LifeColor has launched a series of acrylic metallic paint colors and this is the premier set: Shell Case Perfect Metal Set 1, item CS47. Nineteen colors are currently catalogued in their Metal Series.

Shell Case Perfect Metal Set 1 was kindly provided for review by Airbrushes.com, which describes these on their site as:

    Water soluble acrylic colours for modelling and hobby. LifeColor is excellent for paint brushing or airbrushing on plastic, resin, metal, vinyl, wood, cloth and ceramic.

You can read about this set on their site at LifeColor Shell Case Perfect Metal Set 1.

LifeColor pots their paints sets in six 22ml screw top bottles, packed in a good looking flip-top box.   Multilingual text on the back of the box explains how to use these paints.

The bottle caps are molded with an internal rim which both provides a small palette cup as well as inhibiting paint fouling of the bottle cap thread.

I found that these water soluble paints are made with very fine ground pigments.   They have no noticeable odor.  Generally, I find them to be much thinner than other brands I use, more like a thick wash than a paint.  Formulation usually leans towards airbrushing.

There are no instructions other than examples printed on the box. This set lacks the graphics demonstrating application techniques. Lifecolor reminds us that these can be mixed with their Tensocrom Medium to create washes and glazes.

This set includes:

  • UA 786 Polished Steel Modern Shell
  • UA 787 Laquered Steel Late WWII German Shell
  • UA 788 New Shell Brass Shade 1
  • UA 789 New Shell Brass Shade 2
  • UA 790 New Shell Brass Shade 3
  • UA 791 Spent Shell Burned Brass

These six colors span a good range of brassy and other cartridge case colors.

Previous reviews can be found here: Armorama LifeColor Reviews.

Application

While most of my LifeColor paints are, and have remained, fluid for years, some in this set are thick. Not to the consistency of latex, but so thick that they hardly drew into a pipette, although they would still spray at 12-15 psi.   Fortunately, LifeColor thinner works as advertised and allowed them to flow through my airbrush, although two colors required a 60/40 paint to thinner ratio.  Two colors shot straight from  the jar without thinning, and the required a 3-4-to-1 paint/thinner mixture.

I airbrushed and paintbrushed each color.  None of the colors ran nor puddled. They are advertised as drying matt, but they look somewhat glossy to me.  Airbrushing was tested on styrene or metal cartridges collected over decades.   Some have been painted previously - decades ago.  Several ready rounds and six spent casings from a Tamiya Marder, 1/25 Centurion, and a Bandai 1/24 Jagdpanther provided virgin styrene.   The last two are black plastic.  For the main canvas I used white plastic spoons.

Airbrushing

After shaking each jar 20 times, I shot the colors through a medium airbrush tip at the aforementioned 12-15 psi.  All colors, except New Shell Brass Shade 2, covered with one coat, including the two steel colors that were sprayed onto black styrene.

Bristle Brushing

Paintbrushing does not work.    Coverage is translucent except for the two steel colors which worked best, covering Tamiya dark yellow sprues.  The brass colors were brushed onto gray sprues.  Had I tried these over a primer, I think they would work better.

See the six 7.5cm rounds still on their sprue?  Each one has an individual color brushed on.

Adhesion

Like many previously tested LifeColors, these stick to the surface and resist scratching.

UA 786 Polished Steel Modern Shell

UA 786 Polished Steel Modern Shell

UA 786 Polished Steel Modern Shell

UA 786 Polished Steel Modern Shell

UA 787 Laquered Steel Late WWII German Shell

UA 787 Laquered Steel Late WWII German Shell

UA 787 Laquered Steel Late WWII German Shell

UA 787 Laquered Steel Late WWII German Shell

UA 788 New Shell Brass Shade 1

UA 788 New Shell Brass Shade 1

UA 788 New Shell Brass Shade 2

UA 788 New Shell Brass Shade 2

UA 789 New Shell Brass Shade 2

UA 789 New Shell Brass Shade 2

UA 789 New Shell Brass Shade 2

UA 789 New Shell Brass Shade 2

UA 790 New Shell Brass Shade 3

UA 790 New Shell Brass Shade 3

UA 790 New Shell Brass Shade 3

UA 790 New Shell Brass Shade 3

UA 791 Spent Shell Burned Brass

UA 791 Spent Shell Burned Brass

UA 791 Spent Shell Burned Brass

UA 791 Spent Shell Burned Brass

Brush Painted

Brush Painted

Conclusion

LifeColor Shell Case Perfect Metal Set 1 is another versatile set to simulate various cartridge casings used over the past 200-some-odd years.  It can also be used for a myriad of other subjects, i.e., radiators and other engine components, clothing and kit fasteners, bed frames, architectural decorations, an loot.

Applied with airbrush these paints provide realistic colors with good consistency.   Bristle brushing performance is not good.

Other than paintbrushing, I do not have anything meaningful to criticize and recommend this set.

Thanks to Airbrushes.com for providing this set. Please remember to mention to them and to LifeColor that you saw this paint set here - on Armorama.

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