Airbrush IWATA Tips and Techniques Workshop tools

IWATA TAKUMI ECLIPSE: A MODERN TAKE ON A CLASSIC DESIGN

I take a look at a brand-new addition to IWATA's superb range of high-end airbrushes.

This is a fantastic addition to the Iwata range. Though it falls within the more expensive part of their Venn diagram of choices, those looking for a tool that will offer advanced features and thus results that allow developments across a wide range of techniques, will certainly feel it to be value for money.

For as long as I can remember, the airbrushing of models has been a fundamental part of my skill-set, using airbrushes and paints from a variety of manufacturers. From simple spray guns, through to expensive, artist-grade tools that offer incredible levels of finesse and control, the hobby has offered the modeller everything they could ask for, irrespective of skill-level or budget.

For the last 20 years or so, Iwata’s range of brushes have been my tools of choice. Within their full-spec range and their cut-price NEO offshoot, I’ve been able to finish models in a way that has matched my aspirations and ideas, with nothing in the way of surprises. Consistent quality, high-grade materials and designs that are as user-friendly as you can get, they have served me very well. You can therefore imagine my delight when I was asked to take a look at one of their latest designs, the Takumi Eclipse.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

The following is taken from the official Airbrush Company page:

“The Iwata Eclipse Takumi Side Feed Airbrush, first and foremost, has all of the spray attributes of Iwata Eclipse Series airbrushes. In addition this side feed model has a redesigned, compact body style for improved control and balance. This, combined with a new gravity assisted side feed cup improves paint flow, making Takumi remarkably responsive. The two-piece 0.24oz / 7ml cup design disassembles for easy cleaning and siphon cut lid helps reduce paint build-up. Iwata Eclipse Takumi also features a crown cap, a wide, adaptive main lever and a quick flush cutaway pre-set handle.”

  • Spray Scale: Fine to Wide – fine line to 2″ (0.35mm to 50mm)
  • Optimal Working Pressure: 25 – 35 psi psi (0.17 – 0.24 Mpa)
  • Head System: E3 – Needle, Nozzle, Nozzle Cap
  • Nozzle Type: Compression Fit
  • Needle Packing: PTFE needle packing and solvent-resistant in all paint-bearing areas
  • Feed Style: Side-feed
  • Paint Capacity: Easy to clean, two-piece gravity side-feed 0.24oz / 7ml cup with siphon-cut lid

IN THE BOX…

The airbrush comes to you in one of Iwata’s attractive boxes, one that protects the contents from any kind of damage thanks to its foam inserts. The first thing that strikes you is the size of this new brush: it’s tiny, very similar in length to their high-end Custom Micron. Smaller than many of the Iwata brushes that I’ve used and certainly a diminutive partner to the Procon Boy that also finds use in my studio, the brush feels more like a pen than an airbrush, sitting perfectly in you hand when in use. The second thing to grab the attention is that this brush is a no-frills affair, being more stripped back than the MAC-valved Eclipse brushes of the past. That in no small way accounts for the tool’s size, the shortened head assembly not having to feature a bulky valve ahead of the air inlet. Given that I can regulate the pressure of my airbrushes from a regulator on my desk, this was certainly no loss to me, the smaller size and lighter weight being preferable if I’m honest.

Quality of production is superb. Disassembly the brush revealed a familiar level of high-quality machining, clever design and ease of breakdown. The high price of this tool can be explained away by the materials used and the perfect finish that you can see across not only the smaller components, but the chrome finish, fit and fixtures. Part tolerance is also excellent. The side cup, design feature that it is, is a perfect friction-fit into either the left or right-hand socket depending on your personal preference. The tube at the base of the colour cup, incidentally, is solid and unlikely to break through use (which was certainly not the case with brushes from days of yore, where these parts were often less than resilient). As an aside, I noticed that although this brush is fitted with a gravity-fed side-cup, you can also fit it with bottles as well, the paint being drawn up through a siphon tube. Though not included in this package, recourse to the Airbrush Company website will no doubt reap rewards should you want to go down that route.

IN USE…

Anyone that has used any of Iwata’s dual-action airbrushes, will find little to surprise once this one is brought into action. Trigger action, both depressed for airflow and then drawn backwards to control paint, is smooth and comfortable. The size of the brush and the proximity of the head to your trigger finger allows an astonishing degree of control, movement around the model feeling more akin to painting it with a paintbrush close-in, than an airbrush from distance. That being so, I really feel that this new airbrush would be perfectly suited to such delicate work as that found on smaller-scale models, pin-point camouflage and even such things as figures, where delicate graduations of colour are needed. Pre-shade? Post-shade? That’s all possible and thanks to the size and weight of the brush, you’ll find that even lengthy painting sessions are competed with ease.

Final Thoughts

This is a fantastic addition to the Iwata range. Though it falls within the more expensive part of their Venn diagram of choices, those looking for a tool that will offer advanced features and thus results that allow developments across a wide range of techniques, will certainly feel it to be value for money. I’ve mentioned the quality of this new tool already, but that does bear repeating, because you really are getting something superb for your money, proving that old adage to be correct: you pay for what you get.

A superb new airbrush then and one that we can wholeheartedly recommend. Thanks to The Airbrush Company for the same reviewed this month.

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I'm formerly the editor in charge of Military In Scale magazine and latterly, Model Airplane International. Editing duties to one side, I'm now a full-time modelmaker with Doolittle Media, working to supply modelling articles and material for a number of their group titles, including MAI and Tamiya Model Magazine International. I'm also an avid fan of Assassin's creed, Coventry City FC and when the mood takes me, a drummer of only passing skill. Here though, you'll find what I do best: build models and occassionally, write about them!

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