The NEO line is Iwata’s entry-level airbrush and is advertised as ideal for first-time airbrush users. Per Iwata, “Think you want to give airbrushing a try? Not sure you want to spend much to get started? The NEO is perfect for you…. AND you’ll have a great first experience! Iwata-Medea designed the NEO for the first time user.”
The TRN1 is a gravity-feed, dual-action, internal-mix, pistol-grip brush. The paint cup is removable, and two sizes (10cc and 2cc) are included. The needle is .35mm. No air hose is included.
This is the first-pistol grip airbrush I’ve used, and I was surprised by how immediately it felt ‘right’ in my hand. It’s heavy enough to feel solid, but no too heavy to feel cumbersome. It is nicely balanced, so I was able to get comfortable with it in short order.
The .35mm needle is good for general applications, but will not provide the precision of higher-end airbrushes. The removable cups ease cleanup a great deal. Air flow is started by pulling the trigger; additional pulling will start the paint flow. This is different than many other dual-action airbrushes, but is not difficult to adjust to. The rear of the brush contains the trigger limit. Rotating the back barrel will adjust the trigger movement to control the maximum paint flow.
Iwata states that these brushes are designed to operate at low pressure. I was able to keep paint flowing down to less than 5-psi, which allows for very fine work, such as mottling on German aircraft. The brush works nicely at higher pressures as well; at 25 psi, the flow was smooth and easy to control.
Cleanup is relatively easy as well. After emptying the cup, I sprayed cleaner through until the output was clear. Then I removed the needle from the back and wiped it carefully down. For deeper cleaning, the nozzle cap and spray tip can be removed for soaking.
Surprisingly for an entry-level airbrush, there are no instructions or parts diagrams included. First-time users are likely to run into issues due to lack of proper cleaning, and cleaning instructions would be a nice addition. For total disassembly, there are no instructions on how far to go. There is a brass plug in the back of the barrel that looks as if it could be removed, but it was in so tight that I would have damaged the brass before loosening it. In addition, the trigger assembly may need to come off for a thorough cleaning, but the screws did not feel as if they were designed for easy removal. I found the diagrams on the Iwata website, but I believe that at this price level, instructions and diagrams should be part of the package.
- Pros: Nice feel and balance, works great at low pressure, easy to clean, removable paint cups.
- Cons: No instructions or parts diagrams. .35mm needle will not provide the precision of higher-end airbrushes. No air hose is included.
Thanks to Iwata and IPMS for the opportunity to review this very nice airbrush.