Hidden Gem: KopyKake Airbrush


Stick a fork in him, he's done.
A good while back I bought a "lot" of airbrushes. Included in that lot was a KopyKake brush. I shrugged it off as a "Knockoff". My curiosity eventually got to me and I checked it out. In my opinion this brush is made by the same folks who bring you Iwata, Olympos, Richpen etc. It is very well made. Equivalent (IMO) to any of the big name B cup brushes.

This brush is/was sold to bakery businesses. It's different in it has no air valve. The air is constantly on. The trigger does not move up and down. You just pull back on it for paint delivery. After some investigation I learned that they were offered in sets with a compressor. I have since bought three more sets. Two of the sets compressors seem to have seen very little use. One sounds like it's about to die and as mentioned the first one was the brush only. There is very low air pressure from the compressor(s). I've gotten my sets at very low prices as they are under the radar. The one in the first pic came today and was under $30 USD shipped. It was well cared for. That pic is the one the seller posted. The date on the invoice is 7/12/78.

On the first one I tried an experiment. I took the valve assembly off an Iwata HP-A that I have. It fit with no problem and works as it should. I'm fortunate in that I have Iwata HP models that I can borrow the air valve from. To get an Iwata air valve would be around $25 USD and added to the cost of the brush. As far as I know any brand HP series type valve should work. I'm not certain if other models valves fit. I didn't have to try.

The last pic is something I normally never do. I hooked the brush to it's set compressor and tested it. I usually disassemble and clean them first. I wanted to try it. I first sprayed some 91% rubbing alcohol through it to clean it out a bit and make sure it sprayed. My go to test medium is Dr PH Martin Bombay India Ink, in grass green. The test pic shows today's brush apart for cleaning. I took it apart after I did the test. Cleaning will happen tomorrow as I have two TC model A brushes in my ultrasonic now. Tomorrow will be this brush and another TC model A. I will be retesting this brush.

I'm just giving members here the opportunity to perhaps pick up a quality brush for a low price. I think I have enough of them.

Sellers pic:


Pic of the first KopyKake I got in the lot:



Air valve swap:


Today's test:

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I tried to get hold of one of these in the UK as I thought this single action style would be good for my son to try rather than air on off.

Unfortunately the one I came across is still there teasing me but It's collection only and half way up the UK so too far for me.
Is that the one on Gumtree, Richard? If it is, I asked about postage But the seller said no :D
There are several models of Kopykake brushes - the one you have is a branded Fuso Seiki build. I know a guy in Brazil that got one, and he loves it! Does some very fine detailed artwork with it. As with most of their branding, I would not be surprised if the actual nozzle, needle, and nozzle cap specs vary a bit from Iwata (HP series, not Pus), but would expect to be able to replace all those parts with Iwata parts if the need was there.

I am pretty sure I looked so other available models and they seem to have originated in Taiwan.
There are several models of Kopykake brushes - the one you have is a branded Fuso Seiki build.

I'll dig the four of mine out this weekend and compare them. I'm fairly certain they are all the same model. Then again...
Wouldn't it accomplish the same thing if you were to take the air valve stem and spring out of any double action brush?
I assume that if I took the seal out of any airbrush it would do the same. I would be inclined to try and leave some sort of spring and pin in to give some resistance and something to locate the bottom of the trigger. But I am not totally familiar with the kopykake trigger. I suspected it was a good quality brush and looks quite compact for small hands to use.

If he loses interest I would have a shell to fit out with iwata parts!

At the moment he gets on quite well with a badger 200 and a T&C model A, the trigger is so light I don't think he even realises he is holding it down, he is aware he needs to push it down to start the air though. He gravitates more towards the 200 though.
Looking back at your pictures the t bar style trigger on the kopykake lends its self to removing the internals quite easily. I am less certain about a brush which locates on the top of the valve pin.

I have been thinking I will try removing the parts inside my sprite major as it's a very light brush to hold.
Thankyou for the comparison picture. It does show an obvious difference for small hands, the trigger position is alot further back isn't it! That's a mile for a small kids hand!

There is a lot more metal there too, the T&C and 200 are relatively light. The kopykake looks like it will be alot heavier. These iwatas and near identical brushes all look so petite on their own but they are not so.
You're welcome Richard. There is quite a distance difference between the trigger position of the KK as opposed to the other two. I think the KK should be fairly balanced no matter the size of the hand, to a certain age point that is. It's more if it would be comfortable for him.
I cleaned and retested the KK. The top half was done with the air cap on, the bottom half with it removed.
(It's hard for me to get the lighting right to take a good pic)

I just got one of these and having given it a clean and a quick test i really like it.

The chrome finish is very good. The fit very exact. It feels small but is actually the same size as my Iwata high line. I think it feels so small because the rear handle is very slim.

The nozzle threads have that same red sealant stuff Iwata, olympos (and others?) have when new. I don't think it had been used much.

I copied @2Diverse and converted it. I took a valve off a Rich airbrush i have (i might post about that brush at some point later) and it sprays really nicely, smooth and predictable.

My only minor criticism would be the trigger sits forward unlike my Rich so its close to the cup and unlike the Rich which cuts away part of the cup the Kopy Kake cup is flat all round so gets slightly in the way. But I didn’t notice it once i started spraying so it cant be a real problem can it!

It was cheap so seems to be extremely good value. I saw another on ebay a few days ago in the US offered for maybe $18 if anyone over that side of the pond wants one. Postage to the UK would more than double the cost (still not a bad price for what you get to be fair!).

It's cool you decided to try one Wizard. I'm glad you like it. Looks like you got the complete set too. Nice!

It's the best "Bang for the Buck" that I am aware of.
It's cool you decided to try one Wizard. I'm glad you like it. Looks like you got the complete set too. Nice!

It's the best "Bang for the Buck" that I am aware of.
Thanks for posting about it in the first place. I’ve been buying a couple of what i think are bargain airbrushes lately and this seemed to definitely fit the bill.

It didn’t come with the compressor unfortunately - just the compressor’s box! and the other stuff pictured.

My guess as well is these often go largely unused so people are likely to pick them up “used” in good condition.
in case anyone in the US is after one, there is the one I mentioned, a ‘Bakery Crafts’ branded one. Seems almost the same. (“It has a different name, you need it!” Said my brain when i saw it). I was watching it and the seller offered it for $18. But as I mentioned the international postage is around another $30. Maybe good for someone else.

I gathered mine. Three of them would have what I call the "Born On" date. Similar to Iwata's use of the letters.

Top left: 03 02
Bottom left: 04 08
Top right: 11 07
Bottom right is the brush in the first post. No date. It does not have the triangle on it either.

The bottom left one has seen some abuse. It looks like it was dropped nose first at least once. The crown cap is dented. This is the brush that came with the near dead compressor. I looked, I paid less than $22 shipped for it so...

Both of the brushes on the right are in complete sets with good compresors.