- Published on Saturday, 31 October 2009 15:15 James Hatch
Lifecolor Paints Sets (Aviation)
WWII Royal Australian Air Force Set 1 (XS01) Limited Edition
WWII Royal Australian Air Force Set 2 (XS02) Limited Edition
WWII German Luftwaffe Set 1 (CS06)
WWII German Luftwaffe Set 2 (CS07)
After having tried out the previous sets of Lifecolor paints sent for review by The Airbrush Company, I was delighted when they sent me these 4 sets of paints, specifically for my main passion of WWII aviation. One double set, which are a Limited Edition, are quite unusual in that they are specifically for RAAF aircraft of WWII, and I admit to not having seen any paints, let alone paint sets, which cover this period.
I seem to have something of a love affair with acrylics these days as they are far easier to use in all aspects from mixing to cleaning in relation to my old favourite of enamels, so the chance to use them on my forthcoming German projects is a bonus.
As previously mentioned, the two RAAF sets are a Limited Edition, as defined by the text on the boxes. The sets are well boxed and easily depict the set within. Each set comprises 6 plastic bottles containing 22ml of paint, and upon opening, we aren’t greeted with the familiar separation of solvent and pigment, but instead, they seem to be remarkably ready to use with no heavy shaking or stirring needed to bring them to life, although I don’t advocate using them until they are stirred. The RAAF Set is recommended for the Boomerang, Wirraway, Spitfire & Vengeance, while RAAF Set 2 is recommended for the Buffalo, Hudson, Airacobra & Havoc types.
WWII Royal Australian Air Force Set 1
Earth Brown UA513/FS20099
Foliage Green UA514/FS24092
Sky Blue UA515/FS25550
Dark Sea Grey UA516/FS36118
Dark Ocean Blue UA517/FS35042
Sky Blue Azure UA518/FS35231
WWII Royal Australian Air Force Set 2
RAF Dark Earth UA519/FS30118
RAF Dark Green UA520/FS34092
RAF Sky Grey UA521/FS36493
Interior Green UA522/FS24110
US Olive Drab UA523/FS34087
US Neutral Grey UA524/FS36173
WWII German Luftwaffe Set 1
WWII German Luftwaffe Set 2
These paints can be thinned with both Lifecolors proprietary thinners, but also with water if desired, and mixing the paint with either is very easy and does not result in separation after the bottle have been standing for a while. That is something which I so far have found unique only to this brand of acrylics. I tested a small quantity of several of the paints within these sets, using my new Iwata HP-CH, and also my Iwata TR2. Thinning was done at 50:50 using Lifecolor thinner for best effect, and I found the colours sprayed flawlessly at around 15PSI for general coverage.
I then set the compressor to around 22PSI and tested spraying at close distance to get fine lines. This was mostly successful, but a drop more Lifecolour thinner helped the cause and with this, very fine detail could be achieved just as well as any of the Gunze that I have been using recently.
Coverage is superb and doesn’t require too much building up to get the finish required, and the paint could pretty much be handled straight after spraying. I always do a few passes of the brush on air though after covering any area. I also attempted to mix these paints and spray. Again, very little mixing was required in order to get a good, solid and homogenous colour. As before, this was thinned with Lifecolour thinner at 50:50 and sprayed as before.
I chose Mr Surfacer 1000 as my primer, and no problems were encountered, although Lifecolour do their own primer should you wish to use it.
The RAAF sets dry to a satin finish, as do the Luftwaffe sets, and this will provide a good base for decaling straight onto.
Now, the paintbrush test. Lifecolour claim these paints can also be hand brushed, so it had to be tried: If painting small detail and small scale interiors, then yes, I can recommend them, but I wouldn’t recommend them for painting large areas. I would also partially thin this paint if large areas were attempted though, although Lifecolor doesn’t appear to have the same intensity of problem that Vallejo do in relation to having to add a retarder to increase drying time.
What do we think?
I would most certainly recommend these sets to anyone wanting to gear themselves up for their Luftwaffe or RAAF modelling sessions. On average, per pot, these do work out slightly more expensive than Vallejo or Gunze, but their ease of use and readily mixable formula is a winner!
Many thanks to The Airbrush Company for all samples used within this review.
Lifecolour paint sets currently retail at £13.98 incl. VAT
To contact The Airbrush Company, please go to www.airbrushes.com
The Airbrush Company Ltd
Unit 7 Marlborough Road (East)
Lancing Business Park
+44 (0)1903 767800