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Iwata Revolution TR2

Iwata Revolution TR2 Airbrush First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of First Look June 2006 Manufacturer Iwata
Subject Revolution TR2 Pros Precision double-action airbrush, nice balance, conventional trigger control
Cons MSRP (USD) $239.95

First Look

Iwata Revolution TR2
Iwata Revolution TR2
Iwata Revolution TR2

Iwata Revolution TR2

I've used a number of brands of airbrush over the years and have had the opportunity to try out a few more, but I have become a die-hard user of Iwata airbrushes. We've had the opportunity to review a few airbrushes out of the Eclipse and Revolution lines and I can tell you that a number of Cybermodeler's builders and reviewers have become Iwata converts as well.

So what's the difference? I've been using the Iwata Revolution CR for several years now and I've been very impressed with the engineering that makes this tool a joy to clean. For those of you who use another brand of double-action airbrush, you know how difficult it is to reassemble the airbrush after a thorough cleaning. The spring-loaded curved part that holds the trigger in the forward position will get loose and requires some careful placement and a number of 'colorful metaphors' to reinstall. Iwata engineered the assemblies to be easily removed and just as easily reassembled. A full breakdown, clean, and reassembly of the other brand would take 10-20 minutes, the Iwata is clean and ready in two. The thought of cleaning a gravity-fed airbrush used to make me cringe until I bought my CR.

I was recently out on the Iwata website and spotted this new series of airbrushes. The TR1 is a precision airbrush with a .3mm nozzle, whilst the TR2 features a .5mm nozzle. More of interest is the unique airgun design - a conventional trigger under the airbrush instead of the push-down button atop the 'normal' airbrush. I decided to give one a try!

The TR2 comes with a side-mounted 1.5 ounce paint cup and a moisture trap that mounts to the bottom of the airbrush. If this looks awkward, trust me, it feels great in my hand. Note that there is a small plug in the left side of the airbrush between the trigger and the nozzle. This merely a paint block as there are holes on both sides of the airbrush for the paint cup to accommodate left and right-handed users. The block plugs the hole not in use.

I added one of Iwata's quick-release connectors to the bottom of the moisture trap and snapped it onto my air line. A quick blow of some Iwata airbrush cleaner through the cup gave me a feel for the portion of the trigger that is air only, and the range of flow after that point. But how well does it work?

I just happened to have a project that needed some touch-up work. I put some Vallejo ModelAir acrylic into the paint cup and fired a test shot. I had to turn down the air pressure - I normally shoot at 12 psi and Vallejo works well at that pressure with the CR. It was still coming out a little too well out of the TR2 at 8 psi, but part of the problem is nothing more than getting acquainted with TR2's feel.

The paint control and spray pattern were very precise by the time I was ready to apply paint to the model. There are several advantages of this design over conventional top or bottom feed airbrushes:

  • The airgun-styled trigger is more intuitive for control
  • The inline moisture trap will catch any condensation build-up in your paint lines even if you have a moisture trap on your compressor - not an issue if you live in the desert, but if you're out where its 100 degrees and 100% humidity, it's not a bad idea
  • The side mounted cup is adjustable - how many times have you spilled paint because you've aimed your airbrush too far up or down to get into a particular spot? You can rotate that cup a full 360 degrees and airbrush hanging from your trapeze (if you're into that sort of thing...)
  • The wide range of flow makes this airbrush at higher air pressures very much like a paint gun and will cover larger areas very well, something that I used to keep another company's single action airbrush for - until now

This airbrush is a little more expensive but I recommend this tool for the more particular modeler that wants the best tools and to get the job done with the least fuss.

You can find the Iwata Revolution TR2 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