When I purchased my Iwata Eclipse airbrush the compressor I bought for use with it came equipped with a built-in moisture trap. The moisture trap is a necessity with any airbrush that is being used for things other than very small jobs such as a quick bit of paint on a small model piece that doesn't require the compressor to run for long.
Under cool and non-humid conditions a moisture trap isn't an absolute necessity and there are a number of airbrush artists that don't run with one at all but unless you like to play 'cleanup' and repair those situations where you ended up with water in the air hose and it unfairly splattered onto your work leaving you with more water than paint? I'd recommended that at the very least you consider purchasing an airline moisture trap such as the Iwata-Medea Pistol Grip trap.
I'm currently working on a portrait of a rare white lion...she is a beautiful creature and I've been quite pleased with how the portrait has been coming along. I've actually found myself staring at her, even though she's still at the early stages of completion, and I just can't wait for her to be completed!
A few weeks ago I moved my studio into our garage and after getting everything exactly the way I wanted it, I sat down to do some work. The weather was growing more humid by the second with thunderclouds rolling in and I figured it was a great place to be on a rainy day.
Not even two minutes into my session I knew I was going to have big problems. Splattt!!! Water streamed onto the canvas, all over the eye that I had just been working on! Until that had happened, the eyes were coming along incredibly well....giving my lady some much needed character at that level. Now, and according to my husband, my rare beauty looked as though she was starting an 'eye infection!'
I turned the compressor off and looked at the built in moisture cup which was heavy with condensation! This wasn't going to work out very well if indeed my built in moisture trap was working properly. Quickly I grabbed the Iwata-Medea Pistol Grip moisture trap that had been included as an extra with my compressor. It was a quick matter of unscrewing my air hose at the airbrush connection and attaching the pistol connection in between the airbrush and the hose. Turning the air on all was well. The second I pushed down the airbrush trigger however the plastic portion of the trap flew across the room leaving me with no air and no secondary moisture trap! For some reason the moisture trap had simply broken apart unable to hold together under the build up of air pressure.
I gathered up the pieces, the plastic is pretty tough and thankfully hadn't shattered, and tried to put it back together again. Again, adding air ripped it apart and it was obvious that I wasn't going to be getting anymore work done that day.
A few days later, with less humidity in the air I tried the trap again...again the same result. I contacted the store I had purchased the compressor from, explained the problem and they quickly gave me the number to Iwata-Medea so that I could request a replacement. To say that Iwata-Medea is an awesome Company to deal with just doesn't seem to do them justice.
Without any hesitation, they asked for my mailing address and promised to send a replacement moisture trap in the next day's mail. They also couldn't seem to apologize enough. When the trap arrived along with a hand written note from the representative I'd spoken with, again expressing her profound apologies, I eagerly secured it to my airbrush and gingerly turned on the air. No problems! It worked perfectly.
The secondary Pistol grip moisture trap works well and seems to take care of just that little bit of residual moisture that my compressor trap isn't able to capture. So far, despite the fact that I have been working in higher humidity conditions thanks to the almost daily level of rainfall we've been getting, I haven't had any further problems with moisture ruining my work again.
I'd recommend this pistol grip moisture trap to anyone who believes that a secondary line of moisture trap defence is necessary. Under normal situations an on board compressor moisture trap may be enough but this pistol trap is easily removed which in my opinion makes it a reasonable solution to ensuring that water doesn't cause problems. It isn't mandatory but in my case, it's something I'm willing to have as a backup and as long as it continues to work as it should and I have no further issues with it blowing apart as the first one did...I'll keep using it.