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Iwata NEO CN N4500 Review

Discussion in 'Airbrushes' started by Leakyvalve, Oct 31, 2018.


  1. Leakyvalve

    Leakyvalve Mac-Valve Maestro!

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    This particular airbrush is a brand new NEO I got off Ebay. I ordered it and they were taking so long shipping it I tried to cancel, but they played the game better than me and it eventually showed up. Just in time, because my used one was DOA.

    I've always seen these things being talked about, but there was some bad "press", and I just put them out of my mind. But upon further review and seeing some people really praise them, I thought "what the heck!". Once I looked at it, and the specs, it was actually a good airbrush on paper... to me.
    It has removable cups.. bonus
    It has what I believe to be a positive nozzle/cap design. It has a very large air chamber that necks down quite quickly. Kinda like the Micron
    It uses the thinner needles, which I personally believe to be a positive.
    It was designed by Iwata for low air pressure. Which means it should be responsive. More on that later.

    Now hands on in front of me. The chrome is perfect. Trigger feel is very smooth, especially compared to the Grex XGI3 I reviewed and a Master G44 I bought to review but it was such a POS it wasn't worth my time. I will see if I can adjust the trigger pressure in a bit.
    All threads are quality feeling. Even the handle has virtually zero slack. Nice and smooth engagement. The nozzle was centered dead on 100%.
    Here is the brush as I was testing it. I was using a hodge podge of mixed paint I keep around. It was at least 3 different acrylics all mixed with a white base, so it wasn't no watercolor thin stuff. You can also see I use a trigger cheat.

    So as far as spraying, it's a champ. I don't know what other people are doing wrong to say this thing is JUNK. It is FAR from it. I would literally crown this the second best buy per dollar. Number one being the PS770 Creos. The NEO can go very tight detail, smooth blends to blasting. It does have a bit of a trigger delay compared to say a Micron. Micron is on from zero to one hundred. This thing starts around two or three. I'm not sure if that is a paint issue or design issue.
    I did some quick basic lines you would want a good airbrush to do. Too many reviews, especially by model builders, show them blasting large lines and backgrounds. Their version of a thin line I use to fill in backgrounds. Anyways, would like to hear any comments. Maybe my test didn't stress the brush enough, let me know if you wanna see something else.
    20181030_190040.jpg 20181030_190158.jpg
    Stu Dale, TBurns, doc1 and 3 others like this.
  2. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Never seen anyone say they spray bad. Just lots of longevity issues.

    And of course all the little issues that come with an oring eqipped nozzle.

    It's a rather cheap finish too if that's your thing.

    Put it next to an iwata and a Chinese brush, you may see the chrome much more closely resembles the Chinese piece. Thats the difference of genuine triple chrome
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
  3. Leakyvalve

    Leakyvalve Mac-Valve Maestro!

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    You should read some of the Youtube comments when someone uses one. And by little things I assume not noticing you squished your o-ring. I'll get rid of it later.
  4. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    No, more like they never return to the same center point or depth without some extra effort.
    Doesn't really bother me as long as the brush is cheap
  5. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    All the very fine points that make a quality brush quality are the last 3 percent.

    The stuff it makes you not have to fuss with, and the last tiny ounce of performance.

    It really is a small margin between lower decent like sparmax or neo, and good like Badgers better stuff.

    Even smaller between good and the very best.

    Anyway I think most people who would say they spray bad either its operator error or they just want to justify their expensive brushes without really knowing what makes the expensive ones expensive.
  6. Leakyvalve

    Leakyvalve Mac-Valve Maestro!

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    I've owned many badgers, and none of them were this good. I will say the new 20/20 slim looks promising.
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  7. Franc Kaiser

    Franc Kaiser Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    thanks a lot for putting this review together. I am somewhat impressed with the Neo... but then again, I have very low standards, using a 0.2 mm Sparmax AB.
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  8. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Krome performed extremely well.
    But mine had other issues.
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  9. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Anyway its cool to see some testing done by a competent hand.
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  10. Leakyvalve

    Leakyvalve Mac-Valve Maestro!

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    You're working that sparmax for all it's worth.
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  11. Franc Kaiser

    Franc Kaiser Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    Hahaha, yes, certainly. What’s missing however is the fine trigger control... such fine lines as shown with the Neo above, which that level of control, are not possible with the Sparmax.
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  12. Malky

    Malky Pencil Pushing Protagonist Very Likeable!

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    I started out 6 years ago with a set of four cheapies which as would be expected gave me a few headaches, I quickly gave up on them and got the Neo, I never had any issues with it at all and it performed just as your review says here, I always used the smaller "B" cup which gave me a better view of my work as well as helping with balance, after close to 2 years of problem free use I tripped over the hose and pulled to the (concrete) floor and just the nozzle and needle, I soon discovered that it was just as expensive at the time to replace parts as it would be for any mid range Iwata so instead of fixing it I opted for the Iwata HP-BH+, I actually went out in search of the eclipse but got the HP-B reduced to the same price because it was a shop display/demo model, that became my favourite brush.

    I reckon a lot of folks who had issues with Neo just didn't have enough experience and/or were using the wrong paints, I used my Neo for both modelling and art with success but I know it struggled with Vallejo candies and standard Createx as do most brushes under 0.5, it was as smooth as my HP-B with any other airbrush specific paint, I used mostly Golden or Com-Art back then, I've never tried tube acrylics or much else since I generally stick with what works.

    Nice review and nice to see something you painted:) the consistency of your daggers is impressive, some one uding any brush for the first time isnt going to have the same success which would explain the bad reviews.
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  13. DaveG

    DaveG Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    My biggest complaint with the Neo is that no two seem to work the same - I have found more variation from brush to brush in this line, as compared to the more expensive brothers in the brand. This would be my main reason for not choosing it as a brush I recommend to new comers. I instead choose to suggest brushes I have seen more consistency out of- like the Eclipse.
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  14. Leakyvalve

    Leakyvalve Mac-Valve Maestro!

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    I read @Don Wheeler 's review here...and he was in contact with Gary Glass ( I think he's a big shot at Iwata USA ) personally and had some problems with his NEO. Here is the last edit to his article.

    Post Postscript
    I got a follow-up e-mail from Gary. He wrote that, after my review they took a closer look at their manufacturing and testing processes and found some areas that could lead to mistakes. These have been corrected and should result in, in Gary's words, a better end user experience. That makes me feel pretty good.


    So it looks like they have been actively trying to maintain a consistent product.
    Maybe I got lucky.
  15. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Oring equipped nozzles will always be inconsistent. It's inherent to the design. There's nothing solid to positively position the nozzle.

    I think Don's issues we're aircap holes right?
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
  16. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    A step above the no names for sure, but each one appears to vary in quality and performance, and consistency seems to be an issue. From the above post, looks like that's being addressed, but for a newbie, you don't need that hassle, when you don't have the experience to know if it's you or the brush that isn't right.

    If it's all you can afford starting out, then it's a better option than most cheap brushes, but, you will soon want to upgrade, so to me it seems a waste of money - just buy decent in the first place (lesson learnt the hard way).

    The cynical side of me thinks it's never meant to be more than a starter brush, and is not intended to last, otherwise no one would move on to better quality more expensive brushes. It's more of a hook to catch those wanting more than a cheap knock off, then when they're on the line and associated with the brand, people will more naturally progress to a better model. I love Iwata, but to me it's an uneccessary (expense, and) step, so I always advise the eclipse, easier to learn on, maintain, built like a tank, reliable and you don't grow out of it.
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  17. Leakyvalve

    Leakyvalve Mac-Valve Maestro!

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    Is that coming from personal experience or have you read some reviews? It's been out for at least 7 years, so it's possible a problem batch came through, actually that is exactly what happened to Don. I've found quite a few positive reviews, but now and then I'm finding some negative comments, but it's tough to nail down what their beef is. There are alot of people out there that could clog a Paasche H.
  18. Leakyvalve

    Leakyvalve Mac-Valve Maestro!

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    Don had an issue with the oring being squished combined with aircap hole.. so a double whammy. I don't know when his review was written. But as far as I can see, the nozzle seals flat surface to flat surface. The oring doesn't locate anything. It's just Chinese insurance for machining tolerances.
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  19. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Exactly. If those flat surfaces are made to a tight tolerance there is no need for an oring. If they are not then the nozzle will not only not necessarily seal on its own, it will not locate the same if it's replaced or even tightened a tiny amount different.
    If any portion of the face of a nozzle post or nozzle flange is not perfectly straight and perpendicular to the hole through the nozzle then it shifts the nozzle to an angle because threads must have some slack or they don't work.

    The function of sealing and aligning are intermingled.
    So if you need something else to ensure a seal it means by default you can't ensure alignment.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
  20. Leakyvalve

    Leakyvalve Mac-Valve Maestro!

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    True, but even Iwata uses that orange stuff on their nozzles from the factory. To say it isn't a sealant would be disingenuous. And don't we all use wax on our threads. I know for a fact every brush I have will leak without it.
    They must be doing something alright in Taiwan, because they hit that hole dead center, and it is a very tiny hole. They tightened the cap hole size up vs. other airbrushes I have. Even at 50-60 psi, you would never know it from the sound versus my Revolution, which will blow over an easel.

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