Re: My iwata hpc is pushing air back through the paint...
Try replacing cup gasket first then clean all inlets and outlets completely, check that all valves operate properally, and all seals and o-rings are in good condition. Clean and lubricate adjustment fluid valve.
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Taking care of your tools and supplies is an essential in their upkeep and increasing the life of your tools. When you neglect to take care of your tools they will get clogged or ruined and eventually will stop working. This same principle applies to your air brush gun, if you don't take care of it and clean in properly after each use it will get clogged and will stop working.
After each use you want to make sure that you get all the paint out, to do this you should add a little bit of warm water to the cup (where the paint goes in) and then pour it out into the trash. You must be sure NOT to use hot water because it could melt or warp small plastic pieces inside the gun.
Fill a bowl or tub with clean warm water, connect the air brush to the tube, plug it in and turn it on. Placing the needle and the cup under the water and pull the trigger. Run water through it for a few minutes to make sure that no color comes out of it. If paint does come out of the gun you will need to change the water.
When the water runs clear through the gun take it out of the water and fill the cup with clean water. While placing your finger over the needle cap pull the trigger. This will make the air flow backwards through the gun causing bubbles to form in the cup. If there is paint stuck in the gun it will come up in the bubbles in this step. Pour the water out and place the needle and cup in water again and pull the trigger.
When you feel that it is clean, take the gun out of the water and spray your gun on a white napkin or paper towel to make sure there is no color in the spray. If no color comes out you are all clean and ready to use your airbrush gun again.
Air brushes us a Theory called a "venturi" in where air pressure lowers the pressure where the paint is kept and causes it to go out the nozzle. I would try seeing if there is an obstruction in the hoses to the brush and confirm that the compressor is moving air. If none of these things are an issue also while cleaning the parts may give the appearance that the item is clean then try soaking them over night in paint thinner and replacing the O-rings and gaskets.
I am not familiar with either brush, but they are both well known name brands. The Paasche will probably have more readily available parts for it than the Badger in case something breaks or you drop it. I myself use Iwata, BUT the parts are expensive.
It will boil down to which brush comes with what size tip/needle in accordance to what type of media you will be shooting. Thicker paints or stains will require a bigger tip and needle, thinner paints and stains, just the opposite. I hope this helps.
I assume you have adjusted the nozzle... On my unit, there is a SMALL hole in the cap for the cups to let in air above the paint. Also OFTEN the paint must be thinned to use in an airbrush. Since you havent been able to draw water even, thinning is NOT the problem.
The airbrush aspirates the paint by Bernouli's principle, that is where there is higher velocity of a fluid, there is a lower pressure. The nozzle creates that and the adjustment is important. On mine which is a "Wren", I think by Binks there is a conical piece that the paint comes out of with a throttling needle. This has the be unscrewed to open the paint path and adjust it. The air flows at high speed around this cone creating a vacuum.
The headline says "Eclipse" but that is a gravity feed so I suspect that is the old Fixya problem of having incomplete choices to pick from.
It sounds like you have a problem with the air valve. Possible deterioration of the valve material? I am not sure what they use, but if it is a rubber the cleaning thinner MAY have destroyed its properties if the cleaner got into the air path and valve.