New portable compressor prototype on test.
Over the past few days I've been testing a prototype for an innovative new airbrush compressor. The Iwata Freestyle Air is a rechargeable, battery-operated compressor that offers the benefits of portability with the ability to power precision painting tasks, especially weathering jobs. WIth a choice of three pre-set pressure settings, I've found it excellent for scenic work such as painting and weathering track, scenery and buildings on a layout. It's also proved great for small-scale weathering and detail painting work, such as 'OO' and 'N' gauge rolling stock.
The unit can be operated stood on a heavy-duty rubber pad, or laid flat on its vibration-absorbing feet. It's not too noisy either and the three pressure settings give good control without too much in the way of 'pulsing'. A mains lead is supplied but, when fully charged, the battery will last for up to 45minutes, although the device must be rested momentarily every 9 minutes to prevent overheating. This usually coincides with a need to 'rest' while the surface dries, or to replenish the paint in the airbrush, so it's no big deal.
There's no form of moisture filtration, though, so a cheap in-line filter is recommended but, other than that, it's been hard to find fault with this tool. It's not intended for general work on a larger scale (such as loco livery jobs on 4mm scale models and upwards), but it's a very handy accessory to have for anyone who needs a portable device. As someone who likes to take modelling projects on holiday, this is just the ticket.
I've had great fun playing around with the Freestyle Air and it should be going on sale imminently. Check out www.airbrushes.com for more info...