Xtracrylix are - surprise, surprise, acrylic paints. They are supplied in 16ml plastic bottles with a screw-top. The consistency is very thin - it's fine for brush-painting, but I was also able to airbrush it straight from the bottle. Hannants recommend using 10-15% neat water as a thinner, but I used distilled water, Liquitex Flow-Aid and Isopropyl Alcohol for the tests and all worked perfectly. (Note: Unlike some acrylic paints, Xtracrylix is not compatible with cellulose thinners.)
The pigment is very fine and showed no sign of separating out, even when I thinned the paint excessively.
At present, Xtracrylix cover RAF (BS), Luftwaffe (RLM) and US (FS) colours. The range ties in closely with the existing Xtracolor range of enamels. The rumour-mill is already at work, with talk of WW2 Russian and Italian colours being added, along with a range of armour colours.
For the latest range of colours, click HERE
I sprayed the paint onto high-gloss coated card. All the colours sprayed beautifully - no clogging, pooling or spattering - and the colour density was excellent. As a test, I sprayed RAF Sky and Trainer Yellow over Dark Green and Dark Earth - a single coat covered the darker colours with no trouble at all.
Hannants quote the drying time as 15 minutes, but I really pushed it, respraying as quickly as I could flush the airbrush and change colour. I encountered no problems, and had a 4-colour pattern in under 10 minutes.
The finish is initially a silky matt, with a sheen becoming evident as the paint builds up. More coats (or a really heavy application) result in a gloss finish. After the paints had dried for several hours, I tested their robustness by rubbing down various masking tapes - Easy Mask KleenEdge, Tamiya and Scotch Magic Tape. I removed them very roughly and the paint showed no signs of lifting.
Always a controversial topic, and modellers will debate 'till the end of time about "scale effect" etc. I bought some RAF and Luftwaffe colours and compared them with the paint chips in the RAF Museum publication "British Aviation Colours of WW2" and Michael Ullmann's "Luftwaffe Colours 1935-45", but bear in mind that there are bound to be some variations in the printed references and paint batches.
The results were very good (see photos). For the RAF colours:
XA 1007 Sky
was an exact match
XA 1001 Dark Green
was a very close match - a little dark.
XA 1002 Dark Earth
was a little too dark and red
For the Luftwaffe colours,
XA1202 RLM 65
was a good match (in chroma, but rather pale) for the 1938 colour - M. Ullmann's research indicates that the specification of RLM 65 changed later.
XA1222 RLM 72
was a very close match for the original chip, but darker than its replacement in the revision supplement (shown here).
XA1223 RLM 73
was an exact match.
Xtracrylix is an excellent addition to the range of modelling paints. With its easy application and good colour accuracy, it deserves to be a success. Assuming the other colours in the range match up to the quality of the ones I puchased, I have no hesitation in giving it 9/10 - Highly recommended.