Harder and Steenbeck airbrushes need no introduction in the modelling world as they are well renown for producing high quality airbrushes for all sorts of users, from artists, illustrators, custom painters and us, modelers. H&S was not unfamiliar company to me as I was putting their Evolution series airbrush through the thick and thin for over 20 years. Although I was keeping it clean and well maintained, it started to lose some of the performance it had when it was new, so it was time to think about a new tool that would serve me for another 20 years. There was no dilemma that my new airbrush would come from H&S production line as my experience with my old Evolution was nothing but exceptional. I went for the top of the line H&S Infinity 2in1 CR Plus that many modelers consider as one of the best airbrushes one can buy.
The word “German engineering at its best” was the first thing that crossed my mind when I opened the box and saw the Infinity for the first time. Of course, the Infinity (as all the H&S airbrushes) is made in Norderstedt/Hamburg, Germany, from start to finish so this phrase fits in just perfectly. I am not kidding. You can see the high quality of this tool even before you take it out from the box and feel it with your fingers. The look and feel of this airbrush is simply flawless.
Sturdy black box contains an airbrush (obviously), two paint cups with lids (2ml and 5ml), needle protective cap, distance cup that helps the illustrators paint at a constant distance, Two different sized needle and nozzle combinations, standard 1/8 air inlet and a rod for disassembling the middle part of the airbrush. You will also find a nice color booklet with all the information about using and maintaining the airbrush. Main body, paint cups, and the air-valve body are super shiny triple chrome-plated (hence the name CR plus), rear handle is made from red anodized aluminum which adds lightness to the weight of the airbrush and gold accents are, well… just beautiful. Even my wife loves the look of it.
All the H&S airbrushes share the same needle/nozzle, but what makes Infinty a flagship of their range?
Well, besides the ultra-shiny finish and gold plating, the main difference is in the trigger mechanism that is unique to H&S. In the cutout of the red anodized rear handle you will find two screws, one is obviously a needle nut screw and the tension nut. With the tension nut you can adjust the resistance of the spring in the trigger mechanism. It doesn’t sound special, but believe me; you will be thankful for this feature when you will go for a long airbrush session.
The other superb feature sits quietly at the back of the red anodized handle. A memory preset dial is unique to any airbrush known to me. You can set the needle limiter or use full action of the airbrush by simply pulling out the gold bulb and by pressing it in it will return to set limit. This feature is super handy when working on fine lines or shading and also for flushing the airbrush between sessions.
Prong-type crown can simply slide off if you wish not to use it – which I would avoid if possible. The prongs are also helpful if you need to clean a dry tip while working, which in my experience rarely happens.
There are numerous nozzle and needle variations you can get for H&S airbrushes, the ones included in the box I received are 0.15 and 0.4mm. There are 0,2 and 0,6mm options available as well. I don’t know from what kind of material they are made, but they are incredibly hard and highly polished. At the end of the needle there are “bulbs” which correspond to the marks on the nozzle so you can’t mismatch the needle and nozzle and cause damage.
Nozzles are self centering and they are simply inserted into the nozzle cap, and at the end of each you will find small Teflon seal...as you will throughout entire airbrush. In the most important center seal there are three of them stacked together so there is no way paint could creep from paint cup to the trigger area.
There is no doubt that H&S Infinity is the best looking airbrush. It is made from the best materials and it looks and feels like really expensive watch. It is an expensive tool but it will last you a lifetime if you will take proper care of it. How to take a good care of it, use and clean it will be posted in the upcoming post. Until then, enjoy the pics.