Lifecolor, a division of Astromodel of Italy, continues to expand their huge selection of acrylic paints with two sets of colors for the DSB, the Danske Statsbaner (Danish State Railways). These six colors cover Epoke (Epoch) IV, characterized by European railways from the 1970s to present. Presumably there may be sets for Epoke I and II in the future. This set advertises to be a limited edition of special satin RAL colors.
Set 2, Originale DSB Farver, DSB Epoke IV
The set contains six 22ml bottles packed in an flip-top cardboard box. The box art is of an impressive photograph of a model railroad scene of the subject paint and color chips of the contents. Curiously, the box ends identify the set at a "camouflage set" and "Set 1" while the box face refers to it as a "diorama set", and "Set 2". The box bottom is printed with mixing and cleaning instructions in English, French, German, and Italian. The plastic bottles have screw lids with internal lids that inhibit leaking or running into the threads if the cap is left upside down, and are nicely balanced to avoid accidental spills. The pigment is very fine. The paint does not contain solvents or alcohol.
The six Epoke IV colors are:
* UA 807 Red RAL 3003
* UA 808 Red RAL 3002
* UA 809 Brown RAL 8019
* UA 810 Brown RAL 8025
* UA 811 Yellow RAL 1007 (RAL Chrome Yellow, FS 33538)
* UA 812 Black
All color samples are on smooth medium weight white illustration board. When the paint was dry I photographed the chip card outdoors on a pale winter afternoon.
Lifecolor instructs that for airbrushing, use low pressure. Not surprisingly they also recommend using their own thinner but water will suffice. I sprayed them with my Aztec airbrush with a acrylic general purpose (black) nozzle. Pressure was from my 35 year-old Thomas diaphragm compressor (no excess pressure here!). Each paint was shot straight from the bottle onto plastic railroad car over DSB Epoke III colors. A single pass was made with each stroke.
The coverage was excellent. All six paints covered with complete opacity. None of the colors ran nor puddled.
I had mixed results using a flat sable brush, as shown on the strip of card. Each color received a single stroke. Only the dark brown and black are opaque. None of the colors left brushstrokes.
The paint was applied on the roof over dry Lifecolor. Compared to my experience brush painting with Polly Scale and other acrylics, I am disappointed with the performance of these paints. Except for the dark brown and black these paints require multiple coats for complete coverage. I think priming with an undercoat can improve the performance, but both the yellow and reds were applied over light grey--a common primer color.
Incredible! With the excellent performance of the Epoke III set, I decided to really test these paints. I only allowed the yellow and red to dry atop my furnace for the time it took to clean out my airbrush between colors (a 4-step procedure) before applying common masking tape over the freshly shot paint. No yellow lifted off, and only a hint of red came off the raised hinge detail! After drying overnight I could not scratch the paint with my fingernails.
Adhesion is awesome! The bottle design is great, as is the packaging. These paints cleaned easily with water.
I searched for a conversion of RAL numbers to Federal Standard 595B numbers and found only the one. As RAL and FS systems are created from different paradigms, this is not surprising. The paints performed well via airbrush. Lifecolor states they should be thinned with the brand thinner, which I did not do. The smooth primed plastic may account for the opacity of the lighter paints.
Brushing was disappointing but I believe that these paints can perform better on a primed surface.
Highs: Adhesion is incredible! Airbrush performance. Water cleanup.Lows: Mediocre brush painting coverage.Verdict: Lifecolor is filling a void in subjects with paints that are very good for airbrushing but require patience and care brush painting.
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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR) FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES
I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art.
My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling!
My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...