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How-To: Modifying Equipment

Most scale modelers are always looking for a high quality airbrush at an affordable price and often choose the Revolution or the Eclipse to meet their needs. Although the Eclipse is the more popular choice, the Revolution actually performs very much like the HP series at a fraction of the cost. I discovered this when I was looking to add a new “workhorse” to my arsenal and was curious about the Revolutions. Although the AR or BR models are better suited for detail, I prefer a larger cup so for that reason I decided on the CR. As you know it comes with a 0.50mm tip, but I opted to convert mine to a 0.30mm tip for better detail capabilities. I used the following parts to do this conversion, but I chose to use the needle for the HP-C+/CH because I discovered it sprays more like the HP series and I did not need to purchase the 0.30mm needle packing.

Fluid nozzle I-704-2
Nozzle cap I-702-2
Fluid needle I-075-3

Top: 0.05mm needle for CR. Notice the seconday taper.
Below: 0.30 mm needle for HP-C+. Notice the longer linear taper which is better for fine lines.

Like all my airbrushes, I modify and hand-tune each one to my liking. Iwata needles are already machine polished but in my experience I find that I can achieve fine lines with greater ease and less tip drying by polishing the needles even more. I use Mothers carnauba wax cleaner and a microfiber cloth, but any car polish will do. I focus my efforts on the front half of the needle especially the tip. As you polish the needle you will notice a black residue appear on the cloth. This is normal because what you are actually doing is removing tiny rough metal fragments off the needle unseen to the human eye. These fragments allow paint to build up on the needle which causes tip drying. I polish my needles to a mirror-like finish until there is little to no black residue.

On the left is the 0.50 mm nozzle cap for CR.
On the right is the 0.30 mm nozzle cap for AR/BR.

Replace the nozzle and the nozzle cap with the 0.30mm version. Be careful when replacing the nozzle because it can easily be over tightened and damaged. You also do not want to risk stripping the threads on the brush. Besides the new thread design not only centers the nozzles better, but also provides a better seal. You can apply some bees wax to the nozzle threading to get a good seal, but often unnecessary for a new brush. Insert the needle into the brush and check to see if there is a slight resistance. A good seal will prevent paint from leaking into the air valve but yet allow the needle to move freely through the packing screw. If it is loose tighten the packing screw a bit. Remove all the internals from the back end of the brush and turn the packing screw clockwise with a flat jeweler’s screwdriver. Turn it in small increments and check your progress by reinserting the needle after each adjustment. If it is too tight the needle will not seat properly against the nozzle.

Here is the needle packing screw and a flat jeweler’s screwdriver.

A simple modification I do to prevent fatigue is to cut off a coil or two from both the needle spring and the air valve spring for a softer trigger. Sometimes I replace the needle spring with a softer one from a ball point pen. Keep in mind that this is a personal preference so cutting springs may not matter to you. Others prefer a stiffer trigger to get better control, but that depends on the one who wields the brush.



Why are there no prices on your website?

Iwata Medea is the wholesale distributor of Iwata, Medea and Artool products in North and South America, and the UK, and does not sell directly to customers at this time. To purchase Iwata Medea or Artool products, please check our dealer pages for a reseller near you. Or call our customer service team at 503-253-7308 ext. 2000, and we’ll help you find a local reseller.