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Anybody else see lots of "\" backslashes in the review or it just me?

I think its just you.

I have to say i love these paints they spray really well.

Julien

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Some great new sets have been added to the original review - US Navy sets 1 & 2, which should interest the ship builders big time, and Finnish WWII Army, which is a real niche one! :)

Time for a Finnish air force set!

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I think its just you.

I have to say i love these paints they spray really well.

Julien

That's good to hear. I've just ordered and received the two U.S.Navy box sets, and the reviews on this site give me confidence that I've made a good choice. When I've got round to using them, I'll post some feedback of my own.

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I've been using these lately and my 2 cents:

The good:

- Huge array of colors including many that you won't find in any other of the big paint brands (try doing a British WW2 Caunter scheme with Gunze or Tamiya!)

- Very mild smell and water-soluble. This is probably the safest acrylic modelling paint you'll find.

- Sprays really flat as it has excellent self-levelling properties. Overspray is manageable. Heck, I've even dropped paint on the model and only had to wipe it off with water. This would have ruined my paint job with nearly any other brand.

- Excellent for brush painting. I find painting small parts to be way easier than spraying and looks just as good. The paint hardly ever streaks because of its self-levelling.

The bad:

- Terrible adhesion, dare I say the worst of any acrylic paints I've ever tried. Painting directly on the model is a recepe for frustration if not outright impossibility. You HAVE to prime the model first or else you'll spend hours spraying coat after coat after coat to get anything visible.

- Even assuming you prime the model, spraying light paints is a time-consuming process of spray-dry-spray-dry-spray... etc. Darker colors are less problematic. You'll find that mixing with the usual ratios of other paints tends to make it too light (resulting in more spraying). A 60:40 or even 70:30 ratio of paint/water is ideal (vs 50:50 or less for most other brands). This is the "secret" that kind of put me off these paints for some time.

- Although accuracy is generally good, like all paints, you will find some near misses.

Conclusion: Highly recommended! Although I will not replace my other paints with Lifecolor, I will be stocking up on those which I can't get with Gunze or Tamiya. I just finished a F-15C Mod Eagle with Lifecolor paints and it looks absolutely spot on.

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I've been using these lately and my 2 cents:

The bad:

- Terrible adhesion, dare I say the worst of any acrylic paints I've ever tried. Painting directly on the model is a recepe for frustration if not outright impossibility. You HAVE to prime the model first or else you'll spend hours spraying coat after coat after coat to get anything visible.

- Even assuming you prime the model, spraying light paints is a time-consuming process of spray-dry-spray-dry-spray... etc. Darker colors are less problematic. You'll find that mixing with the usual ratios of other paints tends to make it too light (resulting in more spraying). A 60:40 or even 70:30 ratio of paint/water is ideal (vs 50:50 or less for most other brands). This is the "secret" that kind of put me off these paints for some time.

Strange? I would always prime before using acrylic top coat.

I sprayed US SEA Tan which is quite light over white primer and it covered very well indeed, this was thinned down using valejho airbrush cleaner till it looked right (never gone on exact ratio's)

Julien

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Same here, I never had problems with light colours and I've used their light gull grey on several USN types wihout any issue. It must be said however that I always prime with a relatively light grey.

They can be a bitch to spray, and I struggled in the beginning, but after I found the right mix I had no problem at all.

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When spraying Lifecolor, I've found that less is more. Add less thinners than you normally would, and it sprays just fine. :)

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When spraying Lifecolor, I've found that less is more. Add less thinners than you normally would, and it sprays just fine. :)

Hello Mike; one other issue when used with an airbrush is air pressure: what's your setting in this case? I still have to find the right way to use my Lifecolors, though it's my first choice for brush painting

Thanks

GM

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15psi working pressure is my usual pressure. With an empty brush, turn on the compressor, depress the trigger, and dial in 15psi or 1 Bar. It'll rise when you let go of the trigger, and the initial squirt next time will be at a higher pressure, but when you have the trigger open, you'll get your 15psi. :)

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Thanks Mike, I'll try that :thumbsup2:

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Updated to add Hemp Ropes & Tarps, plus Leather sets. :)

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I give up! Anyone want a dozen pots of LIfecolor? I'm spraying with an H&S Infinity with a .15 needle. I'm working at 15 psi. I've tried every permutation of paint, thinners, water, flow enhancer etc. All I get is a sputtering mess. If I use Tamiya I can write my name between the lines of an exercise book. Real shame because, on the rare occasion they work they give a nice finish and the colours are good. Also my local model shop stocks them. I just can't deal with the agro anymore - I want to paint my aeroplane!!!

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Watcher, my experience is that they work pretty good with a .30 needle, but I'm using a home brewed thinner - I had no success with their own. And of course I also use Tamiya's colors, and have exactly your feeling. But the matt colors are so less grainy in Lifecolor range, that it's worth getting to know how to use them!

So, what are colors you want to get rid of? :winkgrin:

Ciao

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I do want to get to grips with them because the finish is so nice. Also I'm happier using water (with flow enhancer) instead of an alcohol mix. If anything they should cope with a more narrow needle because of their pigments size.

I know it sounds odd but I wonder if its the way I mix my paint? For a long time I've dropped a 6mm ball bearing in my paints and then given them a good shake. I wonder if that's either creating bubbles or mashing up some clumps and making blockages?

I promise - if I give up you can have them :D

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Also I'm happier using water (with flow enhancer) instead of an alcohol mix. If anything they should cope with a more narrow needle because of their pigments size.

I know it sounds odd but I wonder if its the way I mix my paint? For a long time I've dropped a 6mm ball bearing in my paints and then given them a good shake. I wonder if that's either creating bubbles or mashing up some clumps and making blockages?

Beware: Lifecolor's are vinyl based acrylics, so you're not supposed to use alcohol at all, it makes them "blobby" - if that makes sense. I use a 50-50 mix of distilled water and Windex, and a few drops of flow enhancer, to thin them. As for the mixing, I stir very well the paint in it's pot, before taking some and putting into an empty pot, together with the thinner, again stirring thoroughly. I only then drop the mix into the airbrush cup, in which I previously put a few drops of the same thinner; moreover, before spraying I loosen the tip cone (not sure it's the right name, sorry) and blow some air, so that the paint gets better mixed with thinner (I hope all I'm saying makes sense to you).

HTH

Ciao

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Giemme,

It makes a lot of sense. I know I must be doing something wrong because I've tried to follow all the good advice on here with regards to thinning etc. Your mixing process is much more thorough than mine (shake it up then mix in the airbrush :fraidnot:). I'll go back to basics and be more patient in my preparation.

Thanks for the advice.

Matthew

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Thin them with Vallejo airbrush cleaner. Works great for me in my Iwata but its a bigger needle than yours.

The cleaner has some ethylene glycol in it and acts to slightly retard the paint.

I should add that I just mix it in the brush and have never had any problems.

Julien

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Updated to add Israeli Army Vehicles & Uniforms (CS32) set to the list - see the first post for details :)

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Review amended to add Sets CS-35 The Battle of Britain RAF Colours, CS-14 Italian WWII Regio Esercito uniforms, and WWII Royal Australian Air Force Set 1.  They're in the middle of the review, roughly. :)

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Edited to add Imperial Japanese Navy Set1 and Late War Set 2 :)

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Some further info for the IJN paints. The Hinoki deck colour is only for Yamato, Musashi and Nagato as those three battleships were the only IJN ships with Hinoki Cypress deck planking. All other ships had Beimatsu deck planking.

 

thanks

Mike

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Review edited to add the three new boxed sets, White Wood (CS38), Leaking Grime, Stains & Damp (CS39) and Stone Grey (CS40).

 

boxtop-cs38-40.jpg

 

 

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On 6/23/2010 at 3:47 AM, warreni said:

I just ordered the two RAAF sets.. If mixing paints is a problem there is a very easy solution. Go to your local chemist and buy 5 ml syringes. The graduations on the sides make it very easy to mix paint/s and thinner, and you mix them in the syringe by giving it a little shake while covering the tip with your finger or tissue or whatever. Another wonder product I have found is Windex (blue variety). Best airbrush cleaner I have found for acrylics. Even gets dried paint off with ease.

Have a great day!!

I know this is an old thread, but I am new here. I have been out of modeling for more than 20 years, and I am just now trying to get back into it. I have some questions I have posted already, which can be found on my profile I think. Anyway, I too considered the syringes for mixing, but was not sure if I should draw the paint in at a measured amount, then release that into a cup, and use a separate syringe for the thinner. If you do the whole thing in one syringe, do you go to the thinner first? And is that thinner windex as described?

 

I live in the Philippines now, and I am an American veteran, disabled, the weather is much better for all my busted bones. Anyway, I found a few bottles of LifeColor here, but finding any modeling gear is next to impossible, not a lot of hobby shops in this country. I am trying to find a direct way to buy from the company and I am awaiting their reply. Hope I get good news from them.

 

Anyway, glad I found your tip, you confirmed what I was thinking, hope you can tell me the process you use. LifeColor seems to have the largest selection of FS paints, which is important to me, since I am doing mostly modern aircraft for now, and once I complete my "tribute" to the 5 US military branches, I will try my hand at some WWII kits. Hope I hear back from you, sincerely, Anthony "stalker6recon"

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Review updated with two new sets - CS41 British WWII Infantry Uniforms, and CS42 WWII Soviet Infantry Uniforms. :)

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