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  1. Harder & Steenbeck Evolution CRplus "25" From Air-craft.net Received for review is the Harder & Steenbeck Evolution CR plus "25". This is a special varaint only available from Air-craft.net, which replaces the standard 2ml cup with the much more useful 5ml version. Packaged in a sturdy case, it also includes a quick release adapter for the airline, and a handy instruction booklet. Technical data. It is a 0.2mm nozzle gravity feed dual action all-metal airbrush. This CR Plus has a triple inner copper/nickel plating and an exterior chrome finish. It is designed to be fully solvent resistant and internally has a new PTFE needle sealing system. The quick release connector can be unscrewed, leaving a standard 1/8" BSP hose connector. In use. First impressions are of a beautifully made unit, which fits snugly and comfortably in the hand. It feels well balanced and the trigger actions of 'down for air and back for paint flow' are very smooth and well harmonised. I have only ever owned 2 airbrushes in the last 25 years, both of which have had side cup attachments, so this one with cup centrally mounted over the needle is new to me. Martin at Air-craft.net has specifically replaced the standard 2ml cup with this much larger 5ml version, specifically for the modeller. The press on lid is a feature that I am sure will be useful, as it is all too easy to have accidental spillage. I will be the first to admit that I am no great artist or expert at using an airbrush, I find that it takes time to settle in with a new one and feel comfortable with it. It takes a few hours understand how it works in relation to the paint/thinners and air pressure ratios to get the best out of it. With this in mind I had 2 practice sessions of about an hour each, initially using Tamiya acrylics and secondly with Humbrol enamels. 1) Tamiya Acrylic Setting the initial pressure feed from my Iwata compressor at 20 psi, I thinned some acrylic 50/50 with isopropanol and set off. The air flow control was immediate and precise, and the paint came through freely and easily. As with all airbrushes, there is a definite bite point where the paint flow starts, which is influenced by the type of paint, how you have thinned it and the pressure you have set. I was able to spray lines, spots, and squiggles immediately with no problem. However, as with my previous Badger and Iwata airbrushes the acrylic had a slight tendency to dry on the nozzle tip, occasionally interrupting the smooth flow of paint. Flow was improved with a periodic wipe with isopropanol. No fault of the airbrush, just a feature of this type of paint. Wide spray of a large area gave a lovely smooth and even finish. 2) Humbrol Enamel. The second test was with orange enamel (so it shows up for photos!) thinned about 60/40 with odourless white spirit. Again I was able to do lines, spots, and squiggles with ease. I sensed that the enamel gave me a better and finer quality of spray which was easier to control consistently throughout the session. I put this down to the fact that it does not have the quick drying and clogging tendency of the acrylic. I tried it with the needle guard removed, and found that for the really fine work I was able to see what I was doing much better. The guard is easily popped on and off as it is only a push fit on the nozzle. (it is the 2 pronged attachment in the picture below) Conclusion. A beautifully designed and built airbrush that looks fabulous in its shiny chrome and brass finish. Performance is exceedingly good with very smooth and precise action. Clean up afterwards is pretty simple, with no little spanners or other tools required to disassemble/re-assemble it. I believe that it takes time to understand your airbrush as you develop your skills to get the best from it. This Harder & Steenbeck seems to be viceless and is simple to use, giving good results from first acquaintance. It has great potential, and I look forward to gaining more experience with it. (Amongst other ideas I am considering doing a 1:72nd Fw-190a with mottle camouflage). It sits in the medium price range for quality airbrushes, and should be on the shortlist of anyone looking to buy for the first time, or who wants to upgrade from current equipment. It goes without saying that it will easily deal with the 1 or 2 colour tasks like a USN grey/white Phantom or a green US Sherman. Where it really comes into its own is on the finer, tighter work like pre-shading, mottling, panel fading, toning, exhaust staining, etc. Based on my test results, it will tackle all these with ease and precision. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of;
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