A soft spring is a simple modification that you can install in the air valve of various Iwata airbrushes. You simply unscrew the small air-valve guide, remove the original spring and replace it with the new ‘soft spring’.
What does a soft spring look like?
Typical Iwata Eclipse HP-SB pictured to the right, on the left is the superior aftermarket soft spring, with more coils and slightly thinner manufacture.
The purpose of installing a soft spring is to avoid trigger finger strain which comes from the constant depression of the trigger. It’s certainly not a life threatening ailment or terminal affliction, but the use of a soft spring just makes airbrushing that bit more comfortable.
Installing the soft spring;
Locate and expose (if not already) the air valve guide at the bottom of the airbrush. The air valve guide is the small brass thread with a hold in the middle and two cut-outs either side shown in the picture below.
Gently remove the air valve guide with your precision tweezers. Press down firmly if not using the correct tool as it’s very easy to scratch the little brass guide. This won’t affect airbrush performance, but I’d prefer to have a tool that doesn’t have scratched parts.
Maintain downward pressure on the valve guide until it’s unscrewed all the way, otherwise you may find that the spring has enough potential to shoot your tiny valve guide across the room never to be seen again!
Once you’ve exposed the spring, remove it and replace it with your new soft spring and replace the air valve guide as shown in the video tutorial above.
With the high standard of airbrush functionality that there is today, it really only leaves room to improve on ergonomics and comfort when airbrushing and this is one of those little factors that just makes it a little more comfortable when airbrushing for extended periods of time.
Here are the two recommended retailers for soft spring availability:
Foxy Studio: http://www.foxystudio.com/product/zsolts-soft-spring-for-iwata/
School of Realism: http://www.schoolofrealism.com/products/blair-softspring
If you have a soft spring and want to let others know about how it works, leave a comment below 🙂