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Another inexpensive experience with good outcome

Discussion in 'Airbrushes' started by DaveG, Jan 11, 2017.


  1. DaveG

    DaveG Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Before I start, I should say that I have a rather large collection of airbrushes. I have everything from Iwata and Olympos Custom Microns, Iwata HP's and Eclipse's, to Badgers, Harder & Steenbeck Cr+ airbrushes, Paasche, and Grex airbrushes - the list goes on. I like them all, and use the ones I have, or I do not hang on to them.

    I wrote about a "Master G48" airbrush that I purchased for under $40.00US. For me, the experience was a good one, and left me wondering about other possibilities. My original impressions can also be found in this section (airbrushes) on this forum. So, I ordered a larger brush (basically a clone of the Iwata CM-C+) from the same company as the first brush I ordered. While it was through E-bay, the company was TCP Global, and the two brushes ordered were branded as "Master".

    The brush I received as a G444 and marked "Master" was definitely not made by the same company that made the "Master G48" that I had had such a good experience with - no way, no how. More will be documented about this later. So, it was back to the internet to research and order, searching for the brush I was looking for.

    I found one I wanted to try on E-bay, and placed the order for $21.90US, with free shipping. When the brush arrived it was not the one I had ordered, but was in fact an unbranded version of the G48 that I had ordered from TCP Global. I took it out of the box, and had the same impression of this one, as I did with the first - that it felt like a decently made brush, trigger was easy to make very nice. I tried it with some Createx Illustration mixed with reducer, and got basically the same results out of this one as I did the first one I received. I chose to slip a needle from an Iwata HP-B+ into the brush, and started this small piece -
    point-zero-test1.jpg

    The brush works well enough that I am keeping it. Besides, when I contacted the company to inform them that they sent me the wrong item, the refunded my money, and told me to just keep it.

    While I was waiting for this brush to arrive, I had also spotted one on Amazon that I though looked like a match, so ordered it for $20.50US. Figured it couldn't really hurt - This arrived a few days later:
    brush-in-case.jpg

    I removed it from it's box, gave it a look over - My initial impression of this brush is that it is pretty darn nice. I removed the needle - and on this one, unlike the two previous ones I tried, the needle packing was VERY tight. It caused me to flinch when the needle came free of the packing, and i actually wound up bending the tip of the needle. Shame, because unlike the other two, this needle seems very smooth. I used the included tip wrench and a metal ruler on my bench to coax the needle back towards straight, and loaded the brush with Createx Illustration, and reducer. Interesting side note - the first and third brushes were ordered from two different companies on E-bay. The fourth through a different company on Amazon, but was shipped from the the third company on E-bay :).

    Atomization seems very smooth, as the brush lays down a very even gradient transition without any odd looking graining. Fine lines are a tad ragged, but quite thin, and easy to maintain.
    brush-test1.jpg

    I played with this brush more, breaking it down (it was actually quite clean inside), removing the factory lube, which looked kind of like vasaline (and not overly done) and applied my personal go to stuff, which is K33 Needle Balm from Foxy Studio. I backed the air valve spring out about 1.5 turns, and the needle spring out about 4 full turns. Trigger action is really quite nice. I tried one of my Iwata HP-B+'s as a comparison, the Iwata trigger is like butter compared, but still, this Chinese brush (oh, it is branded PointZero) has a very nice trigger. I prefer it over say, a Badger, or Grex trigger... and it is easier to regulate than my Iwata Eclipse.

    I then opted to try some Golden Hi Flow with the addition of a flow release to reduce it a little, and the brush works very well. I pulled my usual routine here, and slipped an Iwata needle into the brush, and really did not see enough of a difference to warrant the swap, so put the original Chinese needle back in.

    Full disclosure here, I had ordered this brush with the express intention of adding an F3 head assembly from Olympos along with a .23 needle. It does screw right on, and I did try it, but did not see enough of an improvement to warrant the change. I in fact had an easier time pulling fine lines with the original head. In order to get the paint flow, I had to increase air pressure with the Olympos components installed, making it more difficult to control. Granted, the lines were cleaner with the Olympos pieces, but for me, not enough so to make it worth it.

    Now, I am not saying for $21 you get an Iwata CM - What I am saying is that for $21 I got an airbrush that I really like the feel of the trigger action on, balances well in my hand, is responsive, and will be a brush I place in a holder on my work station for the foreseeable future. Out of everything I own, I would say that I would reach for this brush just as readily as I would for any of them in the $100-$175 range, and never think twice about it - may even reach for this one first :). I will start a piece using just this brush, and perhaps the smaller brother, to really get into the nitty gritty with them, but do not foresee any problems based on the use I gave it today.

    Shoot, thought I was done, but do not want to leave stones unturned - The TCP brush listed as Master G444 is not he same brush as this PointZero, even though they look the same -
    twins-from-diff-mothers.jpg
    PointZero on the bottom - even the diameter of the brush bodies differs. The PointZero is slimmer, and shorter, has a much better overall build quality, and finish - I would not use the Master G444 to spray water on my plants - I did start to get some good results with it, with a .5 head and needle installed, but it quit working - like it was clogged, and I have not been able to get it to perform the way it initially did for the 5 minutes it was working :mad:.
    jord001 and Vladimir like this.
  2. markjthomson

    markjthomson Very happy! Staff Member Mod

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    You know we are going to send all our cheapies to you for refurbish... :p :)
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  3. DaveG

    DaveG Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    at $20.50 with free shipping, I would just order another one ;)
  4. Nada

    Nada Air-Valve Autobot!

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    So this one takes micron parts.. That's good to know. I have had an overwhelming desire to play with some cheap ones.

    Actually looking at their little A cup airbrush. I had a sparmax that outperformed my eclipse. I only hates that it has a wrench in nozzle.

    While of course I always tell people start with a name brand.. I myself don't mind tinkering.
    I could see me taking a couple of these apart polishing triggers and use the daylights out of them. ...
    Not that I have a shortage of airbrushed now :/
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  5. DaveG

    DaveG Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    I'm in the same boat - I have a BUNCH of name brand, and expensive brushes, that is not the point :) Yes, this brush will readily accept a Micron head assembly, and needle. I have one of the smaller detail brushes (same style as pictured below) with a Micron head, and .18 needle installed, and have been using it for about a month now. I have another that I left the Chinese head on but replaced the needle with an Iwata HP-B+ needle, and then this one, which works well enough that I think I will leave it as is for a while... Unless I was moving lots of paint, or had to work with paint that was heavier bodied, I would grab one of these ahead of my Eclipse any day - and find that I have been using the first one as much as the HP-B+

    Oh, and if I am reading you right, the "A" cup is the one with just a hole in the top of the body? They offer one, but from what I see it uses a different head, and I have zero experience with it. Without seeing one in person, I wouldn't hazard a guess if it was actually made by the same maker...

    point-zero-test1.jpg
  6. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod Artist of the Month!

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    . I started like most people with knock offs, but was too inexperienced to get them to work well (or at all lol) and it really stopped me learning. It is interesting though that with experience they can be made more usable. In my experience, buying another cheap brush, same model, company etc, proved to me that all knock offs are not made equal lol. I know Tha some are ok, but there is an element of pot luck. The ones I had were made of butter I think, so there was no longevity of parts.

    I enjoy reading this stuff though, its interesting to see what fits with what, and what the effects are. I fell in love with Iwata after playing with knock offs, and a couple of dissappointing DAGRs which were very poorly made. I like the pick of up and go reliability, as well as performance and trigger control ( I am a bit odd it seems as I prefer a stiffer trigger). Though I can use a cheap brush now I have the experience, I'm not the type to enjoy nursing them or switching bits around, but its interesting reading the experiments from those who do. :)
    jord001 and DaveG like this.
  7. DaveG

    DaveG Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Actually, part of my approach with these is to try to look at them with a newbies eyes - and experience. Of course I have learned enough over the length of my experience airbrushing that I could get almost anything to spit paint. Not my interest with these pieces - just take them out of the box, do some basic inspection, like make sure the nozzle looks about centered, and that the needle looks straight, and the needle packing adjusted. I would take these steps on any brush I got in, so nothing extraordinary.

    My intention with these is to use them the way anyone would use them, and not MAKE them work because I can. In the case of the G48, and this new Point Zero, I can honestly say I think that they are actually good brushes. Because they are inexpensive, I will order a few more of them to play with - I already have two of the smaller one (very pleased with both of them). My intention here is to check consistency between individual pieces - provided I can identify that they come from the same maker. Eventually a newcomer will mention they wish they could have a brush that would do this or that, and I will donate a well working sample to a worthy cause ;).

    The fact that I know they can be upgraded with some good parts, that is just gravy, and information that someone else may find of use.

    All part of the experience, for me...
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  8. Nada

    Nada Air-Valve Autobot!

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    I also have a couple harbour freight deluxes... And to be honest some work awesome.. One took some polishing to be worth a darn. But my badger Anthem is my go to for bottle feeds. The 3 in one needle is perfect for the bigger things.
    DaveG likes this.
  9. Rick Martin

    Rick Martin Gravity Guru

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    After reading your G48 thread and this one i too decided to try this. I got mine off ebay for 19.99 and is branded as kkmoon. I can get very fine lines with it. My only fault with the brush is spring tension is too stiff for my liking, for both air and paint. I think if i could soften it up some i could do a much better job with it, and getting over my shaky hand sendrum. You can tell i havent picked up a airbrush in awhile. I also have the Master G233. It has the softer trigger but i cant get the lines out of it i can get out of the kkmoon brush. It might have something to do with the mac valve that isnt on the Master.
  10. DaveG

    DaveG Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    I think on the needle spring I generally clip off one and half coils, and on the trigger spring around 2 or so - BUT, I must mention that I am not positive the Kkmoon is the same exact brush. I purchased a few Kkmoon's in 9cc versions, and they are different brushes than the other 9cc brushes I was trying to match. They still work ok, just different brushes - so, keeping that in mind, I could be off on the spring clipping.
  11. Rick Martin

    Rick Martin Gravity Guru

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    Its a start. The brush feels comfortable in my hand just harder to pull back than the master i have
  12. DaveG

    DaveG Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    The brushes I have, have really smooth and soft triggers... I will come back in to this post tomorrow with some pictures. If you have the same parts, you will be able to make some good adjustments....
  13. Rick Martin

    Rick Martin Gravity Guru

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    Sounds good when i get home from work i will post a pic of mine if you dont mind to show you what i have
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  14. Rick Martin

    Rick Martin Gravity Guru

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    How do i make a file smaller so i can post a pic
  15. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    this may help http://webresizer.com/
  16. Adoran

    Adoran Young Tutorling

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    I bought the Pointzero version of the G48 after talking with DaveG. I like the brush and it works really well. I lost one of the springs from my G23, and replaced it with an ink pen spring. It was meant as a temporary replacement, but I really like the feel of the ink pen spring:). I did find that after cleaning the brush I found a bit of surface rust in the nozzle area. No difference in the brush performance, and I now leave my brushes apart while they dry.
  17. Rick Martin

    Rick Martin Gravity Guru

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  18. Rick Martin

    Rick Martin Gravity Guru

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    Thats the kkmoon i have
  19. DaveG

    DaveG Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Yep, that is a Kkmoon alright. This is an excerpt from a write up I did on my FB page - ..."Some of the other brushes I have sampled have some different bits and pieces here. The longer piece in the middle is the needle chuck. The piece below it is chuck guide/needle spring retainer. In theory, you can screw the guide in and out of the brush body to adjust the amount of spring tension on the trigger. On this brush. if you try to screw it out to lessen the amount of tension, the brush handle will not screw all the way onto the brush. Good thing the trigger spring is not too stiff, or heavy. The trigger feel is perhaps a little stiffer than I generally prefer, so I will probably wind up clipping a coil or two to test..."

    Kkmoon parts.jpg

    Same will be true of the air valve spring - they can be clipped about 2 coils. You want to clip just enough of the spring off, that the retainer will no longer put pre-load on it before the retainer starts to thread into the base of the air valve. If you have to push down on the retainer to grab the threads in the air valve, you can probably clip a little more spring off...

    air valve1.jpg
  20. Rick Martin

    Rick Martin Gravity Guru

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    Yep thats my only issue with it, the trigger tension. Im pretty sure thats why im getting different responses from the brush. I spray one time, let off the flow but keep the air on when i go to pull for paint again, i have to pull futher back to get flow.

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