by: Darren Baker [ ]
LifeColor has attracted a lot of followers with their specific paint sets, and I am sure that this set will be no exception. This six paint set is aimed at Finnish vehicles from the World War 2 period.
The set contains six 22ml paint pots with the acrylic paint colours included being;
UA 243 Kenttaharmaa TY80001 Field Grey
UA 244 Harmma No1 Grey
UA 245 Sammaleenvihrea No2 Moss Green
UA 246 Hiekanruskea No3 Sand Brown
UA 247 Siniharmaa No5 Blue Grey
UA 248 4BO Venalainen Vihrea Russian Green
This paint set could not have come about at a better time for me as I was just ready to start painting a KV1 in Finnish service. The three colours recommended from the set for tanks from Spring 1943 to war's end are UA 244, 245, and 246 and I have to say they look very close to the ref images supplied to me of a Finnish KV1 at the Finnish Armour Museum in Parola, Finland. UA 243, 247, and 248 are recommended for vehicles from Autumn 1941 to Spring 1943.
The paint seems to have very good pigmentation which should mean it will go a lot further with a spray brush providing good value for money. I did not have nor was I able to get hold of any LifeColor thinner at short notice which left me with a problem. I have read of a number of products to thin this paint range with and the easiest to obtain being distilled water such as used to top up a car battery, I tried mixing the water with the paint at a ratio of 1 9, 1 4, 3 7, 2 3, and 1 1 none of which gave me a satisfactory finish or spray ability and so I recommend using the dedicated thinner for this paint range. I did try spraying this paint direct from the bottle through a Badger 150 airbrush, and while the paint gave a good solid coat of paint the airbrush kept blocking which had to be cleared regularly and is not advised.
This left me with a good old fashioned paint brush to apply the paint and I was very pleased with the results despite me being a little rusty with this method of painting an entire model. Two coats of paint gave good coverage with no brush marks and very minor changes in colour due to different paint thicknesses when painted over a sprayed undercoat.
It should be mentioned that the paint covered filler, Aluminium, PE, and plastic equally as well. Pictures of the model have been included in the review, the paint under the track guards are my attempts at spraying the paint that I was not happy with. All six colours are shown painted on sheet plastic without an undercoat or preparation of any kind, the first coat is fairly opaque with the second much better, a third coat is required in my opinion when no undercoat is utilized.
Paint durability is good once it has had at least 24 hours to dry, I tested this by dragging my finger nail over the painted surface. I ran a couple of tests on sheet plastic brushing the paint over a previous coat of paint after a couple of hours curing time and found no problems with second coat softening the first coat, nor did I get any bleeding of one colour affecting the other.
This is a good all round paint and I am sure that once I manage to get some LifeColor thinners will spray very well as have previous colours from this range I have used. I highly recommend you give these paints a try if you have never used them before, be it this set of one of the other sets available.