Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Quick Review:
Neo/Iwata CN airbrush

One of the major points I try to tell people when the "I wanna airbrush, what airbrush should I get?"-question pops up is that the cheap ones you see for €50 seldom is a good choice since you run the risk of getting a lemon. And once you bend a needle or loose a seal you have to get a new one instead of just replacing a part. (Yes, I know there are some knockoffs that have their lineage mapped. But meh)

The problem is that you then have to get yourself a €90-150 airbrush just to have warranty and ready access to replacement parts. Until a couple of months ago when the Neo (let's just call it Neo from now on even though it's an Neo for Iwata) arrived on the scene.

Built in Korea apparently, but with Iwata specs, which kinda makes it a less quality controlled Iwata.

Now, I'm a Harder & Steeenbeeekk user. So I'm not really up to spec with how Iwata airbrushes work. But I needed another airbrush for spraying on primer, varnishes and general basecoating. The 0.15 nozzle on the Infinity just doesn't let through enough paint and Im too lazy to change needle every now and then. Perfect excuse for getting myself a Neo!

Built in Korea or whatever. 0.35mm nozzle (more on that later), exchangeable cups on the CN version. Duble action. Read more over at Iwata/Medea.


The Neo really screams "I'm a budget airbrush!" when you see the packaging. No fancy (fake) brushed aluminium presentation case. It even has a hole for a hanger!

In the box there is a small paint cup and a tool for removing the nozzle.

Out of the packaging it's, to my surprise, looking just like any other airbrush out there. So let's take it apart!

If you look carefully you can see my ugly mug on the paint cup lid! I opted not to remove the nozzle since it needed a tool (included) and other reviews said that it was fitted in the workshop and shouldn't be removed unless you really need to. Knowing me I would break it if I tried, so I left it alone.

One thing that I really liked was that the paint cups have their o-rings on the cups instead of on the airbrush body, like the H&S. This means that there will be less gunk to clean out of the o-rings, and hopefully less replacing of o-rings that have gone bad.

After re-assembling the airbrush I sprayed some cleaner through it and loaded it up with some VMA Black Primer. I wont show you the results, but the 0.35mm nozzle produces about the same width lines as the 0.2mm nozzle on my H&S Infinity. The 0.15mm nozzle on my Infinity makes thinner lines (of course) but not that much thinner. Which kinda makes the Neo perfect for any beginner out there. It should be able to handle everything but the smallest of small details.

I'll get back to the Neo in a week or two when I have put it through it's paces. Since I have a bunch of Necron flyers to paint I guess that will be the real test for the Neo. :)


  1. Interesting... any possibility that you could go for a long review that compares the 0,35 needle of the Neo with the 0,4 needle H&S sells with their 2in1 deals like the Infinity 2in1 or the Evolution 2in1?


  2. Once I have my two Night Scythes done I'll make sure to test it out with my 0.4mm nozzle on the H&S and do some line comparisons.

  3. Hm... I was more thinking about stuff like varnishing your models. I owned a 0,35mm gun from small German company, that looked a bit like a Iwata Kustom CH clone. Originally bought it as a "cheap" second gun (compared to my H&S evo) for priming and varnishing. Worked well for priming and basecoating, but I had some problems with spraying varnish.

    1.'s the rest...

      So in the end I sold the gun, because I didn't like how it performed with varnish and how the gun was balanced/shaped. I also wasn't too happy about how the nozzle setup works, which in hindsight was pretty much my own fault, since there was no real reason to screw it off and ruin the tiny o-ring.

      But changing needles back and forth in my H&S isn't that much fun either, so I'm thinking about buying a "cheap" yet decent branded gun with a medium-big (0,35-0,6) nozzle just for varnishing. And that NEO is def. cheaper than the gun I bought and sold again...

  4. Can do :) But that would be more subjective than a line thickness comparison.
    I've done some varnishing and priming with the Neo. Using the thick-ish Vallejo polyurethane primers and varnishes. At around 20-25psi it works really well. The 0.35 feels a bit wider than I remembered that the H&S 0.4 did. That might have something to do with needle taper though.

    I'll check stuff out and get back with what I find out :)