Black Flame Ver 2.0 Airbrush Review. .3mm Dual-Action Black Coated airbrush.

Black Flame Ver 2.0 Airbrush Review. .3mm Dual-Action Black Coated airbrush.


Many Chinese airbrushes have passed through my hands during the years and very few of them deserve real attention. Usually, Chinese airbrushes are knock-offs of some Iwata or Sparmax tools, but lacking the finesse and the quality in the long run. However, some items that come from China show indisputable qualities and even some improvements over the basic ideas that others demonstrated at first. That is because, Chinese products are not always about the lower price tag. It is true, in most cases that is what they are being made for, but every rule has an exception. This is, more or less - the case here.

Black Flame Airbrush:

Border Model is a company that has its fame and brand name in Asia, but in the Western world they are just making their baby steps. Border offer tools of various kind as well as two models in 35th scale already: Panzer IV and Leopard 2A6/A6. With that said, you must know that they have an airbrush in their line. The item in this particular review is called Black Flame and it is version 2.0. It features .3mm nozzle, removable color cup, tail stopper, pneumatic hose fitting and a crown cap. The price is also tempting.


Now, for the general understanding of the Black Flame I will leave you with the video I already made /link is at the end of this article/ for that airbrush, but for those who are more interested, I will add some words about the ergonomics:

The airbrush is slightly heavier than I thought. In grams, it seems almost like every other airbrush, however it sits in the hand very firmly and I give that to the weight. The reason for that might be the material, or maybe the more rough manufacturing quality. I am only wondering alongside with everybody else here. Whatever the case is though, the airbrush is sitting very firmly in the hand and with proper training sessions, one can easily get used to that and feel the tool perfectly ergonomic.

The trigger is too, a bit heavy. It is kinda stiff, which allows for more control, especially for newbies at the airbrushing business. The line that GREX airbrushes offer gives similar experience. This is a bit exhausting for longer spray sessions, no doubt about it. However, it gives very firm and steady control and results once you get used to it. As with everything else, the coin has two sides.

For me, heavier trigger and slightly heavier airbrush was always the preferred option. That is one of the reasons why I never got used to work with Harder and Steenbeck tools. They are too light, both in weight and especially trigger-wise. For me, and for many others too - that is an unusual bump on the road to success. 

Questions about it:

The coating. This is the main concern for most. Some say that previous Black Flame versions lost some of the coating rather fast, but that wasn’t the case with Ver 2.0. I haven’t tested it long enough to confirm that fact nor give any  conclusion, but that is a question that is sitting in my head as well. How long it will stay black?

The other thing are the spare parts. How and from where one will be able to get spare parts is not clear. Yet. The company – as mentioned above – is new on the Western market and spare parts network will require some time. The other way around that is to get in touch with the company from the get go, even before you purchase the airbrush.  Border model have a Facebook page as well as an email and my personal experience with them was very good. Whatever the case is, we can hope that Border Model will establish good customer support, especially with the fact that they are working on an even better and improved airbrush.


My impressions are shared at the end of the video. You can also get some idea about the performance, considering of course, that the day was very dry and the paint is very old. With that said, I can confirm that the airbrush worked flawlessly and besides the ergonomic specifics that Black Flame has, everything is very satisfying and tempting. The tool works fine and I trust that it is one of those rare items from China, that deserves some attention that many others from there failed to become worthy of.

Hopefully you will learn enough from the video. Enjoy, the link is down below!


Top 5 Airbrushes for Beginners. And not only.

Getting an Airbrush is a somewhat difficult decision. Price-wise it is on the heavy side, although with the current prices of scale models it might be considered acceptable expense, especially if you deal with larger scales. Now, getting an airbrush for beginners or your "First Airbrush" might be a challenge. On the other hand, what you will see in this article will not be only for beginners. The reason for that is that your first airbrush might be very helpful for you as a beginner's tool, but in the same time you can buy a tool that can stick with you for quite a while. Airbrushes can last long, as long as a decade or more. Usually, a person uses an airbrush between 3 to 5 years and then either upgrade or renew some of the parts. Some people use them for 5 to 10 years, some even more, which means that the airbrush was a good choice from the get go and that it justified the investment.

The airbrushes that will be mentioned in this article are exactly those IMHO. They are tools that are not simplified for price lowering, nor are way too complex to be un-suitable for beginner and intermediate users. Those are airbrushes that can serve a long and trustworthy career on your bench and are "battle proven". They are neither too expensive, nor clones of better tools. These are airbrushes that are affordable, reliable and can be your companion for long long time. The most important thing is that they will do all that you need, with the sole requirement from your end - to practice enough to master using them.

Number 5: Paasche Talon TG Dual-Action Gravity Feed airbrush. This is a tool that I used to begin with, when I got into more serious airbrushing. The one that I am showing here has 3 sets of nozzles. The price - considering the set - is on the lower end. I never had any issues with that airbrush, beside one time only. My paint cup cracked, where it joins to airbrush body. Extremely fast reaction from customer service, and I got a new airbrush, without the need to returning the damaged one. So lots of spare parts came as a bonus. The airbrush is good, with odd sized nozzles, but still perfect for almost everything you can think of. A bit heavy though.

Pros: Cheap, 3 sets of nozzles, tail stopper, hose included, big paint cup. Cons: Odd nozzle sizes, a little off- in terms of balance, a bit heavy, non-standard hose attachment size. Number 4: Badger 105 - the notorious Patriot.  You can spray almost everything through the Patriot and it will never let you down. Well, it might not be never, but we are talking about a very tough tool here. The price is on the lower end and probably this is the cheapest option. It lacks the sophisticated looks as well as some tricky small add-ons that others have, but still this is a legendary airbrush. If you are on a strict budget, this is the tool for you. Some of the best modelers use it and I have mentioned that before in several other airbrush articles. Pros: Cheap, yet reliable. Perfect for those on a budget. You can spray almost everything through it. Some of the best use it and once you get use to it, it is hardly a replaceable tool. Cons: Large nozzle size .5mm, rugged looks, poor needle protection, non standard hose attachment. Number 3: Harder & Steenbeck Ultra 2 in 1. This is a tricky one. The trigger is flimsy and it takes time to get use to it. Ballance-wise it is pretty much the same. You need time for adjustment /if you are a beginner/, especially with the two paint cup options. It has two needle-nozzle setups included which practically gives you two airbrushes. It is not an expensive tool, considering the brand, and the needles and nozzles can be used with the higher-end airbrushes from Harder & Steenbeck. Pros: Nice brand, precise tool, two needles and nozzles in the pack, parts interchangeable with higher-end airbrushes from the same manufacturer. Cons: Flimsy trigger, no tail stopper, expensive replacement parts. Number 2: Sparmax MAX-3 Dual-Action Airbrush. This is my personal favorite. It is reliable and tough airbrush. Many use it as a main weapon of choice and the results that it can give you are astonishing. Sparmax produce airbrushes for other brands for 40 years already and they know what they are doing. This is an improvement compared to their older models and there is a lot embedded in this tool for that price. Sparmax MAX 3 and MAX 4, respectively .3mm and .4mm nozzles, are all-around airbrushes that can suit 99% of the modelers for their career.  Pros: Very comfortable, rugged, reliable and reasonably priced. It has all that you might want from an airbrush. Cons: It is not a famous brand per se. That is its only con. Number 1: Iwata HP-C Plus. The one and only! Yes, this is my absolute favorite. I have it, use it and trust it more than anything else. Although pretty much the same as Number 2 mentioned here, Iwata is a brand that we all love and admire. Once you get the felling of it and that will be it for the rest of your modeling career. If you want style, this is it. True, this is the highest cost you will pay compared to the others mentioned above. However, considering that this is Iwata: it is not their most expensive tool. I would've said to go with Eclispe series, but this is a tool that combines it all and in the same time I believe you can start with it. So High-Performane series all the way if you ask me! It will cost you the price of two, maybe three decent kits, but it will last you a lifetime if you take good care of it. Pros: It is a famous brand, it can last you a lifetime with proper care, it is made in Japan. Precise, reliable, beautifully crafted. Cons: Price of the tool, price of the spare parts, price of nice add-ons like crown cap, pressure regulator and such. You can get most of it if you buy Eclipse series, but still... As a conclusion: No matter which of those five you might choose, with decent amount of training sessions, you will eventually get used to any of them. They should cover pretty much the whole range of your modeling needs, while keeping the price at a reasonable level. There are more of course, both - in terms of brands and bells & whistles. But the five mentioned above are the most popular and probably the ones that you will be able to get easily. You also get a guarantee of a steady supply of spare parts if needed and probably, some of your modeling buddies already have one of them in stash, so help will be available if needed. So, pick one and start airbrushing!  

Sparmax Beetle Compressor

Intro: The compressor is one of the most important parts of the airbrushing system. It is almost as important as the airbrush itself and sometimes it determines the end results based on the qualities that it holds. In general, it is not a complex machinery. Every refrigerator has one, but don’t let that fool you. There are many fine lines that shouldn’t be crossed and the tool itself should be fine-tuned for perfection. The really great devices on the market are with decent size. That is the price one must pay to have a good compressor with air tank, moisture trap and pressure gauge, that can support multiple airbrushes and in the same time to be quite and movable. By movable I mean the ability to take it with you and not feel like you just went to the gym and overdone it there. Some of those compressors have handles, casings and many goodies that help, but still the size and the weight are the issues that one cannot avoid. So for some this might be a problem. And of course, with every problem there is a solution. There are new generation of compressors, which are small, quiet and portable. They work with batteries and are easily usable with all kinds of electricity, no matter where on the planet you are located. That is perfect for those who are constantly on the run and travel by plane, where allowed baggage weight is shrinking by the minute. Box and its contents: In a typical Sparmax luxury black box, we have a cardboard casings placed internally to separate the parts inside. With the set of the Beetle compressor, we get a power cable and a transformer, just like on a regular laptop, a transparent hose with a plastic screw that fits the beetle perfectly and a simple, but well explained instruction sheet. Everything is arranged in a way that even if you decide to take the whole original boxing with you, you still won’t be bothered by the overall size and weight. Let alone if you take those things separately. One thing I want to note here is that the hose is coiled, which takes a bit more space than usual, but that is a bonus feature anyhow. Another point of view for that hose is that the coil helps with the moisture. The power box that I got with my Sparmax Beetle is suited for 220V EU standard. However it is clearly visible on the pictures that this can be easily exchanged for a different standard and especially important if you share your time between different continents. Size and goodies: The Beetle compressor itself is a cute little box, featuring a pressure knob, Start/Stop button, airbrush holder and conical silicon feet, which in my opinion are its coolest feature. Thanx to those four fellas, there is almost no vibration and even if you put that on your table where you paint your model, you won’t note any difference while spraying. The size itself - is too - visible on the pictures. It is a slightly larger than a soda can and almost the same form and volume as a box of chocolate truffles. It is very comfy in the hand and designed in such a way, that you cannot drop it on the ground accidentally. Very stable and with a firm grip on the surface that it sits on. The size of the Beetle makes it perfect for small modeling rooms and for people who do not want to invest in larger compressors for the obvious reasons. Alongside with those, the investment is very reasonable and the combination of the low noise, size and reliability makes that very tempting purchase. Ideas implemented: Smart stop feature is on top of my list here. The reason for that is the size which comes with its downsides. The lack of an air tank can be compensated only with such a feature. When you stop airbrushing and put your airbrush on the holder of the Beetle, it automatically stops. That saves the compressor’s life, electricity /especially important if you are on battery power/ and it makes it even less noticeable in terms of noise. Second most important feature in my list is the pressure limits. The compressor is set to work with the pressures most widely used when spraying acrylics, lacquers and Alclads. There is no gauge, but the turn knob is limited within minimum and maximum and from what I tested, it seems that the range is pretty well balanced. The air might be insufficient only for high pressure settings for cleaning the airbrush, but not everybody uses that method anyhow. Third most important feature in my eyes is the battery power option. More than once I lost a compressor due to some kind of a mechanical failure or even worse – my spray session was ruined due to electricity breakage. For such a case, the Sparmax Beetle is indispensable. You can easily take it from the box, put the battery power and continue the work that you started with your main compressor beast, without the worry that your paint job is ruined. In my opinion, Sparmax did a brilliant job with that decision. Actual performance: Sparmax Beetle performs reliably as mentioned above. Yes, you might want something more complex if you are using a high-end airbrush and you are desperate for absolute precision, but the normal spray session is pretty much covered. The combination with a regular airbrush, something in the range of .3mm to .5mm and normal paints or primers should be perfectly fine and easy job for everybody. Even though there is no tank and pressure gauge, it is rather easy to make the Beetle work steadily and to provide consistent results. Again, the lack of vibration is important, since while working and with those silicon feet, the compressor is as if it isn’t on the bench at all. Conclusion: Sparmax Beetle is an interesting decision. From whatever perspective, this compressor has its place on your bench. You might wonder why would one need it if you already have that dual-piston beast that can support 4 airbrushes simultaneously and have 3 moisture traps and fine pressure regulator. Well, for a those of you, that answer is: Back Up. Especially with the battery option mentioned. The latter one is optional and not included in the set. But highly recommended. For the modelers that are not that well equipped, the Beetle is exactly what you can get when you buy a Smart Car. It is small, you can park it perpendicularly and still, in 90% of the time it does the job that you usually use your minivan for. Yes, there are those 10% when the Sparmax Beetle won’t suffice. But it wasn’t designed as an all-‘round tool anyhow. In my opinion, you should check it out and if possible – give it a try. A five minute test with the Beetle and you will quickly learn why Sparmax are a leader in the airbrush industry. And in the end if you can afford it, you shouldn’t hesitate: whatever situation you might end in, the Sparmax Beetle can be a very neat a tricky way to get out of it with finesse!

Sparmax SP-540 Double-Action Airbrush

Intro: The more one uses a specific tool, the more he or she is inclined to continue using it and avoid changes. One reason for that is the experience and the mastery that a person can achieve being comfortable around and with something. Another is that the habit of using something quite often becomes a second nature. That being said, there is no wonder why some of the most experienced modelers paint with old and rugged airbrushes, that are off the market and without support of any kind. However, they are sufficient for the job they are being used for, sometimes even exceeding the expectations of the spectators. Based on the tech specs and the perception that the more tiny the nozzle is and the extras included are abundant, many people avoid buying simple, tough and proven airbrushes. However those airbrushes can do magical things and perform as well as the top tools on the market. That is for the half of the price, but with a little more practice and experience required. In other words, it is not guaranteed that if you buy the most expensive tool you will become master. But is guaranteed, that with a regular airbrush, you can become a pro, just based on knowledge and constant improvement and strong will. One such airbrush is the SP-540. It is a Sparmax tool, which seems simple and rugged, but if you get to know it better, you will see that there is a lot more behind the looks and it well exceeds many expectations. The supposed purpose: With 0.4mm nozzle, missing the tail-stopper and bottom feed from plastic bottles, Sparmax SP-540 looks far from exciting. For some it might look cheap and even worthless. What is expected from such airbrush is to perform good on general subjects. Like priming, clear coats and single tone applications. For some of the industries different from scale modeling, it is accepted that this tool can do general work, but nothing overly specific. All of that, based on the nozzle size, lack of fine pressure valve or tail stopper. Not much of a stud, if one might say. The actual performace: Actual performance of the SP-540 differs from the supposed one. And by far. 0.4mm nozzle is not such a sniper weapon as seen on the ones that we are used to recently - .2mm or .15mm – but is still very much within the limits of what is accepted as common. And that is .3mm or .35mm for most of the brands. When you come to think of it, that is not much. Besides, the most important thing about an airbrush is its balance and the ergonomics, not the nozzle size. And Sparmax SP-540 is very balanced and fine tuned airbrush. It is dual action, bottom feed tool that makes it perfect starter. The bottle size and attachment guarantees that spills are almost impossible and the lack of tail stopper can help you focus on working your trigger, not just squeezing it, depending on the mechanics to stop it when needed. That last one is actually really important, since paint build up can really mess things up if you are too dependent on the stopper. The overall simplicity of the tools helps for the maintenance and spare you the hassle for unwanted damages of the fine parts. The business end of the SP-540 for example, even though looks bigger than what we are used to, is working just fine. Easy to clean, low risk of damage, far from delicate. In the positive way of course. The airbrush can do a lot more than it is expected from. It can draw fine lines /especially with the needle cap off/ and in the same time can cover evenly, while working with envious consistence, compared with the rest airbrushes in that same class. No wonder, since Sparmax are making airbrushes for 4 decades already. SP-540 can be easily used as a primer-only tool, or a starter airbrush, but it can stick with you for a long long time too, even as a main gun. That is only if you can develop the feel for it, which is strongly individual. Based on my personal experience, if you start with it, you will most likely stick to it and for a while. Value against Money: The cheapest airbrushes that come from China perform exactly how they are valued. They are inconsistent, defective and can let you down in the worst moment. The next level is basic tool airbrushes, such as SP-540, usually bottom feed too. However, this isn’t one level above the Chinese cheapos, but at least 4 or 5. The value of the airbrush is very good. Actually, you pay a little above the Cheapo airbrush, but you pay 2 or 3 times less than the next level tool, while you are getting a quality closer to the higher category. So when you come to think of it, this is the best value for the money that you can get from airbrushing. Especially if you are in the first years of your airbrushing career. It is unreasonable to start with an airbrush that costs $150-200, because you will damage it at some point. Accidents happen. Especially to the newcomers. On the other hand it is unreasonable to get a tool that can easily push you away from airbrushing, based on ill practice and inconsistent results. What that leaves you with, is pretty much only one simple and reasonable choice. Even though that choice can be widen within the brands. Quality: As mentioned above, 40 years of experience for Sparmax can help you with that choice. To be that long in the game, you gotta know how to play it. SP-540 is a very good option and the quality is not neglected in any way. The airbrush only looks rugged. It is very nice and balanced tool actually. It is not heavy, nor the trigger is flimsy. The only thing that might fool you is the look of the tail, which is not made by polished metal. However the rest is just where it should be: the quality of the box, the contents, the little goodies included. Like the hanger of the plastic clamshell for example. The small things that make a big difference combined altogether. Conclusion: I cannot lie and I must say that I am Sparmax fan. I own several of their airbrushes and in my honesty, I never met anyone who does not appreciate Sparmax as a brand. SP-540 is not surprisingly one very satisfactory tool. Especially when you come to think of it as an investment. The price is right, the quality is more than decent. On the other hand the lack of bells and whistles might not tempt you at first, but simple things usually work with less effort and fewer troubles. That does not mean that you should consider it as an all-in-one tool. But a tool that can easily complete most of the tasks and will serve most of the modelers out there fulfilling their needs in airbrushing. My personal opinion is that this is another hit from Sparmax, targeted towards a wider audience. Probably the larger part of the users out there. And with that quality, I think this is an all-around winner!

Cheap Chinese Airbrush Review – .2mm Spirit Air 180

Chinese knock-off concept Wherever we turn nowadays, we see Chinese production. Some of that is with acceptable quality, some is not. The thing is, everything comes from China because it is cheaper. Not that there aren’t nice things that are cheap enough, but Chinese goods are always cheaper. And many people fall into that trap. Well, it is not always a trap, but most of the times it is. Chinese knock offs are very popular among people who use airbrushes. The reasons are many, but again – the knockoffs are cheaper. Parts for them are cheaper too. The performance though, well, this is the theme of the current article. The reason I am writing this is because I decided to get a cheap, so called “high-precision” airbrush and compare it with the rest, based on my experience and needs. The one I choose was Spirit Air 180. That is the same as Veda WD-180, Haosheng HS-80 or whatever else with -180 from the Chinese airbrushes available on the market. That is a dual-action, gravity feed airbrush, featuring tail-stopper and a MAC valve. It is with .2mm needle, 9cc color cup and a crown cap and it is considered as a high-precision tool. Contents The engraving “Spirit Air” on the side of the airbrush was the reason to pick that -180 option. There were many more, but this was the most decent looking picture-wise. I payed around $15 for it. Give or take a dollar for any possible currency exchange rates. The airbrush came in a cardboard box, instead of a proper case /which was mentioned in the description/. I’ve had other Chinese cheapos, but that was a first with cardboard box. Anyhow. The box isn’t something that I would whine about, since I ordered that tool only for testing purposes and eventually emergencies. There is the standard blue foaming, in which the airbrush sits. Alongside with it, there is a wrench for the nozzle, a hose connector, with braided entry into the hose and an instruction sheet. The hose connector is meant to be used with standard pneumatic hose, not an airbrush-specific one, which sometimes is very handy. Instruction sheet is modest single page thing, with basic guidelines on the airbrush and a schematic of the airbrush parts. The description of each part follows, numbered properly, but I believe that is useless, since a needle-nozzle combo usually costs couple of dollars and the whole thing costs $15-20. I would buy a new one instead, and that way I would have a lot more spares if something happens. This is just in theory of course. How it sprays The million dollar question is how that thing works. And the answer is – OK. It is not brilliant. It is far from it. It isn’t that bad either. What you should know is that the craftsmanship used while producing this tool was at a mediocre level. When you pull the trigger, you can feel the moving parts and that there is some friction which you almost never feel in a high-end airbrush. Lubing them might help, but you will still know that it is there. And annoys people who own better airbrushes. The weight is fine, and the tail stopper works as expected. What is interesting, is that the airbrush can create very fine lines from the get go. Without any additional needle polishing, lubing or whatever preparation of any kind. It is not consistent to the maximum, which is one of the major let downs of the tool, but it does provide. Using properly diluted paints and correct pressure would help in this case. With that said, you can still expect some surprises and not perfectly equal lines. But let’s look at that from a different perspective: if you are a professional airbrush user, you won’t get this as an everyday tool. If you are entering into the world of airbrushing, well, you will be overwhelmed with what this tool can do. So I think that is part of the million dollar question’s answer. Trigger is smooth enough considering the price and for larger areas it works even with that .2mm nozzle. So general coverage is doable, as well as fine lines and a quick transition between both. At least that is what I test always when spraying. Crown cap allows for quick access to clear the needle from any paint residue while airbrushing during dry days, although you have to be extra cautious, since it is .2mm and it is easily damageable. Other than that everything works. Not perfectly smooth, but acceptable. MAC valve That is a feature that some find very attractive and some never use. I have used it, but frankly – only couple of times. It works here, but again – that friction can be felt while using it. It limits the air to the nozzle and it does it smoothly, so you might find it comfy for some applications. The combination with the needle stopper, proper PSI setting from your compressor and well prepared paint will do the job for sure. Actually, I own couple of other Chinese cheapos without it and in the end it is probably better to have it, than not. You pay the same price anyhow. Is there any reason why? So what would make someone buy this airbrush? Price isn’t the only answer. A decent tank kit in 35th or a plane in 48th will cost more than $50-60 nowadays. So buying an airbrush that costs fraction of that is not the best idea. At least not if you are into modeling and you wanna be a pro. However, having such tool might be a good back-up option. I have couple for such purposes. I would never use that for painting a difficult camo scheme on an expensive kit. But in case I damage my main airbrush, and need to finish something, this is an option. It was not that long ago when having an airbrush was a cool thing and not many were blessed. I remember those times and I feel lucky that I own several guns nowadays. So the option of having one too many is non-existent. Conclusion It works. It is far from perfect, but to counter that comes the price. A crown cap from Iwata costs as much as this whole airbrush. If you wanna use it for starting your hobby engagements – it is a good option. If you want to use it as a backup tool like in my case – it will work just fine too. What I would avoid is, to use this as a main tool. It is not that good and in the end you will never get to experience what is to own and use a truly high-end airbrush like Custom Micron or H&S Infinity. Even if you start using that as a main gun, you should step up in a while. It can provide you with good foundation for basic airbrushing, but nothing further. If you tune it up – polish the needle, lube it, make it work more properly – you can extend its lifespan. But in the end, this is not a tool that have many years in it, nor represent a serious airbrushing future. It is just a Chinese knockoff, that costs as much as a BIG Mac menu and holds that amount of satisfaction and quality.

Sparmax Anniversary – 40 years in business.

Sparmax - four decades this year 40 years is a long time. A human being evolves significantly within such time. Grows, learns a lot, chooses a profession, creates a family. Some people do a lot more than that too. 40 years is almost half of the human's life nowadays. So sustaining a successful business for 40 years is something very hard. As you can imagine, so many things might happen for four decades, that it is almost impossible to not encounter business-ruining reasons within that period. Surviving it, is - by itself - an achievement. Years following the crisis after 2008 boosted many new companies creations. Competition is fierce and ruthless. For established players like Sparmax it might seem like a minor problem, but imagine how many retailers are pushing into eBay with not-so-competitive items and how that creates a gap in the markets. Even though not quality proven, they do tempt with a price and surviving this is hard. Now add to that 3 more decades of experience, and you will get a basic perception of what a company lives through for such a long period. Major WorldWide supplier  Since 1978, Sparmax produces parts and products for their own brands as well as for others. They are well known and they come from Taiwan, a place where not so long ago, quality outsource production was a benchmark. Sparmax are famous among modelers last 10-15 years, but that is mostly because of the internet boom and the way that information distributes itself along the web. The fact is, that Sparmax is a World Wide supplier of airbrushes and related goods for much more than that. Taiwanese company produces various airbrush lines, featuring some of the best designs available. They do offer compressors, as well as supplementary products and most importantly - they are available almost everywhere. Their old products like DH series are being improved and now MAX airbrushes are very user friendly, while in the same time keeping the affordable prices and what the company stood for - the reliability. Some of the Best Products My favorite airbrushes are pistol grips. Sparmax GP series are perfect example for such. I have both GP-35 and GP-50 and I use them both, with confidence and trust. The fact is, that I no longer use my Iwata Revolution TR, since I found Sparmax to be working equally adequate and parts to be more accessible and affordable. MAX series are another favorite bench tool of mine. And not only me. I have couple of fellow modelers who does not use anything else but MAX 3 or MAX 4 anymore. One of them got it to start priming with it and quickly realized that MAX airbrush is more suitable for daily airbrushing, instead of single-job oriented tool. The compressors too. The most portable-friendly and comfy compressor that I ever used is Arism VIZ. Alongside with it, Sparmax offers a lot larger applications and of course with various purposes. I am talking personal experience here only. Many people swear by SC-2010 or TC-620X, which are cased and professional compressors for more than modelling if you decide so. In our hobby too - perfectly suitable. What to expect There will be Sparmax exhibition stand at Nuremberg Toy Fair later this month in Germany. The exhibition takes place in between January 31st and February 4th. That is one place where you can meet and greet with company representatives and most importantly - get to see and feel the products personally. Of course, there will be attendance at other venues on different Continents, but this is one of the biggest and it is very close time-wise. Hopefully, there will be examples from the new Zeta Compressor, which features Smart stop and it is the biggest of this line of compressors. That would be of particular interest for many, since it is compact and affordable piece of machinery. My Sparmax compressor review might give you some idea what to expect from the series, but again - Zeta will be bigger. Besides, even the older products are still very popular, so many would love to see and learn more about them. Especially the bottom feed airbrushes, which are forgotten by many companies and somehow they are neglected by modelers. They are still very good option though and I suggest to check up on those too, if you are going in Nuremberg this winter. The Future of Sparmax Another interesting thing to mention is the Sparmax International Airbrush Competition, which is ongoing. The time limit is until February 28th and if you are interested in more information you should visit The competition is based on the 40th anniversary of the company and winning that would be a challenge and something that one might proud of. As for what the future holds, Sparmax can only surprise us. Company with 40 years of experience and many successful products is expected to grow in size and quality-wise. Products from all sorts are now easily obtainable from all over the World, so it is a tough place to work in. Chinese copies have flooded the market, big companies merge, old ones arise from the ashes. Within this environment Sparmax is about to prove that they are among the best. So far I think they've done a very good job taking their place onto the airbrush and compressor scene. Based on that, my expectations are for brighter future with more innovative products, wider spectrum of tools and supplies and many more happy clients! Happy Birthday Sparmax!  

Single-Action Airbrush: PS-268 Procon Boy SQ from Mr.Hobby

Single Vs. Dual Action This is battle of the concept, rather than battle of brands or features. Single-action airbrushes were there at the beginning steps with most of us, so more or less they represent the simplicity and straight-forwardness of the paint process. Dual-action airbrushes /at least for most of us/ came at a later stage and proven to be more precise, suitable for finer work, more controllable and of course – more demanding. By demanding I mean maintenance and training. Maintenance is mandatory for an airbrush and includes disassembly, cleaning, lubing and sometimes – parts exchange. Since dual-actions are usually with smaller nozzles and finer needles, they tend to suffer from damages and are fragile in general. That causes additional headaches. As for the training, same reasons stated above makes them more demanding to the hand of the person who is airbrushing, since almost everybody can shoot a gun, but only a few can use sniper properly. So with that comes the forgotten good side of single action airbrushes that is often deliberately missed. The truth is that they bring simplicity with them and even less accurate, they show enviable results with fewer risks when cleaning and a lot less to worry while working with them. There are some on the market that are famous, others – not so much. Iwata Revolution HP-M2 and Badger 200-20 are best known, as well as Mr.Hobby PS-268, but there are more. There are even Chinese copies of the design of PS-268 and M2, one of which I have tested too. Procon Boy SQ comes in a modest boxing, made mostly for store display. Inside, SQ is lying in a Styrofoam bed, and overall looks very basic at the shelf. The box includes some add-ons like hose, Mr.Air can supply attachment with regulator, a transition from 1/8 to smaller fit /the hose/ for the SQ, a lid for the paint cup and of course a wrench. The nozzle featured in the set is .4mm which is close to the most popular applications on the market of .3 and sometimes .35mm. It is on the upper end in those terms, which suggest general use. The fact that it is combined with single action airbrush adds to that. Procon Boy SQ is made in Japan, and as one might expect the craftsmanship is at a very high level. The airbrush body is polished, with engravings on the side for the model of the airbrush, company and the size of the nozzle. The 7ml color cup features smooth finish, easing up paint flow and the lid sits there pretty tightly. The PS-268 is with a different design compared to conventional airbrushes. It is shorter and it gives a feeling of a sturdier tool, being heavy and thick. That is not like on some of the single-action airbrushes available out there – Badger and Paasche for example. However, Iwata HP-M2 and Chinese replicas /of course/ share that approach and from what I learned from fellow modelers – it is a successful concept. It is comfortable and allows you to work using your thumb instead of your index finger for the trigger action, which makes the grip more comfortable sometimes. The needle can be regulated from the swiveling knob on the tail, which is directly attached to the needle. Latter one is shorter than usual and pretty thick looking due to that fact and its size of .4mm. It goes through the trigger which works one way only – down. Action of the knob and the trigger are smooth, probably due to the good craftsmanship too. As mentioned above, the foot features 1/8 fitting which is standard and a moisture trap can be fitted there with ease. It is long and creates somewhat of a triangular form for the airbrush, if you count out the color cup. PS-268 weight is significant, which was my favorite side of it when I first tested the SQ. It is over 140 grams and that helps me control it and improves the general feel for the airbrush. For some that might not be the case and Mr.Hobby thought about them too. There is a colored series which features two other airbrushes from the same design: PS-268AB and PS-268AR. They weight less, due to the materials used. Actually, the weight was brought down nearly 50%. So to each his own. Performing flawlessly PS-268 wasn’t the first single-action that I tested, but was the first Mr.Hobby single-action that I used. The primers and the varnishes are pretty self explanatory, as well as the Alclad2 paints, but the paints and finer applications is something different. They reveal the real performance of the airbrush, since the paint applied is often not consistent in order to create lines, shades, borders, etc. The paint that I used was from AMMO by MIG for two reasons. First one is that even though prepared for airbrushing, MIG paint requires additional dilution even with a bit so to achieve the desired results. Second – those paints are famous for giving headaches to many with dry tips and uneven pattern. That was an additional challenge for the airbrush and I must say it coped with that flawlessly. If you care to watch the video in my YouTube channel, it is all there. If not, long story short – the airbrush handle itself perfectly within wide ranges of pressure. I am usually working between 14-16PSI or 22-25PSI depending on the object painted. Sometimes I go lower, even down to 8PSI and for cleaning I use up to 35PSI. Within those ranges I had no troubles with the paints and PS-268 gave me the ability to do mottling, lines, even writing with the finest tune that I managed to make in the first session. Better results can be achieve with fine tuning the pressure and the paint dilution, but I avoided that so a general user who doesn’t pay that much attention can fathom the real capabilities here. After all, not all of us wants to go through all that hassle of prepping and setting up. Compared with Iwata M2 As mentioned above, PS-268 has .4mm nozzle, 7cc color cup with lid, adjustable needle and 1/8 fitting for the hose. Iwata Revolution M2 which is arguably the most famous of this type of single-action airbrushes has the same characteristics. However, Iwata are more popular as a brand and as we all know – name sells more often than not. Price is important factor though. PS-268 has 1/3 of the price on its tag compared to Iwata Revolution M2. It performs equally. Math is pretty simple here. Even if it was a worse performer, which is most definitely not, Procon Boy SQ would’ve performed well enough to justify the better investment. Boy, Chinese copies does not perform 3 times worse than Iwata M2 and costs like $15. PS-268 is probably the best thing you can get. The price and the performance makes it far better than any Chinese copy and Iwata doesn’t deserve the price it bears since it is not that times better. It is practically the same. Conlclusion Last few words justify the purchase. Not only, but Mr.Hobby airbrushes are very good in quality overall, so even if not comparable they still deserve attention. Which is not the case here. I believe that Procon Boy SQ is one of the best, if not The Best single-action airbrush with that form that you can get on the market. There are weight options with PS-268AB and PS-268AR, there is a huge price difference and superb quality. Mr.Hobby tools are not that popular as Iwata and Harder and Steenbeck in Europe, nor like Paasche or Badger in USA, however they are wonderful tools. Procon Boy SQ PS-268 is a living proof for that statement. With its price tag, performance and origins, the SQ is one of the musts for every modeler.

Mr.Hobby PS-270 Procon Boy FWA Platinum Airbrush

Introduction: Among high-precision airbrushes that I got my hands on, PS-270 Platinum is the most affordable one. I am starting with this, because quality, especially the last decade comes at almost unbearable price. Market is flooded with Chinese replicas, who tend to satisfy many, while in the same time is slowly but steadily killing the good companies, dumping their sales and forcing them either to lower their quality or, due to the lack of sales quantity – the increase prices of their new products. High-precision airbrushes from Iwata and H&S /the leaders on the market/ are costing insane amounts, even though providing wonderful results. In the same time, modelling is becoming more and more competitive, due to the tons of information in Internet, shared techniques, ideas and more. Modellers are trying to elevate their level and tools are a mandatory expense when it comes down to that. So the question that arises is: Do one must accept and live with the compromise of buying cheap Chinese substitute, marketed as a ultra-high-precision airbrush, or go for the real thing, pay more and live happily ever after? Paying the cost of H&S or Iwata Custom Micron is not for everybody’s wallet, nor mentality. On the other hand, the Chinese cheapos have a lifespan of a fly. So what one should do? Below is the answer. Package and contents: PS-270 Procon Boy FWA Platinum comes in a boxing wrap that can be hanged on the wall, with transparent opening, showing partially the airbrush. It is dark-ish in appearance, accenting on the airbrush itself, which is really nicely crafted tool. On the front there is limited amount of info, while on the back there is a more thorough description of the Mr.Hobby PS-270 in Japanese. Inside, we have a plastic case, full with foaming material, shaped in a form of the Mr.Hobby PS-270. In general, the appearance of the case is not so high as with H&S and Iwata, but let that not fool you. The airbrush is a top notch tool. The set features a hose, Mr.Air /can/ connection and the proper fitting to connect it to it on the airbrush foot. It still keeps the standard 1/8 on the airbrush and that is achieved through a fitting conversion. The hose is with smaller fitting /both sides/ though – the one that corresponds to the air can application. Something that is most definitely a bad idea for experienced modellers. There is also a wrench for the nozzle, cover from translucent and flexible rubber for the front end of the airbrush, tail stopper, crown cap, two sets of instruction sheets and a cap cover.  Instructions: Unlike on most airbrushes, instruction here deserve a bit more attention. There are two sheets, one being the standard information, including specifications, parts dissection, suggestions, setting up, cutaway and the regular info for anybody who might be a first timer with this airbrush. Fortunately, that is partially in English, but I would assume that if you bought airbrush like Mr.Hobby PS-270, you already know your way around airbrushing. Thus, Japanese explanations would be self-explanatory with the help of the pictures. Which is the case with the second info-sheet. Here, everything is in Japanese. So you either rely on pictures solely, or you will have to use clever phone app that translates everything you point it at. That is, if you want to read it thoroughly of course. The second sheet is very nicely done, featuring a drawings of a boy that get himself through airbrushing, experiencing different scenarios which are explained and the new owner is being guided properly. This comic like story book might be amusing at first glance, but in reality is very useful. Even with years of experience, I tend to read through stuff like that every once in a while when I am in doubt. The tool: PS-270 Platinum itself is a piece of art airbrush. The foot of the airbrush is tilted backwards, while the rear-end needle cover with the tail stopper is shaped neatly and that creates very fine appearance in general. Trigger features visible holes in its root, paint cup is braided at its top and all that, added to the clean and shiny look of the metal gives one very posh appearance. PS-270 Procon Boy FWA features 10ml cup, just enough for most of the scale modelling applications out there. For the nozzle of .2mm it might be even more than needed. The air regulation valve on the bottom of the airbrush adds to the precision, and puts that airbrush in the higher-end of tools used in our hobby. The crown cap is the only needle cap in the set, which is pretty self-explanatory – this is /again/ a high-precision tool. The crown allows for the air to leave without disturbing the airflow additionally. Very useful for close and fine painting, especially with mottling and fine lines, typical for WWII German armour and aircraft. The tail stopper works very smoothly and even though I still haven’t tested the Mr.Hobby PS-270 Platinum excessively, I know for a fact that Mr.Hobby airbrushes are reliable and sturdy tools that will get you through the years. After all, this is Japanese made airbrush, with the corresponding quality expected from it. Ergonomics: It is comfortable. Actually, it is very very comfortable. While with H&S the trigger is too soft for my taste, Iwata is a bit on the other end – the Mr.Hobby PS-270 Platinum FWA is just in the middle. The round top of the trigger is not demanding as with triggers that show cutaway on one of their ends. The pressure needed is very acceptable and even though for me is perfect, for some it might be a bit off. That is just a possibility which is not very probable though. The tilted foot of the main body helps the grip, especially if you put an air filter just after it. It almost becomes a trigger-action-like. No handle of course. Pointy business end of PS-270 Procon Boy FWA is somewhat guide for your hand, which I found to be very useful. At first, I thought that it is a bit ugly. I though: “This ant-eater of an airbrush is odd”. But then I remembered that Olympos Micron – considered one of the best, if not the-best in the business had that same feature. It actually helps. Visually mostly and maybe not with a lot, but still. Once you get used to that, it will stick. Cleaning, Spare parts, availability: The cleaning process of the PS-270 Platinum is the same as with every other airbrush. It is clearly depicted in the instructions too. I tend to deviate a bit, always flushing two or more cups of cleaner through it with high pressure. More often than not, using harsh and aggressive cleaners too. Especially when cleaning after metallic paints. No troubles with that what so ever. For the seals and the needle, I would advise to consider your availability if you choose to get Mr.Hobby: if in your area there are available, it’s great. You need nothing more than the airbrush package. If not, I would suggest to get couple of spare parts, just in case. After all Mr.Hobby PS-270 is with .2mm needle/nozzle combo and that is rather demanding. No matter the brand. As for availability, it is not that popular as Iwata, but still can be found and is widely-enough used tool. That was my main concern at first, but after a short research I found out that it is with decent availability. Compared with others: Now the answer to the important question mentioned above: “Do I get the cheapo or do I go for the overpriced but considered best in the business?” The answer is: “Neither.” You can simply get the PS-270 Procon Boy FWA Platinum. And yes, it is that good. More than what is said above. Mr.Hobby might not be famous with their airbrushes as Sparmax, H&S, Badger, Iwata and Paasche, but oh boy are they competitive! That rather inexpensive tool works better than HP-C+ that I am used to and most definitely can compete with Evolution FPS and Infinity by H&S. Latter ones always being a bit troublemakers for me with their feather-light triggers. Procon Boy FWA PS-270 sprays equally fine, it also has a crown cap and the only controversial that I saw was the fact that Mr.Hobby provided the option for can air supply attachment. For that quality this is unacceptable. PS-270 Platinum is eons away from that kind of a work habits. Conclusion: Definitely worth the investment if you want to step-up. And by stepping up I mean my experience too, going from HP-C+ as a main gun, which is not bad at all. Here everything is a bit more refined. More ergonomic, more delicate. The visual resemblance with Olympos airbrushes at the front end is somehow justified by the performance and that puts Mr.Hobby in the same class as the most precise and expensive airbrushes out there. There is better tools available, but for that price I think this is the spot on investment. I never doubted Japanese quality and Mr.Hobby PS-270 is just another proof for that. Be sure to check Mr.Hobby for their airbrush line, since PS-270 Platinum is not the only gun that deserves attention. They do have a lot to show for! For a video review of PS-270 showing its capabilities while working, visit DN Models' YouTube channel. Link is available at the top.

Sparmax SP-20X – Unboxing and Review

Sparmax SP-20X: One of the hardest reviews I had to make was about this particular airbrush. The fact that the needle/nozzle combo is small and I enjoy that, combined with the way that this ties my hands while working on larger applications, made it such. It is always difficult when you have a scalpel and you want to cut a bread with it. And I quite often get into situations like this with airbrushes. Finest needle/nozzle combos are meant to be used on precise work. Mottling, free-hand camouflages, stripes on WWII aircraft and post-shading. The thing is, those airbrushes are quite often the ones with the highest quality and the most comfortable too. That makes you wanna use the particular airbrush most of all, despite having other more suitable ones in your toolbox. Exactly like in my case. Those airbrushes are also, almost every time – the most expensive ones in the line. And that makes you wanna use them even more. The case with Sparmax SP-20X is not exactly this, however, the .2mm nozzle and the way that everything felt while using it, made this review very demanding. I needed to think it through, gather my thoughts and feelings and combine them. The result is what follows: Box & Contents: The box is made of translucent plastic, and it is wrapped in fancy black cardboard. Over it, there are basic notes on what you get with this set and the airbrush specs for the specific piece embedded. In our case Sparmax SP-20X. The other Sparmax airbrushes that I reviewed featured crown caps, which I found to be the most precious item included in their sets. Here, crown cap is missing. Unfortunately, for an airbrush so precise, where I believe this should be “a must” it isn’t there. Why? Well, Sparmax probably decided that the nozzle/needle combo of 0.2mm is delicate enough by itself, and crown won’t improve the overall performance with much. I am only guessing. Whatever the case is, the hole in the foaming bed of the airbrush is present, so maybe some editions feature crown caps, mine doesn’t. There is also a cleaning brush, two sheets of instructions and the dual-to-single action converter, something that seems to be a standard for Sparmax. They are a nice gesture, especially if this is your start-up airbrush. Instructions: We have one sheet for the airbrush and one for the converter. The latter one shows the basic steps of converting your dual-action airbrush into single-action piece. In the beginning I thought that for .2mm single action might be useless, but then I remembered the panel lines made with Alclad2 paints, which works perfectly when sprayed through single-action airbrushes. The coats are even and the shine is improved compared to dual-action applications. The other set of instructions feature a complete guide for how to start using your airbrush, basic recommendations and troubleshooting alongside with solutions. I recommend reading through this before using the SP-20X for the first time, no matter is this your first airbrush or you just bought another one for your collection. Sometimes, even the most experienced users find something different in the design of their newest airbrush, and in case you want to avoid accidents at any costs, this is the way to go. There is a standard brake-down of the airbrush, with all of its parts and O-rings /very important here/, which gives you basic understanding of the assembly. That helps not only to familiarize yourself with SP-20X, but if you look thoroughly you might be able to recognize some signs of worn parts or simple symptoms of troubleshooting in very early stages. The Airbrush: The body of the SP-20X is crafted with finesse and you can tell that Sparmax are experienced in what they do. The first two things that grabs your attention is the coating which allows for easy cleaning and the trigger. The trigger is soft enough to allow for very nice touches when spraying and the movement is not accompanied by unnecessary swaying when pulling it. It moves gently and strictly backwards. Besides being ergonomic, the airbrush is well balanced too. For precision airbrush, this is more than necessary and we have it here. The cup can be removed and this leaves you with small paint jar embedded in the brush body. This however, does not ruin the balance. Seeing the O-ring on the bottom of the removable cap, at first made me think that this should be used all the time. Removing it though, and the comfy feel that the airbrush showed, made me change my mind. This allows for only few drops of paint to be used, clear the view seeing the tip of the needle /from the top/ and spare you some cleaning time. Overall, the whole body of the airbrush can be called “standard looking” and indeed it is. However, compared to others, the feel is better and the weight is just the right one. Add-Ons: Included in the set we have a blue-handled brush and a dual-to-single action converter. As I’ve mentioned above, the crown cap bed in the foaming is present, but no crown cap in it. Both add-ons are useful, especially if this is your starting tool. They are included in other Sparmax kits, like MAX series or SP-35C that I recently reviewed. I mentioned above about the converter and the brush, well while testing the airbrush I used it a couple of times to clean the needle and then clean the airbrush after the session. Very comfortable! Although not vital in SP-20X set, these two are very nice touch from the company. If you happen to have another one of their airbrushes, they will be more than useful for sure. Advantages/Disadvantages: Sparmax SP-20X is one very fine airbrush. The fact that the color cup is removable, and leave you with quite smaller paint jar embedded in the airbrush, makes it very versatile solution. You can spray larger applications using the big one, or just do fine touches like mottling, stripes or precise weathering, using only the small amount of paint that the airbrush body can holds. The design of the airbrush is refined compared to the competition and the pre-set handle is a definite must with such small nozzle. The only disadvantage in my opinion is the lack of a crown cap, which maybe will improve your performance a bit. Other than that, there is no other disadvantages that I see. On the other hand the greatest plus of them all is the price tag. Conclusion: The value that Sparmax SP-20X brings is more than competitive. For similar airbrush from other major brand you will pay 3 or 4 times the money. One thing is certain – you won’t get 3 or 4 times better tool! Sparmax are on the market since the late 70s. They do make airbrushes for other companies besides having their own line. That speaks for experience and for knowledge. All in all, their airbrushes are known to be reliable and fine working, mostly due to the craftsmanship and the finesse they have shown. For a precision airbrush /in my book .2mm or less/, Sparmax SP-20X is one of the best options on the market today. The price is unbeatable and the performance is absolutely comparable with the Iwata’s and the Harder & Steenbeck’s available. It is very competitive tool, one that you can rely on and one that you cannot beat the price of! Highly recommended tool!
Sparmax ps-35C unboxing review dn models dual action airbrush

Sparmax SP-35C – Unboxing and Review

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: Little history: 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. Package: 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: 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: Advantages: 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. Disadvantages: 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. Conclusion: 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. Highly recommended!