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Mike

Acrylic Paints

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Acrylic Paints
AKAN


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British RAF Colours


Hailing from Russia, these paints were until fairly recently difficult to get hold of here in Western Europe, as well (I suspect) as across the pond in the USA. The word is getting around about them however, partly because of the range of well-respected Russian and Soviet colours, and companies are starting to stock them as demand increases. Our friends at Hobby Paint'N'Things are the first to offer us some samples of their acrylic range, and as they are within the European Union over in Finland, there's no nuisance value of wondering whether you're going to get stung for customs fees, and of course the dreaded grab from Parcel Force for paying your duty up front.

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RAF WWII Dayfighter Boxed Set

So… what's the fuss? Apart from having a wide range of colours in their range, they also have sets that are available to provide a one-stop selection of six pots for certain countries or even certain aircraft. The paints are supplied in 15ml plastic pots with a reduced diameter neck and a white cap that is tethered to the bottle by a one-time snap-off ring for storage and shipping. The labels are bilingual Russian and English, with one on each side, and give the paint name and number, plus any relevant BS, RAL or FS numbers to assist in resolving any conversion issues you might have. Inside is the paint (really???), and it is pleasantly fluid without being watery, pouring well from the small neck that reduces the chances of drips when decanting the painting into mixing pots or your airbrush. I have been fooling round with some of their colours for a couple of weeks now, and am enjoying using them. I'm thinning them with Ultimate Thinners and cleaning up with Ultimate Airbrush Cleaner, which do both jobs admirably, but AKAN have their own thinners in 15ml and 75ml bottles if you're a purist.

The paints spray admirably well through the 0.25mm needle of both my Infinities, one of which has a little wiggle in its tip, which usually ends up accumulating dried paint. Using the Ultimate thinners you get good flow, but very slight paint build-up on the tip when the needle is only partially open, but that is easily cleared away using a cotton bud. At full throttle the paint doesn't stop at all, and coverage appears to be good. Using the airbrush to apply tonal variance and post-shading is easy enough as far as my talent extends, but have a cotton bud handy in case you start to get build-up on the tip. The proportion of thinner-to-paint seems to be less than important, which lends itself well to my "that looks about right" method of thinning almost all my paints. Obtaining the thickness of semi-skimmed milk is as good a method of judging it as any, I find.

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Russian & General Colours


I have also used the paint to do some detail painting with paint brushes, and I'm pleased to report that it both covers well, and doesn't gum up quickly like some brands that seem more heavily laced with latex medium. Even their white can cover red almost completely in one coat, and totally after two applications with a suitable delay between layers. I've not used it for larger areas, but I suspect it will be pretty good. I've also spotted some matte, satin and gloss varnishes in their range, which I'll be trying out just as soon as I can get some.

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Modern Russian Air Force


Each 15ml bottle is priced at €2, with the large 75ml thinners and varnishes coming in at €7.50, which is about right, and probably a bit cheaper than the equivalents that are available domestically here in the UK. If you choose the cheaper shipping option, they remain pretty competitive, and arrive within a few days of ordering, courtesy of the ever-cheerful Ville, who runs HPNS from Finland. His English is also excellent, so you'll have no problem talking with him in the event you want something out of the ordinary, or have a query. On the subject of shipping, Ville hasn't had any problem with deliveries to the UK, despite all the kerfuffle over the new and ridiculous rules about acrylic paints.

Conclusion
As well as a good range of Russian, British, German and American colours, there are also a good number of sets that can make stocking up an easier task. It's good to see that the AFV modeller is being catered for too, and there are even a few civil aircraft colours in the range. If you're into your Soviet, Russian and other former Eastern Bloc countries, you will be spoilt for choice, as here the range excels, as you would expect. As well as covering individual aircraft, eras are also covered, because colours used by any country change over the years, so again you have even more choice.

The best suggestion is to take a look around Ville's well laid out website, and you'll see what's on offer. I'm very pleased with the sets I have, and will doubtless be picking up more as I go along. I have the full British set to dabble with next, and will be using these to paint the Vulcan I've just started.

Very highly recommended, both the paints, and the gentleman that sells them.

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Review sample courtesy of Ville at
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I have to wave the Finnish flag a bit and remind you that the Akan paints are actually made and bottled for them in Finland by our largest construction paint manufacturer. I don't know for sure but suppose the paints sold by Ville go directly to his webshop and then to his customers without a round trip to Russia first.

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That's interesting :)

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Does it really matter? Seem from what i have heard they are good quality paints up there with Gunze and Tamiya. The Russian colours is more accurate then others is what I am after. Hope they expand into Finnish and Italian colors

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Great review Mike.

I'd like to add that AKAN is also great to brush straight from the bottle.

The metallic range is one of the best I've ever used.

Almost "Alclad" finish with a paintbrush.

And I can also vouch for the sterling service Ville gives.

/Bosse :bye:

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And for those of you would prefer for any reason to get them in the UK, Coastal Craft stock them. Akans Russian WWII colours are excellent and will certainly raise an eyebrow or two.

HTH
Andy

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There are some anomolies - the RAF Middle East paint set has 381c:104, which isn't RAF Azure Blue, and there's no Middle Stone.

If the paint is accurately matched against BS381, 104 is of no use at all for RAF aircraft.

John

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I have to wave the Finnish flag a bit and remind you that the Akan paints are actually made and bottled for them in Finland by our largest construction paint manufacturer. I don't know for sure but suppose the paints sold by Ville go directly to his webshop and then to his customers without a round trip to Russia first.

I don't think so at all. From where you got this info? Did you visit AKAN facilities in Moscow and check this out?

By the way, last time I was there (just few days ago) an order for Ville was under preparation and paints was produced and bottled in AKAN's facility, imagine that!

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They flow through the airbrush marveously but are too thinned for consistent brush painting. They also tend to form sediment pretty quick and it is best to pop 2 lead pellets into each bottle and shake them well fromtime to time.

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I have to wave the Finnish flag a bit and remind you that the Akan paints are actually made and bottled for them in Finland by our largest construction paint manufacturer. I don't know for sure but suppose the paints sold by Ville go directly to his webshop and then to his customers without a round trip to Russia first.

I don't think so at all. From where you got this info? Did you visit AKAN facilities in Moscow and check this out?

By the way, last time I was there (just few days ago) an order for Ville was under preparation and paints was produced and bottled in AKAN's facility, imagine that!

I've just been doing some research on AKAN paints, and I noticed that the US packaging clearly states "Made in Finland for AKAN."

AKAN%2047305.jpg

There must be some relationship between AKAN and a Finnish contractor.

I'm excited to try the aqueous paints, especially in light of the availability of the Soviet WWII colours. I'm not expecting that they'll spray as nice as my beloved Mr. & Mrs. Hobby aqueous acrylics, but I'm willing to be proven wrong! :)

Cheers,

Bill

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Good to know they brush well and the worth of a good opaque white is above rubies. Look forward to hearing how accurate the RAF/FAA colours are.

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I've just been doing some research on AKAN paints, and I noticed that the US packaging clearly states "Made in Finland for AKAN."

AKAN%2047305.jpg

There must be some relationship between AKAN and a Finnish contractor.

I'm excited to try the aqueous paints, especially in light of the availability of the Soviet WWII colours. I'm not expecting that they'll spray as nice as my beloved Mr. & Mrs. Hobby aqueous acrylics, but I'm willing to be proven wrong! :)

Cheers,

Bill

My colors and sets from AKAN states "Made in Finland for AKAN" or "Made in Greece for AKAN".

So, I assume that except Finland contractor also Greek contractor is involved or simply all colors are produced in Russia/Moscow and labelling "Made from" is only for easier exportation to US and EU due to Russian custom regulations.

All my colors and sets was bought either from Akan factory or even better from www.hobbycolours.com since they have all series (Acrylic, Enamel, Lacquer) and codes available and restocking every 2 or 3 months.

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