Modeling Products

Reviews of general scale modeling products such as paint, glue, etc.

Late US Navy Paint Set

Published: April 5th, 2015     
Late US Navy Paint Set
Reviewed by: Rob Benson, IPMS# 44038
Company: Hataka Hobby

Thanks to Hataka Hobby and Steven International for sending samples of this new line of acrylic model paint.  Thank you to the IPMS Reviewer Corps for letting me review them!  I am very appreciative of the chance to contribute back to the scale-modeling community. 

TRN1 Pistol Grip Airbrush

Published: February 13th, 2015     
TRN1 Pistol Grip Airbrush
Reviewed by: Jim Coatney, IPMS# 46815
Scale: N/A
Company: Iwata Medea

The NEO line is Iwata’s entry-level airbrush and is advertised as ideal for first-time airbrush users. Per Iwata, “Think you want to give airbrushing a try? Not sure you want to spend much to get started? The NEO is perfect for you…. AND you’ll have a great first experience! Iwata-Medea designed the NEO for the first time user.”

The Basics

The TRN1 is a gravity-feed, dual-action, internal-mix, pistol-grip brush. The paint cup is removable, and two sizes (10cc and 2cc) are included. The needle is .35mm. No air hose is included.

Impressions

This is the first-pistol grip airbrush I’ve used, and I was surprised by how immediately it felt ‘right’ in my hand. It’s heavy enough to feel solid, but no too heavy to feel cumbersome. It is nicely balanced, so I was able to get comfortable with it in short order. 

Glue Applicator

Published: January 8th, 2015     
Glue Applicator
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Hauler

Hauler’s glue applicator will definitely get you into tight spaces with just the right amount of glue for tiny jobs. Handle this product just as you would any photo etched piece, removing the tips from the carrier sheet in the same manner as a photo etched part would be removed.

Hauler provides 17 single tips and 16 double tips in the product package.

To use the product, simply remove the tip from the carrier sheet and insert it in an Xacto Knife handle (the type that has a threaded collar that loosens and tightens down on the Xacto blade or, in this case the photo etch Hauler Glue tip.

The business end of the tip narrows down into two arms that have a slot in between which, when dipped into super glue, will hold a very small quantity of the adhesive in that slot. Simply touch the tip to the part(s) being glued and you’re done!

The tips are reusable, right up to the time when you drop the tool and the tip bends….no no biggie since you’ve got 32 more tips in the bag!

Neo CN for Iwata Airbrush

Published: December 31st, 2014     
Neo CN for Iwata Airbrush
Reviewed by: Greg Wise, IPMS# 44378
Company: Iwata Medea

As the name Neo implies, this is Iwata’s entry-level airbrush label, and it is offered in the two main styles of airbrushes: siphon- or gravity-feed. Our review sample is the Neo CN, a gravity-feed type. Gravity-feed airbrushes perform well at lower air pressures, which help create greater detail.

Another differentiating feature between airbrushes is the trigger style: single- or dual-action. To explain the difference in simple terms, a single-action trigger delivers paint and air at the same time when depressed. The dual-action trigger has a slide, which means when you depress the trigger only air comes out, but as you slide the trigger aft it feeds the paint out around the needle. Our Neo CN has a dual-action trigger with a 0.35 mm needle and nozzle combination. Most lower-end airbrushes are commonly single-action.  

Airbrush Cleaning Kit

Published: December 26th, 2014     
Airbrush Cleaning Kit
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Scale: NA
Company: Iwata Medea

For many modelers the airbrush is one of the most significant tools that they possess, and it can also be one of the most finicky tools. If not kept clean then the airbrush will not provide the “quality” paint job for which it was purchased in the first place. We all have our accessories for cleaning these devices and I found a “cleaning set” by Iwata that combines a number of these tools into one package. Don’t tell the Iwata folks but I also use a Grex, a Badger, and a Passche, and I’ve found that the Iwata Cleaning Kit works on all of the airbrushes.

The price varies from around $20 to $28.95, the former being a “sale” price and the later being the MSRP. Do some shopping and you’ll find a low price. Also be aware that these items are popular and it is not uncommon to find them “out of stock”.

Inside the plastic box are some items that you’ll recognize and some that you won’t, so let’s look at each item and its purpose.

Airbrush Cleaning Mat

Published: December 26th, 2014     
Airbrush Cleaning Mat
Reviewed by: Dave and Camden Koukol, IPMS# 46287
Scale: NA
Company: Iwata Medea

Finally!  Yes --finally a product to relieve the angst of modelers worrying about losing or damaging delicate and precision parts during the dreaded airbrush cleaning process.  It’s simple, it’s attractive, and it’s ingenious – it’s Iwata’s Raised Ridge Airbrush Cleaning Mat.

Although, unfortunately, it does not clean your airbrush for you, it provides a soft, durable surface with a raised boundary edge – much akin to a giant mouse pad with wall around the edges.  Springs, nozzles, needles, tips, seals, and the like have little to no chance of escaping into the jaws of the carpet monster or into cracks between work surfaces.  It’s non-skid backing keeps it securely in place – even against moderate bumps or jostles while moving around at the workbench.

Kudos to Iwata for this gem!  I highly recommend this product to all airbrush owners who actually tear down their airbrushes for cleaning.  You can’t go wrong with this – especially for under $20!

Thanks to Iwata-Medea and Tag Team Hobbies for the sample item, and to IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review it.

LED Magnifier

Published: December 26th, 2014     
LED Magnifier
Reviewed by: Dave and Camden Koukol, IPMS# 46287
Scale: NA
Company: Iwata Medea

Ever wonder what kind of condition your airbrush needles or nozzles are really in?  It’s tough to tell without some magnification help (more than your garden-variety optivisor) and some good lighting.  As part of its expanding line of cleaning accessories, Iwata has introduced a 30/60X magnifier with LED lighting to provide a one-tool solution to satisfy that need. 

Although my sample’s internal switch was a bit touchy (had to jiggle the assembly a bit to get it to stay on), the quality of the test subject images was exceptional at 30X and 60X under both the white and the blue lights.

Upon concluding my tests, I took a couple of minutes to determine battery type and accessibility.  After disassembling the outer case (snap fit), it was apparent that the batteries were of the wrist-watch variety and could be accessed by removing 4 tiny phillips-head screws from the inner case.

I recommend this product to all airbrush owners who actually tear down their airbrushes for cleaning and have interest in the health and condition of critical precision components. 

AH-1G Canopy Masks

Published: December 19th, 2014     
AH-1G Canopy Masks
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner, Jr, IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard

If anyone knows me they know I love the AH-1 Cobra.  I never had the opportunity to fly the AH-1G but I’ve always wanted to.  Special Hobbies finally released their series of AH-1 models.  For now they have just released the G model but it is an awesome little model.  Like many modelers, I hope they release it in 1/48th and 1/35th scale someday. 

The AH-1G had a slightly bulged canopy, which can cause a challenge for some modelers to mask.  Special Hobbies was nice enough to produce the canopy doors separate so you can pose them open or closed.  The masks will make this chore so much simpler.  There are outline masks for the entire canopy framework.  You will need liquid mask to fill in the center but Eduard provides the outline.   Special Hobbies provides the option of having the ground handling wheels, which is a nice touch for the diorama builder.  So naturally if there are wheels Eduard provides you with masks for them as well.