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Iwata Eclipse HP-CS

Iwata Eclipse HP-CS Airbrush First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of First Look November 2004 Manufacturer Iwata
Subject Eclipse HP-CS Pros Precision double-action airbrush, nice balance
Cons   MSRP (USD) $175.00

First Look

Iwata Eclipse HP-CS
Iwata Eclipse HP-CS

Iwata Eclipse HP-CS

For those of us who've been modeling 'a while', there have been only two choices for airbrushes - Pasche and Badger. In fact, I own one of each. The Pasche single action airbrush is elegant in its simplicity and is excellent for airbrushing large surface areas. My Badger 150 double action airbrush was used for more precise work, but it started leaking in places it shouldn't and I couldn't seem to get help or parts to revive it.

  • A single action airbrush is one that airflow is controlled by pushing down on a trigger on the top of the brush, whilst paint flow is controllable by twisting the flow tip in and out of the airstream.
  • A double action airbrush is one where airflow is controlled by pushing down on the trigger and paint flow is adjusted by moving the tigger forward or back which moves a needle valve.
  • A bottom feed airbrush is one where a removable cup or bottle is attached to the bottom of the airbrush and the vacuum caused by the venturi effect of airflow over the tip draws paint up into the airstream.
  • A gravity feed airbrush is one with a cup on top of the airbrush where paint flows down into the airstream by gravity and controlled by a needle valve.

When I first heard of Iwata airbrushes, I was a bit skeptical that they could have a tool that was much different than what was readily available from Pasche or Badger, but I was wrong. When my Badger 150 finally gave up, I bought the gravity feed, double-action Iwata Revolution CR. Straight out of the box, this airbrush was comfortable to hold. It comes with a metal rear handle which provides the brush excellent balance in the hand. I had to buy aftermarket metal handles to achieve the same feeling for my Badger and Pasche airbrushes.

After using the Iwata Revolution CR for a while, I'm spoiled. The design of the airbrush make cleaning the Iwata much easier than the Badger. Regulating air and paint flow with the trigger is smoother as well. So far, the Iwata has made airbrushing a joy again.

A recent visit to my local hobby establishment revealed a surprise - they had an Iwata Eclipse HP-CS on sale at nearly half price. Of course I brought it home and here it is. It has a similar design to the my Revolution CR and with the following differences:

  • The needle valve in this Eclipse is .35mm where the Revolution's needle valve is .5mm, rendering a finer paint stream.
  • The rear handle is open to allow for unseating the needle valve without the risk of blowing air from using the trigger.

This airbrush is well-suited for detail work and/or working on smaller surfaces. As with the Revolution, this airbrush works well with the same thinned mixtures of enamels, acrylics and lacquers. This one is definitely a keeper.

If you are need an airbrush to cover larger surface areas, you should probably look at the Revolution. If you're airbrushing figures, armor details, smaller ship surfaces, etc., and you want precision in your work to minimize touch-ups, then this is the airbrush for you! Don't let the suggested retail price dissuade you as the street price and many prices on the internet are lower.

You can find the Iwata Eclipse HP-CS at your favorite hobby shop and if not, they can special order it for you. In the meantime, you can read more about these and the other cool products from Iwata by visiting their website at http://www.iwata-airbrush.com/

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