Friday, July 9, 2010

Model Expo Online portable spray booth review.

The spray booth. Unfolded with a Deff Dread on it. To the left is an Evolution 2in1 airbrush and a bunch of Vallejo Model Air.

So I've been doing a lot of airbrushing lately and a week ago I kinda got fed up with inhaling paint dust and solvents from the window cleaning fluid I use to dilute paints. (And I felt kinda bad for the cats). Now I work in a pretty well ventilated area. There's an A/C unit right above the painting area, but I guess it just moves the particles around. Not trapping them. Which lead me to look for a spray booth of some sort.

In Sweden, most of the paint booths are made for ad-agencies using spray glue (anyone still use that stuff? Post-It makes excellent glue sticks) and are priced accordingly. The best price I found for an Artograph booth was at around €500. Which is way too expensive. In the USA though, Model Expo Online introduced a "portable" spray booth that folds into itself to make a pretty compact unit. Perfect for my needs.

After shopping around a little, I found a german retailer (important since I want a 240VAC unit) that sold it for slightly less than €100. The shopping process was nice and smooth and 3 days later the big brown van was here with the booth.

I'll skip boring you trusty reader(s) with the tech specs. The only important thing to note is that it only moves 3 m3 of air, which translates to about 100 cubic feet per minute. This is said – on the internetz – to be enough for most hobby related airbrushing. And is the absolute minimum the OSHA recommends for a spray booth. So if you're spraying enamels or solvent based stuff. Please don't go cheap. Buy proper stuff.

And... there's no duct for venting fumes out a window. Which isn't a problem with the Vallejo stuff since it really doesn't smell much at all. Some users have apparently attached a duct to it without any problems. There are four mounting screws on the back (for the fan grille) and I guess it conforms to some sort of standard.

So far I've primed a bunch of models in it, and used it for some general basecoating and it seems to work well. I can clearly see the bigger particles blowing into the booth, and I hope the smaller ones does as well.

All in all, a pretty good booth for your money. Especially if you – like me – have limited space.

You can watch a pretty cheesy video here, with handling instructions and stuff. Enjoy.

The other hobby related thing I've recieved the last week was this seam scraper from Micro Mark. This thing is amazing!

I've usually used a scalpel blade to scrape mold seams on my minis. Quickly dulling the blade and sometimes creating really ugly scrape marks on the figure.

This thing is made of hardened tool steel (whatever that means) and is shaped like a triangle. I can use it to scrape mold lines and remove bits of sprue that's still attached. Without any ugly marks. It actually is hard to make scrape marks with this tool. Well worth the $10 and the $10 in shipping.

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