A very special day indeed, as I get a loo inside the Badger Airbrush factory! This is where many of my favorite things are made, such as the Stynlrez Primer!!!
Gilbert was kind enough to schlep me up to the factory, and Ken played host. The murals in the office area start to lead you inside...
You start to run into tooling areas right away, and you immediately learn what a family business Badger is. You can very easily bump into multiple generations of the same family working in different departments.
This device might have been the most exotic... a way to check out nozzles to determine if there any flaws, or simply work on shape.
The factory was much like a Tardis, a whole lot bigger on the inside than it appeared from without.
Airbrushes of every type were under way, and it was really neat to see familiar end products in their earliest stages. In an age of plastic, digital printing and such, I was struck over and over again by all the machine parts and metal shavings!
...and miles of hoses! There were racks of hoses being cut, with connectors, water traps, etc., being added along the way.
An unexpected surprise was a rack of nail painting stencils. I will definitely have to fool around with these to see what happens on cloaks, vehicles, shoulder pads, etc.
It goes without says that there were Plenty of jars of paint and primer! When we showed up, the all important Stynlrez primer was being relocated to a new area where it would be easier to access. It has become the go to primer for so many across the globe.
The shipping department made you realize that when you saw the destinations of the boxes, heading to 3 different continents :)
Here was have the compressor area, where quality control, testing, repairs, etc, are done. This is only a part of the area!
More machine tools. Each of those machines creates various needle sizes. To see those in person gives you an all new respect for the needles!
As we moved along, we started to see final assembly areas, more quality control, etc. No brush leaves the factory without a battery of tests!
Seeing the Sanctuary of Stynlrez in person was a near religious experience! After seeing all the machines needed to create all those finely tooled parts, the racks of airbrushes were all the more impressive. It takes a number of individuals working on each phase to make those brushes come to life.
The resident artist's studio. You will probably be seeing me wear one of those Badger hats at a convention soon enough!
The Ken 'O Meter, which tells everyone if it's a sunny day, or storm clouds on the horizon...
We finished off the tour by checking out art pieces made over the years by various artists. The painting of JFK was made 50 years ago with the very first Badger Airbrush!
Once again, many thanks to Gilbert (be sure to check out Reddragon's Model Werks) and to Ken. It was amazing to see what it takes just to make a single airbrush, or even a single jar of Stynlrez.
In just a matter of weeks, the Band reunites at GenCon, where once again I will be doing airbrush demos in the Badger booth. That has become an annual tradition, and this year we have some very special things planned!
Be sure to stop by and enjoy the amazing work of the great folks we met at the Badger Airbrush factory!!