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