by: Adie Roberts [ ]
On May 1, 1926, the Iwata company started out as a small workshop renting a part of a factory in the town of Toyosawa in Shibuya, Tokyo, and it was equipped with only two used lathes. The company was founded by two brothers: Hatsutaro Iwata and Sukezo Iwata. The older brother, Hatsutaro, was born in August 1901, and the younger brother, Sukezo, who continued to support his older siblings throughout his life, was born in May 1905.
Amongst their firsts was the first spray gun ever created in Japan.
1928, they started to manufacture and sell small-sized air compressors.
1985 Developed the world's first electric, multi-articulated coating robot together with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
On May 1st, 2016, ANEST IWATA reached 90 years since its foundation. ANEST IWATA has led the coating equipment and air compressor field in the Japanese market for over 90 years since they were established, and continue to supply the world’s first products. The “ANEST“ in ”ANEST IWATA”, their company name, contains the sentiment of “Active & Newest Technology,” their aspiration to be a development-oriented company that is always vigorous and possesses cutting-edge technologies.
Now in its 94th year, they had no idea just how big their corporation was going to get, as they have always thought that it was a company that just made airbrushes and compressors, they have learnt that it is so much more than this and have over the last 94 years achieved so much in the coating system market including many firsts, some of which are listed above.
iwata packaging is a carton box with lots of high density foam inside to protect the airbrush, it has a sleeve to slip the main carton into the colours and artwork (picture of the actual brush) is very good and had me not being able to wait to open it. Once open you have a very small but adequate packaging, a sticker to put up in your man cave, a piece of paper which shows you what you can do with the airbrush, the airbrush itself which looks very attractive in the light blue foam protecting it from damage in transit also in the box is a small spanner to remove the front head cap a tube of iwata needle lube
I have had airbrushes for many years starting right back with an old badger siphon feed airbrush still alive and in the man cave somewhere, then comes life children, wife and work then I had the injury that eventually left me disabled and this is when I came back into modelling. My old Badger airbrush was in need of some repair so I started to look around for a new airbrush and found one that I really liked the reviews on and decided to buy one, it was a Harder and Steenbeck Evolution silver line 2 in 1 and I have stuck with Harder and Steenbeck ever since.
I was given this Iwata Eclipse HP-CS all-star versatility to review via Airbrushes.com and the KitMaker Network; I was at first sceptical and was not sure I was going to be able to adjust!
Iwata is now using a five-step grading process for their airbrushes, this is done to make it easier to be able to select an airbrush that will be the right one for you and an airbrush suitable for the task you desire it for. Tthe grades are as follows
Grade One-Absolute Precision
Grade Two-Total Control
Grade Three-All Star Versatility
Grade Four-Effortless Coverage
Grade Five-Full Finish
The Iwata Eclipse HP-CS All-Star Versatility is what you would call a mid-range offering of the iwata Eclipse airbrushes. This airbrush has the same breakdown as most other airbrushes which follow the same or similar pattern.
Needle cap which is hand tightened
Nozzle cap hand tight
Head cap which comes with a spanner to untighten it inside is the nozzle.
The main body like on just about all airbrushes has the back end unscrew and is only hand tight, once-off you have the blunt end of the needle with its chuck nut which when un-tightened allows you to remove the needle, again just like other needles this part is quite possibly the easiest part of an airbrush to damage! The Eclipse comes with a 7ml fluid cup allowing you to be able to cover quite a large area; may be more than a modeller might need unless spraying the hull of a 1/200 scale ship. I did, however, find it quite hard to remove the cup lid the first time though now it seems much better after taking it off and putting it on several times.
Now onto the use of the airbrush for the first time and this is the first time for a while as my compressor went wrong and trying to find someone who sells the parts for the compressor is not as straight forward as it sounds. So my best friend gave me his older compressor again one I had not used before so I was more than a little apprehensive the first time, on holding the airbrush I did find myself comparing it to the Harder and Steenbeck Evolution which has been my airbrush of choice for a number of years, so with this in mind I connected my quick release connector to the Eclipse, loaded some Mig Ammo King Tiger exterior colours Olivegrun Opt2 A.mig002 which is now my most favourite of all the paints that I use for airbrushing.
Now as this is the first time of use I decided to use it on some card just to test it at first before going through the grading process that they have used to help choose which airbrush is more suitable.
Onto the test of the Eclipse HP-CS
Using some thick grade paper I started to spray at the recommended psi (please see chart below) I found that I personally was not getting the control I expected or desired and it was pushing to much paint out. I lowered the pressure to 15 psi and found that I had much better control at 15 psi I did some line work swirls just to get the feel for it and I decided to lower the pressure to 10 psi and then went onto a test of the grading of how iwata list their airbrushes which in this case is grade 3 All-Star Versatility for the Eclipse HP-CS, I lost count on how many pieces of paper I used doodling and practising I found myself really enjoying using this airbrush.
So back to the grading process
Grade Two Total Control, pretty much there overall and I would say again, that someone without my disabilities would find that the total control was there.
Grade Three All-Star Versatility now this one was spot on being able to do some fine lines perhaps finer than I imagined it would be able to produce free hand the same for medium and semi-wide no issues with this at all.
Grade Four Effortless Coverage, now this was spot on and with the larger 7ml cup will also help to not having to stop while covering a large area, it is effortless
Spray Performance Category
Series - Eclipse
Spray Scale - Fine to Wide
Optimal Working Pressure - 25 - 35 psi (0.17 - 0.24 Mpa)
Head System - E3 - Needle, Nozzle, Nozzle Cap
Nozzle Type - Compression Fit
Feed Style - Gravity
Paint Capacity - 0.24 oz (7 ml)
Action - Dual
Handle Type - Single Cut
Net Weight (lbs) - 0.25
Net Weight (kg) - 0.11
Assembled Dimensions (in) - 1.10 x 6.10 x 2.64
Assembled Dimensions (mm) - 28 x 155 x 67
Cleaning the airbrush was straight forward I used my two cleaning products that I have used for a while now Ultimate thinners followed by Ultimate airbrush cleaner and all looked pristine. When I removed the needle and took the head cap off I removed the needle cap and found a pristine looking needle cap, the nozzle cap on the other hand had some residual paint in it which I cleaned with some ultimate airbrush cleaner, the nozzle itself was a bit more difficult to clean though I am hoping that it will not be too much of a problem on going.
This Iwata airbrush that I have done the review on is the Eclipse HP-CS which is a Graded as Three All-Star Versatility, mid-range and able to do some fine work through medium and up to quite wide and it does just that, enough to be able to use on pretty much all the models that you are going to make and enabling the user with practice to achieve everything from semi-fine to medium and through to semi-wide coverage.
Now remember for the last blah blah years I have been using a Harder and Steenbeck Evolution, which I have always stuck with, but...... I am so impressed with this Iwata Eclipse HP-CS airbrush, so much more than I thought I would be if honest and I am coming around to a change of base due to using this airbrush.
The quality of the manufacturing process is to a very high standard and is so good that it gives you the feeling of true quality. I find it hard to critic this airbrush apart from the needle cap and nozzle cap being the only gripe and this is very minor. I am used to a needle cap that is easier to be able to wipe clean and actually able to get to the tip of the needle allowing for easier and faster cleaning. I believe there is a different crown that you can buy for the Eclipse which is likely to make it a slightly easier process for cleaning.
Overall I am very impressed with this airbrush and feel that I may be converting, the build as I have already said is top quality, for me with the disabilities that I have I found it to be quite easy to control without any mishaps or pain. Would I recommend this to a beginner, someone who has had experience with airbrushing or a professional I would have to wholeheartedly have to say YES?