Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tamiya HG Single-action airbrush set

A skeptic..

I never had any luck with "hobby" grade airbrush kits.
The last one I used, was produced by Testors. Basically, it's a kit with a plastic handpiece linked to a canned propellant.
So, what you need to do: is to hook-up the handpiece with the can, bolt on a siphon bottle and spray.
But, having seen how "easy" the set-up was, I was rather disappointed with the performance of the Testors' kit.
The handpiece nozzle tends to freeze and the paint would splatter rather than adhere on the model kit. 
That said, I gave up the notion of ever dabbling into airbrushing. Well, until I found what Tamiya has to offer.

Performance in a simple package

Straight out of the box, the Tamiya HG single-action airbrush kit came with a small can of propellant.
With it, a simple airbrush handpiece. It's made of metal and can be set to spray a fine or wide mist of thinned-down acrylic paint.
What I found interesting was the price point. Tamiya Underground listed it around RM560 a pop and with a little discount, manage to bring it down to RM495.
Since the handpiece is such a solid working tool (made by a third-party manufacturer known for producing excellent airbrush handpieces), I decided to give it a try.
Now, the killer part here: is feeding the spray with propellant. A can of Tamiya Sprayworks 1800 Aircan costs around RM25 and the larger Aircan 4200 goes for RM47 (without GST).
So, if you don't spray much and tend to build kits once in a blue moon, this set is definitely worth investing in.
I found the handpiece to be really precise in covering small and large areas on the model kit. 
With the right thinner and acrylic paint mixture ratio, you will get a fine mist of paint to cover the parts on your kit.
But with compressed air in a can, there are shortcomings.
The flow of air is inconsistent and as the pressure runs out in the aerosol can, the paint will start to sputter.
Basically, if you are painting a 1:35 tank, you would need at least two cans of Tamiya Sprayworks Aircan 4200 to do the job. 

Applying the basecoat on a WWII German Panzer
Three-tone camouflage

The finished Tamiya 1:35 Panther A tank
For long-term modeling..

Since the HG airbrush handpiece can be used with an airbrush compressor, that would be my next investment.
The Tamiya Sprayworks Aircan is simply too costly. 
As for the handpiece, it could be easily cleaned and if you maintain it each time after spraying, the airbrush would give you years of service.
That said, I plan to add at least two more Tamiya HG handpieces to my arsenal to tackle more complex painting tasks.
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