design, the Grex had a few other awesome features…swappable paint cups…standard and crown caps held in place by magnets at the business end of the airbrush…multiple needle sizes available.

And…the airbrush sprayed very well. I’ll be honest, the trigger action took some getting used to, but once I got that sorted, it shot paint as well as any airbrush I’ve ever used. It also seemed to clean up way easier than either of my two Iwatas.

Here’s some of the work I did with the Grex. Sorry, I didn’t do the customary squiggles-on-a-paper-towel that seem to populate most airbrush reviews.

So…that’s the good.

Unfortunately, at least in my case, there’s some bad as well.

First, the trigger action. I guess I’m so used to traditional double-action brushes, where pushing down on the trigger controls the airflow, and pulling back controls the paint flow by retracting the needle in the nozzle. With the Tritium TG, all you can do is pull the trigger back, so the two operations have been combined. The first half of the pull engages the air, and the second half begins retracting the needle. I found this fine for spraying wide patterns, but for small detail work, that sweet spot of air and just a slight bit of paint was ridiculously hard to maintain.

Second…while yes, the trigger action provides a remarkably stable painting platform, it only does so to the limits of human endurance. The Tritium TG is rather small, and holding the trigger at that perfect modulation point, over time, leads to some pretty bad hand cramps. Maybe it’s that my hands are too big for the brush, I don’t know, but after painting the mottling on the wing of the Bf 109 above, my hand was pretty much shot. I’ve never experience that kind of cramping fatigue with a traditional stick airbrush.

Third…something you don’t really think about, is how tall the pistol grip makes the Tritium. Add the Grex mass air control (MAC) unit and quick disconnect coupler, and the thing is easily eight inches tall. This makes maneuvering and getting in close rather difficult. I kept catching on the desk edge.

Depending on how you paint, the size of your hands, and so on, the Tritium TG is a fantastic airbrush. It sprays very well, and once you get the hang of it, very consistently. It’s easy to clean, and generally very spiffy.

Unfortunately, on a personal level, I have my share of issues with the form factor…issues that are glaring enough in my case to relegate it to an also-ran on my bench. So I’ve decided to sell my Grex. Again, I will stress, NOT because it is a bad airbrush, but because it’s just not the right airbrush for me.

Pros:

  • Stable painting platform
  • Selection of nozzle/needle sets – 0.2mm, 0.3mm, 0.5mm
  • Interchangeable paint cups
  • Unique form factor
  • Excellent atomization, easy clean up

Cons:

  • Pistol trigger control can be frustrating
  • Pistol grip size too small for large hands – cramping may ensue
  • Pricey…not necessarily better than other brushes in the price range (or even well below the price range).

Conclusion:

Great airbrush, but the form factor did not work for me.

3 thoughts on “Grex Tritium TG Review

  1. Thanks for the review Doogs, I was hoping you’d cover the Grex in detail. I am having a world of trouble with my Airbrush, firstly because it is the first time I have used one, and secondly because its probably a piece of Cr**!

    I bought it off ebay, from a vendor called Airbrush City, along with a compressor, paid about $300 for the whole thing. Its dual action. It sputters, splatters, clogs, and is difficult to clean

    So here is the question. Overall, which Airbrush compressor combo would you recommended?

    Out of all that you have used, which is you overall favorite?

    Is that the Cyber Hobby BF109e by the way? I recognize some of that cockpit detail.

    Cheers, Ian

    PS. You need to adjust your Adwords settings. The ads are showing, fashion model, modelling agency, and movie star stuff rather than our type of modelling like paint and supplies kits etc! Great site, its coming along well! Cheers, Ian

    • Thanks Ian!

      Can’t really recommend a compressor. I’ve got a big shop compressor in the garage and I just feed off that. It’s got something like a 13-gallon tank, so I just fill it and run off that with a regulator by the bench. Nice and easy, and I can turn it around and air up tires or run air tools as needed as well.

      For an airbrush…my main brush at the moment is an Iwata Eclipse HP-CS. Solid for the most part, but the shape of the bottom of the paint cup makes it kind of tough to clean. I’ve also had problems spraying a few paints – various metalizers and Vallejo Model Air in particular.

      I’ve just expanded my airbrush stable by three, though. The Harder & Steenbeck Evolution that I mentioned a few posts back, and a Badger Patriot 105 and Badger Renegade Velocity that I got for a screaming deal of $130 for the two of them. The bidding on my Grex is already above that, so they’re basically a trade! Haven’t had a chance to give any of them a really proper workout, but they all feel great in the hand. The H&S feels like a German sports car. You can feel the precision in the trigger…light and very easy to modulate, but it never feels loose. The Patriot feels nice, with a heavier trigger, and the Renegade Velocity feels like it’s hewn from a block of metal. Super solid. Haven’t sprayed a thing through the Badgers yet, though, so it’s too early to form an opinion. Hopefully I will be fixing that in the next several days…the Pup is getting ever closer to paint.

      The 109 in the pic is Eduard’s Bf 109E-7…but I’ve got the Cyber-Hobby E-4 in the stash and am looking very forward to it. Mold quality puts the Eduard to shame in most places.

      I’ll see about the Adwords settings…I’m running the site through WordPress.com, so I’m not entirely certain how much control I’ve got over the ad side.

  2. I have old injury that makes me uncomfortable to hold traditional AB like Iwata, so I use trigger stye Tamiya 74540. I understand the issue about maintain that sweet spot of minimum air/paint balance for fine detail. So this is something for trigger AB user has to do for fine hair line spray: do a test run on a piece of paper to find that sweet spot and then screwing needle chuck nut at back of the airbrush to back stop trigger at that point. Therefore, you just pull the trigger to the point that can not be pull back and stay at the sweet spot to spray away, making fine detail painting much easier. I have a Iwata HP-C plus that has similar needle chuck nut screw in the back and do the same thing to back-stop the trigger to maintain spray consistency, or my hand would hurt half an hour later. But I still end up using trigger airbrush way more often than HP-C.

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