LifeColor have just released the latest of their boxed sets of acrylic aircraft paints in the form of Finnish WW2 colours, and this time it's a little different, being labelled as Limited Edition and produced in cooperation with the Suomen Ilmailumuseo - Finland's Aviation Museum.
The set contains 6 x 22ml screw-top plastic bottles presented in an attractive cardboard box. The back of the box has multi-lingual generic instructions for mixing and cleaning Lifecolor acrylics, along with a list of the colours included in the set and their uses:
To test the paints I thinned them with a drop of Liquitex Slow-Dri and sprayed them onto glossy white card. The pigments are very fine and airbrush well through a .2mm nozzle. The covering power varied somewhat between colours, and while the black, green, grey and blue were nicely opaque, the yellow and orange needed more coats to reach full colour density (as you'd expect, since most yellow paint has poor covering power). Therefore, as with most model paints, I'd recommend applying the yellow tones over a white undercoat.
I have to admit I'm not very skilled at brush-painting exterior finishes, but my experience with Lifecolor acrylics indicates that they perform best with multiple thin coats to build up the required colour-depth.
In terms of the colours themselves, Lifecolor credit Raimo Heikkinen for the research, and the fact that they have a Finnish national advising them in conjunction with the Suomen Ilmailumuseo gives me confidence in their accuracy. Out of interest, I compared the colours with the Federal Standard suggestions in my well-thumbed copy of David Klaus's IPMS Color Cross-Reference Guide. It has to be noted that there are no precise matches listed, but the following will at least give you a rough idea of the colours' values:
Oliivinvihreš (Olive Green) - is close to FS34096, but paler. (David Klaus also suggests FS34096 with brown added)
Vaaleanharmaa (Light Grey) - is close to 36463, but slightly warmer (David Klaus suggests FS36492, which is quite a lot paler)
Vaaleansininen (Light Blue) - isn't even close to any FS colour on my fan, but the nearest is FS35193, which is much darker (David Klaus suggests FS35414 with more blue added)
Musta (Black) is, well, black...
Keltainen (Yellow) - is close to FS33538, but slightly lighter and a purer yellow (David Klaus suggests FS13655, which is lighter and less orange)
Oranssi (Orange) - is close to FS32473, but slightly lighter (David Klaus doesn't list the colour)
I've been slightly critical of previous Lifecolor boxed sets for working out more expensive than buying the paints individually (the opposite of what I'd expect). Perhaps they've reviewed their pricing, but it's nice to see this time that the box of paints is marginally cheaper (5p) than combined the price of single pots, so the set is both good value and offers a convenient way to store the paints.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: High quality acrylic paints that spray very well. They are researched in Finland which bodes well for their accuracy. Marginally cheaper than buying the paints individually.Lows: None that I've found.Verdict: Lifecolor's Finnish WW2 paints look excellent and, with several kits of Finnish WW2 fighters in the Stash glaring at me to build them, I look forward to using the colours for real.
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About Rowan Baylis (Merlin) FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM
I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...