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Background I am a strictly acrylics user (Vallejo mainly and lately Mission Models paints). I have owned and used an Olympus Hp-23 (sidefeed, 0.3 needle) for many years (I am an on and off modeller for the last twenty years). Olympos are quite similar to Iwata airbrushes. I haven't had any experience with other airbrushes in actual use. I had some hands-on experience in various modelling events but without actually using air and paint. So, Santa Claus (using my wife as an informer) got me a Harder & Steenbeck Evolution 2 in 1 (0.2 and 0.4 needles and nozzles). After a lot of research (mainly youtube videos and the occasional handling), I decided that this brand and model would be the best for me and my needs. First impressions in the box and on the hand A beautiful piece of hardware. Very nice weight, not too light not too heavy. Before starting up my compressor, two things felt weird: One, the distance of the trigger from the nozzle opening compared to my other airbrush (my Olympos is more than a centimeter shorter in that respect). Two, the trigger gave me a little crunchy feeling. However, keep reading... Impressions in use (I used so far only the 0.4 needle nozzle combo. I have some models I am finishing and none of those need detailed work so far. I will probably edit this post for the 0.2 nozzle in the near future) So 0.4 combo! Wooow!!! This is like a fire hose. I almost flooded some areas but I quickly got control over it. Very good and fast coverage. Quite risky until you get used to it. The weird things I mentioned above disappeared. The distance didn't bother me anymore after two minutes of use (plus I found out that H&S sits perfectly on my cleaning station which was not the case with my "shorty" Olympos). The trigger had a fantastic response in both air and paint. However, having mentioned that I have to say that I found another weird thing (at least for me). The "only air / no paint" position of the trigger is a little too forward - for my habits at least. So every time I press the trigger thinking I am at the "only air / no paint" position, I am actually at the "minimum paint" position. Not a big problem and I expect to get used to that soon enough. Cleaning A Christmas miracle! Not having to use the special spanner to remove the miniscule nozzle which was hell to handle and even heller not to lose, is great, great, great!!! Plus not having to deal with all the peculiarities of the side feed as opposed to gravity feed was also a big plus. Conclusion I would definitely buy again. I would also consider the Silverline for the needle adjustment which would be quite helpful with the fire hose 0.4 combo. Questions? Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.
Hey, I'm really getting fed up with my H&S Evolution so I need to vent while picking your minds for a possible solutiin I'm using acrylic paints from Revell, Vallejo and Mig and no matter which brand, what paint-to-thinner ratio, pressure (10-15 psi) or thinner (tap water, IPA, IPA+water, original Revell Aqua thinner) I'm using the tip always ends up clogged as soon as I stop spraying for more than 2-3 seconds. I have to wipe off the tip of the needle to be able to spray again. Today, for instance I used a 30-70, paint-thinner mix for some post-shading. The paint wasn't even flowing constantly at 15 psi! When it did, it spidered, of course. Have you experienced such a problem? Can someone please help with any advice? I'm on the verge of selling it... Many-many thanks in advance! Cristian
Evolution L-39 Albatros C/ZO (11121) 1:48 Eduard ProfiPACK The L-39 is a fast jet trainer that was designed and manufactured in Czechoslovakia (as was) as a direct replacement for the earlier L-29 Delfin. It has been a success in its roles, and has received a number of upgrades that have resulted in new designations, and since the dismantling of the Soviet Union, some have found their way into private hands throughout the west, and they are often seen at airshows. It first flew in 1971, and was hoped to become the standard trainer across the Union, and the in 1977 the ZA variant was flying, fitted with a cannon and four hard-points for mounting various weapons in the Light Attack role. With the Soviet Union gone, the orders began to dry up, and an updated L-159 was produced in partnership with Rockwell, using more up-to-date avionics. More recently, an L-39NG has begun development to begin deliveries of a thoroughly modern "Next Generation" of Albatros. The Kit This isn't a new tooling from Special Hobby, and was originally release before the new millennium under the MPM brand name. It has plastic parts, resin and Photo-Etch (PE) brass parts, so any shortcomings of the original moulds are replaced by these new parts. In the box you'll find just three sprues of mid-grey styrene, a separately bagged clear sprue, a bag of resin parts; from Eduard we get new decals, new colour photoetch, and masks. The cockpit is first up, with seats augmented by PE belts and ejection handles before being attached to the cockpit floor and hemmed in at the sides by side consoles, with rudder pedals and control columns in the usual places. The Instrument Panels can be built up as styrene only, or with the addition of a layered PE and acetate lamination, bringing more realism to the completed assembly, with the completed sections cemented to the cockpit sill part that encompasses the whole crew area. With the addition of the resin exhaust tube and pen-nib fairing to the rear (with engine detail at the end) the cockpit with separate rear bulkhead are then secured between the fuselage half's. The lower wing is full-span, while the upper wings are separate, and have alternative actuator fairings for a number of the decal options, which are provided in resin to be fitted after removing the standard moulded-in ones. All the gear bay doors are depicted closed as if on the ground, with only small inserts visible for attaching the gear later, which would make an in-flight model very easy to achieve. The wings are mated to the fuselage at the same time as the two-part engine intakes, which terminate at the blank wall of the fuselage, but with some careful painting you can fool the eye that you're looking down a gradually darkening tunnel. The elevators fit with a tab and slot method, perpendicular to the tail, so tape or blutak them in place while the glue is still wet. The clear parts include a pair of lights for the end of the integrated tip-tanks, and the canopy is supplied as a four-part arrangement for posing the canopy open, with some small PE parts added to increase realism. The windscreen and blast-shield between the seats are fixed, while the openers can be glued open or closed at your whim, or depending on how proud of the job you've made of the cockpit. A number of PE and styrene parts are added around the airframe, and the landing gear, which are built from styrene parts with attractive resin wheels are then installed in their sockets, with a captive door on the strut, which has made me scratch my head a bit, as it looks like the door etched into the wing. However after a little research, it seems the split door is to keep FOD out of the bay and folds inward when the captive door takes its place as it retracts. Two tiny PE doors are added to the nose gear wheel, which is built up in the same manner as the mains. A few optional PE and resin parts are then fitted depending on which decal option you have chosen, with captions assisting in your choice. Markings There are two new decal options from Eduard on a sheet printed by Cartograf. L-39C RA1039K, Privately owned by the Moscow Aero Jet club featuring the impressive Golden Dragon L-39ZO 831135, Hungarian Air Force, 2005 Featuring the Hungarian Flag in the tail, & a shark on the fuselage. Conclusion I for one am glad to see this kit on re-release. It's not a brand-new moulding, so take care during construction and exercise your modelling skills to produce an attractive model of the type. The new parts from Eduard help the kit out in a lot of ways. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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;