Hataka Hobby is a Polish-based company that is fast making a name for itself with an expanding range of acrylic paints. The 42 colours presently offered are available in individually at a recommended price of 2.20 Euros each, or the following sets which cover a number of nationalities and time-periods:
HTK-AS01 - Polish Air Force 1939 - 4 colours - 8.80 Euros
HTK-AS02 - Luftwaffe - Early WW2- 4 colours - 8.80 Euros
HTK-AS03 - Luftwaffe - Late WW2 - 6 colours -13.20 Euros
HTK-AS04 - USAAF - D-Day - 4 colours - 8.80 Euros
HTK-AS05 - USN WW2 - 4 colours - 8.80 Euros
HTK-AS06 - Luftwaffe - North Africa - 4 colours - 8.80 Euros
HTK-AS09 - USAF - Vietnam Era - 6 colours -Price: 13.20 Euros
HTK-AS07 - RAF WW2 European Theatre of War - 6 colours -13.20 Euros
HTK-AS08 - RAF WW2 - Desert Colours - 4 colours - 8.80 Euros
HTK-AS10 - USAF Paint Set - European Camouflage - 6 colours - Price: TBA
The sets arrive in attractive end-opening cardboard boxes, with handy descriptions of the colours, their uses and colour artwork of typical paint schemes on the back.
The paints are supplied in neat 17ml plastic bottles with nozzles and screw caps. The design makes it very easy to dispense the paint into a small tot for mixing or thinning. While you can’t dip a paint brush into the bottles, you can still transfer a small drop of paint directly to the brush.
The paint is quite creamy in consistency, and does tend to settle out over time, so it’s essential to shake the bottle well before use. To make this easy, a very nice touch is that Hataka have put a small ball-bearing in the bottle - something I wish all manufacturers would do, because it really does help ensure the paint is mixed adequately.
I tried the paints in two ways - hand-brushing to judge the colour accuracy, and a general airbrushing test. For hand-brushing, I applied each colour in several light coats on white stock to ensure good opacity. I found some colours denser than others, but generally the paints covered nicely and dried quickly with a silky sheen. Clean-up was easy, simply a case of washing the brush in clean water.
Hataka don’t yet have their own thinners for airbrushing, but suggested to me via e-mail that plain water or Vallejo thinners is suitable. Not having the Vallejo thinners, I began spraying first through my Iwata Iwata TR-0
using just tap-water and paint in a roughly 50:50 mix and found the paint tended to dry on the tip, so I substituted some Liquitex Slo-Dri fluid retarder and achieved much better results.
Of course, I couldn't resist experimenting with other thinners too, and the results were interesting:
- 1. Cellulose thinners is incompatible. While the paint didn’t turn into sludge like some other acrylics do, it separated out - so (unless you really want a nasty clean-up job) UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES try spaying the concoction.
- 2. Isopropyl Alcohol worked very well, though, and thinned this way the paint sprayed beautifully. I actually prefer it to thinned with water.
- 3. Finally, I tried Humbrol's acrylic thinners and this also worked like a treat, showing no signs of drying too soon and allowing great control when spraying. This arguably gave the best results of all.
Hataka kindly supplied four sets of samples for review. I brushed several coats to ensure good colour density, and allowed the samples to cure thoroughly as hues can change as paints dry. I then compared the swatches against my references in ambient daylight on a clear winter's day.
Polish Air Force
Lacking any paint chips for Polish colours, I simply compared Hataka's versions against my trusty FS595b colour-fan to give you an idea of the colours offered:
- Close to FS*0097 with a touch of green
- Near FS*3118, but slightly warmer
Light Blue Grey
- Similar to FS*6270 with a touch of blue
Luftwaffe Late WW2
I compared Hataka's RLM colours with the paint chips produced by Eagle Editions, Classic Colours and Hikoki. There are noticeable differences between the paint chips, despite the fact that the first two sets were produced by original German paint manufacturers as close as possible to their WW2 specifications - proof of what a minefield the whole topic of RLM colour matching is, and how hard it is to pin down definitive matches. I also compared Hataka’s colours against the FS595b colour-fan as a ready reference for those who down’t have access to the paint chips listed above. The set comprises:
RLM 76 Lichtblau
- Hataka's colour is darker and bluer than Eagle Editions, darker and less saturated than Classic Colours, and very close to one of Hikoki's RLM 76b variations. It is approximately FS*6463
RLM 75 Grauviolett
- Very close to Eagle Editions, slightly warmer than Classic Colours and darker than Hikoki. Approximately FS*6152, but slightly warmer.
RLM 81 Braunviolett
- No match with Eagle Editions (their chip is a green), lighter than Classic Colours, and very close to Hikoki. Near FS*0051
RLM 82 Hellgrün
- Browner than Eagle Editions, darker and browner than Classic Colours (an almost exact match for their RLM 83) and browner than Hikoki. Close to FS*4079 with a little brown.
RLM 83 Dunkelgrün
- No match to Eagle Editions, Classic Colours or Hikoki. Nearest FS equivallent is FS*4110 but less saturated.
RLM 66 Schwartzgrau
- Very close to Eagle Editions and Classic Colours and slightly greyer than Hikoki. Near FS*6081 but slightly darker.
Basically, I'd be more than happy to use all Hataka's Luftwaffe paints that I've examined - the only doubt hanging over their version of RLM 83. But even that rang bells the moment I saw it and, sure enough, it's almost spot on as a match for colour photos I have of the bright green on NASM's restoration of Me 262 W.Nr. 500491. Great care was taken at the time to match the original colours the restorers found when they painstakingly stripped the airframe, so there is a precedent for Hataka's colour, whatever RLM code you want assign to it...
RAF European and North African Colours
. I compared Hataka's paints agianst my copy British Aviation Colours of WW2 - RAF MUseum, Hendon, 1976. A word of caution is required here, because it has been noted that there is some variation between the paint chips in different copies. Once again, I've included FS numbers for easy reference. There's an overlap between the two Hataka sets, which combined offer:
- Hataka's paint is very close to the RAF Museum's chip, but a touch warmer. Near FS*0266
- Hatak has an almost exact match for the RAFM chip. Near FS*0095
- Hataka's colour is a good match in hue for the RAFM chip, but darker. Very close to FS*5231
Interior Grey Green
- Duller than the RAFM chip. Between FS*4266 and *4172 but lighter than the latter.
- Very close to the RAFM chip but slightly darker. Very close to FS*4079
- Slightly warm compared to the RAFM chip. Close to FS*4424
- An almost exact match for the RAFM chip. Very close to FS*6152
Medium Sea Grey
- Slightly warm compared to the RAFM chip. Between FS*6293 and *6270
I'd be very happy to complete a WW2 RAF kit using Hataka's paints as a basis.
I'm very impressed by Hataka's new acrylic paints and I think they deserve to be a great success. For ease of use, they compare well with Xtracrylix and Lifecolor - two brands that I use regularly. In terms of colour accuracy, I'm always wary of anyone trying to pin down "absolutes" when so many factors can cause considerable variations. Suffice to say, Hataka's interpretations are they are well within the tolerances that I'm happy to work by, and you can expect to see them feature in some of my future builds. Recommended.
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