Product: Duff Airbrush Machine
Retail Price: $129.99
Final Grade: B -
For a long time I have wanted a small airbrush that would be both easier to pull out and set up for very small applications and to have in my "to go" kit when I am out on deliveries. But it took a destination wedding in Georgia to finally motivate my purchase! The old Kopykake wasn't going to fit in my carry on after all!!
Originally I had my eye on the Pegasus model (seen to the left) because James Roselle always recommended it to me, but recently it was always sold out! Now I know why, Duff Goldman. His recent line of cake supplies is largely repackaged product already on the market (a common practice in branded lines like this) and his airbrush is no different. Side by side, you can see it is the same machine as the Pegasus and costs the same too. The size, controls, all identical and I knew I could always slap a Merci Beaucoup sticker over the Duff logo!! Michael's in Conyers, GA had it, so I whipped out the business card.
- Easy to Clean
- Small Color Applications (solids)
- The Gun Box
First of all, and probably most of all, this is a small, portable machine that is light in weight and takes up minimal space in my travel kit. Measuring less than 5" in length and 2" in depth, the ability for me to take this where I need it is its biggest pro. That same portability makes it easier to clean than the bulkier professional machines.
As a tool, it is more butter knife than Swiss Army knife but for this particular wedding, it made the production of my sugar flowers a lot easier. I made roughly 170 sugar flowers and they all needed to be painted purple. If I'd done it by hand, I would've gone crazy! I don't know if I could cover a whole cake with the Duff airbrush, but for covering smaller surfaces like flower petals, it performed quite well.
The machine and power supply have no case, but I'm sure there's something out there you could use. It does come with a nice hard plastic box for the actual spray gun which I appreciate for the price. Be nice if it wasn't etched with Duff's logo, but I'll get over it ;)
- It Gets Dirty Quick!
- Not Detail Oriented
- Lackluster Instruction Manual
- The White Hose
I had to list easy to clean as a "pro" because a "con" is how quickly it gets dirty! The white color attracts the color in the air like a magnet and within a few minutes of work, it was an ever deepening shade of purple. One solution might be to cover it in cling film, just don't cover the bottom as that is where the air intake is located.
The basic controls are a bit of a negative. There are only three modes; low, medium and high. That regulates the maximum 15 psi available. Mic thinks that means you can have 5, 10 or 15. A higher end machine will have a more precise dial to control your airflow. My Kopykake Airmaster is controllable from 0 to 30 psi. It's all technical, but what I do know is with only three settings, my ability on the Duff machine to do fine detail work or to use it to write on a cake is limited.
"My Work Space in Georgia"
The instruction manual is basically useless. Of course, most are these days! You need to have experience with an airbrush to be able to use it out of the box or else you'll be going online to find some lessons on airbrushing. There's also a mystery eyedropper in the box that I have no idea what you'd use for and isn't described in the instructions!
The hose is white, which threw me off, because it also gets dirty real quick! The hose itself is sturdy enough, but after one use, you can already see it permanently stained with the colors I used. I can imagine over time that getting darker and darker. Will it look bad? We'll see!
Overall, for what I got it for and for the applications I will use it for in the future, I am happy I picked it up. It is great for small stuff, accents and highlights, but not for covering a large cake and not fine details or writing. It's a little quieter than my large Kopykake machine, but it will never replace that as my main airbrush. A good purchase though and I'll rest easy knowing it's in the delivery tool kit if I need it.