Ultrasonic Cleaner

So this weekend I got to use my new ultrasonic cleaner. This was a purchase bought on by the failure of the ultrasonic transducer in my old machine so a new unit was ordered and arrived during the week.

My previous cleaner was one of the plastic ones with its own first name that you will see in many places around the internet for about £30 delivered, usually advertised for cleaning jewelery etc and it failed after around 18 months of infrequent use so I was a little disappointed.

With this failure though I decided to have a look at some of the more robust or industrial looking units out their when I came across this GT Sonic 2 ltr Ultrasonic Cleaner with built in heater on offer at an online retailer. It was the inclusion of the heater that first attracted me to the unit as my old unit said that it should only be used with cold water which isn’t condusive to optimal results from an ultra sonic which usually perform at their best above 40 Celcius.

Well the little brown box arrived a week sooner than I had expected and the unit was resonably packaged. In the box you get the cleaner itself, mains powercord and wire basket which is fitted with brackets to hold the basket off the bottom of the tank that fold inside the basket for storage and a lid that just sits on the top

The tank itself is not very large really  measuring 150x140mm and approx 100mm deep but this is plenty big enough for cleaning a stripped down airbrush. If you are looking to clean larger items the units are available in other sizes up to 6ltr capacity I beleive. On the front of the unit you have the seperate controls for setting the desire temperature up to a max temp of 80C and the timer which can be set to a maximum of 99min (although the manual says not to run for more than 60min continuously, theres also on off switches for each. The casing of the unit is metal and it sits on 4 rubber feet.

Using the unit I straight away noticed a difference from my old cleaner in that the ultrasonics seemed much more poweful, I beleive this is probably due to the frequency the ultrasonics is running at, 40khz, I think the larger units are fitted with multiple transducers but I beleive that this one is only fitted with a single transducer, but it is plenty powerful enough and a little louder than my previous cleaner. The temperature quickly rose to the 45C I had set and actually increased a few degrees above this I suspect due to the heat being generated by the transducer.

I’ve cleaned a couple of airbrushes that had been a little neglected and had only had a flush clean at the end of the last few sessions instead of a full strip and brush clean and the unit easily got all the little deposits that were left inside to break free from the brushes and they were soon looking as clean as I had ever seen them.

So first impressions are this is a very well built machine that works very well indeed and due to the fact I was able to secure this unit on offer meant I only paid £5 more than I did for the previous unit it is replacing and it has a much better level of performance. If I do encounter any problems I will let you know.


Tamiya Modeller Sidecutters

As a side from my builds I recently picked up a pair of these Tamiya Modellers Side Cutters or sprue cutters as they are sometimes called on a visit to my local model shop and I am that impressed thought I would post about them.

I was always skeptical about these when I saw them on the shelves of the model stores as they seemed so expensive, especially compared with my cheapo Draper cutters I had been repurposing as sprue cutters but I have to say these are worth every penny.

They feel solid and extremely well made, the handles are nicely moulded and don’t feel like the plastic is going to come off in your hand whilst you’re using them. The cutting edges are extremely sharp and the blades are narrow enough to get fairly close to the model part but easily avoid cutting too close and damaging the part.

I know theres nothing exciting about sprue cutters but if your in the market to get a new pair or are looking to upgrade your existing set then you could do a lot worse than to pick a pair of these up. They really do make the tedious task of removing parts from the sprues a little less tedious!

Budget Airbrush with Big Promise

I thought I would pop up a post about a new airbrush I picked up a month or so ago, I usually use an Iwata brush for my work with acrylics but I wanted to have a play about with some lacquer based paint so decided rather than running it through my Iwata just to order a budget airbrush off Amazon for my experiments with the new paint. I had a look and ordered this Agora-tec dual action 0.2mm for the princely sum of £23.95 delivered! I was expecting the brush to be some cheap chinese generic and not much good at this price but I have been pleasantly surprised.

Firstly the brush shipped from Germany not China, and secondly it turns out this is a really nice brush. The nozzle is stainless steel rather than brass and the only thing I have done to it is buff the needle to polish the tip and its given me some great results. I am amazed at how fine I can get the detail with this brush too.

It has an adjustable needle stop and an airflow adjuster on the brush making fine tuning for detail a little easier and if you look in the images above it can produce some really fine lines/detail. The above pics were taken using a premixed Revell Aqua Acrylic that I had just used for large coverage through a 0.35mm needle on a different brush, this has been sprayed on to a sheet of standard white copier paper and I hadn’t adjusted the thinning/air pressure at all, you can get a much more even line if you spend the time to set it up properly.


Productive afternoon at the office!

So it was quiet on Friday afternoon in the office so I decided to make a new paint rack for my bench. It’s constructed from 10mm white PVC Foam (the green is just the protective masking on the material) which is all glued in place. Bottom shelf is wider than the rest to allow for thinners bottles, mixing jars etc.


My Airbrushes

Airbrushes and my new Neo by Iwata

So my new Airbrush arrived this week. As I have mentioned before I hadn’t really done much in the way of airbrushing in the past but over the last few weeks I have done much practising with the generic dual action one that came with my compressor kit. I have to say I thought the generic was an excellent airbrush and certainly probably more than adequate for most modelling requirements, however I decided I was going to treat myself and ordered a Neo by Iwata.

The Neo arrived well packaged, thick card box that put me in mind of iPhone packaging with the brush, nozzle spanner and small cup sitting nestled inside a High density foam insert. On unboxing the brush and comparing the brushes side by side you can see from the image above with the large cup attached to the Neo there is very little in it size wise between the two.

The detachable cup on the Neo is a nice touch and will certainly make cleaning and easier affair. There is quite a difference in weight between the two brushes too, with the Neo being a lot lighter in the hand.

I hooked the brush up to my compressor and straight away noticed the difference, the Neo atomised the paint into a much finer mist that strangely still seemed more dense than that produced by my generic brush, and the coat went down much more even.

Even the action on the brush seemed almost more responsive, it really doesn’t take much movement on the trigger to go from a fine line to a full wide coverage mist and the brush is capable of emptying even the larger of the two cups in what seems like only a couple of seconds.

The one thing that the Generic does have that the Neo doesn’t is the adjuster on the end of the brush that sets a limit to how far back you can pull the trigger and increase the flow. I have to say as a newbie to airbrushing I did find this feature particularly useful on the generic, but with the Neo I will have no where to hide and will simply have to learn better brush control.