Harder & Steenbeck Metallwarenfabrik e. K.
Model No. : 126023
Suggested Retail Price: $130.00 US
Harder and Steenbeck got its start in the electrical component industry in 1923 and it wasn’t until after WWII when the company began to produce spray guns and airbrushes. The high quality products were renowned for their precision and durability.
After the selling of Harder and Steenbeck in 1992 by Hans Harder the son of one of the co-founders; August Harder, the company moved its location and things seemed to take off from their. Jens Matthissen, the current sole proprietor of Harder and Steenbeck, joined the company as a partner. Soon after, Harder and Steenbeck acquired to what is now known as Hansa World of Airbrush and began exporting and setting the bar for the global airbrush industry.
Today, Harder and Steenbeck are at the top of the evolutionary airbrush food chain. Along with being manufactured and sold in Germany, Harder & Steenbeck exports their airbrushes around the world. Replacement and aftermarket parts as well as a huge selection of airbrushing accessories are available through many of the distributors located around the globe.
The Evolution Silverline Solo Airbrush
Model no. 126023
I recently received the Evolution Silverline Solo Airbrush from the North American Division of Harder & Steenbeck and surprisingly enough I was given the opportunity to give my opinion on which airbrush I would like to review for the Modelers Social Club Forum. As you can imagine, this was a daunting task. There are about forty different models of airbrushes to choose from, not to mention that each are customizable to where the number is too high to even want to think about. Each airbrush has their list of qualifications that would fit fine into anyone’s wants and needs for an airbrush. I narrowed down the field using a list of criteria; Style, usefulness, practicality and of course price. I came to the conclusion the Evolution Silverline Solo Airbrush was the one.
The Evolution Silverline Solo airbrush, I felt was a middle ground of the line of airbrushes offered by Harder & Steenbeck. This is a duel action airbrush with the price ranging between $130.00 and $160.00 in the US; this cost is comparable around the world. This puts this right in the mix with all other mainstream airbrushes on the market cost wise giving you, the modeler, and a good gauge for the “apples to apples” comparison when looking to purchase your next airbrush.
The Silverline Solo is sold in a hard shell slide locking plastic case with a contour molded interior that encompasses the airbrush securely. At first glance, I noticed there is a highly polished chrome finish to this airbrush as it lay nestled in the box. The following features com standard on the Silverline Solo:
Included with the Silverline Solo (model no. 126023)
- Hard Shell Case
- Polished Solvent-resistant Chrome Finish
- Interchangeable 2 ml Color Cup
- 0.2 mm Nozzle
- 0.2 mm Needle
- Paint Control Tail Piece
- nozzle sets 0.15/0.2/0.4/0.6mm
- spatter cap
- fpc-air valve (fine pressure control)
- end piece with adjustable paint control
- end piece Quick Fix adjustable paint control with memory function
- metal cup 2 ml, 5 ml and 15 ml
- side fitting connector set with two glass cups
- color cup 2 ml, 5 ml, 50 ml, 100 ml
- plastic cup with lid 50 ml
- metal lid for cup (gravity and suction feed system) 5 ml
- metal lid for cup 2 ml
- side fitting connector set with 2 glasses 15 ml
- airline connector
- nozzle cleaning set (nozzle cleaning needle and brush)
- screwdriver for assembling of the needle seal
- airbrush holder in different designs
The Silverline Solo is also sold in a “2 in 1” version as well as the “FPC 2 in 1” version. The 2 in 1 comes with standard with both a 0.2mm & 0.4mm Needle/Nozzle and both the 2ml cup as well as an added 5ml cup. The “FPC” 2 in 1 model comes equip with the Fine Pressure Control (FPC) mechanism which is installed at the air intake as a regulator to control the internal air flow.
The Sliverline Solor has a nice feel to it, weighing in at 97 grams and is balanced front to back almost perfectly. The control lever sits on a ball and socket design allowing smooth operation when depressing and sliding when using. The air valve, controlling the dispensing of air when pressing the lever, is very responsive. Even without air pressure, you can feel the even tension when pressing down on the lever. After connecting compressed air to the airbrush this is even more notable as this allows an extremely fine control over the adding and subtracting of air while painting.
The 2ml paint cup is fully removable from this model allowing ease to the cleaning operation of the airbrush. In addition, there are larger cup attachments that can be purchased and screw right in allowing larger paint capacity.
The paint control tail piece is fully adjustable allowing complete control over the amount of paint introduced when painting. It is worth mentioning that Harder & Steenbeck does offer the Quick Fix adjustable paint control with memory function whereas the adjusting tail piece control snaps in and out switching the airbrush from the pre-set dial control you set to full operation.
The airbrush was supplied to me with a standard 1/8” quick connect. I was able to snap right into my existing connection. Harder & Steenbeck also offer both Neoprene and Braided air supply hoses. All hose come equip with a standard ¼” NPT connection on one end and a standard female quick connect fitting on the other. I was fortunate enough to be supplied with a 10 foot braided hose with the review sample. The hose is extremely flexible and has a durable braided design covering the airline. As I mentioned, the fittings on either end are standard and I was able to connect the hose in seconds.
Every tool needs a little test drive from time to time and there is no exception here with the Evolution Silverline Solo airbrush. After a quick snap to hook up the airline, the first thing I noticed without filling with paint is the sleek, lightweight feel this airbrush has. The tool fits really fine in the hand and the balance is exceptional. Playing with the air control, I found the lever and air valve are highly responsive with smooth action spanning across the air control to the paint introduction. , I chose several different paints off my shelf to give them a whirl. I, like many, have found that each paint shoots a bit differently depending on the airbrush that you are using.
Each of the selected paints shot smoothly without thinning through the Silverline Solo. There was no drying of the tip and any over spray I encountered was solely by my hand and not the airbrush. Personally I like to paint up a model to test drive an airbrush as this will be the airbrush’s primary function in my hands.
Harder & Steenbeck offer some excelled tutorial media though there website and distributors. They were kind enough to send along their Airbrush Workshop DVD (Item no. 93001) which “the 90 minute DVD provides clear, concise answers to frequently asked questions about airbrush technology and the Harder & Steenbeck range. Topics include airbrush and compressor systems, the range of
accessories and possible causes of malfunction. The user is introduced to the technology by way of initial exercises. Two step-by-step guides explain how to work with loose stencils and the foil masking technique.” And is narrated in both English and German.
A took the liberty of snagging a couple of screenshots to show the precise paint control.
I feel there is a difference between using an airbrush to drawing art on canvas or paper and the application of paint to a model, with maybe the exception of adding certain camouflage schemes. This is why I chose to test drive the airbrush across a nice little test piece I have in the man-cave! A simple and rather quick paint modulation was my thought. With various Dunkelgelb hues of paint, I gave this 1/72 VK the once over.
Only after taking about 10 minutes to lay down some color, I felt this airbrush really hits the bull’s-eye! Smooth control with broad enough spray ability to pre-shade and lay down great coverage to thin layers and pin-point applications. In between color changes a little water to clean out the acrylic color from the color cup was all that was needed.
The great design to the needle cap, located around the protruding needle, allows you to get up close and personal with spot shooting while painting. There are small vent holes located around the needle cap which seems to allow the air to escape when applying paint at close range such as in camouflage applications.
The Evolution Silverline Solo cleans up in a snap. To breakdown the airbrush for cleaning, simply remove the Air Head which houses the Nozzle inside and the Needle Cap on the outside. Next the Color Cup can be removed by unscrewing counterclockwise which separates the Color Cup from the Body. With acrylics all that was needed was a little warm soapy water to loosen the residual paint from the Air Head assembly and Color Cup. A paintbrush , cleaning brushes or a pipe cleaner along with the soapy water or airbrush cleaner is all that was needed to bring the Body section back to “like new” condition.
Harder & Steenbeck offers a ten year limited warranty on all airbrushes that they sell and I could suspect that after being in the airbrush industry for over 50 years and in business for much longer than that, that the will still be around if the warranty is ever needed. Harder & Steenbeck keeps an inventory of spare and replacement parts along with all of the accessories they offer; available direct from the company as well as many of their distributors around the globe. Needle replacement costs are under $14.00
I can honestly say that I feel the Evolution Silverline Solo Airbrush from Harder & Steenbeck Metallwarenfabrik e. K. is one of the better airbrushes I have had the chance to use to date. The action on this airbrush is extremely smooth most undoubtedly from the innovative designs of the air valve and lever allowing precise control of the amount of air and/or paint delivered. The balance is certainly at the top of the list of my high points after using the Silverline Solo. Being able to feel comfortable with the tool in the hand is almost half the battle for me. This airbrush fits very well in the hand and the weigh front to back is seamless.
In this day and age the all mighty dollar drives what and when things are purchased for the most part. So when deciding it is time to invest in an airbrush, replacing or first time purchases, it is not uncommon to look to purchasing cheaper or even unbranded airbrushes sacrificing quality to put the tool in your hand. With the Evolution Silverline Solo from Harder & Steenbeck, I feel you can actually have both; quality and value. The Silverline Solo has a suggested retail price around $148.00 US; however after a quick search of the list of distributors on the Harder & Steenbeck website as well as a general search online this airbrush can be purchased for less.
It is hard to finish up a review of a product whereas everything about the product is a high point and not have any lows, but that is something I will have to personally deal with as I cannot see a downside to this airbrush. I highly recommend the Evolution Silverline Solo airbrush to anyone considering purchasing a new airbrush.
I wish to thank the folks from Harder & Steenbeck for supplying this airbrush for review!!
If you get the chance, stop by the Harder & Steenbeck Website at http://www.germanairbrush.com/ and check out the full line of quality airbrushes and supplies they have to offer.