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Earnest

Harder & Steenbeck Evolution - First impressions

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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.

Edited by Earnest
Additional background information

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Congrats on your new piece of hardware!

 

After some struggling with acrylics (paint drying on the tip and/or not leaving the brush, etc), I'm a happy user myself. I went for the Silverline with a 0.2mm nozzle/needle combo just to have the needle adjustment piece. I think, you can now get it as an extra part from H&S. For me, it was the one piece that made the most difference. Then again, I had one from hour zero on my previous brush so, I was used to having one.

 

Have fun with it! :)

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Thanks.

I will probably get the adjsutment piece also.

I forgot to mention that I am a strictly acrylics user too.

I will edit the post.

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What brand acrylics are you using, if you don't mind me asking? My main stock is Revell Aqua with a few Mig and Vallejo bottles. All behave about the same.

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3 minutes ago, armored76 said:

What brand acrylics are you using, if you don't mind me asking? My main stock is Revell Aqua with a few Mig and Vallejo bottles. All behave about the same.

Vallejo mainly and lately Mission Models Paints. You should try MMP if they are available close to you.

 

 

1 minute ago, little-cars said:

Most customers go for the silverline over the standard evolution because of the preset handle, but it doesn't cost much to add this on after.

 

Harder & Steenbeck Preset Handle

 

Paul

 

Thanks Paul. Probably I will.

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I am using a small spray booth and a mask (good habit kept from the enamel days) so I cannot really say much.

From what I smell when I sometimes unmask, MMP do not really have a strong smell. Vallejo have this vinegary / windex smell from their thinners and cleaners.

However, as fas as I can say I prefer the MMP by far.

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I bought the Evolution CRplus 2 in 1 a few months ago.  Before that I only ever had experience of the very ancient and original Aztek Airbrush which was so bad it was only any good for base coats.

 

The Evolution CRplus is like a Rolls Royce to me then. It is a beautiful thing.

 

I have found a couple of issues to be aware of though.

 

Firstly, the brass section between trigger and 'tail' has a very fine thread, and a few times I've found it difficult to line it up correctly and get it to screw on 'true'. Being brass, it's relatively soft compared to the metal of the body, soI fear that without due care and attention, the brass thread will strip. And even with care, over time I suspect the brass will wear away. So, be prepared to buy a new 'brass bit' at some point in the future.

 

Secondly, when I first got the airbrush, I found that the cup lids were very tight (nicely so) and it was impossible to 'twist' them off. One had to get a nail under the edge and lever them up, or hold them across the diameter and pull them off. Now, however they just fall off if you turn the airbrush over. I'm hoping this is just a 'dirt' issue though and that a thorough clean around the cup lip and the lid outer will bring back that 'air tight' grip.

 

Now for some tips.

 

Read the instructions and it will show you how to remove and refit the needle for cleaning/replacing, BUT, the needle can be removed and refitted via the nozzle end!

This means that you don't have to slide the needle point first into the back of the airbrush and through all of the gubbins inside - risking damage to the tip.

Simply unscrew the cover at the rear, loosen the needle and pull it back a centimetre or so. This draws the needle point into the body of the airbrush where it is safe. Then unscrew and remove the nozzle. Next, push the needle from the rear end, so that the point reappears at the tip, and keep pushing until there is enough of the needle's body to grip, and pull it out. To replace the needle, do the reverse, pushing the needle into the airbrush from the nozzle end. Push it far enough so as the 'body' of the needle protrudes at the rear of the brush, grip it at that end, and pull the neeld point a centimetre or so INTO the body. Then refit the nozzle and gently push the needle back into the nozzle from the rear.

 

The 'air on, no paint' position can be adjusted to some degree. Undo the 'needle locking nut' at the rear and pull the trigger back slightly. The needle will stay where it is. With the trigger pulled back to a 'comfortable' postion, re-tighten the locking nut.  Now when you release the trigger, the trigger will stay where it is,  ie. further back, while the needle will be fully in the 'paint off' position.

 

Now- that 'crunchy clicky' feel upon depressing the trigger. This is due to dirt in the return mechanisms - either the air valve or the needle spring, or both. Sorry you'll have to forgive my ignorance about the part names. I found that the 'plunger' with the spring is very sensitive to dirt and it will 'stick' and feel grindy/clicky when moving backwards and forwards. The same goes for the up and down movement for the air inlet valve under the trigger. Disassemble and clean and the clicky feel will vanish.

 

Finally, be aware that H&S have redesigned their needles with a double-tapered tip and these are said to be even more precise and less prone to acrylics drying on the needle tip.

The new needles are designated V2. (the old ones V1) Given that they are a German company, one has to wonder if there were any qualms about using those names, or contrary to popular belief, do they actually have a sense of humour? Whatever, the new V2 needles are supplied with all of their new airbrushes and nozzle-needle sets, and of course, as replacement needles. There is no price rise in any instance.

 

Badder

 

ps. I wouldn't bother with the 'upgrade' part with the preset handle device thingy. A waste of money, and just more parts that could get dirt in, cause trouble. With practice one soon gets 'muscle memory' and can replicate the same trigger action/position very accurately, every time. And remember, different mediums will have different consistencies and will spray differently even if you use the same preset for each. At the end of the day, one should have a few practice sprays each time one uses the airbrush anyway.

 

Edited by Badder

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52 minutes ago, Badder said:

Read the instructions and it will show you how to remove and refit the needle for cleaning/replacing, BUT, the needle can be removed and refitted via the nozzle end!

 

Hi There,

I believe that @little-cars recommends that you do not withdraw the needle through the tip as the needles have a notch at the blunt end which could damage the internals.

 

I bought mine from him recently and whilst i have yet to use it in anger I have to say it is a thing of beauty.

 

Cheers,

 

Alistair

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Product review and test

 

 

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7 hours ago, AliGauld said:

Hi There,

I believe that @little-cars recommends that you do not withdraw the needle through the tip as the needles have a notch at the blunt end which could damage the internals.

 

I bought mine from him recently and whilst i have yet to use it in anger I have to say it is a thing of beauty.

 

Cheers,

 

Alistair

Hi Alistair,

I bought a spare 0.2 needle, just in case, and whilst it is a genuine H&S product (correct packaging and labelling) the spare doesn't have a notch in it. Looking at the notches on the other needles, they are more of a smooth indentation than a 'notch' and I have no qualms about inserting them from the nozzle end - at least until more people advise me not to!😁

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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4 hours ago, Badder said:

Hi Alistair,

I bought a spare 0.2 needle, just in case, and whilst it is a genuine H&S product (correct packaging and labelling) the spare doesn't have a notch in it. Looking at the notches on the other needles, they are more of a smooth indentation than a 'notch' and I have no qualms about inserting them from the nozzle end - at least until more people advise me not to!😁

 

Rearguards,

Badder

Hi there,

No worries. I seem to remember reading about the notch thingie somewhere in the forums when researching the Evolution but I could be wrong. Happens quite a lot really. The new v2 needles may be completely different and I could be talking total rubbish, of course. That happens quite a lot too.😉

 

Cheers,

 

Alistair

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If I remember correctly (not home to check my needles) the 0.2 doesn't have any notches. Only the 0.4 and the 0.6 have notches so you can tell them apart. Same thing for the nozzles.

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3 hours ago, bmwh548 said:

If I remember correctly (not home to check my needles) the 0.2 doesn't have any notches. Only the 0.4 and the 0.6 have notches so you can tell them apart. Same thing for the nozzles.

correct. It was whilst responding to this post that I checked my original 2 needles and discovered that I'd put the 0.2 (no notch) in the 0.4 nozzle and air cap. That meant that my 0,4 needle (with 1 'band') was in the 0.2 nozzle and air cap. So when I got the new 0.2 and compared it with what I thought was my original 02., there was a band on my orginal one, and not my new one....

Hope that explains it!

So, whatever, if you put the 0.2 needle in from the aircap end, there's no notch to 'catch'' on anything. The only possible problem I can think of is that the 'blunt' end will slide into the seals and maybe it would be better for the sharp tapered end to insert first, stretching the seal gradually rather than suddenly.  I really think that's worrying over nothing though.

 

Badder

 

 

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We've been shipping some V2 needles since November, but they are selling well.

Am just about to put in another order ! and will be supplying the V2 needles with all new airbrushes once the order arrives.

 

Paul

 

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On 12/31/2018 at 5:30 PM, little-cars said:

We've been shipping some V2 needles since November, but they are selling well.

Am just about to put in another order ! and will be supplying the V2 needles with all new airbrushes once the order arrives.

 

Paul

 

 

Paul, are they come under different part number on your website or they are just a direct replacement with the same part number? Looking to get a 0.2 and 0.4 needles.

 

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On 1/7/2019 at 11:57 AM, sergant-san said:

 

Paul, are they come under different part number on your website or they are just a direct replacement with the same part number? Looking to get a 0.2 and 0.4 needles.

 

Sorry for the delay in replying.   We had some V2 needles and airbrushes in before Scale Model World, but I assume H&S have been waiting for most of the dealers to get stocks before putting out the press release on them. 

 At the moment we have sold  out of V2 needles, but are expecting loads in next week.  Then all brushes, needles and needle sets we sell will be shipped with V2 needles & I'll update all the products affected to let people know that they are supplied with V2 Needles.

 

It looks like the manufacturers code is the same for needles, but have a large V2  after the code to let you know. I haven't checked all the needle-nozzle-aircap sets or brushes yet, but assume they are the same.

Ta,

Paul

 

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On 12/28/2018 at 2:13 AM, Badder said:

Hi Alistair,

I bought a spare 0.2 needle, just in case, and whilst it is a genuine H&S product (correct packaging and labelling) the spare doesn't have a notch in it. Looking at the notches on the other needles, they are more of a smooth indentation than a 'notch' and I have no qualms about inserting them from the nozzle end - at least until more people advise me not to!😁

 

Rearguards,

Badder

On V1 needles only the 0.4 & 0,6mm had notches on the end.  The new needles have a lot of the needle cut away to indicate the needle size. This could damage the O rings  if brought out through the front of the brush.

 

I'll double check with H&S about removing the new needles.

 

Paul

 

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22 hours ago, little-cars said:

On V1 needles only the 0.4 & 0,6mm had notches on the end.  The new needles have a lot of the needle cut away to indicate the needle size. This could damage the O rings  if brought out through the front of the brush.

 

I'll double check with H&S about removing the new needles.

 

Paul

  

Thanks Paul,

Yes, I realised I'd misidentified my needles after posting. 

The spare 0.2  DIDN'T have a notch, which is correct.  

With regards to removing the needles through the front, I wIll only do that for the 0.2 'notchless' needles.

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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On 1/14/2019 at 4:15 PM, little-cars said:

On V1 needles only the 0.4 & 0,6mm had notches on the end.  The new needles have a lot of the needle cut away to indicate the needle size. This could damage the O rings  if brought out through the front of the brush.

 

I'll double check with H&S about removing the new needles.

 

Paul

 

I was wondering that.  Looking at the adverts for the needles that are appearing in the recent Airfix magazine, the new needles seem to have all sorts of lumps and bumps

 

53ky6v.jpg

 

Wouldn’t want to pull that through the nozzle end.

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel

Edited by nheather

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