SP-35C is a dual-action, gravity-feed airbrush, part of the SP-35 series by Sparmax. Within those, three more options are available: SP-35, SP-35B and SP-35F. SP-35C is the one that we are going to take a look at today, but have in mind, that they are very close overall. For example, in appearance and for the untrained eye, they all look-alike. As for performance, SP series are almost 100% equal. SP-35C is suitable for many applications, among which beauty industry, body-art, nail-art, auto-art and of course – scale modeling or hobby applications. Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at this Sparmax airbrush:
Sparmax history dates back from the late 70s, but they became more popular with the last two decades. For our hobby, Sparmax gained fame through cheap and reliable products, which modelers started using as spare airbrushes, but quickly got adapted to those and started using as main tool.
Sparmax manufactures for other companies, but with that experience and clever management, they introduced products under their own brand, which are now famous and have a standard of their own.
This particular airbrush comes in a nice elliptical box, which at first glance give you the impression of a product, designed and dedicated to the beauty industry. In a matter of fact, not exactly the case here. Although they /makeup & nail artists/ are not new to using airbrushes, they are newcomers to that business when compared to scale modelers.
The elliptical box is wrapped in black cardboard packaging, with short description of the contents, including info about the SP-35 and SP-35B too, in case you need to be sure which one is inside of it.
On the box there is a sticker with the slogan: “pro beauty”, which again hints that beauty workers will be probably more than pleased with that airbrush. From what I experienced while testing it, I can testify, that I was too.
Inside of the plastic ellipse, we have the airbrush, instructions, a cleaning brush, a crown cap, wrench and a single-action converter-adapter.
The airbrush is nicely engraved and allows easy maintenance. The add-ons are very useful, especially if you buy this as an initial airbrush, since they can broaden your perspective of use. Especially the single-action adaptor. That turns your airbrush into whole new animal, bringing all of its advantages to light.
The needle/nozzle combination is 0.35mm. The tests show, that this is perfectly suitable for precision work but can handle bigger applications too. A bit more on that later on in the article.
The way that airbrush works shows that it is very well crafted and everything is done with accuracy. Despite the somewhat big-ish size of .35mm, this SP-35C can draw thin lines with ease. The quality of the craftsmanship within the front end of the airbrush – the way that the needle is centered, the nozzle sealing the fitting and so on, allows troubleless work with exquisite results.
That is the reason why there is a preset handle that comes with SP-35C. The other SP-airbrushes does not feature one like that. However SP-35C has it, and this is very important for precision work, when you need to limit your paint flow through limiting the trigger movement backwards. With the nozzle of .35mm and finesse as a goal – this is a must. Especially for mottling or complex WWII camouflage lines.
The other thing that is pretty standard is the connection size, which is 1/8. Very few companies still produce smaller fittings and in my opinion they are long overdue with that. 1/8 is the standard for decades, so this here isn’t news. Although other sizes can find solution in adapters – both to the compressor end or the airbrush leg – still 1/8 is the preferable size for all. You will not want to buy and change different hoses every time you switch between airbrushes, right?!
The paint cup:
The one thing is not the usual in size, is the cup. It is a bit smaller than what we get with such nozzle sized airbrushes. With SP-35C we have 2ml cup which is fixed and equipped with a cap. Here, somewhat controversial to the nozzle size of .35mm, we have a set-up for detail work, especially in scale modeling. For proving a point of that last sentence, we have the tail-stoppper, the smooth trigger and the balance of the airbursh as an evidence.
The 2ml size won’t be enough if you work on 32nd scale aircraft, especially if you are doing varnish or primer. Will be too small for single paint applications too. But that takes us back to the main idea of the gun – despite the size of the nozzle, this is a high-precision airbrush, which eventually will impress primarily the beauty market. But not only.
Fortunately, for 48th sale or 35th /in armor/, the size of the color cup will be enough, and the only disadvantage that you might have is that you will need to use the better part of its contents when spraying larger surfaces.
This is where the cap comes, to protect you from spilling and preserve the diluter, in case you are using IPA which evaporates pretty quickly. With a full cup, accidents can happen! I speak from bitter experience.
Tests have shown:
While testing it, SP-35C demonstrated smooth trigger action, constant paint flow and most importantly, does not tire the hand. Although with small cup, spraying all of the paint away will take some time and the ergonomic qualities here help. Some airbrushes have stiffer triggers or are being designed slightly off-balance. Not with this Sparmax. Here, straight and thin lines are a breeze and painting over larger areas can be done due to the nozzle size. The crown cap also helps in that manner. Overall, after 15 minutes of work, I felt like I was just warming up. Pretty nice in my opinion.
SP-35C sits in your hand pretty nicely and the materials that it is made of, allow you to feel confident and then clean it easily after spray session. Nothing close to the airbrushes that have plastic parts over them. Besides looking better and more expensive, this appearance is way more practical too.
So, now let’s wrap it up:
This airbrush combines interesting features in one set-up. Those are the mid-size of the nozzle, alongside with small paint cup and fine tune add-ons. Latter one being the pre-set handle and the crown cap, both very important for precision work.
The way that the SP-35C is crafted gives you steady paint flow and no unwanted surprises while painting. Lines are consistent, fine and with the smooth trigger action the airbrush holds pretty nicely. Everything is sealed and centered properly. It makes it suitable for complex camouflages, mottling and pre- and post-shading usage.
The small color cup which is not changeable might be a problem if you use this for bigger applications in scale modeling – ships, 32nd and 24th scale planes and for general work. By general, I mean priming and varnishing, as well as single-tone camo schemes. SP-35C is a rather precise gun, but with bigger nozzle.
If you are into modeling and you are not all about size of the plastic, you will be very well suited with this airbrush. The cup size is enough for 48th scale applications, /not if you do Trumpeter’s U-boat in that scale!/, as well as 35th and smaller.
The best feature of this airbrush is that it is well crafted and obviously manufactured with a lot of experience. There is steady trigger-action as well as steady paint flow, which limits the possibility for unwanted surprises. More or less it is a sniper rifle, nevertheless the .35mm nozzle.
For the modest price that Sparmax wants, this SP-35C is undoubtedly – a bargain. That, with the brush, crown cap, single-action converter makes SP-35C very tempting offer on the market. In that range there are hardly any competitive airbrushes and the ones available either have higher prices or obscured origin and quality.