by: Mitko Nikitov [ ]
I have reviewed and tested a lot of airbrushes, including pistol grips and conventional, high precision and general-work-oriented tools, with or without bells and whistles like air regulators, tail stoppers and what not. Nothing beats simplicity though. The more simple, the more pleasant and less mind burdening.
I remember the first time I saw Alclads video by Floyd Werner Jr., and the single action airbrush that he used and how it inspired me to get one of these, in order to achieve the same results and use it for general work like priming, clear coats and such.
Since then, I expanded my collection of single-action airbrushes, keeping that Badger 200-20 that Floyd sprayed with, but using mostly the new style of tail-less single-action airbrushes instead. Just recently, I expanded my toolbox with Mr.Hobby Procon Boy SQ, a .4mm single-action airbrush, labelled PS-268.
Box and Contents Mr.Hobby PS-268 comes in different colours, depending on your preferences. There are blue and wine red available, as well as the one we are reviewing here. There is a difference in between the one used here and the coloured ones and that is the material. PS-268AB and AR versions /Blue and Red/ are lighter, due to the materials used. I insisted on the heavier tool, since it is shorter and I prefer to feel the weight in my hand.
The box is simple and minimalistic, square in shape and with opening on top to show the airbrush. IT can be hanged on a wall or store hanger for clear display and on its side it has some other Mr.Hobby products features.
On its back there is a diagram on how to connect some of Mr.Hobby’s airbrush types to two different air sources: Air can and a regular compressor. It is done in a rather complex way, showing different connections, hose types & sizes and fittings.
Inside there is a Styrofoam shaped bed for the airbrush, its wrench, a hose and an air can connector. The instructions are beneath it facing the back of the outer packing so be sure to not miss that while opening.
Instructions There is a three-way folded leaflet with 6 pages of information in total, starting with Procon Boy SQ PS-268 cutaway in a form of a drawing. The latter one shows all the internals of the airbrush, each part described in Japanese and English. Additionally there is an air hose joint and the air valve for the can connection.
Inside, some explanation on how to attach it to Mr.Air /can/ was made clear in pictures as well as some basic operation instructions. That includes guide on paint dilution with pictures, but as expected, only Mr.Color and Mr.Color Thinner are mentioned.
The distance that you work from, as well as expected results are depicted carefully and that is very useful for those who haven’t used a single-action airbrush before. That is important, since even though with .4mm nozzle, PS-268 is precise enough to give very good results, in case one know how to use it properly.
Maintenance guide follows as well as some troubleshooting advisory, which is too useful for first-time single-action airbrush users.
Airbrush As mentioned above PS-268 Procon Boy is heavy, or more appropriately said – heavier than the other versions. We have 140 grams of aluminium here and a paint cup with 7ml a cap. PS-268 features a screw on its tail that fixes the airbrush position in to the desired place for different paint applications.
Being a single-action airbrush does not make it un-tuneable and once you get the feel of it, you can adjust it very delicately. That being said, I have seen surprisingly good paint jobs made with single-action airbrushes. No certain for the brand, however the concept is the same and if you get the proper feeling while using it, that will be here to stay for many.
The trigger moves only up and down, it is relatively light and the spring action is pleasant. On the side of the body of the Procon Boy SQ, we have inscribed PS-268 04 Creos JAPAN. Model is self-explanatory, 04 is the .4mm nozzle, Creos is the company and it is made in Japan.
The needle is protected by a needle cap, which is pretty standard for such nozzle size and the overall feel of the airbrush is pretty neat. The tail screw moves freely but not loosely, and if you are used to such weight, you will be perfectly suited with the gun.
As with Badger 200-20, PS-268 from Mr.Hobby is very suitable for even coating. Alclad spraying, as well as clear and primer coats is a breeze. That is the single action concept – using an airbrush, but with simplistic manner, from equalized distance and with constant pressure, usually starting off of the sprayed surface and ending away from it too.
That gives equal and balanced coverage, however it does not exclude the option for free hand camouflages. Latter one can be done and again, I can vouch for that from applications that I’ve seen made by other modellers, that looks surprisingly good and do not differ from dual-action works with much.
The trick is the starting and eventually the end point of the spray pattern, however this is solvable in more than one way. With that said, PS-268 can draw pretty thin lines and it works very good with the atomization of the mixture. The short appearance Add to that and somehow eases the work with it.
Dual action airbrushes have that silhouette in your hand, pointing far from your index finger pressing the trigger and then the tail is going back way too much. That helps guiding your paint even on subconscious level while you are looking at it. Here, probably due to the expected applications, everything is more sturdy-looking and short, designed specifically for more general work. Very well thought and designed. No wonder why these airbrushes are that popular and if you get Iwata for example – quite expensive.
Conclusion PS-268 comes at a very affordable price and is perfectly comparable with Iwata M2, which features the same characteristics but costs 3 times more. It is no brainer and if you are into NMF or you just need simple and reliable tool for priming and clear coats, this is your gun!
Inexpensive, simple to work with, perfect for general applications tool, far exceeding performance expectations, especially for single-action airbrush. Adjustable needle position, 7ml colour cup with cap, good ergonomics.
Color options PS-268AB and PS-268AR are more expensive but weight less, which can be a preferable choice for some. Option for Mr.Air can-supply with the hose and the attachment is useless in my opinion. Styrofoam bed of the airbrush makes it look a bit cheap.
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