When whispers of a cheapo airbrush that wasn’t absolute dog eggs reached me, I took a punt. 13 brick for what seemed to be a pro airbrush, too good to be true? Read on…
As I mentioned in my first airbrushing article, the cheap brushes are shit, they will annoy you, not work, and generally make you want to rage quit before you’re even begun. This thing was supposed to buck the trend. Its called a Kmoon 0.25mm and looks to have a serial number of Q9w7
Despite other suggestions, it’s actually a clone of an Iwata Hi-Line HP-CH I think, which retail for about £210. If you have the spare cash, get the Iwata, but in all honesty, not many of us do, and want to get into airbrushing for a budget without mugging ourselves off with substandard kit.
I purchased one of these from eBay, you can find the link here, to put it through its paces. and I’m actually really impressed. The build quality is good, and the parts are pretty tight. Much more so than I’d expect for a 13 quid Chinese clone.
First thing you’ll notice is it has an open crown, get rid of that and buy an official Iwata replacement for a closed one. Gives the brush more versatility and means you can mix in the hopper using back-flow air and also back-flow clean it which is important.
You’ll also notice that chrome logo, its just paper sellotaped on, so soak the whole thing in warm soapy water to clean it up, and get rid of that shit. Add your new crown, and you’re ready. Iif you don’t want the Iwata super lube, Mark Bedford recommended a dab of Vaseline just on the trigger area, that dangly tube that fits into the air regulator.
It comes with a quick release valve helpfully, likely not that best quality but I’ve been using it for a month or so and it’s okay. These make life easier for cleaning it, as you can just unclip your brush from the hose, rather than dicking about with a screw fitting.
To give it a good battering I’ve had acrylic P3 paints through it, really thick high pigment, and it sprayed them no issues at all. Its also had airbrush primer, and standard airbrush ready paints through it no issues.
To really test it, I layered some Tamiya Clear Red on my Word Bearers, if you have any experience with this shit you’ll know it’s VERY viscous, dries solid and can be a right pain. Diluted with Vallejo thinners, there were zero issues. I also blasted Klear Floor Polish through it, which dries solid and gunks up really easily. Perfect! Same with both matte and gloss artists medium, zero fucks and handled it perfectly.
You’ll still need to know what you’re doing to be firing silly shit like that thru an airbrush, and get the mix right, but it WILL go through if you do it right, and this is a 0.25 needle so can be tricky in itself. The 0.25 needle goes as fine as you’d expect, and with a bit of practice you can get some fine detail on your models with it, so you can use this reliably for more than just priming.
The flow regulator works as it should, and it disassembles fine. When you do take it apart, make sure you do it over a sheet or something, as the pad that rests on the trigger and connects the spring mechanism isn’t attached like other Iwata brushes.
It’s not all roses though, there can be a tiny bit of air leak around the nib, I’m not that arsed for £13, but you could go all in and rub some beeswax around the joints when you reassemble it, and fellow CH member Matt had issues with the needle. He swapped it out for a 0.25 Iwata needle though, and it fitted fine.
So, to conclude, would I recommend you buy a legit Iwata if you have the coin? All day every day. If you want to get a reasonable airbrush cheaply to begin your journey with, would I recommend the Kmoon? Fuck yeah. It’s an excellent value for money piece of kit and will stand you in good stead from your first prime to more advanced stuff and with the Iwata spares fitting, should last too. I actually swap this out, and use it as much as my Iwata Evo for various tasks, and really like the flexibility it provides.