One door closes and another opens



I have 2 great hobbies of which lately I am doing neither proper justice, mainly due to the usual time constraints of work and young children.

One is indoor and I can do more easily than the other, so I have decided to sell the very-hard-to-get-a-chance-to-do outdoor hobby equipment (though I do intend to rebuy when my 2 little children don't require so much of my time, unsure if that is next year or 20 years away!)

So airbrushing it is! at the very best I may get 2 goes a week and I am a mediocre hack at best. But selling all my other-hobby gear (very conservative $2,500) leaves me quite cash positive to indulge in an airbrush that I am most likely not capable of using anyway.

I have an Iwata HP-C+ 0.35mm and a HP-C+ 0.5mm, so I like Iwata, I just wanted to try something with a finer needle - I know, there are guys who can do real detail using those airbrushes but I certainly don't have the time at the moment to practice that much and most likely lack the fine-motor control needed.

I also think a MAC valve is way out of my league, but I do have to think long-long term as I will indulge myself now but probably won't do so for many years to come.

So my options come down to:
(just rounding the $ allowing for a variable exchange rate)

HP-B+ 0.2mm approx $US200 shipped
HP-BH 0.2mm + MAC approx $US300 shipped
Micron, either CM-B 0.18mm or CM-C 0.23mm, approx $US520 shipped someone asks; Micron with MAC, approx $US600 shipped.

Last points:

1) yes, all are way more than my ability
2) but a one-off purchase, gotta think long term
3) MAC? would I ever use it?


I too consider myself a hack, but a MAC valve is a very handy addition. Will allow better control. Since I use quick disconnects on all my equipment, I only need 1 MAC for all my brushes ( I have a splitter with 3 hoses / 3 MACs ) While I like my Iwata, I tend to use the Badgers with different needle / nozzle set-ups. I'm 66 and retired and still only get to AB on occasion. Life happens, children grow and before you know it, there are Grandkids. Grandchildren, by the way, never have enough T shirts!
It stinks that you find yourself in a position where you have to choose between hobbies. I feel for you. Family is most important though, so enjoy those kids while they're young.

As for which airbrush... In this, or anything, I always lean towards getting the best equipment you can afford. If fine detail work is what you are aiming for in your airbrushing, then it seems to me, the micron is the way to go. Any of the others you mentioned would be fine, but down the road, when your abilities catch up to your equipment, you might be wishing you had just invested in the best brush from the get go. But that is only my opinion and plenty of people work their way up from airbrush to airbrush and eventually turn in to airbrush hoarders... I admit, I get extremely jealous when I see some of the airbrush collections from forum members. Lol

The only point I would bring up though, is the smaller the needle/nozzle set up, the more finicky your paint will get and you'll have to really focus on proper paint reduction. Its just another learning curve you will encounter, but one that is well worth learning.

As for the Mac valve... Same thing... You might not be adjusting your psi much currently, but as your skills improve and if your after really fine detail, you will probably find yourself wishing you had one. I know I do. Its not a real big deal to reach down to the compressor and adjust it there, but there are times where I wish I could just adjust it right at the airbrush. Especially when the paint is acting up and its taking a lot of tinkering with my reductions and airflow to get things spraying just right for what I'm trying to do.

Ultimately, the choice is yours, but whatever you decide, just keep practicing. The real skill in fine detail work comes from the artist not the airbrush... But the right airbrush can certainly help the artist achieve that skill level.
Ahh the rugrat dilemma. They do serve a purpose in airbrushing, the kids, they teach you patience. You need that for both.
Hey, don't think any brush is too good for you. As you learn to airbrush, you will learn to get the best out of the brush too, and your ability and ability to get the most out of it will grow together - with the added bonus that you will never outgrow the use of it, or have the need to buy anything else later on.

If you have the opportunity to buy the best, then go for it!
Have never ever used a Mac valve and can see they could assist but would'nt spend an extra 80 dollars for it, would just add a flow adjuster into the line near my gun and would pretty much give you the same control for about 70 dollars less..Not a fan of microns myself as I think they are way overpriced, also on their spares but hey if ya can afford it, why not..There are other options though available that can match it at half the price. If ya just want a finer needled gun go one of your first options as few will really see the difference early on in their experience level and unless you plan to paint really really small, what you already have may be the go and just spending more time on those initially and investing instead in some really good paint options may be a good thing and save your dollars, put it in the bank and when and if you desire more or have improved your skill set, buy something fancier then as in a yr or two there may be much better options or that money may come in handy for life drama's or issues..Best of luck..
the Hp B+ is a fine detail brush for the money , I am a lover of microns and use the CM sb2 every day , but I admit a micron is a delicate tool you need to learn to work with . I use inline mac valves with a quick connect