Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Harder & Steenbeck Grafo T1 - Review

How's it going my fellow plamo nerds? Keeping busy with your ongoing builds I hope! I haven't touched my WIP for a few weeks, as I've been too preoccupied just tinkering with some of my new tools. As mentioned in my last post, I've been given the privilege to review a few of Harder & Steenbeck's airbrush offerings, and today we'll be taking an in-depth look at the Grafo T1. This handsome airbrush features a unique trigger action that makes it great for both new and seasoned painters alike. More details after the jump, and there's a video towards the end showing the brush in action!

Click on the Read More link for the rest of this post...

The Grafo T1 is one of three models in the Grafo line. Designed for detail work, the T1 comes with a 0.15mm tip and a small 1ml cup that drops paint capacity in favor of balance and ergonomics. The Grafo is presented in a nice tin case with a clear plastic window, which makes for adequate storage when the airbrush is not in use. The package also includes a blow-back cap and a pamphlet that outlines the model's parts and some general troubleshooting tips.

The airbrush body is a bright nickel-chrome finish, nicely polished all the way into the paint reservoir. The blue handle is made of aluminum, while the trigger assembly is an elegant gold tone. The trigger button feels comfortable on the fingertip with no harsh edges, and provides sufficient grip. A standard quick-disconnect comes attached to the air valve, and can be removed if needed.


The front end of the airbrush features the same design as the Evolution. The self-centering nozzle has a PTFE seal on it's base to ensure an air-tight seal against the airbrush body. The air cap holds the nozzle in place and keeps the tip centered, while the fully protective needle cap has oval perforations that reduce air turbulence when moving close to your work surface. Needles, nozzles and aircaps are interchangeable between the Grafo, Infinity, Evolution and Ultra models.

The aluminum handle is equipped with a quick-set needle limiter similar to the Infinity. You can dial in you preferred setting, pull back on the rear end to release the limit, and push it back in to return to your original setting. This is a really handy feature for when you need to go back and forth between a precise spray width and full action on the trigger.

The most interesting part of this airbrush is the trigger itself. As opposed to traditional double-action design where the air is released by pressing the trigger down, the Grafo combines both air and paint action when pulling back on the trigger. This alleviates some strain on the finger during extended painting sessions, and also ensures that the air is always on when paint begins to flow. It behaves much like a pistol grip airbrush, but offers better control for those who are used to the top mounted trigger design.

Here's a video showing the airbrush in action:

In testing the Grafo demonstrated excellent atomization and a tight, controlled spray pattern. The auto-airflow action was easy to learn, and you can detect where the paint begins to flow from the slight increase in resistance on the trigger. With a 0.15mm tip it produces very fine lines when close to the work surface at about 15-18psi, and even spraying from 1-2 inches away it produced a thin line ideal for preshading panel lines or doing random camouflage patterns. Spraying Koong's gloss black lacquer thinned down to about 30:70 thinner to paint ratio, no overspray, speckling or tip dry was observed during a 10 minute session.

The shallow and wide opening of the paint reservoir makes for easy cleaning with a paintbrush soaked in your preferred cleaner. The H&S nozzles are also very easy to clean with pipe cleaners, interdental brushes, cotton swabs or just some twisted paper towel. As the trigger is hooked into the airbrush body, it won't fall out when the needle is removed, making for quick reassembly.

Harder & Steenbeck prides itself in their build quality and ergonomic design, and the Grafo is an excellent example. It is purpose-built for detail work and in that respect it performs very well indeed. It produces a very tight spray pattern even from a few centimeters away, which gives the user confidence in laying down precise lines exactly where they are wanted. The unique trigger action is great for beginners who are still learning that air must always be flowing before introducing paint. Experienced painters on the other hand can utilize the trigger's behavior to control the air flow and achieve interesting effects.

If you're looking for something with a higher paint capacity, the Grafo T2 and T3 are also available. Both side-fed models, the T2 comes with a 0.2mm nozzle and four interchangeable cups, while the T3 is equipped with a 0.4mm tip and a large siphon bottle for high paint flow and capacity.

If you're interested in any of these models, do click on one of the Amazon ads below to place an order. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks!


I can't wait to use the Grafo on my next project! Until next time, keep building plamo!

No comments:

Post a Comment