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Old 02-01-2012, 08:55 PM
dragonsfire dragonsfire is offline
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Richpen 213 "Super tuned" a.k.a. Mojo II review.

I needed a new detail brush to use with solvent-base paints, and the Buy One Get One deal was just too tempting to pass up for a claimed micron-beater. So, curiosity got the best of me, and I (hanging head in shame) ordered them up from Bear-Air.

Normally, when I get a new brush, the first thing I do is tear it down and check out the parts. But, I figured that since this was a "tuned" airbrush, I'd see how they performed straight from the box, then tear it down and check it out.

The first thing I noticed is that an apparently drunken 3rd grader had etched "ST" into the side of it. Damn vandals. ;-)

Next, I noticed that the trigger has been ground down to a smooth, brass surface. I really am not sure why, but I'm not a fan.

I put in some slightly thinned E'Tac EFX black, which typically sprays very nicely, and got ready to put it through some warm ups. Upon picking it up, I noticed what is probably the biggest flaw in the brush design- your finger WILL hit the color cup, unless you use a finger-tip style grip (which I dont). I haven't measured the space between the trigger and color cup, but I'd estimate it to be about 1/2" or so.

Putting that aside, I found a semi-comfortable grip, and decided to see how it actually worked.

I have to say, I was impressed with it's fine-line ability. It will make some pretty fine lines. It seems not to like going below 20psi or so, though. Even with the paint thinned further, response and atomization start to suffer much below that. Respectable performance, but no micron-beater.

Then I decided to test how it handles gradations. Unfortunately, not so well. I'm not sure if it's an issue of ergonomics, or sacrificing the wider performance for the sake of detail ability, but I had a tough time getting it to make a smooth, predictable gradation. Also, the atomization wasn't up to what I'd expect from a $350 brush (even if you get one free with it).

The biggest possitive thing I can say is that I was impressed, and suprised, by the fine detail ability.

The overall feel was one of a quality airbrush. Nicely weighted, smooth action with any trigger slop. Nice, instant response. Then your finger hits that damn color cup again, and you have to wonder who approved that design. As much as I'd love to blame Bearair or Mike Learn for a flaw with the airbrush, the biggest flaw falls firmly on Richpen. I've never seen an airbrush where the trigger and color cup are so ridiculously close. Maybe the designer had really, really small hands, or was missing part of his trigger finger. But, somewhere along the line, someone should have pointed out that normal people have fingers, and usually use more than just the very end of the very tip of the finger to airbrush with.

Putting that aside again, I decided it was time to open up the patient, and see how things looked on the inside. Basically, pretty standard. The needle was sort-of polished, but still pretty rough. It looks as though it wouldn't take much to get it up to a full polish. But, again, for a "super tuned" airbrush, it's a bit lacking.

Overall, as scrictly a detail-only brush, it works respectably well. On larger areas and fades, it falls a bit short of what I expect.

So, if you use a finger-tip grip, and want a brush good at fine detail, it may not be a bad choice. If you use more of the "pad" of your trigger finger, expect the color cup to get in the way, especially when doing fine detail.

I gave some though to cutting down the color cup and replacing the trigger, which would clear up most of the ergonomic issues. But, in the end, I decided I'd rather have one CM-C that I already know will work, than two Richpens that are close to being really good airbrushes, but have a few too many "buts".

So, in the end, no, it's no micron-killer. Get that color cup out of the way, and improve the atomization and wider spraying characteristics a bit, and you'd have a contender. But, as it is, nope. A decent effort, but it doesn't match the over all performance of a micron, isn't any better at fine detail, and the ergonomics are terrible. No go.
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:33 PM
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jumpforjoy61 jumpforjoy61 is offline
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Re: Richpen 213 "Super tuned" a.k.a. Mojo II review.

i had the original MK I version i actualy found atomisation superb with good transition from narrow to broad aplications ,ergonomicly crap and can wholeheartidly agrea in that respct ,i did however retune mine to perform at much lower pressures than it would achieve when i recieved it ,please note it was a used item when i recieved my one ,the retune was done by way of rematching the aircap to point where the maximun vacume effect was achieved at the lowest of pressures i was able to achieve using the method i employed to rematch the cap to the nozzle

since then i have also lowered the trigger and fitted a H&S button to it ,i also chopped the valve pin down resulting in easier depresion of the trigger as i wasnt fighting the full force of the spring created by the cumulative effect of a springs progresive nature ,also by shortening the valve pin as opposed to fittting a softer or cut down spring this still mantained full preload , with the resulting much lower trigger this also afforded superior finger room negating much of the original issues with the cup and trigger relationship

must correct i did also eventualy fit a H&S valve spring which did also soften the action even further to the point i only had to rest my finger on the trigger button for air ,the H&S spring i also found more responsive whilst softer than the japanese original

as i do a fair bit of fettling with many airbushes often i forget what i did to what airbrush at any given time often i just post what i did as i did it and never keep actual notes as such

i also replaced the chuck spring with a badger renegade sping which i found softer and more responsive than the stock japanese ones although just reconfiguring the airvalve was enough to soften both actions as my finger wasnt fighting to depress the airvalve in order to create the first action it was then able to concentrate more effort into the backward movement or second action as i would descibe it, almost as if no airvalve was present

overall it is now an astonishingly good airbrush and more suits my requirments
on a note the spraying characerists of my MKI mojo are very very similar to my Olympos SPB ,in both cases the deatiling ability is superb ,both however suffered similar ergonomic issue from stock

personaly i would never have chosen that particular Richpen model to retune ,the gemini looked to be a far superior option and maybe even the pheonix B at a push

oh and almost forgot the brush will now detail at as low as a 5 PSi reading on the regulator guage but must admit i cant recale of hand if that was a dynamic or static reading which now makes it on par with my stock untouched conopois F which came to me never having been used since its test card date of 1985 or 6

Paul

PS i also refined the nozzle

Last edited by jumpforjoy61 : 02-01-2012 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:09 PM
Rickenbackerguy Rickenbackerguy is offline
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Re: Richpen 213 "Super tuned" a.k.a. Mojo II review.

What's all this then? I'll stick to my CM-C Micron which sprays absolutely great detail with superb atomization as it is (bought used off Ebay 4 years ago) without any fiddling about, tuning, refining, or replacement of springs or whatever parts. Plus I've never had to buy any new parts for it in the 4 years I've been using it, which I think says something about the quality of the materials used in making it as well as the superiority of the overall design to start with. Thanks for the reviews Brian and Paul!
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:18 PM
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jumpforjoy61 jumpforjoy61 is offline
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Re: Richpen 213 "Super tuned" a.k.a. Mojo II review.

its mainly ergomic issues that realy needed to be addressed with the Phoenix ,the tunning results actualy do make the brush sound as if it was bad in the first place but from what i gather the stock Pheonix is superb in its own right
what you say could realy be aplied to any airbrush that was aftermarket tunned ,just becouse someone decided to tune something doesnt mean it had to be tunned or required it in order to perform decently but just like a motor car or anything realy tunning can improve what was already a good design or correct problems with a less than perfect design

i suppose its all relative realy
Paul
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:40 PM
Bossman Bossman is offline
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Re: Richpen 213 "Super tuned" a.k.a. Mojo II review.

That and Paul just likes to mess with airbrushes.

In a post nuclear Mad-Max world, you're the only person who would have a working airbrush pieced together from 15 different models.
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:04 PM
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jumpforjoy61 jumpforjoy61 is offline
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Re: Richpen 213 "Super tuned" a.k.a. Mojo II review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bossman
That and Paul just likes to mess with airbrushes.

In a post nuclear Mad-Max world, you're the only person who would have a working airbrush pieced together from 15 different models.
dead right mate

remember i grew up in the post war inner city slums of Birmingham we all had stately homes

sod hall bugger hall and f''k hall

actualy my Father came from a very middle class background and went to the Birrmigham school of fine arts and was friends with the artist the late Jimmy Leon a surealist painter who died in 2002 ,i still have some of his work that my father left behind along with some of his own reference books dating back to 1957 ish ,a Ben Nicholson first edition and one on Picaso amongst others

Jimmy was expeled for bad behavour hehe

oh and his father my grandfather Horace was actualy an MOD design engineer ,he designed Webbs first petrol driven lawmover ,my maternal grandfather was a sgt major with the royal warwickshires and was amongst those dropped into Arnham ,the joke was always that Horace made the bullets that Billy got to fire

Last edited by jumpforjoy61 : 02-01-2012 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:55 AM
dragonsfire dragonsfire is offline
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Re: Richpen 213 "Super tuned" a.k.a. Mojo II review.

Yeah, I just had to give the "Super Tuned" Richpen a try. I tried a 1st gen Mojo, and it was pure junk. But, for the claims, and with the BOGO, I figured it was worth a try. Especially when I knew if I didn't like them, I could get my money back and buy a micron.
The only part I've replaced in any of my microns has been the needle, and even then it was entirely my fault. When it comes to sheer performance, durability, and quality, you just can't beat them with anything else available today.
But, now I can say I gave 2 generations of Mojo's a shot, and both came up well short of the micron-killer claims. I have no plans of bothering with the Paasche Mojo. I've already heard enough horror stories about those. lol.


Paul- what did you do with the nozzle? I'm guessing with the air cap you removed some material to make the nozzle protrude further, right?
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:59 AM
dragonsfire dragonsfire is offline
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Re: Richpen 213 "Super tuned" a.k.a. Mojo II review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bossman
That and Paul just likes to mess with airbrushes.

In a post nuclear Mad-Max world, you're the only person who would have a working airbrush pieced together from 15 different models.

I wouldn't bet on that one.
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:13 AM
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jumpforjoy61 jumpforjoy61 is offline
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Re: Richpen 213 "Super tuned" a.k.a. Mojo II review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonsfire
Yeah, I just had to give the "Super Tuned" Richpen a try. I tried a 1st gen Mojo, and it was pure junk. But, for the claims, and with the BOGO, I figured it was worth a try. Especially when I knew if I didn't like them, I could get my money back and buy a micron.
The only part I've replaced in any of my microns has been the needle, and even then it was entirely my fault. When it comes to sheer performance, durability, and quality, you just can't beat them with anything else available today.
But, now I can say I gave 2 generations of Mojo's a shot, and both came up well short of the micron-killer claims. I have no plans of bothering with the Paasche Mojo. I've already heard enough horror stories about those. lol.


Paul- what did you do with the nozzle? I'm guessing with the air cap you removed some material to make the nozzle protrude further, right?

in the absance of a supply of spare parts then the only real way to rematch existing companants is to either add shims or remove material or if the design lends itself make repeatable stable "temporary" adjustments ,shims are impractical ,i followed some of your advise regarding the reprofiling of the external shape of the nozzle ,i couldnt realy percieve and effect dramatic enough to fully confirm the efectivness of what i had done to the nozzle although i suspect it was posative

Last edited by jumpforjoy61 : 02-02-2012 at 03:40 AM.
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:36 AM
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jumpforjoy61 jumpforjoy61 is offline
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Re: Richpen 213 "Super tuned" a.k.a. Mojo II review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonsfire
I wouldn't bet on that one.
i would
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:01 PM
dragonsfire dragonsfire is offline
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Re: Richpen 213 "Super tuned" a.k.a. Mojo II review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpforjoy61
in the absance of a supply of spare parts then the only real way to rematch existing companants is to either add shims or remove material or if the design lends itself make repeatable stable "temporary" adjustments ,shims are impractical ,i followed some of your advise regarding the reprofiling of the external shape of the nozzle ,i couldnt realy percieve and effect dramatic enough to fully confirm the efectivness of what i had done to the nozzle although i suspect it was posative

The how-to I posted on KKL, I'm assuming (for the nozzle)?
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:38 AM
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Re: Richpen 213 "Super tuned" a.k.a. Mojo II review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonsfire
The how-to I posted on KKL, I'm assuming (for the nozzle)?

yes it followed the principles you described over on KKL

as i recale you did all the work manualy i used an electric drill and spun the nozzle rather than atemting to rework it manualy ,this resulted in a highley polished even finish also the process was faster than atempting the job by hand

Paul
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Old 02-04-2012, 06:24 AM
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jumpforjoy61 jumpforjoy61 is offline
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Re: Richpen 213 "Super tuned" a.k.a. Mojo II review.

i often refer to published articles to aid in "tunning" my airbrush and other things i do ,however a lot of what i do is also based on a rasonable understanding of the subject itself ,most of the basic principles are anciant going back to before the invention of the airbrush ,most of what an airbrush is or anything realy are just basic refinements of established principles dictated by natural physics and just refined by men

just like a bumble bee it couldnt fly if nature didnt allow it too and therefore nothing in essence is "new" or not achievable by most anyone

"whoops there goes another rubber tree plant"


Paul
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