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First Look Review
LifeColor Acrylic Hobby Colors
German WWII Kriegsmarine Set 1
  • lc-cs09-l

by: Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]

Originally published on:
Model Shipwrights

  • lifecolor1_004

The painting and finishing of any model subject is a very important point of interest, as a good finish will either make or break the final outcome of the build. LifeColor Acrylic Hobby Colors has made it easier for the Kriegsmarine enthusiast to have on hand all desired colors necessary, conveniently in one set.

The paint...

Lifecolor Acrylic Hobby Colors are manufactured by Astromodel, based in Italy, produced in a vast range of colors, in which many are matched to the original specifications, and with color chips when available.

The company's color range includes paint colors for both Axis and Allied subjects, of all modeling genre's and subjects. The paint colors are available for purchase seperately, or in specially packaged sets.

Painting with LifeColor paints is quite easy, the product covers well by airbrush or by hand brush, and as with most paints, should be applied in thin layers until the desired results are acheived. The manufacturer recommends thinning the paint to a milk consistency for airbrush use, and straight from the bottle for hand brushing. Very low air pressures are also recommended by the makers.

Thinning should be done preferably with LifeColor Thinner, which contains special dispersants that will make coverage and use a successful operation. Plain water can be substituted when necessary, but use of other thinners is highly discouraged because of possible poor paint performance.

The set...

This set from LifeColor contains a total of six, 22ml. bottles of product, colors essential to the WWII Kriegsmarine modeler, and are as follows:

1.) UA 601 Hellgrau/Silbergrau DKM 50
Superstructures, and upper works, pre-war and early war

2.) UA 602 Dunkelgrau Hull DKM 51
Hull pre-war and early war

3.) UA 603 Hellgrau DKM 50 var
Superstructures and upper works, Baltic scheme

4.) UA 604 Mittelgrau DKM 51 var
Hull, Baltic scheme

5.) UA 605 Dunkelgrau
Bow and stern panels, Baltic scheme

6.) UA 606 Schiffsbodenfarbe Rot 5
Underwater red

All six plastic (no breakage) bottles are packaged in a colorful, open lidded cardboard box, decorated with colorful artwork on the front and sides, with basic useage instruction printed on the rear in four languages. Color chips are provided on the front and rear as well.

The paint itself, compares equally with other acrylic paints that I have used with success, in thickness and consistency...one thing that I immediately noticed, was that upon opening each of the bottles in this set, there was absolutely no seperation of the product in the bottle. The paint has good opaquicity, with good uniformity throughout. Spreadability is superb, in all six ranges of color in this set.

I really like the bottle design as well, as they are short and stout bottles, with a wide mouth opening, which to me means less chance of a clumsy tip-over, and ease and cleanliness of pouring from one receptacle to another for airbrush thinning and use.

I tested the paint head to head with some of my usual acrylics, and LifeColors paints actually covered better, coat for coat, and quite honestly, was a joy to work with...clean-up is easy, as long as it is done immediately after use. After LifeColor paints have dried, plain water or LifeColor thinner will not remove the paint...you must use trychlorethylene or a similar solvent, once dried. When the finish has dried completely, you will have a good, opaque matte finish, with outstanding handleability and durability.

These colors are all also available seperately, as well as many other fine essential LifeColor colors for the shipwright.
Highs: Good coverage, easy to thin and clean up, good finish durability, as well as convenience by providing the colors in dedicated sets.
Lows: Thus far, the possibility of poor performance when used in conjunction with other paints and products (thinners, weathering products, etc.).
Verdict: Excellent value, accurate colors, and great quality make for an all around thumbs up for these paints...highly recommended from this modelers point of view!
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: CS09
  Suggested Retail: 11.83 Eur.
  Related Link: Official Company Website
  PUBLISHED: Jan 05, 2008

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About Mark R. Smith (Gunny)

I have been building models of all sorts all of my life, concentrating mainly on the coolest one's when I was younger, but now I focus directly on all military subjects, from armor to warships. After years of counting rivets, I put away the calipers, dial indicators, and micrometers and now just ha...

Copyright 2020 text by Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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  • lifecolor1_004
  • lifecolor1_002
  • lifecolor1_005
  • UA 605 Dunkelgrau
    UA 605 Dunkelgrau
  • Hellgrau Silbergrau DKM 50 UA601
    Hellgrau Silbergrau DKM 50 UA601
  • UA 602 Dunkelgrau Hull DKM 51
    UA 602 Dunkelgrau Hull DKM 51
  • UA 606 Schiffsbodenfarbe Rot 5
    UA 606 Schiffsbodenfarbe Rot 5
  • UA 604 Mittelgrau DKM 51 var
    UA 604 Mittelgrau DKM 51 var
  • UA 603 Hellgrau DKM 50 var
    UA 603 Hellgrau DKM 50 var