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Age old debate... Micron vs. Micron?

Discussion in 'Airbrushes' started by CreekPikerLures, Feb 19, 2021.


  1. CreekPikerLures

    CreekPikerLures Double Actioner

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    Im very partial to Iwata, Havent touched another brand for over 16yrs... my daily driver is a now old Iwata Kustom CH... I like to shoot high at 45-50psi and have been for many yrs now. I feel like i can throw down fairly well... but i can’t “spit fire” every day lol... just how it goes sometimes. That brings me to the Microns...

    Do they really compensate a bit on an “off day” when u need to keep working or is that just a “pipe dream”?

    Sadly i am very accustom to the KustomCH “feel”... Id gladly pick up the Kustom series micron but seems i missed that boat as there no longer made. Im looking at the “new to me” Micron CustomC+. It seems to have the same body for the most part. Like most i rarely use the mac valve or trigger stop but i do hold the mac valve when spraying, esp fine detail. Its just part of my motion now.

    Do you guys recommend “sticking to what i know” feel wise and going for the CustomC+ or changing things up a bit for the B to get the .18 nozzle.

    How easy is the head conversion for the .18 from .23 that the C+ comes with aside from the extra cash and is it really worth it to pick up both needle/head sizes.

    Main reason is basically i need a new gun so y not “upgrade”. Finer detail on my lures is a plus with added control on an “off day”. Is the headache of learning what looks like a new tool tear down worth it? Didn’t realise the micron insides where that much different than the KustomCH...

    Thanks in advance, sorry to bore u guys with an age old question. Sometimes we all need the “ok” to drop that kinda change on a new tool ...
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  2. Mr.Micron

    Mr.Micron Royal pain in the air hose Staff Member Admin SuperMod Very Likeable!

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    Budget ? That is the main driving force about buying a Micron.
    But people on a budget have been looking at these https://spraygunner.com/mr-airbrush-custom-0-18mm-ps-771-with-dru-blairs-spring/
    Same head system as the Iwata (I am even running the .18 ps771 head system on my CM-C+) but parts are easier on the pocket.
    At the PSI you're running I am not sure the micron would like it being most use max PSI at maybe 30 and for a lot of use down to like 5.
    As far as learning curve to tear down the Micron is you do not have to take on and off that tiny nozzle just put the entire head system in the cleaning solution . everything else is about the same.
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  3. CreekPikerLures

    CreekPikerLures Double Actioner

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    Thanks again for the quick response @Mr.Micron ... Checked out the ps771 last night actually. I do enjoy that u use the head system on ur customC+. Never knew of mods or even swapping parts until reading here. I just can’t deem using another brand tho lol, 16yrs so far on my CH is just too good a track record... id most likely follow suit with you and possibly purchace the Ps771 head in .18. To swap out after biting the bullet on the C+. More than willing to learn here and change my “norm” of air pressure for improvements. Ive read your suggestions to call coastAB for the C+ with .18 head swap. Is it worth it to dive right into the .18 for detail advantages or kinda wean myself down to the smaller tip with the standard .23. Dont mind having both head sets. No way around good tools sadly. No one wants to spend the money, but i can justify it as i spray almost every day. Really wanting the finer detail control for my “finishing touches” that make or break a bait. Sometimes its 2-3 days in for base coats and i cant sacrifice that time if i have a “trigger slip” or off day. Feel like im selling myself short a bit relying on freehand stencils/shields rather than just not thinking and throwin the fine details in by hand.
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  4. Mr.Micron

    Mr.Micron Royal pain in the air hose Staff Member Admin SuperMod Very Likeable!

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    Most can't tell a difference between the .23 and the .18 but being I deal with micro fractions on a daily basis at my day job I can see a big difference.
    But between the .18 Micron head and the .18 PS771 head there is not difference. So maybe buy the .23 set up V2 micron. (Mine is the old v1 :D) and then just order the .18 head and needle for the ps771.
    That way you have a spare just in case .

    This one was painted right after I got the ps771 head system https://www.airbrushforum.org/gallery/photos/15101/
    as you can see in the size of a fishing lure I painted a car LOL.
    But I have been following Steve Leahy live Monday night feeds on facebook for a long time and have pick up pointers from doing so.

    He has painted cityscapes on razor blades for decades .
  5. CreekPikerLures

    CreekPikerLures Double Actioner

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    Going to have to check out Steves work for sure. Saw ur talk of razor blade painting in other comments lol... always somethin to learn/pickup from others. Actually enjoy “picking” else where then the perspective field i may work in. Gotta stay ahead/different. Appreciate ya taking the time to answer my questions and offer advice. Ur taking the initial sting of the micron price away a bit haha... im probably overdue, been stubborn and keep telling myself techniques over tools. As always, have to keep improving tho.
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  6. Mr.Micron

    Mr.Micron Royal pain in the air hose Staff Member Admin SuperMod Very Likeable!

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    You will find @DaveG is the main go to guru when it comes to interchanging parts of airbrushes. He is a wealth of knowledge and he seems happy to share his knowledge.
  7. markjthomson

    markjthomson AKA QuickDraw and very happy #nobrushleftbehind Staff Member Admin SuperMod

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    I have a 0.35mm eclipse and a 0.23mm micron. Yes, notice the difference there... not sure how much difference the 0.18 would make. The 0.23 doesn't do the higher pressures... and you can get some delicate work done with the 0.23. I had thought about going to the 0.18 but not sure I do anything that really requires that level of delicacy. Thoughts on the smaller diameter... fiddly to get into the sweet spot... but worth the effort... no good for coverage!
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  8. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja Staff Member Admin Mod Very Likeable!

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  9. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Party Boy UK Style Staff Member Mod Very Likeable!

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    The Micron series is definitely a fantastic brush. I can’t comment on the difference between the sizes, I have a CM-C+ with the standard .23. It is a beautiful brush to use and it certainly makes light spraying and small details easier than some brushes. Steve Gibson regularly runs 60psi through his microns and swears by high pressure and thick opaque paints for his style. I couldn’t manage that if I tried lol. I like lower pressure and thinner paint. But it does say a lot about the capabilities of the tool. I have yet to hear of a single person who buys a Micron and doesn’t love it. Not a single person.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  10. CreekPikerLures

    CreekPikerLures Double Actioner

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    Thank you for the feedback, not too worried about coverage with the CH in my lineup. Feel like i need some “icing on the cake” tho ... basically plan to use the micron mostly for white highlights, black fine lines and maybe some tighter patterning/textures. Any thoughts on “speed” with the smaller needle vs ur .35 eclipse? I tend to keep the high pressure and move quick. If i slow down/think too much i dont paint as well. Someone here mentioned the .18 actually draws paint out quicker y im kinda on the fence with the head/needle choice.
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  11. CreekPikerLures

    CreekPikerLures Double Actioner

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    Exellent example, thank you...that makes me a bit more comfortable hearing its not that uncommon to use such high pressure and the microns can handle it. Makes sense to me smaller head/needle would need the air cranked up to fire pigments out lol. I know this is not the norm from what im reading and find in the gun specs. I tried thinner paint today with lower pressure on the ch...no bueno for me lol...quickly added more pigment and back up to 45-50... i might just be used to compensating for createx. I thin it and strain, but i do like a heavy pigment. Fine line between perfect and “blowout” when working super close on slippery materials, just cant stop. Even on dots i keep it movin ‍♂️ .
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  12. Nessus

    Nessus Needle-chuck Ninja

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    I have a post in the thread linked by Huskystafford above where I talk about the differences between nozzle sizes in detail.

    I've used my micron at 35psi, but not higher. With most of my airbrushes I find higher pressures get unwieldy with paint that's been reduced to "normal" airbrushing viscosity (more overspray, higher chance of things like spiderwebbing). This makes me very curious what kind of paint you're using that makes such high psi the sweet spot for your work.

    Knowing more about the paint you use is IMO important to the question you're asking. All else being equal, the .18 setup will give you a little more trigger control with fine lines and small freehand detail, while the .23 will be a little more forgiving of paint viscosity.

    If your paint is reduced to "normal" airbrush consistency, (and pigment particle size is consistent and small), there shouldn't be a difference in how fast they draw out paint, other than that larger nozzles will "open up" more earlier in the trigger travel than smaller ones.

    However your preference for high psi suggests to me that you're using much thicker or less reduced paints than most others are used to.
  13. Nessus

    Nessus Needle-chuck Ninja

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    Well, I wouldn't say not uncommon, just not unheard of.

    Sounds like you're using thicker paints because you're wanting to get fully opaque coverage in fewer passes, is that correct?
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  14. CreekPikerLures

    CreekPikerLures Double Actioner

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    Thank you for the feedback, i mainly use reg createx, wicked or autoair thinned and strained. Im ok with uncommon as long as its not unheard of lol...def. glad i found this place, learned alot already. i paint like i draw i guess, which has always been heavy handed. I do like solid coverage in one or a few passes for my line work. Definitive but sketchy. Im not opposed to learning some new paints with the micron, it may do me some favors slowing down a bit with a lighter hand. Im spraying smooth resins close up and anything too thin blows out very easily. The dryer paint does sometimes overspray like ur saying, but sticks well for dots/freehand stencil work. I thin down my base coats and pearls much more for blending.
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  15. Nessus

    Nessus Needle-chuck Ninja

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    Blowing out with thinner paint is part of why you drop air pressure down. I usually spray in the 20-25 psi range with paints thinned 1:1, or at 15-20psi if I'm using 1:2 or more. There's sort of a reciprocal relationship between paint thickness and air pressure.

    When you're really up close doing fine detail, the paint is all concentrated in a small point, so the difference between heavier paint and thinner paint is not that big. Larger strokes and general coverage is where repeated passes become more and more of a thing as you thin the paint.

    I'm a modelmaker, so I usually favor more light passes over fewer heavier ones, as that helps keep the paint from filling in or distorting physical details on the model. Lures, from what little I've seen, tend to be smooth silhouette shapes that rely mostly on the paint scheme to create detail, so that wouldn't be an issue. I don't know how it shakes out for illustration or textiles, so I'll leave that to others.

    Paint thickness also effects atomization: thinner paints tend to atomize finer. How much that matters on lures I don't know, but finer atomization is one of the selling points of the Micron, so you probably find more people using Microns at lower pressures with thinner paints simply because use cases where atomization is important is a chunk of the Micron's demographic. As a modelmaker, I personally tend to chase finer atomization, as it has an effect on the illusion of scale whenever you have soft or blended edge, so that's another reason why I reduce paint a lot more (and drop air pressure) when doing freehand detail.

    I rarely go below 15psi though, as I find that while the Micron can spray much lower, below 15psi tends to be the point at which atomization starts to get rough regardless of paint viscosity. Higher pressure improves atomization, so there's a Goldilocks zone for any given paint thickness: usually the highest you can spray it at before you start getting blow-out or spiderwebbing problems.

    The softest atomization I've ever gotten was from thinning 1/5 with super-low viscosity reducer (straight 91% isopropyl, in this case), and running at IIRC 15 or 17 psi. Had to move the brush very literally continuously to keep it from puddling/spiderwebbing, and the paint was very low opacity. I would not say that atomization was practically meaningful outside of miniature work intended to look "real" very close up, though.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2021
  16. CreekPikerLures

    CreekPikerLures Double Actioner

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    Seems were not too different lol... thanks again for the detailed response ... most lures are just flat/smooth with “faked” in details. I hand carve original prototypes, make production molds then cast in resin. Lots of under cuts and heavy carved in details opposed to the “run of the mill” stuff available. With a background in industrial design i did alot of model/prototyping and even some figurines. 100 percent understand what ur saying when it comes to thinner paint applications affecting details. I fight this quite frequently, whats actually already a highlight or where to exaggerate one in... Im not nearly as accurate with ratios, i commend you lol... i think were on the same page tho. I highly thin my “primer” even which is just createx white, then alot of base coats,blends,fades with the thinned colors mostly shot further away almost like water. After those dry for a day being so thin i go back in with thicker paint/more pigment for the freehand shield/stencil work for high contrast. Walking the same line ur taking about between blowout/spiders and a nice spray u can watch build up while working very close. Interesting were describing the same thing on what seems like opposite sides of the psi spectrum... is it really much different? Lol... so nice to talk with u guys about this stuff...Back on topic, i do alot of freehand spot style spraying to build patterns/texture, dagger strokes, solid 1 stroke lines, much like the shirt guys or “speed painters”...street writers even but smallest scale i can squeeze out and not go cross eyed ... i need that heavy pigment for 1 shot of throwing a line/detail down on the “final touches”. The further i build a bait pattern the thicker i mix if that makes sense and the harder it gets to stay accurate. Will basically be using the micron for my last highlight in white as im heavy handed in nature lol...possibly some of the black or fine color spot work. I think it will really take it the extra mile so to speak, look more natural and kinda keep me from over doin it. I strive for hyper realism but im very stylized. sorry for another rant haha... i pulled the trigger tho with ur help (pun intended) ... went with the CMC+ since it seems i like heavy pigment... who knew? Lol...gotta stick to what i know with the body of the gun being the closest to my KustomCH... will most likely add the 1.8 head and needles to my arsenal when i recoop some funds. I know my brain will always think theres a finer line out there...it never ends haha
  17. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Party Boy UK Style Staff Member Mod Very Likeable!

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    I’ve gradually tried to paint with a thicker at higher pressure and I’ve found the CH kind of likes that. Generally if I break out my Micron I do like that thinner and lower pressure. But that’s the beauty of airbrushing. Sure there are “suggestions” or “recommendations” for a mix and pressure. But it can all be tailored to the individual. Let us know how you like your new brush when it arrives.


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  18. CreekPikerLures

    CreekPikerLures Double Actioner

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    Will do man, anxious to see what it can handle pressure wise and throw down for me ... tried 4 pic sizing apps lastnight with no luck. Any specific one ud recommend for an i phone? Seems i just cant make them small enough to load properly. I did get a cple to load but they were cut off or cropped weird. Is the load screen preview just a thumbnail or does it expand a bit when posted? Lol ‍♂️... technology is def. my downfall.
  19. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Party Boy UK Style Staff Member Mod Very Likeable!

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    I use this one. You’re able to scale by different options, I’m sure one of them is choose the pixel count. That should do it.
    [​IMG]


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  20. CreekPikerLures

    CreekPikerLures Double Actioner

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    Thank you! Ill give er a go again lol
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