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Author Topic: Restarting my ST:TMP - 1:350 Enterprise-Refit Build  (Read 5684 times)

Offline Lestatdelc

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Re: Restarting my ST:TMP - 1:350 Enterprise-Refit Build
« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2016, 11:08:10 pm »
I can't wait to see a finished one!

Me too! (exasperated smile)

These are the hardest thing I have ever attempted and have been well over a month and a half to get the process this far.

The sad thing is I still have a long way to go before I can claim success and have a fully built workbee.

Times like this I wish I was Paul Rudd (ala Antman).;)
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Offline Lestatdelc

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Re: Restarting my ST:TMP - 1:350 Enterprise-Refit Build
« Reply #31 on: October 23, 2016, 04:48:14 am »
Well a few more hours this evening/early morning and some measure of progress:



There is a still a little bit of warping and the midline base piece is not flat like it should be. So hull itself is slightly distorted.

But more frustrating is I tore the port side windshield B column strut vinyl piece when I was lifting it off the transparency carrier. So a super annoying little piece is popping up at the front roof edge where the windshield curves down. Grrrr. But not looking too bad overall.

Anyway, enough for this evening.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2016, 04:08:10 pm by Lestatdelc »
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Offline karve

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Re: Restarting my ST:TMP - 1:350 Enterprise-Refit Build
« Reply #32 on: October 23, 2016, 03:17:52 pm »
I think it's looking great! Wonderful detail on such a little guy!
  Careful you don't burn yourself out on these little guys though...you've got a long way to go!  :)
Kevin

"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us."
    Quote from Carl Sagan's 'Pale Blue Dot'  1994

Offline Lestatdelc

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Re: Restarting my ST:TMP - 1:350 Enterprise-Refit Build
« Reply #33 on: October 26, 2016, 03:16:51 am »
Tonight I assembled a decent transparency layer, and tested out threading six 0.25mm fiber optic filaments into the workbee. It was on the whole successful, though one of the side running light filaments moved while I was curing the UV adhesive, and it snapped inside the upper shell.


Tonight's work on the workbees.


I need to improve how I flow the Lazerbond UV cured polymer adhesive into the small opening and figure out a more controllable way to keep the filaments in place while glueing and curing. The small mid-waist notch I put into the side panel worked for the most part, but in all the manhandling putting the Lazerbond into the small baseplate hole, one of them slipped out and subsequently got snagged and snapped.


Test threading of fiber optic filaments.


But as you can see in the photos, five out of the six were in the right positions once it was all said and done. These would of course be clipped pretty much flush to the upper hull, once the PVC "wrap" panels would be attached.

The side port and starboard running lights, while only test lit with the same single bought white LED, would be lit with the appropriately colored LEDs, red and green respectively. And as mentioned, once the workbee was fully assembled, clipped pretty much flush with the hull surface. At this scale just cutting them as close to the surface will make them stick out as much (if not slightly more) than the fairly shallow housing of the lights on the actual workbee.


The interior cabin is lit by the one snapped running light fiber optic filament.


The one on the top would be lit with a yellow LED, and wired into the lighting control board that would make it fire off as a strobe. This one is actually already turning out to be both a challenge, but also a boon to assembly. Since the yellow PVC tape top panel has a prepunch 0.25mm hole in the vinyl, threading the filament through the hole actually makes it easy to guide the panel down into the correct position on the top roof face of the clear transparency build. It also keeps it from slipping around as the piece is held with fingers, etc.

In addition, the top/aft "spine" assembly has the same hole in it, so threading it down over the filament will likewise be useful to alignment and positioning.


SketchUp 3D model showing aft "spine" assembly in grey.


I also began drawing up the clear transparency artwork for the aforementioned "spine" piece. Because of the scale of it, I have had to simplify much of it. So it won't have the bevel faces on it though I may see if a light sanding  on the edges of the key faces of the piece before assembly might simulate it. It is the grey piece running up the starboard aft face and wrapping around on top of the roof that you can see in the screenshot of the SketchUp model above. As you can see in the 3D model you can clearly see the amber colored navigational strobe which sticks out rather predominately above the "spine" piece pretty much at its front edge.


Initial rough artwork for assembling the "spine" assembly.


It will be composed of one basic piece, which folds around on itself to form the two sides, the top center face (sandwiched between the side flaps) and a base folded "piece" which doubles back under the top face, and forms the face that mounts flush against the roof and aft faces of the upper hull. As with the shapes, the details such as the grill, the aft greebles, etc. are all greatly simplified. I noticed too that I need to add in small rectangle and two circles to represent the power charge couplers.

I only drew up that artwork this evening here at home, so will need to run it off tomorrow after work to see if I am close and test if that is "build-able".
« Last Edit: October 26, 2016, 10:49:38 am by Lestatdelc »
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Offline CrowTRobot

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Re: Restarting my ST:TMP - 1:350 Enterprise-Refit Build
« Reply #34 on: October 26, 2016, 05:10:49 am »
Your tenacity and attention to detail is amazing. I suppose your next goal will be to add working food replicators to the VIP lounge!

Offline Lestatdelc

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Tonight's Workbee Test Build
« Reply #35 on: October 27, 2016, 01:52:46 am »
Tonight I had some success building the upper half of a workbee, this time running three of the fiber optic filaments, and then attaching the newest set of yellow printed PVC vinyl tape panels.



I used some scotch tape attached to eh work mat, sticky-side up then put the aft face onto the tape to hold it in place, then pushed the folded side panels down and lining them up with the edge seams. Then used Lazerbond UV cured clear plastic "adhesive" to make the sides wield together. This great aided getting a decent alignment, with very little warping or distortion.



This is definitely the way to go in glueing the folded upper-piece together. This allowed me to keep the aft compartment clear of the Lazerbond enough that I could clue it together, then thread through the top then side running light fiber optic filaments, then use some more Lazerbond to set those in place.



Having those fiber optic filaments set in place was actually an unexpected aid in helping me better place and attach the sliced PVC panels because I could use the filaments as handle/stems. I know some of you know this trick when painting small figures, etc. To use some small putty or dab of glue to attach the piece to a toothpick, wire, etc. and use that as a handle/stand to paint the figure.



The same basic idea was at play here with the attached filaments. This made placing the PVC pieces not only easier, but a lot cleaner. I am happy with the result, and with a few more attempts I should be able to improve it a little more.



The number if test clear transparency cut and fold pieces I have done so far (about 20 or so in various stages of development) have made me pretty good at knocking them out without too much fuss now. Each time it gets a little better and more precise as well.



Tomorrow night I hope to build one or two of these, then see if the new "spine" piece (which is insanely thin and small, is "build-able" as currently printed up. I have some misgivings, and may simply be a part I end up building out of layering 2 or 3 of the printed up pieces and cutting it out after they are sandwiched together (sort of a micro-acetate version of plywood layers).



But we shall see.

Then onto the simpler lower half, which I have decided will carry the three main headlight fiber optic filaments instead of trying to cram all six into the upper half.

I will also finally need to break down and purchase the L'Arsenal 1/350 naval figures, and use the sitting figure as the pilot. The rest I will of course use as crew members in the hanger bay area, officer's lounge and the arboretum/botanical garden.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2016, 02:49:51 am by Lestatdelc »
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Offline MSgtUSAFRet

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Re: Restarting my ST:TMP - 1:350 Enterprise-Refit Build
« Reply #36 on: October 27, 2016, 07:15:44 am »
This is looking very good, Mitch!

Your attention to detail, especially in so small of scale, is astounding!

How many of the work bees do you plan to build?

Keep it going!

Steve
"As long as there is injustice, whenever a Targathian baby cries out, wherever a distress signal sounds among the stars, we'll be there. This fine ship, this fine crew. Never give up... and never surrender."

Offline Lestatdelc

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Re: Restarting my ST:TMP - 1:350 Enterprise-Refit Build
« Reply #37 on: October 28, 2016, 02:24:39 pm »
This is looking very good, Mitch!

Your attention to detail, especially in so small of scale, is astounding!

Thanks Steve.

How many of the work bees do you plan to build?

My end goal is to have 12 workbees built (6 each for each of my refit builds since I am doing two at once). I intend to have either 6 or 8 full workbees with pilots, and either 4 or 6 of them being lit. The rest of them would be just the aft sections, and non-lit, to be "parked" in their recharge stations in the hanger bay. The reason I am vacillating on the 6/8 (and 4/6) full ones is I am still trying to decide on wether not to have one of the full workbees sitting in its landing station cradle or not.

Those cradles are shown in these 3D renders from Fesarius, which are in turn based on the matte painting sketch/designs by Andrew Probert he worked up for ST:TMP.

Of course even after I finish my "test builds" I will likely build more of them than these 12 so I have some spares in case something goes wrong with any of them when installing them in the hanger bay, etc.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2016, 06:11:33 pm by Lestatdelc »
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Offline Lestatdelc

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Re: Restarting my ST:TMP - 1:350 Enterprise-Refit Build
« Reply #38 on: October 28, 2016, 08:57:33 pm »
Finally broke down this evening and purchased the L'Arsenal 1:350 scale Naval figures to use for the Refit build(s). The sitting figure I will be using for the workbees.

Sounds like some of you may have ordered from L'Arsenal in the past. If any of you re in the United States, how long did it usually take for them to arrive after the order was placed?
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Offline Lestatdelc

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The Mt. Everest of Small
« Reply #39 on: October 30, 2016, 01:55:39 am »
Well, I have been working with the initial draft artwork for the workbee spine and posted about it on my build blog. And it is as I imagined. Insanely small and pushing the envelope of being able to be cut, folded and built.


--- Yes this is insanely small.

I had some ability to cut them, and even score and fold them. But it is so small that it may be beyond what the current artwork can allow to be built, and I might need to simplify it some more.


--- The part in these images has a flap that should fold back under the rest, which is sticking out on the front (which is the thing facing down and tot he left in this photo).

As you can see, I did manage to get one cut out, and even folded. Which given the size of this, as evidenced by the image above with the penny in it for scale, should be considered a win. But that was without punching the hole for the fiber optic filament to thread it down onto the workbee upper hull.



I am also not even sure how I can glue the side faces down flush with the center aft face strip which is sandwiched between them. To add to the challenge I have not even fully factored in painting this to get it to the correct color. Though printing this up with the grey PVC tape I have, like I have for the other "wrap" pieces, is another option to try. One idea I have is using the grey paint as the adhesive itself and simply filling in the empty cavity created between the side faces and the center strip with paint. This would color it from the back side (since this is clear transparency film) and simultaneously serve as the adhesive. Not too sure if that will work or not but that is something I will try next.



While it was somewhat successful, the roof face piece of PVC tape I had intentionally cut a little longer than it should be, creating a slight ledge off the back of the roof. So while I was able to punch a hole into and push onto the "post" the fiber optic filament on the roof made, the ledge created by the PVC tape pieces caused the side faces of the spine piece to splay out to the sides. dsc07176This was because the roof PVC tape would not allow the expect corner roof/aft face edge to fall where it needed to.

I did try and thread one down over the upper hull part I assembled the other day which had the fiber optic filaments and the PVC tape "wrap" applied. It was somewhat encouraging. IN drawing up the artwork,I made it so the "spine" piece had accounted for the thickness of a single piece of PVC tape to be applied as the aft face "wrap", but this roof piece as I had cut it and had attached to th workbee was just a long enough to cause the problems. I could force one side face down but t would pop up the spine off the roof and splay out the opposite side face.


--- Current "spine assembly" artwork.

I will try a new upper-hull assembly with a more accurately cut roof piece of the printed PVC, and see if that will do the trick. I also have some thoughts about simplifying the artwork regardless. Since I spotted some refinement that the detailing design art, I can also experiment with the layout of the piece itself which might be easier to "assemble" and fit onto the workbee.

But this the level of small size is certainly scaling the Mt. Everest in hand fabrication to pull off.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2016, 01:56:41 am by Lestatdelc »
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Offline AlW

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Re: Restarting my ST:TMP - 1:350 Enterprise-Refit Build
« Reply #40 on: October 30, 2016, 06:17:06 am »
Mitch, this is incredible work you're doing and I'm in amazement watching you work in this scale!  It got me wondering if some of it could be 3D printed to make your life easier.  Could you print the work bees leaving a void for the cockpit?  Your 3D rendering skills are so good, and the quality of 3D printing these days so much better, that it might be something to consider.  Doing a quick search of maker labs, or makerspaces, in the Portland area yielded some interesting results.  Most universities, and even community colleges have maker labs for the general public to join, and many will have 3D printers.  Just a thought.

Good luck -- it's going to be an epic journey!

Offline Lestatdelc

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Re: Restarting my ST:TMP - 1:350 Enterprise-Refit Build
« Reply #41 on: October 30, 2016, 02:34:25 pm »
Mitch, this is incredible work you're doing and I'm in amazement watching you work in this scale!

Thanks.

It got me wondering if some of it could be 3D printed to make your life easier.  Could you print the work bees leaving a void for the cockpit?  Your 3D rendering skills are so good, and the quality of 3D printing these days so much better, that it might be something to consider.  Doing a quick search of maker labs, or makerspaces, in the Portland area yielded some interesting results.  Most universities, and even community colleges have maker labs for the general public to join, and many will have 3D printers.  Just a thought.

Funny you should mention that. A co-worker of my better half has a 3D printer and I have plans to meet with him after work on Monday. Not sure what model 3D pinter he has, or what resolution it can print something. I did look at some of the more affordable (i.e. under $,1000) 3D printers and the finest resolution I could find, such as the M3D Micro 3D, have a min. 50 micron resolution, or 0.04mm in size. Which is probably good enough to be usable.

So it is something I am considering.

Though I must say this has been a fantastic learning experience so far, and helping me get my modeling/detailing chops back to form.

Good luck -- it's going to be an epic journey!

Thanks again. I need it. ;)
« Last Edit: October 30, 2016, 02:35:56 pm by Lestatdelc »
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Offline Lestatdelc

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Re: Restarting my ST:TMP - 1:350 Enterprise-Refit Build
« Reply #42 on: November 05, 2016, 12:44:03 am »
I haven't been working directly on the workbees or the other parts of my refit builds her over the past 6 days, but I have been making progress on some tertiary things for my builds, and started down exploring some 3D printing of some of the workbee parts and possibly the workbees themselves.

First, I began to finally make the leap from a single-action to dual-action airbrushing and I recently purchased two new dual-action airbrushes. So towards getting my old airbrush rig up to the current standards I purchased a new airbrush compressor, a Pro Silent air compressor.

This is, as its name suggests, a silent tank compressor, which should greatly improve airbrushing vs. the tankless old compressor I have currently. Besides it being pretty much silent more importantly it will also allow a much greater control and even amount of airflow since the 2 liter tank keeps the air pressure at a much more even and consistent level.



--- Frank Artale video comparing the Micron vs. Iwata.

This was the compressor that Frank Artale talks about, whose YouTube channel is extremely helpful in getting some honest appraisal and advice about various airbrushes on the market. His videos are a great resource for those looking at various airbrushes.

I actually spoke with him by phone this afternoon for 45 mins. on some advice about finally upgrading from my current  Olympos HP-18B single-action airbrush to a dual-action airbrush. I was looking at the Olympos Micron airbrush he compares favorably to most of the Iwata and Harder & Steenbeck airbrushes.



--- Olympos Micron airbrush.

He has a good price on the Micron airbrush from Olympos, but given the type of airbrushing I am doing, he recommend I might be happier going with the Iwata Eclipse HP-CS airbrush, which is more accommodating to pigment sizes and types, and can lay down a wider and more even spray than the Micron does, since I would not be doing much (if any) freehand fine line-work with the airbrush since 99.9% is all put down after masking with tape, friskets, etc.



--- Iwata Eclipse HP-CS airbrush.

While Frank doesn't sell the Iwata, his recommending it vs. the Olympos Micron which he does sell, only underscores his coming across as an honest broker who wants people to have the right tools for their needs. That that he is not in it to cash in so much as to help other airbrush artists.

The down side is the Iwata Eclipse is a bit more pricey than the great price Frank was offering the Olympos Micron at. Though only about $45 more from multiple sellers on eBay than the fantastic price Frank has the Micron going for privately. While it may be a bit of money, I may get both.

This would, along with my existing single-action Olympos, give me a good range of utility. I can still use my single-action airbrush to applying even dull-coats and top-coats, etc. And having both the Micron and the Eclipse would not only allow having two colors loaded up (one in each brush) which can be help in applying some of pearlescent shimmer layers in the 5-color aztec patterns on the Enterprise build, but in some of the other areas as well.

So the Pro Silent compressor I purchased from Golden Depot on eBay arrived today, as did the new quad airbrush stand I ordered.



--- Pro Silent Compressor and airbrush stand.

First thing you notice with this compressor is that the thing is built like a frakin' tank. It is a 1/2 HP air compressor with an integrated 2 liter tank and is as solid as a rock, and weighs like it is made of it as well. Clocking in at just over 20kg (44 lbs), it is shocking how heavy it is. Luckily it has a very sturdy handle, and the weight is fairly evenly distributed. So while it is far for light, carrying it is not too much of a hassle. It also comes with some solid office chair style screw-in casters. So after those were installed it's now easy to move around on a hard surface or even a carpeted floor.



--- The hideous "Pro Silent" logotype sticker.

The second thing you notice (and I braced myself for it when I ordered it) was the stunningly ugly "Pro Silent" sticker affixed to the sides of the casing. Perhaps it is the graphic designer snob in me, but man that is (or rather was) one ugly logo and lettering. Thankfully the case itself is solid metal with a hard-baked enamel paint coating on it and the aforementioned design atrocity was simply some printed vinyl label. So it came off without a hitch once I got one of the female "fingers" in the logotype pulled up.

The compressor itself ships without any lubricant in it, but does come with a large bottle (roughly a quart) of ISO 32 lubricating oil which you have to pour into the feed tube before you run it. After spending some time carefully filling the oil reserve, transferring my airbrush hose from my old compressors to the new one, I hooked up my old single-action Olympos airbrush to give it an initial test run. After almost silently bringing the tank up to pressure, there is just a quiet yet audible "pffft" as the safety switch trips once the PSI gets to 10kg in the tank. Not that loud at all.



--- "Pro Silent" sticker meets its rightly earned fate.

The compressor only kicks in if the tank pressure subsequently drops below 5kg PSI, then it quietly pumps up the holding tank to the 10kg again then "pffft" shuts off. The entire time, the regulator with integrated humidity trap keeps the air pressure feeding the airbrush line at the constant level you have the regulator set at.

The regulator is pretty standard with the "pull-out" clickable rotating nozzle handle which allows you to set the PSI to what you want. You then push the nozzle down and it clicks into place and locking in the target PSI.

After I made sure the compressor was working as advertised, I unhooked my old airbrush and connected up my new beauties. First the Iwata Eclipse, then the Olympos Micron. I just shot water through it as I didn't want to pull out any paints or inks just yet. Since I was doing all this on the kitchen counter in case I had any oil filing mishaps, I didn't want to tempt fate with any pigments or stainable liquids. ISO 32 is actually a biodegradable vegetable oil so no toxicity at all so no risk doing this in the kitchen.

Needless to say, compared to the constant rumble of my old tank-less compressor this is pure heaven.

And the killer part of it is the entire compressor set-up, including shipping was $97.64. Given what you get, and how heavy this thing is, ow they make money on it is beyond me. Frank Artale said that he spoke with the company that is selling these and apparently they ordered something like 250 of these as part of a distribution deal they were going to enter int, which fell through. So they were stuck with a ton of these things and they were looking to just get them out of their warehouse and are actually taking a slight loss on them.

Anyway, score one for team Mitch.



--- New 4-airbrush stand.

My new airbrush stand I purchased off of eBay from air soft express also arrived today. Since my two new dual-action airbrushes have the integrated gravity feed cups (my old Olympus HB is a bottle/siphon feed) this stand is pretty much essential. If you have a gravity-feed airbrush (or even side-feed cup one) I highly recommend you get one of these. It allows you to put the airbrush down without spilling any of the liquid you have loaded up in the gravity-feed well.

The stand I purchased can hold up to 4 airbrushes. It has two rubber coated hanging hooks, and two angled swivel barrels. The arms are metal, as is the base. It has rubber suction cups on all four corners as "feet" so the stand wont move around or tip over if you are clumsily putting an airbrush into one of the cradles, etc. This one was only $13 and there are many other comparable ones with different mounting options for roughly the same price (some even less).

I also purchased a few of the quick release air hose couplers for the airbrushes to allow super-easy and quick swap out of brushes and connecting them to the air hose. But those have yet to arrive.

Anyway. I am still quite a ways away from doing any painting on the actual build yet as I am still deep into refining my designs and build techniques for my scratch-built workbees. To that end for the past few evenings, I have been tinkering around with coming up with some test 3D object pushes to try and do some 3D printing of them.


--- Some simplified 3D test shapes in SketchUp.

One of better-half's co-workers, Shane, has a Lulzbotz Taz 6 3D printer and after meeting with him once the trick-or-treaters ended on Monday, graciously agreed to get involved and letting me try out some 3D printing on his machine in the coming weeks. This may be a big change in direction in how I approach making the workbees themselves (not to mention some other hyper-detailing parts down the road).

Even if I don't 3D print the workbees entirely (which I am not even sure it possible at this small a scale) I might still might be able to 3D print the pilot and seat, as well as the "spine" assembly on the roof and aft section of the workbee.



--- Workbee 3D model in Cura, a 3D printing slicer app.

I know I am already starting out on the very edge of what's printable on the most consumer-based 3D printers, to say nothing of trying to rapidly ramp up my 3D modeling skills and understanding of 3D slicer apps. It shows some promise, and even if it may not be
« Last Edit: November 05, 2016, 02:29:36 am by Lestatdelc »
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Offline Lestatdelc

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Re: Restarting my ST:TMP - 1:350 Enterprise-Refit Build
« Reply #43 on: November 05, 2016, 02:37:18 am »
Some tangentially related late-night video viewing... Star Trek: The Motion Picture behind the scenes interview with Doug Trumbull on lighting and filming the Enterprise.



--- Click to watch on YouTube.
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Offline CrowTRobot

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Re: Restarting my ST:TMP - 1:350 Enterprise-Refit Build
« Reply #44 on: November 05, 2016, 06:35:00 am »
Congrats on the equipment upgrade. I have 2 of those Iwata Eclipse airbrushes with different needle/nozzle sizes, and I love them. One of them is 18 years old, and it's still going strong. The only part I ever had to replace on it was the needle which I damaged due to mishandling.

 




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