Iwata Custom Micron CM-SB

I finally got a Custom Micron. It’s been 17 years of dreaming about it I finally gave in. Okay the real reason is my friend also wanted one and I managed to get a good deal from the importer for buying 2.

I opted for the SB, or side bucket as I call it, because it is what I will be using when doing Marissa’s class next year and as I found with my Eclipse CS, it is a schlep doing colour changes.

This thing is gorgeous. Super shiny and well presented. I just took the normal version that came in a cardboard box. A well made box but still cardboard. All that is in the box is the the gun, cup, small wrench, manual and a small piece of paper that shows you the spray pattern of the gun.

It is smaller and lighter than my Eclipse, that is with the paint cup seeing that that is how you will work.

Firstly I removed the needle, chucking guide and spring adjuster. I made sure not to disturb the back lever as it can be a mission to get those back into place again. I dropped a drop of lube on each of it and re-assembled it all again. The spring adjuster is super long and this help to adjust the spring tension without having to cut or replace the spring. I added the side cup on the right side as it came out of the box. I mixed some Com-art opaque paint with water and medium and dropped it into the cup. Set the compressor for about 15psi and bam, a big blob of paint. This thing is very sensitive. I dropped the PSI to about 10 and it still came out in a big mass. Okay, it’s not the air but the trigger that is so sensitive.

I tried a smaller movement and it was perfect. Hardly a movement and the paint started flowing. I dropped the pressure even more to about 8psi and this felt great. It just kept on going.

So I poured the paint out, gave the gun a quick wash and started on modifying the trigger. The trigger as it is was shorter than my Eclipse so I had to build it up quite a bit. I let the glue dry shaped it with my NT cutter and some sandpaper. Now it is perfect. I still need to do something about the needle chucking screw at the bottom that catches my thumb. It’s the way I hold the airbrush that is the problem, not the design. But that’s for another time.

And back goes the paint and the fun continues. The trigger is much more responsive now. At one stage I dropped the pressure to about 5psi and it still painted perfectly. This thing likes low air pressure. I’m sure if I hang the air hose out the window and there is a light breeze, it will work.

One small problem with painting at such low pressure and small bits at a time, is that the paint actually starts separating in the paint bowl. So you have to give it a quick back flush to mix it all up again. Oops, that does not work. I tried my darnedest to cover the crown cap but it did not work. I had to remove it, and very carefully shut the air around the nozzle. It worked brilliantly. Now that I think of it, I should have used the clear protective cap that came with the gun. It gives a good seal.

Then it was time to try alternative cups. The reason for this is I would like more then one cup for quick colour changes as mentioned but the Iwata cups are ridiculously expensive. I have an Aztek on loan from a friend and I’ve read on the net somewhere that the Aztek cups fit. I tried the smallest of the gravity feet cups and it work 100%. It actually makes the gun even lighter. The problem with this gravity feed cup is that when you remove the cup from the gun, the paint runs out. So they can only be used with a single colour job or you have to use the cups with the outlet on the middle op the cup.

Well I played till midnight and not ones did I refill my cup. Four hours of playing cost me less then 3.6ml (1/8oz) of paint. Cleaning was much easier then I though it would be. Just dumped the left over paint, rinsed with some a window cleaner and water mixture and it was done.

In conclusion, I think I’m going to love this gun. It will be my “Sunday” gun and only come out when I really need it. Which will be quite often I hope. When I start making money with it the maintenance bill will be taken care off but hopefully I will not need to change anything anytime soon.

Photo time

Taken in the car with cell phone. Was so excited I could not wait to open it.



Trigger build up


Compared to Eclipse