Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Harder & Steenbeck Evolution Silverline - Review

Guten morgen plamo nerds! These new tools have all but obliterated my hopes of making progress on my WIP, but I'm not even mad. It's a unique experience, being able to test these airbrushes out in rapid succession. The caveat is that I can only spend so much time testing each one, and therefore I can only share the unboxing and my first impressions of each tool. But rest assured that we will revisit these airbrushes later in the year, after I've clocked significant work hours on each one. Today we'll be getting a closer look at the Evolution - the model that made Harder & Steenbeck the airbrush titan that it is today.

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

The Evolution is the quintessential H&S design. What we have here is the Silverline 2-in-1 set, which comes with 0.2 and 0.4 tip sizes. The entire airbrush is a brightly polished nickel chrome in a monotone silver color. A full color pamphlet illustrates the parts breakdown and some basic troubleshooting tips.

The Silverline variant has a needle limiter on the handle, a feature absent from the basic Evolution model. It does not however have the quick set feature we see on the Infinity and Grafo models. The handle is shorter as well, and is heavier because it is of the same metal as the main body.  A quick disconnect nipple comes pre-attached on the airbrush, compatible with most standard quick-disconnect hoses.

The 2-in-1 set comes with both 2ml and 5ml paint cups, but does not include cup lids for either. They are available as aftermarket parts if you need them. These are the same cup design on the Infinity, so parts are interchangeable. A PTFE seal ensures no paint leaks through the cup attachment point. You can also use the airbrush without a cup when using just a few drops of paint for touch-ups and detailing.


While most airbrush designs have the rocker either as a free-floating part or attached to the needle cylinder, the trigger assembly on the Evolution attaches the rocker to the trigger stem, which simplifies reassembly. The shape and finish of the rocker also gives a smoother feel on pull-back even with minimal lubrication.

The air valve spring tension is similar to the Infinity, and is noticeably higher than on any of my other brushes. It takes some practice and dexterity, but one advantage of a tougher air valve spring is that you get to have some control over how much air you are allowing through, which can be handy when doing close-in detailing.

The front end the Evolution carries the H&S self centering nozzle equipped with a PTFE seal, and a removable, fully protective needle cap with oval perforations for reduced turbulence when moving in close to your subject. The head assemblies are again interchangeable between the Infinity, Grafo and Ultra models.

Here's a video showing the airbrush in action:

Performance was identical to that of the Infinity as expected, given that they both use the same needle and nozzle design. Using the 0.2mm tip at 20psi the Evolution atomized a 30:70 paint to thinner mix beautifully, and you can produce  translucent layers and build up opacity where you need it - perfect for pre or post shading effects. This setup is capable of fine lines but will require a bit more finesse on the trigger compared to the 0.15mm setup on the Grafo. The 0.4mm tip performed just as well, laying down an even layer of primer and then a lacquer base coat on 25 psi, with paint thinned down at 50:50 ratio. I'd relegate this tip size for general painting applications, base coating, for spraying pre-thinned paints and thicker metallics.

The trigger on the Evolution is very responsive and paint flow is instantaneous. The spray pattern is easy to control and not jumpy, indicative of a long and gradual taper on the needle. The heavier handle provides a good counterbalance to the loaded 5ml cup,  and the needle limiter is handy for producing a consistent spray width. More experienced artists will probably not bother with the limiter, but those still learning trigger control will find it very useful.

Cleaning the airbrush is simple and straightforward. The detachable cup makes for easy access of the paint reservoir floor, and can be flushed and scrubbed spotless with a paintbrush or cotton swab soaked in cleaning solution. The larger than average nozzle is just as easy to clean with a twist of paper towel, a fine brush or small pipe cleaner. A PTFE solvent resistant seal prevents paint from getting into the trigger area.

The Evolution Silverline is also offered as a solo package with just the 0.2mm tip, as a siphon feed with larger paint reservoirs for broader applications, and another two-in-one set which includes an FPC (fine pressure control) air stem that functions as a MAC valve - for precise air flow control.

If you're interested in these models, do click on one of the Amazon ads below to place an order. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For local orders, please visit PubHub for inquiries.


Many find the Evolution to be the perfect airbrush at it's price point. It is more affordable than the Infinity, but gives up some of the intuitive features and inclusions such as the quick-set button, slip-on needle caps and cup lids. With the same trigger, needle and nozzle as the Infinity however, there is no doubt both airbrushes perform equally. If you are a fan of the traditional all-chrome airbrush design, the Evolution Silverline is definitely a top pick!

Until the next review, keep building plamo!

No comments:

Post a Comment