Tool Review
HP-CH Airbrush
Hi-Line Total Control HP-CH
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by: Carlos Martin [ VARANUSK ]


Iwata is one of the most renown brands of airbrushes, and this HP-CH has been designed around their legendary HP series, which has been on the market over 50 years.

It is classified as Total Control, with fine to medium spraying, in their recent 5 ways to spray system. According to it, Iwata airbrushes are assigned to one of the five categories based on the coverage.
They even provide a test to advice what airbrush should fit you best:

The HP-CH features a Micro Air Control (MAC) valve that allows varying the pressure within the airbrush, a preset for the needle, 7ml fixed cup and PTFE -solvent resistant- needle packing.

First Impressions

The airbrush comes in a black cardboard box with separated lid. Inside, there is a violet foam to keep everything in place.
Apart from the airbrush itself, we find a small tube of lube and the Nozzle Spanner for removing the nozzle.
In hand, it feels solid. With 110gr, it is heavy but in any case comfortable.

The cup is quite big, 7ml -as a comparison, a full bottle of Vallejo is 17ml- so a single load should be enough for any modelling task. The cup has a lid, useful when you paint on extreme angles and to avoid splashes when backflushing.

The needle is 0.3mm, a medium and versatile size that allows very fine to middle width lines depending on pressure, distance to target and trigger (needle) position.
For this reason the airbrush is classified as 2, total control, in their 5 ways to spray.

The MAC valve is on the front, lower, part. It is a screw that allows precision control of the air pressure. Despite you can often do that directly at the compressor, it is good to have it at the airbrush for quick and often changes.

Finally, on the rear there is a preset for the needle. It is is basically a screw that limits the needle run from 0 to max. This is a device I love, as you can be sure you will not spray more paint that you have set.
In use

I have tested the airbrush for this review with Vallejo Model Air 71.052 (German Grey), thinned with 30% of their own thinner and 10% of Flow Improver, which is the brand and dilution I regularly use.
As acrylics are said to be the hardest paints to use, other ones should perform equally or better with the airbrush.
The results are completely satisfactory, it is possible to draw from a really thin line to approximately 1cm wide, and thanks to the needle preset it remains the same width without effort.
Removing the needle cap, although risky for leaving the needle tip without protection, allows to draw even thinner lines.
On the other hand, with higher pressure and taking back the trigger it covers a lot more, thus making it suitable for general painting.
I have been able to get a maximum width of 1 to 1,5cm, which I consider enough for any armour model at 1/35 or below. Bigger kits would take longer to be covered, though.

Once the spray work has finished, it is time for cleaning and in this area I have been also surprised. Emptying a couple of cups of water (for acrylic paint) removes all remaining paint, it is flushed completely from every place.
Other than that, the disassembling is the usual one with a needle chucking nut and screwed nozzle. I did not find any trouble cleaning it.


The airbrush has performed extraordinary well in my tests and further use, it can produce very thin lines to medium width effortlessly.
The classification of Total Control is perfectly justified, and I find its features to be more than adequate for any armour modelling task. Both the MAC valve and the needle preset are useful features that improve the experience.
Highs: Excellent control. Fine adjust of pressure. Easy flush cleaning.
Lows: None noticed
Verdict: A great tool that can be recommended without doubt.
  Scale: N/A
  PUBLISHED: Dec 16, 2019

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About Carlos Martin (varanusk)

My main interest is German vehicles and guns, and I like spending time researching the vehicle and the options for the camo once I have chosen a subject. Sometimes I go for specific and rare vehicles, of which only two or three photos are known so it takes me a lot of time to figure how everything w...

Copyright ©2021 text by Carlos Martin [ VARANUSK ]. All rights reserved.


Thanks for the review! / Robin
DEC 21, 2019 - 09:18 PM
Funnily enough this time last year Darren reviewed the HP-CS just after i had acquired one which was glowing in its terms, and which I love, but its one failing is it just didn't go fine enough for me, so I am now waiting for a HP-CH from Santa as a "stablemmate", and then this review appears, which is equally glowing. I was slightly worried that it could have been a mistake, when there is a degree of overlap, but now looking forward to it.
DEC 21, 2019 - 11:58 PM

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