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PostPosted: Thu 20 May 2010 22:34 pm 
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Two Gold & Bronze Stars
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I discovered that Sprue Bros. carries Lifecolor in the USA so I ordered a bottle and two days later:

Image

FAST SHIPPING!  :D

Anyway, I really wanted to like this paint.  My objective in trying out different brands of model acrylic paint for the ATF is to find out if something similar to Modelmaster Acryl is available in the U.K. (assuming that Testors doesn't wake up and make MM Acryl available over there).   The reason I'm doing this is that I've had requests here on this forum to explain how I achieve such good results with a brush, and the answer is that it's not so hard if you use the right paint (MM Acryl or Polly Scale).  Unfortunately, those brands are not so easy to get in the U.K.

So far, I've discovered that Xtracrylix is VERY similar to MM Acryl.  The only hitch is that it's a high gloss paint.  That makes it a little more difficult to apply by brush.

When I opened the Lifecolor jar I was hoping to smell the familiar ammonia of MM Acryl, but instead I noticed only a very faint alcohol smell.  The paint looked good in the bottle, but when I brushed it on, coverage was not too good.

Image

But I still held out hope that this paint would be better than Tamiya or, for the more experienced painter--Xtracrylix (my two first choices in the U.K.).

However, the paint suffers from adhesion problems.  It can be scraped off rather easily--similar to Vallejo.  But it doesn't have the amazing one coat coverage that you get from Humbrol Acrylic, which means I would pick Humbrol over this paint, even with the adhesion problem.

Image

That's Humbrol on the left, Xtracrylix in the middle and Lifecolor on the far right.

Image

Even after two coats, the Lifecolor just doesn't cover very well.

So, this paint turned out to be a disappointment.  If I had to choose between Humbrol Acrylic, Tamiya, Xtracrylix and Lifecolor, this is the order of preference, with my first choice at the top.

Xtracrylix
Tamiya
Humbrol Acrylic
Lifecolor

Tamiya is not so hopeless as some people might think.  You can get good results but you have to mess around with retarders and flow enhancers-- but the paint will work.  

I don't know what to suggest, really.  I can't find Revell paint in the U.S. (yet) so I can't render a judgement on it.  As for the rest, I'd say that Xtracrylix is the best by a wide margin, but it's still not really what those outside the U.K. can access in the form of MM Acryl or Polly Scale.  It's glossy and that is just a big difference.  On the other hand, I believe that my technique, which is adjusted to match the qualities of MM Acryl and Polly Scale, may not be the best for paint like Humbrol Acrylic or Tamiya.  If I had to use those brands, I might develop different methods and still get good results.

Here's hoping that Testors puts MM Acryl on the shelves in the U.K. through their new distributor.

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Last edited by dancho on Wed 26 Jul 2017 17:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun 17 Oct 2010 14:16 pm 
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Nice review. I've been using the Lifecolor RLM paints for some time now, and I have to agree the coverage is very poor. That said, after two or sometimes three coats I've found they adhere pretty well,l though that is obviously aided by my habit of varnishing builds. I even used them on my 1:24 Fw190 and after two (time consuming) coats the finish and coverage was perfectly acceptable to me.

(P.S. I only brush paint, so can't comment on airbrushing)


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PostPosted: Thu 21 Oct 2010 14:40 pm 
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Location: Cambridge
Good review,

I tend to use Tamiya paints now, I find them easy to use as a novice (new) airbrush user) and have learnt that using them for paint brush application you have to be a lot more careful (ie cover an area once and leave to dry for 10 mins - do not run the brush over the newly applied paint too often or you will ruin the finish -which you can get away with with enamels -not as forgiving as my humbrol enamels for brush painting).

I still use enamels for smaller details and brush painting as well as the Tamiya acrylics


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PostPosted: Thu 21 Oct 2010 16:33 pm 
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i couldnt help but notice but do you use a primer/undercoat???

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PostPosted: Thu 21 Oct 2010 18:20 pm 
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Two Gold & Bronze Stars
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glen3312 wrote:
i couldnt help but notice but do you use a primer/undercoat???


Me?  I don't.  

My review of this paint (and the other reviews of Xtracrylix and Humbrol Acrylic) is a comparison to Testors Pollyscale (discontinued) and/or Modelmaster Acryl (they are very, very similar).  Lifecolor just isn't as good for brushing.  

I found out that the situation in the U.K. is unfortunate if you want to brush on acrylics.  I can make Xtracrylix and Tamiya work--but it takes skill.  I have no idea how to make Humbrol or Vallejo work, and I found Lifecolor to be the worst of the bunch.  Low adhesion and poor coverage.

With MM Acryl I dip the brush in the jar and smear it on and it works.  No hassle, no primer, no problem.  No spraying of toxic enamel.  No alcohol smell.  With all of these other acrylics I have found that they are difficult to apply, and in some cases nearly impossible.

I'd like to get some Revell acrylic and try that.  Anybody want to send me some??

If I lived in the U.K. I guess I'd have to contact my member of parliament and demand that MM Acryl be imported and made available for environmental reasons--or something.  :D

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PostPosted: Thu 21 Oct 2010 18:57 pm 
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I'm a fan of Lifecolour - but I use it over a sprayed undercoat.  It can still take a few coats but I've been very happy with the even coverage that results. I agree that it's not as resistant to handling as some paint, especially enamels though.

Each to their own I guess!

Paul

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PostPosted: Fri 22 Oct 2010 00:53 am 
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I find LifeColor excellent for brushing (much better than Tamiya, which is almost unusable with a brush; much patience is required).  Like any acrylic, however, it really needs a primer coat for best results.  If you've had success in the past with acrylics painted onto bare plastic, then I would assert that was due more to luck then design.  I don't think that it's remotely fair to blame LifeColor (or any other brand) for not giving a good result in a scenario designed to work against it.

My primer of choice is the Tamiya fine grey primer (in a spraycan). but Mr Surfacer seems to work just as well.

LifeColor dries very fast, so I'd recommend adding some retarder when covering a large area.

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PostPosted: Fri 22 Oct 2010 10:13 am 
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I use Humbrol, Vallejo, AquaColour, Extracrylix and Coat d'Arms, and also artists' tube acrylics whenever the subject demands it.  They're all too thick to be used neat unless you want a grainy, muddy surface (which, on say a horse or a dirty uniform, you might).

With effort you can get them to work on aircraft. After priming, dollop more paint than you need into a mixing dish. At this point, Humbrol is like single cream. Then mix in Vallejo thinners. It works with all three brands mentioned (and also Xtracrlix, not that it needs it, but you try it out don't you?). One can also add a little water.

The consistency you want is that of milk. What I mean by that is that you should be able to splodge some onto a wingtip with a dihedral to it, and it won't quite run down the wing and inboard.  

You then apply this with a wide flat brush, not a weeny round one. Expect it to look see-through. If, after one coat of say Sky, you can't see the grey primer through it, you've caked it on too thick.

Give it a good 4 hours to harden, then repeat. Two to four coats gives smooth, opaque coverage. Any lumps or streaks can be sanded between coats with very fine-grit sandpaper.

Somewhere I have a nearly-complete Beaufighter with the nicest underside I've ever achieved, done with Humbrol Sky.

It can be done, but it's a hassle. I've persisted mainly because I have hundreds of paints. It is hard to justify using the same tinlet on two different figures, so I either mix a new batch of red, blue (whatever) for each new subject or buy a new tinlet and use that.

Coat d'Arms horse colours are terrific BTW. You'll never paint a horse in RAF WW2 camouflage colours ever again. No real horse is ever Hu29!

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PostPosted: Fri 22 Oct 2010 12:11 pm 
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Two Gold & Bronze Stars
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Maybe it's time to emigrate.

The New(er) Colossus

Not like the brazen builders of olden days,
Awash in enamels, minerals spirits and glue;
Here at our fresh-aired, sun-washed gate shall stand
A mighty builder with a brush, whose paint
Is easy to use, and its name
Model Master Acryl. With single paint
Find ultimate simplicity; reason guides you past
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your VOC’s!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched model builders searching for acrylic paints.
Send these, the paintless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my brush beside the golden door!"

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- Al Superczynski (1947 - 2007)

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PostPosted: Fri 22 Oct 2010 12:52 pm 
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You guys certainly have a lot of choices in paint.

I use mostly testors modelmaster and what's left of my old Polly s stocks, as well as artist oils.


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PostPosted: Sun 31 Oct 2010 17:49 pm 
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Two Gold & Bronze Stars
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I've just tried the best paint I have ever used.  It's Revell Aqua Color--unfortunately, not available in America! :cry:

http://airfixtributeforum.myfastforum.o ... php#269454

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“Build what YOU want, the way YOU want to, and above all, have fun.”
- Al Superczynski (1947 - 2007)

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PostPosted: Tue 23 Dec 2014 19:43 pm 
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Can't stand acrylics personally.
They just aren't durable enough to take seriously when compared to good old oil-based enamels.


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