CHEAP AIRBRUSH FOR GUNPLA CUSTOM BEGINNER

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Hi, we are Unlock Project and we are currently a Gunpla channel and recently finally equipment for customisation! Many of us have been closet collectors, just keeping our done builds in their coffins (boxes), now we can finally do our first spray paint custom with one of the market’s cheapest decent Airbrush System and paint from Hobby Mio!

So down in our link for our Hobby Mio Airbrush system and paints unboxing video, as a first time customiser, it would be good to procure something that is easy to maintain and affordable like the High output management desktop pump HM05 air pump and the HM-130 0.3mm airbrush.

So just an overview of what we went through:

  • Unboxing of ecHome ultrasonic cleaner
  • Unboxing of Hobby Mio pump and brush
  • Introduction and features of the Hobby Mio pump and brush
  • Introduction of paints and bottles

THE BIG IDEA

We originally were looking for big brands such as sparmax, iwata and found that the price may be a big issue for casual collectors or customisers and sought to find an affordable brand that can provide quality system and paints at the same time. This is to ensure both the paints and parts are definitely compatible with each other. With expertise in using Taobao, we manage to find cheaper alternatives from china and with many other hand-held variations for ease of use. Therefore, this would be the first few of many China item unboxing and review to come, since the straight build video of our P-Bandai: PG 1/60 Unicorn Gundam Bande Dessinee (China Red) purchase.

ECHOME ULTRASONIC CLEANER

The ec Home Ultrasonic Cleaner (Alternative name “Isonic”) is a compact and powerful ultrasonic cleaning option for your gundam, gunpla and even tools at a relatively low cost of $60+SGD including shipping.

To use:

  1. Simply fill the ultrasonic cleaner with water up to the “MAX” mark
  2. Place the item you want to clean in there is also an option to use soap in the water as well depending on how clean you need your item to be.
  3. Press the left power button, on the device
  4. Toggle the timer button on the right of the display
    There are 5 options for timing in seconds for up to 600 seconds.
    Do note not to over use for multiple cycles as fragile paint or coating may come off
  5. Wash and rinse your items before leaving to air dry

With reference to the video, we tested the ultrasonic cleaner with 2 items, one glasses and a small piece of aluminium. For the glasses, dirt and stains have been observed to leave the surface of the metal due to the powerful vibration along with flaking rust.

Finally, the aluminium, which is our last test yielded the best result, this proved its effectiveness with smaller and light weight item that is not much denser than water as the vibration from the device was not just able to remove the shiny coating on the aluminium sheet, it also punched several dents on weaker folds. 

This could be a premonition for prolonged use beyond recommended time for ABS or plastic materials. Hence, try with shorter time spent and clear water before proceeding to higher cleaning power solutions, such as soap or thinner in certain cases.

HOBBY MIO DESKTOP PUMP AND AIRBRUSH

The Hobby Mio desktop air pump is a decent air pump for heavy use, with a variable 7-38psi range of air pressure to set for your airbrushing, this covers both small and large projects well. If you want to jump into the bandwagon of many builders by airbrushing, but are unwilling to spend a huge amount in investing in a high end airbrush system or not sure if you are going to commit to airbrushing in the long term. Hobby mio compressor + Hobby mio airbrush bundle is definitely a cheap, low maintenance, small system to start with at 538RMB ($110SGD including shipping) compared to Sparmax compressor + Sparmax airbrush bundle at approximately $400+ SGD including shipping or IWATA compressor + Iwata airbrush from $500+ to $700+SGD.

Pro tip from some other pros: Always get one that can do minimal 20PSI as this is the usual pressure most people need and use.

Setting up:

  1. Step 1 - Removing 4 rubber caps from the top of the tank
    This is fitted in to avoid damage, but would eventually block your way when installing the compressor on top
    Wiggle the rubber tips off...
  2. Step 2 - Unscrew connecting screw of the tank and the nozzle with allen key
  3. Step 3 - Screw down long adaptor plate onto hole of the tank where your compressor will be connected
  4. Step 4 - Connect tank, compressor and screw them both in
    This connects the compressor to tank firmly, check for air leakage when powered on
  5. Step 5 - Connect moisture retainer to airbrush and/or compressor
    You could do this on on both the end of the airbrush and the outlet of the compressor
    Pro tip from some other pros: Try to connect retainer to your airbrush for more grip
  6. Step 6 - Unscrew pressure knob and place in brush holder (ring)
    This is optional if you have other brush holder
  7. Step 7 - Connect air pipe from compressor to air brush’s end or the moisture retainer’s end
  8. Step 8 - Plug in your power adapter
  9. Step 9 - Watch your hobby mio logo light up
  10. Step 10 - Air pump will start collecting air for initial start up or when it has insufficient air
  11. Step 11 - Start spraying
    Check for low air pressure or leaking air
  12. Step 12 - Read your air pressure from pressure knob
  13. Step 13 - Set your air pressure limit by pressing down the trigger and turning the knob (+/-) till it reaches your desired PSI
    Pro tip from some other pros: Test and find out your machine’s pressure limit
  14. Step 14 - Test with water or thinner
    Optional but preferred!

Due to the low price and steady usage, Hobby Mio’s desktop pump does also have two downsides, which is the usage duration and heat dispersion. After approximately 2.5 hours of continuous use, the system will overheat and shut down from our first test.

HOBBY MIO PAINTS AND BOTTLES

The Hobby Mio paints come in many varieties from surfacer, coloured, metallic, and clear coloured paints. It also has one big advantage over many other brands as usually they are unusable straight out of the bottle. However, Hobby Mio paints are factory pre-thinned and require no further thinning.

Therefore, it is easy to use, but may result in restricting advanced use of mixing colours and thinning preferences.

CONCLUSION

All in all, fantastic product from Hobby Mio, one of the latest additions to the hobby tools market, both internationally and locally. It might not be as easy to find compared to the other common brands, but definitely a must-buy for beginners!

Don’t forget to get yourself a GPaint here and use code: UNLOCKPROJECT for 5% discount! Visit us at our YT channel for more content, from straight builds to customs and even Gundam anime reactions. Let us know what else you like to see and what we can improve on!

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