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!