Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Iwata Eclipse HP-CS

This is my current main airbrush, the Japanese Iwata Eclipse HP-CS bought online in August 2011. This is one of the most popular dual action airbrush with 0.35 mm nozzle among miniature modellers. I have been looking for this gear for a very long time but couldn't find it. Shops in Singapore and Malaysia don't sell this brand. When I had my holiday in UK last year, the official distributor of Iwata in Cardiff didn't have this model as well. Finally I resorted to purchasing it online through Amazon.

It comes in a box with the airbrush, a small tube of lubricant called "Superlube", mini wrench, Iwata sticker, Iwata genuine card, instruction booklet and a brochure neatly packed. My first impression when I held this gear was that it feels very well balanced in my hand, this is good stuff. Trigger action is smooth  and responsive. Spraying action and paint atomisation is very consistent. The parts are all well made. The needle packing (O-ring/ rubber gasket) is made of Teflon, this is good because Teflon is solvent resistant. The function of the needle packing is to prevent paints from leaking into the air chamber. The usage of solvent based paints will deteriorate normal rubber packing over time. This is what happened to my Sparmax when I noticed some paints leakage over into the air chamber. With Teflon this problem is minimised.

The 0.35 mm nozzle has no problem with metallic paints. I had clogging issues with the 0.25 mm Sparmax when used with certain metallic paint. My only issue with this Iwata airbrush is the price and availability of spare parts. At the time of writing I'm still looking for spare nozzle and needles. It is always advisable to keep spare parts, you'll never know when you need it. The nozzle and needle are the most fragile parts of the airbrush by the way. These two parts are very delicate and it will wear out over time, probably few years of continuous heavy use. Of-course it will break down prematurely if you mishandled them, especially during the cleaning process.

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