Converting Iwata airbrushes from 0.2 to 0.3mm and 0.3 to 0.5mm question?



Hi Folks,
I'm confused about what parts I need to convert my Iwata HP-SB+ from a 0.2mm to a 0.3mm set up. According to this airbrush shop to do the conversion I only need to change the nozzle from a 0.2mm to a 0.3mm this will mean I keep the 0.2mm needle and the nozzle cap in place.
Optional 0.3mm needle / nozzle parts for the Iwata High Performance Plus HP-SB+ Airbrush
Is this correct?
Is there a reason why I should keep the 0.2mm needle and nozzle cap and NOT change them to a 0.3mm needle and nozzle cap?
Is it because it is cheaper to only change the nozzle or is there a technical reason?
Or does just changing the nozzle to a 0.3mm make it easier to change back to a 0.2mm if I want to?
Will the 0.3mm nozzle not be too big for the 0.2mm nozzle cap?

I have bought a 0.3mm needle and nozzle cap as well as the nozzle so I have all the parts but I don't want to use them if I'm going to reduce performance by doing so.

According to this same airbrush shop to convert the HP-SBS Eclipse from a 0.3mm to a 0.5mm I DO need to change the needle, nozzle and nozzle cap to convert my Eclipse from a 0.3mm to a 0.5mm. Optional 0.5mm needle / nozzle parts for the Iwata Eclipse HP-SBS Airbrush
This makes complete sense to me and it is why I just presumed I needed the 3 parts to convert the HP-SB+ from 0.2 to 0.3mm.

Also there is no mention of needing to change the Needle Packing Screws.
Are the needle 0.2 and 0.3mm diameters the same for the HP-Plus series?
Are the needle 0.3 and 0.5mm diameters the same for the Eclipse series?

I would really appreciate any insight into this as I want to make the conversion and keep the optimal performance of the HP-SB+. If I've wasted money on buying the 0.3mm needle and nozzle cap then so be it.

The reason I want to do this is because I have too many detail airbrushes; an HP-SB+, an Olympos Micron and a Sotar but I don't have a 0.5mm airbrush. So changing the HP-SB+ to a 0.3mm and the HP-SBS Eclipse to a 0.5mm setups makes sense and I can use the same side-feed bottles and cups that I have. I could have bought an HP-BCS but I don't need another airbrush and I don't want a bottom feed.

Again, all help will be well appreciated
Cheers Mel
Whoa lady slow down. :)

I have done the HP- CH conversion, just the opposite of what you want to do, I changed the needle, nozzle and nozzle cap, also had to adjust the needle bearing tighter. In your case all parts should be changed for best performance. You can also losen the needle bearing screw a turn or 2 and leave it say 24 hours, then try installing the .3 needle. It may bounce back, it is teflon, so it may not just be prepared.

As for the Eclipse, the needle shanks are the same size, unlike the Highlines . So you wont have to mess with packing , ok you might, it would only be minor though. Again Eclipse would need a needle, nozzle and nozzle cap. The .35 eclipse nozzle is actually 2 piece the .5 is one piece.

Think that is it. Any more questions let us know.

Also somewhere at home i have a small list of the conversion parts needed for the highlines, and the part #'s, Coast airbrush put it out a while back.

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Ok just went back and read some more.

Hp-+ needles, different shank size. Eclipse needles same shank size.

Other than the possibility of needing a needle packing for the HP-SB+ as you up size, sounds like you have all the parts you need. Just keep them in sets, mark them as such for storage, I use a small plastic storage container with compartments. Makes separating parts and identifying them easy.

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Hi wmlepage,
Aaaah! That's it!! It's the needle shaft size difference. My Eclipse 0.3mm needle looks a similar shaft size to the HP-C+ 0.3mm so I tried to put it in my HP-SB+ and it won't go in the airbrush past the taper. The Shaft is too thick to fit in the airbrush and the nozzle cap looks too big too so that's the answer to the riddle. The 0.3mm nozzle does fit and will go through the 0.2mm nozzle cap. It's very late now so I'll try out the new nozzle tomorrow and see how it sprays.

So be warned folks, the parts for the HP-+ series are not all interchangeable like the Eclipse series. I just wish the websites explained this more clearly, then dingbats like me wouldn't get all mixed up.

Yeah sorry for the blurb in my previous post, I do tend to want to explain/ask from all angles and my posts can get scarily long :)

Thanks a lot wmlepage, problem sorted.
Cheers Mel
Hey no issues. I get it. I tend to spout , then figure it out on my own, after the fact.

Glad you have it sorted.

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Mel, here is that chart of conversion parts.


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Hi Peeps,
So here is the result of my HP-SB+ 0.2mm to 0.3mm conversion/modification. All I did was swap the 0.2mm nozzle for the 0.3mm nozzle.
Remember, anyone who wants to do this conversion in the future, the reason for NOT changing the needle and nozzle cap as well is technical, these parts are too big to fit in the HP-SB+ airbrush.

In this photo the top 1/3rd is the original HP-SB+ 0.2mm
The middle 1/3rd is the HP-SB+ 0.3mm nozzle conversion
And the bottom 1/3rd is my Eclipse HP-SBS 0.3mm
Com-Art 60% Neutral Gray and Com-Art Medium mixed 1:1 20psi
Conversion HP-SB+ 0.3mm compared to 0.2mm & Eclipse 3.jpg

What I notice the most between the HP-SB+ 0.3mm and the Eclipse 0.3mm is the air pressure is a lot harder from the Eclipse. Because of this the Eclipse throws out more paint than the HP-SB+ at the same psi. The HP-SB+ has more control at a higher psi but needs more air pressure because of the 0.2mm nozzle cap with a 0.3mm nozzle doesn't allow so much air through as the Eclipse setup. When I reduced to 15 psi with the Eclipse (eye bottom right and small squiggles at very bottom) I got a lot more control, I still love my Eclipse.

Obviously the HP-SB+ 0.2mm at the top of the picture has the most control for detail but as I said before I already have detail airbrushes. What I like about the 0.3mm conversion is it seems to sit between the detail airbrushes and the Eclipse. I will have to use it on an actual painting to see how it performs compared to the Eclipse but at the moment I'm very happy with the result.

However I don't see it yet as a replacement for the Eclipse 0.3mm, I see it as an addition too the Eclipse 0.3mm. Therefore I don't think I will permanently change my Eclipse to the 0.5mm setup yet as I don't think I will use it that often. I will change to the 0.5mm setup when I need to spray metallic paints for example.

One thing I can say, is I like the 0.3mm nozzle in the HP-SB+ a lot better than the 0.2mm, it feels better, sprays easier, still has control yet allows for better blending results. Only changing the nozzle make it's very easy to change back and forth between the 2 nozzle sizes for someone who only has this airbrush.
I'm looking forward to using my HP-SB+ again and that makes me very happy.
Cheers Mel
Sounds like the best outcome for you. I am a bit spoiled in the fact i have 2 basically dentical iwatas , 1 with the .2 the other with the .3, an eclipse and a micron. But that was the point. I use gravity feed, so multiple brushes of each size range makes switching between colors easier. I just could not get comfortable with a side feed at this time. May revisit in the future.

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