For those unfamiliar with Xtracrylix, they are - as the name implies - acrylic paints. The range is matched closely to Hannants Xtracolor enamels. The paints come in 16ml screw-top pots and can be thinned with water, isopropyl alcohol or Hannants own brand thinners and may be brushed or airbrushed. I've always found the spraying properties to be excellent - the pigment is exceptionally fine so the finish is a silky smooth sheen.
Hannants describe this finish as "decal ready". When Xtracrylix were first released, many people apparently assumed they would have a full-gloss finish like Xtracolors. According to the manufacturers, gloss acrylics are more difficult to produce than enamels but, in fact, multiple coats of Xtracrylix do begin to build up a gloss finish. Of course, most people won't bother with extra coats and the excellent covering power of the paints means a single coat is often sufficient anyway... so "decal ready" it is...
The armour range
XA1800 Panzer Grey RAL7021
XA1801 Signalbraun RAL8002
XA1803 Graunbraun RAL8000
XA1806 Olivgrun RAL6003
XA1807 Schokoladebraun RAL8017
XA1808 Africa Korps Tan Yellow RAL8020
XA1809 Afrika Korps Sand/Grey RAL7027
XA1810 Israeli Tank Sand Grey
XA1811 Russian Tank Green
XA1812 US Gulf War Armour FS23446
XA1813 Brit Gulf Armour Lt Stone BS361
XA1814 British Deep Bronze Green
XA1815 British Mid Bronze Green
XA1816 British Khaki Drab
XA1817 British Dark Earth
XA1818 German Tank Interior Cream
Mea culpa - I hold my hands up and admit to being an aircraft modeller! But, I've found the accuracy of the aircraft range
to be very good and, where I've been able to match these new armour colours to FS, RAL and BS equivalents they look good too. Bear in mind - like any paints, varnishes will darken the finish to a greater or lesser degree (visible in pic #4), so take this into account when aiming for a "scale effect".
Xtracrylix dry fast! The bottles state 15 minutes, but I've successfully changed colour and carried on spraying in the time it takes to flush the airbrush. As a test, I sprayed some German Interior Cream over Russian Green this way and there was no hint of bleed through, even though the darker colour hadn't had time to cure. A word of caution though... although the paints are dry to the touch within minutes, they build up their robustness after curing for an hour or so.
So, going with the "one coat" philosophy, I took the opportunity to test Xtracrylix gloss varnish. Straight from the bottle it has a milky look, but it dries clear. It can be diluted like the paints and I would recommend this, because I found that it was hard to prevent brush strokes when applied "neat". Suitably thinned, the finish is excellent and brushed or sprayed it was easy to get a tough, glossy finish.
I've become a firm fan of Xtracrylix over the last six months or so. Their accuracy and ease of application have consistently impressed me and I expect these new colours will become an important part of armour modellers' arsenal.
Thank you to Hannants for kindly supplying the review samples.
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