Some time ago, my old airbrush, which is had for a number of years, finally have up the ghost, most probably due to some lapse cleaning by yours truly. Que a long pause in any weathering taking place with an airbrush while I pondered whether to splash out on an Iwata or go with something cheaper….
In the end, more out of curiosity than anything else, I ordered an eBay special, obscenely cheap at £9.95 including delivery, to see what it was like more than anything else.
Today I got round to using it for the first time and, as expected, it’s pretty crap! The paint finish is not smooth, it spits frequently, and does certain other things you really don’t want an airbrush to do…. However, it has sold me on the top feed (my old one was a bottom feed, and required a lot of paint to work, as well as being a pain to clean) and, in all honesty, when weathering using the OTCM approved and favoured method of caking a vehicle in filth from an airbrush, then cleaning it back with thinners, the poor finish really doesn’t matter that much as it’s only an initial base to work from.
Tonight’s experiments have resulted in 15 grubby HOP32AB’s being ready for further work which can be carried out on the workbench rather than the paint booth (back garden) so it was certainly a productive excersise!
So my conclusion is this: if you are only planning on using the airbrush to give your stock a quick base layer of weathering to work from, save yourself a nice wedge of cash and buy a cheapo eBay airbrush. When it inevitably breaks, buy another one and be safe in the knowledge you’ve still not spent half the cost of the cheapest Iwata. However, for gods sake don’t take it near a proper spray job or model where you want this to be the final finish, as you’ll end up with a turd, which will require more than just polishing. If you plan to do a job like this, or you have lots of money to spend, splash out and get the best brush you can afford, it will be well worth it.