REVIEW: Iwata Eclipse Takumi Airbrush Lil’Legend

Name Iwata Eclipse Takumi Airbrush
Price£229 Without shipping from Airbrushes.com
UsageFine to wide detail
Rating★★★★☆

All-star versatility is the tagline for this airbrush. After using it for a couple of months it’s hard to disagree. I’ve happily run enamels, varnishes, primers with glee through the .35 nozzle airbrush with nary a hiccup. This thing does fine detail, base coating, and everything in between with Iwata’s typical superb build quality. And it’s a side-feed? Who would have thought?

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Side Cup?

Yes, a side cup, and more than that you, can choose which side the cup is fitted to – a boon to left-handed airbrushers everywhere.

The perceived wisdom is that gravity feed is superior. Read any article that relates to Warhammer and airbrushing and you are more than likely to hear ‘gravity feed’ and ‘dual-action. Dual-action means you can control the airflow and paint flow independently via the trigger (useful for drying your models in between coats). Gravity-fed airbrushes have the paint cup affixed to the top of the gun, whereas side feed…well you know, feeds the paint in the side.

This is my first experience with a side feed, and I can’t say there was any more or less fuss than a gravity feed. The side feed felt intuitive, easy to use, and easier to clean. Because the cap detached completely I was able to feed a cleaning key into the airbrush and get those hard-to-reach areas, where a more thorough clean through would have been needed with the gravity. I can see the advantage of using gloss through this over gravity. In a doomsday scenario where you leave the varnish in the cap overnight, you could simply throw away the cap and buy a new one instead of resorting to heavy solvents.

The connection between the cup and the body of the airbrush is perfect. Iwata’s engineering is second to none.

This isn’t a new phenomenon. Side feed airbrushes are the norm in the automotive industry when large amounts of paint need to be used, but not commonly seen in fine-scale miniature modeling. UNTIL NOW.

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Needle

This is a .35 nozzle which gives quite a wide spray range. This is the upper limit of what you want for an airbrush with Warhammer miniatures – any larger it becomes a base coating tool alone. This airbrush falls under the Eclipse range which has been designed for All-Star Versatility (SEO algorithms love it when you reuse a phrase like this – take a drink every time you read it during the review). I knew a .35 needle could handle a tank easily enough, but what about a miniature? Like a vampire say?

Takumi airbrush in action

The initial tests were positive. I used an Eclipse HP CH Airbrush for years with a .35 nozzle and the experience felt no different. Precise streams of paint with no splutter. User experience is a big reason why I use Iwata airbrushes over other brands. You only notice the airbrush when it starts to clog up, sputter, shoot water etc. Iwata’s just work. And if they don’t, you have a 10 year warranty with this brush!

This airbrush fits into the fine to wide spectrum and it feels right. I’m not trying to paint the eyeballs on my miniatures – I use the airbrush like a glorified base coating tool, developing structure, and creating final blends.

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Airbrush Build

The airbrush has a redesigned compact body casing for greater balance and control. I’m the sort of person who checks the balance of replica swords, so you can bet I checked the balance on this thing. Weighed, measured, I even looked along the barrel of the brush like I was inspecting a pistol. You can get a little hand cramp when using an airbrush for hours on end, and while this cannot prevent that, it didn’t feel unduly uncomfortable using it over long periods.

Speaking of the redesign, the conical head cap is an interesting addition. I’ve stripped the threads on a couple of airbrushes, so removing the needle cap without that threat felt satisfying. The nozzle mount is securely seated when screwed together and wiping away the accumulation of dry paint was a doddle. Easy to use, and easy-going, this airbrush felt like it had a certain quality… let’s just call it ALL STAR VERSITITLY.

The Takumi is shorter than the HP-C and the trigger is slightly closer to the nozzle, which means you can work closer to your subject.

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Test Spray

Whenever I get a new airbrush I like swishing it around to see what kinds of lines I’m able to create. If you are new to airbrushing, then welcome! Now go play tick tac toe. This is a habit I try to encourage all new online students to improve their basic control. Lines were sharp and I felt in control of my ‘O’s’. Perhaps I should try a cheap Chinese side feed for a more thorough comparison as the Takumi is butter.

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Conclusion.

All

Star

Versatility.

*DRINK*

You paint tanks, you paint infantry, you paint busts that all need varnish, primers, enamel filters – this airbrush handles all with aplomb. The .35 nozzle is great for detail, but not fine detail and it lacks the precision to create those minute base coats that the most demanding airbrushes would require. If you are that demanding, then chances are you already own the Custom Micron (the finest airbrush made by the hands of mortals).

For a brush that comes in at the £200 mark, this gives you an excellent swiss army knife. It basecoats, varnishes, creates fine blends and is easy to use and clean. A great new addition to the Eclipse range that will utterly delight left-handed users. Thoroughly recommended.

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Technical Break down.

  • Spray Performance Category: All-Star Versatility
  • Series: Eclipse
  • Spray Scale: Fine to Wide – fine line to 2″ (0.35mm to 50mm)
  • Optimal Working Pressure: 25 – 35 psi psi (0.17 – 0.24 Mpa)
  • Head System: E3 – Needle, Nozzle, Nozzle Cap
  • Nozzle Type: Compression Fit
  • Needle Packing: PTFE needle packing and solvent-resistant in all paint-bearing areas
  • Feed Style: Side-feed
  • Paint Capacity: Easy to clean, two-piece gravity side-feed 0.24oz / 7ml cup with siphon-cut lid
  • Action: Dual-action
  • Mix Type: Internal-mix
  • Handle Type: Cutaway Pre-set handle
  • Net Weight (lbs): 0.62
  • Net Weight (kg): 0.28
  • Assembled Dimensions (in): 7.75 x 1.65 x 4.32
  • Assembled Dimensions (mm): 197 x 42 x 110
  • Warranty: 10 Years
Paint anything. Paint Everything.

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