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A quick test of the Grex GCK01 airbrush-compressor combo, Private Stock paint

By Hal Miller
Published: March 4, 2010
Grex GCK01 Combo
Grex GCK01 Combo
Grex AC8110-A Compressor
Grex AC8110-A Compressor
Grex Genesis.XT
Grex Genesis.XT in use

Air tool manufacturer Grex recently started putting its Genesis.XT airbrush and AC1810-A compressor in one package, the GCK01 kit (MSRP $499.95). Both products have been out for a while and are known quantities. Putting them together gives would-be airbrushers a nice set of tools to get started painting models or doing other artwork. The set comes colorfully boxed in the company’s bright green color scheme, with a window in one side so the customer can see what’s inside.


The kit comes with the compressor and airbrush, a DVD teaching the basics of airbrush use, air hose, and a bottle of Grex’s Private Stock paint. The side gravity-fed airbrush itself includes a lot of little niceties: a G-MAC air-control valve, quick connectors, 7- and 15ml cups and a 30ml bottle. It has a 0.35mm fluid nozzle, good for general-purpose work.


The recently released water-based line of multi-surface, high-performance paint includes opaque, semi-opaque, transparent, fluorescent and Special FX colors ready to use in an airbrush right out of the bottle. We received the Primary Color Set (GXPS-475; $29.98) that contains opaques Titanium White and Carbon Black, plus transparents Arylide Yellow, Quinacridone Magenta, Naphthol Red and Phthalocynine Blue.


I’d first encountered the Genesis.XT a couple of years ago at iHobby Expo. It’s a trigger-style double-action airbrush that’s very comfortable and intuitive to use. Both of these factors let even the novice achieve good results right away. The compressor is quiet; when another editor heard it, he remarked “I can airbrush with it at home and my wife won’t yell at me!” With no tank, the compressor runs when the airbrush trigger is pressed. I noticed no “pulsing” that sometimes afflicts compressors this size.


Just to test the setup, I painted a Revell Corvette C6-R body with Private Stock paints. After priming the body in gray, I sprayed a coat of Opaque Titanium White on. Both the airbrush and paint performed smoothly; I just poured the paint from the bottle into the cup and went to work. The paint dries quickly to a satin finish and I was able to apply a couple of coats in about an hour.


I oversprayed the white with Arylide Yellow. The transparent color really popped with the white underneath.


While it was just a quick test, I was impressed with how the airbrush, compressor and paint perform. I’ll perform a few more tests to see how the paint does on other surfaces and how the airbrush handles finer detail. Look for a complete review in Model Retailer’s Product Lab section soon.

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