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dromia

Iwata Custom Micron CM-B (V2)

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Posted (edited)

I am looking at adding an Iwata Custom Micron CM-B (V2) to my airbrush battery as I like to spray close, fine, at low pressure and avoid masking whenever possible.

 

Masking and water slide transfer application are the two banes of my scale modelling.

 

I really like the Iwatas have been using a Hi-Line HP-CH for a few years alongside my Efbes, Badger and Aztek.

 

Reasonably competent airbrush user and understand the balance 'tween paint consistency, pressure and volume to get a good spray.

 

I am aware of the Procon Boy 770 and have not completely dismissed it but after having used a 270 and found it an excellent brush, the feel and finish of the Iwatas still calls to me.

 

I also don't like a MAC valve on the brush finding it cumbersome and difficult to fit into my brush stands preferring to use the air volume control on the quick disconnect end of my air hose.

 

I am a dedicated enamel user with my paints of choice being Colour Coats, Xtracolour, Phoenix Precision paints,  Humbrol (large stock of Authentic colours and pre 1980s tins).

 

My Efbe B1 fixed and B1 hinged both have fine 0.2mm nozzles and handle these enamels well however I am looking for an even finer spray and the better feel of the Iwatas.

 

Does anyone have any direct experience any of these paints through this airbrush or any other high end fine nozzle airbrush?

 

I am aware that nozzle sizes are not necessarily comparable across different airbrush makers. 

 

Do I really need another airbrush? Maybe not however I do get real pleasure from using, mastering and owning fine tools.

 

Airbrushes are a very personal thing and one man's meat is another man's  poison but any help and advice will be gratefully received.

 

 

Edited by dromia

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7 hours ago, dromia said:

I am looking at adding an Iwata Custom Micron CM-B (V2) to my airbrush battery as I like to spray close, fine, at low pressure and avoid masking whenever possible.

 

Masking and water slide transfer application are the two banes of my scale modelling.

 

I really like the Iwatas have been using a Hi-Line HP-CH for a few years alongside my Efbes, Badger and Aztek.

 

Reasonably competent airbrush user and understand the balance 'tween paint consistency, pressure and volume to get a good spray.

 

I am aware of the Procon Boy 770 and have not completely dismissed it but after having used a 270 and found it an excellent brush, the feel and finish of the Iwatas still calls to me.

 

I also don't like a MAC valve on the brush finding it cumbersome and difficult to fit into my brush stands preferring to use the air volume control on the quick disconnect end of my air hose.

 

I am a dedicated enamel user with my paints of choice being Colour Coats, Xtracolour, Phoenix Precision paints,  Humbrol (large stock of Authentic colours and pre 1980s tins).

 

My Efbe B1 fixed and B1 hinged both have fine 0.2mm nozzles and handle these enamels well however I am looking for an even finer spray and the better feel of the Iwatas.

eirect experience any of these paints through this airbrush or any other high end fine nozzle airbrush?

 

I am aware that nozzle sizes are not necessarily comparable across different airbrush makers. 

 

Do I really need another airbrush? Maybe not however I do get real pleasure from using, mastering and owning fine tools.

 

Airbrushes are a very personal thing and one man's meat is another man's  poison but any help and advice will be gratefully received.

 

 

Have you considered the Harder & Steenbeck Infinity CR+ ? Several different configurations available.  Will take 0.15, 0.2, 0.4 or 0.6mm nozzle sets.  It has a preset handle with an on/off feature  also has a range of paint cups.  The 0.15 & 0.2mm versions come with a 2ml paint cups, 0.4mm is supplied with a  5ml cup. For very small amounts of paints where you need an uninterrupted view of the subject there is the tiny micro cup.  There are also options for a 15ml and 50ml paint cup and a side fed 15ml bottle.      https://www.modellingtools.co.uk/harder--steenbeck-airbrushes-14-c.asp

   

 

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Thanks for the reply I have owned a Harder and Steenbeck in the past but it was one of the few airbrushes I let go, it worked fine enough I just found it fiddly and agricultural. It just didn't suit me at all and I could never work up any enthusiasm for it so it languished.

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I am an HP-CH user like yourself and also own a CM-C+. I have to say that although I consider myself to be a reasonably competent airbrush user I just cannot get the best out of the CM and find myself using the HP 99% of the time. There is no doubt it is a beautifully made airbrush and in the right hands will repay it's high price with stunning performance but it has, so far, got the better of me. I have read that it is really designed for spraying artist inks rather than paint with larger particles so maybe that's my problem as I can't get down to the finest lines the airbrush is capable of without making a mess of things.

 

Duncan B

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Thank you for the reply.

 

That is the nub of my question, is the Custom Micron just too fine an airbrush to give its best performance with the pigments of my chosen enamel paints?

 

What paints have you been using through your Custom Micron?

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I have a CM-C and like Duncan l have struggled to get get the best out of it, it’s packed full of features and the quality is out of this world but it really is finicky with paints. I use mainly acrylics but I am using more and more lacquer paints such as MRP and the new Tamiya lacquers. The lacquers spray well in the CM-C but not to it’s capability, that’s probably more to do with me rather than the brush though.

 

The CM-C was designed for graphic designers who use inks so they don’t have to worry about paint pigment size, it’s optimised for those mediums rather than modelling use I think. I have seen some builds done with a CM-C and in the right hands the finished builds are truly stunning.
 

Another option is the Mr Hobby Procon version of the CM-C, if you want to go down that road ,it’s cheaper and has the same features and I’ve heard that it’s not so finicky with paint plus the parts are interchangeable with the CM-C.

 

HTH

 

Dan 

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Thank you for sharing your experience.

 

Lacquers could be an option for me if enamel pigments are not fine enough.

 

Your view that it could be your current skill level with that particular brush is intriguing to me as I do enjoy the challenge of complicacy.

 

If it can deliver in the context of scale modelling pigments then the struggle to master its intricacies and foibles could be an added attraction.

 

 

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I like airbrushes too but I wasn't aware of the Iwata Custom Micron CM-B (V2) so I had to Google it. Wow, £350 for an airbrush made my eyes water. I've owned a few of the lesser priced Iwata brushes and while they are excellent and good quality brushes I feel they are over hyped. Both the ones I had were uncomfortable to use and I sold one of them almost immediately after purchase. I kept the Revolution CR but I still hardly ever use it because I find it tiresome to hold and it makes my hand/fingers ache. The only two brushes I own that I keep using all the time is a Tamiya HG Wide and a Gunze Mr Procon Boy. They weren't expensive brushes, but I just seem to get on with them the best. However, if you feel that the Iwata Custom Micron CM-B (V2) will add something to your set up that is missing I would say to go with your heart and buy one. Myself though I'd probably try and test one first if possible? £350 is a lot to spend if it doesn't perform as you'd expect it to..

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As to the price it is only money and as I tell my wife its either that or drink, drugs and slappers.

 

Iwatas suit me and I like them very much and my Hi-Line HP-CH is my go to brush now having edged out my Efbes.

 

The CM-B (V2) looks compact by comparison to other airbrushes especially the Procon Boy 770. As I have small hands and short fingers it will no doubt suit me, my liking to spray up close the smaller size paint cup and the lack of a MAC valve up front are further pluses so the fit and heft of the brush is not a concern for me but the fine needle spray head (which is its attraction) ability to handle the pigmentation of my chosen enamel paint is my only query really.

 

I have been told both on here and by another modeller that I know that it will handle cellulose paints well such as MRP (which I have never used) so it has its place in scale modelling use.

 

By the looks of it I will just have to buy one when this pestilence is over and see how it sprays enamels, if the pigment is too large then the MRP option is available to me although I would prefer just to stick with my beloved enamels.

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I have a Micron CM-C V2 a lovely brush to hold and use, I didn't go with the Plus as I don't like the added bulk of the mico air control valve and the ability (in my hands) to act like a magnet for any paint spills.

Is it overkill for what I need, probably yes, but the way it sparys and atomizes the paint and the control you have with it is unreal. I have never had any trouble spraying properly thinned good quality modelling paints through it, be it Acylics/Lacqures/enamels.

Now the CM-C is a .23 needle, the CM-B a .18 now I don't know the effect this will have spraying, but I did have a H&S Infinity which had a .15 needle and that was terrible at spraying model paints I found.

I don't think for model paint you need anything lower than a .2 needle imho

The Mr Procond are also a lovely airbrush, but the just so heavy WA Platinum V2, so probably the one I use least of all

 

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I use a CM-B, not sure what the needle size is as it was purchased from eBay at a sensible price.

I only use it for mottling because it allows a lot of control. I also use enamels, and the paint consistency has to be quite thin, however I can't tell you any mix ratios as I don't check them.  I use ArcRite enamel thinners, which I get from eBay, because it is quite a 'hot' thinner, and flashes off very quickly. I have also had good results using Mr. Color Levelling thinner, but use it less as it is more expensive.

I spray without the crown cap fitted, and have a thinner-soaked cotton bud handy, as the needle/nozzle tip can dry out, so quite a lot of care is needed - replacing the needle & nozzle if they are damaged isn't cheap.

 

Finally, when it works well it's a joy to use, but there have been times when it has had to be placed carefully on the bench, whilst I have headed for the whiskey cabinet to calm myself down. Enjoy!

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for sharing that. 

 

It is as I hoped and expected but reassuring to have it confirmed by direct experience. I much prefer enamels to other paints and would rather not have to adopt another, although cellulose type paints are not too far away so may experiment with some MRP when I acquire the airbrush. However I prefer my paint not to dry off too quickly, enamels have the qualities and drying time I seek.

 

Paint/thinner ratios are not a problem as I would develop my own with through trial. I know that such a finely nozzled brush will need well thinned paint. My query was the suitability of enamel pigment size, as if too large to spray then no amount of thinning would alter that.

 

My airbrushing technique has always been up close and narrow, preferring the control that spraying at lower pressure and volume gives and the consequent variation of finish that such an approach allows. I like to cover by applying a series joined up "mottles" with paint going on slowly to give me time to see, react, control the paint build up and finish whilst avoiding flooding and over spray. Hence my desire for the finest airbrush, in spray and in quality, that I can get commensurate with it being able to use my paint of preference.

 

The Procon Creos PS-770 is still under consideration as I find the handle cut out on my Iwata Hi-Line HP-CH a very practical feature enabling a good needle/nozzle clean 'tween colours without removing the handle or needle. I must enquire about whether the Hi-Line HP-CH handle will fit the CM-B, that configuration would be my "ultimate" airbrush. The MAC valve and overall larger size of the PS-770 are its detracting features for me.

 

I suspect that I will end up acquiring both models.

 

Thank you to all who have posted for sharing your opinions, experience and insight.

Edited by dromia

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35 minutes ago, dromia said:

 

I must enquire about whether the Hi-Line HP-CH handle will fit the CM-B, that configuration would be my "ultimate" airbrush. The MAC valve and overall larger size of the PS-770 are its detracting features for me.

Yes, definitely check first as Iwata don’t seem to go in for a standard approach.

 

I know for certain that the my HP-B Plus and my Eclipse CS handles are not interchangeable.  It’s not the diameter of the handle that looks exactly the same, and my first thought was that they the same, but closer inspection showed that the threads are totally different.

 

Nigel

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Yes, standardisation is something that modern manufacturers in all things seem to avoid in their ever increasing drive to get us to consume in an excess that is grossly unsustainable. Built in, real time, obsolescence seems the only standard in modern manufacturing, god forbid that anyone would wish to repair, reuse or adapt a product. Such a subversive anathema to profit should surely not be permitted.

 

I suspect that it will not fit as the CM-B looks to be an overall smaller airbrush than the HP-CH, I shall enquire of the retailer though, as they say in the vernacular "shy bairns get nowt"!

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On 4/19/2020 at 8:53 AM, dromia said:

Yes, standardisation is something that modern manufacturers in all things seem to avoid in their ever increasing drive to get us to consume in an excess that is grossly unsustainable. Built in, real time, obsolescence seems the only standard in modern manufacturing, god forbid that anyone would wish to repair, reuse or adapt a product. Such a subversive anathema to profit should surely not be permitted.

 

I suspect that it will not fit as the CM-B looks to be an overall smaller airbrush than the HP-CH, I shall enquire of the retailer though, as they say in the vernacular "shy bairns get nowt"!

If you want standardisation, I would move to the Harder & Steenbeck Range. 

 

Paul 

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I've been using a PS 770 since last Fall, and it's an incredible airbrush, very fine lines and it can spray even water based acrylics like Vallejo and Lifecolor through its 0.18 mm needle without much tip dry. I've also experimented with an Olympos 0.18 needle micron as well (apparently it is the grandfather of the Iwata Custom Mircron). It produces even finer lines that the 770, but is also very finicky and should probably only be used with fine enamels and lacquers.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, little-cars said:

If you want standardisation, I would move to the Harder & Steenbeck Range. 

 

Paul 

I admire your H&S proselytising and hope that your vigorous championing of the brand brings you many sales.

 

As I have previously stated in this thread my own experiences with H&S have not been good finding them fiddly, agricultural and ergonomically awkward to use. The Iwata's to me are infinitely superior airbrushes and well worth the extra expense in the pleasure that using them gives, I always approached using my H&S airbrush with a distinct lack of relish and invariably reverted to using my trusty Efbe's so the H&S sat unused and unloved even although I diligently applied my self to using it and trying to over come my negative issues with it.

 

When I finally bought the Iawata HP-CH I was astounded that there could be so much difference 'tween brushes seeing as they are fundamentally similar tools that only appear different in details, I am still intrigued as to why such a difference and can only assume that it is the cumulative effect of the details that builds into such a striking difference. To me just holding an Iwata is a pleasure whereas holding my H&S just felt awkward, cumbersome and plain not right. Even although it worked as advertised and successfully laid down paint.

 

I have Aztek, Badger and Efbe brushes on my bench as well as my Iwata and enjoy using them all, the H&S however did not "sing" to me like the others do and so it went.

 

What this does tell me is that most quality airbrushes will do the job within their specifications and in laying down paint they all do it well enough. Airbrushes are just a tool at the end of the day but like all tools finding one that gives you pleasure in its use as well as doing the job turns what can be a chore into a joy.

 

Such things are ultimately personal in explanation and this means that different makes and their characteristics will no doubt hold different appeal to different people hence the plethora of makes and models on the market, such choice we are told can only be good for the customer. Cost is also a factor and extra quality/feel benefits may not justify extra cost to some users. Standardisation is indeed a plus factor to me in an airbrush line, or anything else for that matter, but that in and of itself is not sufficient to overcome the qualities lacking I found with H&S airbrushes.

 

I am sure that many people will enjoy using H&S brushes to ensure you sales into the future, however this airbrush user will not be one of them, having drunk of that particular "Kool-Aid" and found it wanting.

Edited by dromia

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5 hours ago, Cookenbacher said:

I've been using a PS 770 since last Fall, and it's an incredible airbrush, very fine lines and it can spray even water based acrylics like Vallejo and Lifecolor through its 0.18 mm needle without much tip dry. I've also experimented with an Olympos 0.18 needle micron as well (apparently it is the grandfather of the Iwata Custom Mircron). It produces even finer lines that the 770, but is also very finicky and should probably only be used with fine enamels and lacquers.

Thank you for your insight, the more I speak with users the PS770 is consistently praised.

 

My Efbe B1 fixed with its nominal 0.2mm needle is the same as your Olympos it can spray very fine lines indeed but needs very finely pigmented colourings.

 

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On 4/9/2020 at 6:55 AM, dromia said:

Thanks for the reply I have owned a Harder and Steenbeck in the past but it was one of the few airbrushes I let go, it worked fine enough I just found it fiddly and agricultural. It just didn't suit me at all and I could never work up any enthusiasm for it so it languished.

Interesting that's the way I felt  about most of the Iwata brushes when I used them, different spares set for each brush,  tiny paint nozzles, fixed paint cups and limited nozzle sizes for each brush. 

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2 minutes ago, little-cars said:

Interesting that's the way I felt  about most of the Iwata brushes when I used them, different spares set for each brush,  tiny paint nozzles, fixed paint cups and limited nozzle sizes for each brush. 

"Such things are ultimately personal in explanation and this means that different makes and their characteristics will no doubt hold different appeal to different people hence the plethora of makes and models on the market, such choice we are told can only be good for the customer."

 

 

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On 4/21/2020 at 10:43 AM, little-cars said:

Interesting that's the way I felt  about most of the Iwata brushes when I used them, different spares set for each brush,  tiny paint nozzles, fixed paint cups and limited nozzle sizes for each brush. 

Genuine question, out of interest who copied who.

 

We often hear of the H&S innovative, tools-free design, but the Iwata Eclipse shares that design.  I don’t know who came up with it first, which is why I am asking, who came up with it first?

 

BTW I have no brand loyalty (H&S is now owned by Iwata any way), I happen to have Iwata but consider Iwata and H&S pretty equal and for UK buyers I have often recommended H&S on here because the purchase and maintenance price is considerably lower for equal performance and quality.

 

Found these dates for H&S.

 

First dual action airbrush - 1956 - before that seemed to be more industrial spray equipment

Evolution first released - 1998


But not clear whether the nozzle design came with the Evolution in 1998 or existed before that. 

 

Can’t find much about Iwata.  They were definitely making airbrushes before H&S but no specific details.

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel

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On 4/9/2020 at 7:47 AM, dromia said:

Thank you for the reply.

 

That is the nub of my question, is the Custom Micron just too fine an airbrush to give its best performance with the pigments of my chosen enamel paints?

 

What paints have you been using through your Custom Micron?

I mostly use lacquer based acrylics such as Mr Paint and Mr Color. I do use enamels too but haven't tried them through the CM.

 

Duncan B

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Well I bought the CM-B (V2) which has just arrived from my chosen supplier for all things airbrush, Air-craft.net. I have been dealing with with this Lochaber company for a year or two now and have found them faultless, excellent service, good prices as well as being extremely knowledgeable and helpful even Parcel Farce managed to do the 48hour express delivery in under 24 hours.

 

I have only had a couple of hours trigger time with it but I am completely satisfied and then some, for me it has been worth every penny spent on it.

 

I have only used Colour Coats enamel thinned with their own brand of thinners to date but my fears about enamel pigments being too coarse for the CM-B (V2) were totally unfounded. I was doing a Track colour mottle pattern as an undercoating on a black primer. I thinned the paint 50%-50% with the thinners turned down the air volume control to just above shut of and set the pressure on my compressor to 9 PSI when spraying, that is what the gauge said but I could not verify as to its integrity.

 

The CM-B sprayed straight away giving nice consistently thin lines with the nozzle cap on however when I went for a bit more air there were indications that 'twas on the cusp of spidering so I stopped, emptied the cup and added a bit more colour so the mix was a tad more paint than thinner and set too again.

 

Absolutely fantastic in all respects, The way it consistently atomises the paint at such low pressure and volume settings is truly amazing allowing me to really get close up and personal with the models surface, putting down fine consistent layers of paint with amazing control and ease, which I suspect is also a function of the brushes fine ergonomics, high quality construction and materials. It is a handy compact  brush which fits my hand perfectly with the trigger position and height being just right for me. the trigger pad has a nice profile and grip surface that hold the finger in place effortlessly. As I said I have just finished a two hour session with none of the tiredness or crampiness that I have got from some other brushes.

 

For me spraying with nozzle cap on the lines were marginally thinner than with my Hi-Line HP-CH but with the cap off the lines were hair thin and even. 'Pon reflection I have got very near as good work from my Hi-Line HP-CH but where the CM-B (V2) excels is in the ease in which it gives these results. The trigger "sweet spot" has far more latitude than the Hi-Line HP-CH to get it to spray fine you had to get the trigger spot just right and hold it, a 1/64ths of an inch either way and you lost it. The CM-B (V2) just sits there and the fine trigger control is in direct proportion to the finesse of the spray, it just makes spraying fine so easy. With the the nozzle cap removed allowing me to get right up close the spray was minuscule, absolutely stunning.

 

The quality and finish of the brush is exemplar and that all helps building confidence in the tool and adds greatly to the joy of its use. Also for the record there does seem to be some standardisation in Iwata airbrushes at least across the Custom Micron range, and I suspect the other ranges. The cutaway handle from the CM-C Plus (V2) will fit the CM-B (V2) and I have one on order from the Fort William shop. Also the Custom Micron heads are interchangeable so I could add the 0.23 mm head set up from the CM-Cs if I wanted too and I suspect the the reverse would be true if CM-C users wanted to drop down to the 0.18 mm head. So more standardisation than perhaps some would lead us to believe.

 

I have a long way to go to get the best from this brush mainly about me developing steadying techniques to get the most from the brushes finesse, 1/72 scale seatbelts would be a doddle to spray freehand without masking so long as I can manage to keep the brush steady.

 

So all in all a very happy Iwata Custom Micron CM-B (V2) owner here. Not a purchase for everyone methinks but I wanted very specific capabilities from the airbrush due my chosen style of working and the Iwata CM-B (V-2) meets those needs in spades. The Procon Boy 0.18mm airbrush seems to be as good in the delivery department, the only reason that wasn't bought was it is a bigger gun and has a MAC valve. I wanted something smaller and compact as I don't like the MAC valve up by the nozzle especially when I have one fitted to my quick disconnect so I have the "MAC" facility with all my airbrushes. Eighty quid more for less, such is the way of this strange world.

 

As to price this gun is not cheap but exceptional value for money, once you've got to the point where you have decided to be spending more than a couple of hundred quid on your airbrush then going beyond that for the benefits you may get from a higher end brush isn't a struggle.

 

Not a brush for every task and I wouldn't want to be priming an Airfix 1/24th scale Stuka with it, but when it comes to those fine, close up and personal spray needs then in my book there is none better. Combine that with a tool that exudes quality, feels quality and is quality and you have an airbrush to be proud of.

 

Talking about priming my next order to the Lochaber lads when my cutaway handle comes in will include a Mr Procon Boy LWA Trigger PS 290 with pistol grip.

 

Many thanks to those of you who have been so positive and helpful to me in choosing the Iwata CM-B (V2).

Edited by dromia

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Sounds like our airbrush journeys have been pretty similar. I started out using H&S brushes, but having bought an Iwata Hi-Line I've ended up investing reasonably heavily in their range - I currently have two Custom Micron's (a CM-C2 Plus and a CM-C2) and a couple of Hi-Line and an Eclipse which I use as an all rounder. A lot is made of how tricky Iwata's are to clean and that is true, the crown caps are tiny and easy to lose should you drop one, however what I found that with the Iwata's I have ended up spending less time having to strip them down and cleaning them compared with the Infinity CR's I owned. The Iwata's are also, for me, more refined to use and I prefer the end results. At the end of the day as with many things it is down to personal choice, for me, I like you have chosen the Iwata route and am more than happy with the results. Congrats on the Micron. 

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Thank you.

 

I actually find the Iwatas very easy to clean and don't know where the difficult reputation comes from.

 

Yes the nozzle and attendant parts are indeed small, as are many things in this particular avocation that we pursue. So forewarned is fore armed for me, I have a plastic bowl that I do all my airbrush cleaning over, so if anything decides emancipate itself during the cleaning/stripping process the bowl apprehends the vagrant part.

 

My Optivisor also enlarges the parts admirably.

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