In scale car modeling, one of the elements that have the greatest impact on the final effect is the paint coating. Perfect execution with brushes is unlikely, that's why spray paints are popular to used. However, the tool that allows you to reach the highest level is the airbrush.
Many people, especially at the beginning of their adventure with this tool, do not want to spend a lot of money on a branded airbrush and decide to buy Chinese fakes. Often, problems with poor-quality copies of more reputable manufacturers lead to discouragement to this painting method. Is there a balance between price and product quality? Check out the rest of the article.
Ultra Solo is the cheapest and the most basic dual-purpose airbrush in the range of the German manufacturer Harder & Steenbeck.
H&S was founded in 1923 in Hamburg by young engineers and college colleagues - August Harder and Wilhelm Steenbeck.
All production takes place in Germany, in an eco-friendly manufacture with 28 employees.
In online stores you will find Ultra for about 70 EUR.
Nozzle diameter: 0,2 mm
Paint container: 2 ml
Thread connection: 1/8”
Weight: 88 g
The airbrush is delivered in a decent plastic box, with an additional air hose quick connector.
It should be mentioned that the Ultra is also sold in a 2 in 1 set. In addition to what we find in the Solo version, the set includes a nozzle + 0.4 mm needle set and a larger five-milliliter container for paint. The price is around 95 EUR and is lower than we would buy all these accessories separately.
Painting with Ultra is a pleasure. The dosing of paint and air is precise and does not cause any problems. Yes, I did have paint 'spitting', but it was mostly caused by my mistakes, which with the increase in experience were eliminated. The 2 ml tank included in the set is sufficient for practical work in car modeling, and only painting the body makes it possible to "refuel" quite often.
The airbrush is nickel plated. Visually it looks good, but the durability of this coating leaves much to be desired. After a few painting sessions without gloves, the coating in the place where the thumb was gripped was clearly blackened. However, after a few months of use, a large part of the coating from the inner part of the paint container and the channel through which the paint flows into the nozzle has come off. This does not affect the functioning of the tool, but I expected more from the branded product, despite the basic version.
It is worth mentioning that some of the more expensive Harder & Steenbeck models, such as the Evolution, are available in the CRplus version. These are chrome-coated airbrushes, intended, among others, for people allergic to nickel. H&S Evolution is also available in the ALplus version, with an aluminum body, which is especially valuable for professionals who paint many hours a day.
However, what is behind the popularity of this equipment, apart from the price and brand, is its extremely simple structure. The nozzle has no thread and is only pressed in. It only takes a few seconds to disassemble the airbrush for cleaning after painting. The seals are Teflon and they are not afraid of even acetone-based cleaners.
Harder & Steenbeck provides a huge range of accessories and spare parts, which are available in most online model stores. From trigger springs, gaskets or nozzles to aircaps with adjustable spot size. Most of the parts fit all models of this manufacturer, so it is possible to improve the airbrush by inserting elements from higher models.
• Simple construction
• Accessories availability
• Plastic box included
• Poor quality coating
Author | Mateusz Uścinowicz