Tool Review
External Mac Valve
External Mac Valve
  • External_Mac_Valve_HP-CS

by: Keith Forsyth [ DOCDIOS ]

Iwata have been at the fore front of the airbrushing industry for years, their products are known for the quality they provide, and the experience that comes with years of product advancement. They have an extensive range that produces airbrushes for all different hobbies and industries, that provide for the beginner all the way through to the professional. Here we take a look at a small addition that increases the use of your airbrush.

The Mac Valve
With the different types of paints available to the discerning modeller these days, they all seem to have slightly different properties, including the pressure required to successfully spray them. If you are lucky to have a compressor with an adjustable output pressure then it is less of a pain, although having to crawl under the desk to reset it every time you change paint brands can be a nuisance, never mind having to remember what each setting is for each brand. Now iwata has come to the rescue with the release of their MAC valve.

The MAC valve is basically a small air pressure control valve that fits on the bottom of your airbrush, it has a small knurled screw that allows you to minutely adjust the air pressure into your airbrush, without the need of a major reset of the compressor. It works from fully open to fully closed, allowing a full range of pressure.

It fits to the airbrush by simply screwing to the bottom between the airbrush and the air hose, allowing you to run your compressor at a slightly higher air pressure than you normally would, then adjust the operating pressure down to the level you wish to spray with. Should you then change colour or paint brands, a simple adjustment on the knurled screw, a small test spray away from the model, and away you go.

Having fitted the MAC valve to my TR2 and spending an evening spraying away in my modelling room, I have to admit it was quite a useful tool. Swapping between Lifecolor, Tamiya and Vallejo paints and the slightly different air pressures required to successfully spray these was made a whole lot easier with the MAC valve. After spraying with one brand and then cleaning through, loading up with the new colour, then spraying into the top of an old box whilst tweaking the MAC valve and then once happy spraying the model. This beat adjusting the compressor again and again to complete the same task tenfold, it was just so much simpler to do, and the adjustment was a whole lot finer than I could ever hope to achieve than with my compressor adjustment alone. It made spraying different paint brands a pleasure rather than a chore. The only real downside to the MAC valve is it makes your airbrush just that little bit longer but is weighs next to nothing, so after a while you probably will not even notice it. Recommended.

Highs: A simple piece of technology that makes spraying different paint brands a breeze.
Lows: Makes the handle of your airbrush longer, so may feel awkward at first.
Verdict: It is a simple product that does quite a fantastic job. Will it make you a better painter? Probably not, but it will certainly make the job a little easier for those modellers that use various brands of paint.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: K250
  Suggested Retail: 18.99
  PUBLISHED: Feb 14, 2009

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About Keith Forsyth (docdios)

Keith Forsyth (docdios) comes from the small town of Stafford in the United Kingdom. He began his interest in modeling at an early age with armor being the main focus. It was not until finding himself between jobs in 1995 that he really got hooked. It was during a shopping visit to another town when...

Copyright 2021 text by Keith Forsyth [ DOCDIOS ]. All rights reserved.


Thanks for the great review, Keith. I ordered two of these from Dixieart a week ago and they're on the way. It's nice to know that they do what I wanted them for before I get them! I can't wait to try them out for myself. It's a very economical way to get Custom Micron - like performance out of a Revolution or HP.
FEB 15, 2009 - 02:40 PM
Hi, Please tell me, is this MAC valve essentialy the same thing that comes with the Iwata HP-CH (Highline) brushes? I have one of those and it has a knob similiar to this but already as part of the airbrush body. Just curious... Thanks! Rob
FEB 16, 2009 - 08:31 AM
Hi Rob, Yes, that's exactly what this is. Your MAC valve is built into the airbrush so you don't need one of these. It's a great addition to any Iwata that doesn't have one though.
FEB 16, 2009 - 08:39 AM

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