Lifecolor Acrylic Paints

By Chris Banyai-Riepl

These new paints recently came across my desk last month from Military Hobbies and I thought I'd give them a quick test. My initial reactions are good. I'm normally more of a straight enamel kind of guy, not having much luck with acrylics, but these paints are changing that tune. Lifecolor paints originate from Italy and come in standard-size bottles, only these are plastic rather than glass. The way the lids are designed looks like it will be very hard to get them glued to the bottle with dried paint (which I always manage to do!). Quoting Dave Scheel of Military Hobbies,

"Through extensive testing in this market and feedback we have received so far, Lifecolor acrylic paints perform almost identically to their Tamiya acrylic counterparts. Preference to either brand seems to be a personal, rather than technical choice. Where Lifecolor excels is in its wide range of colors and its non-toxicity. While similar in chemical makeup to Tamiya acrylics, it contains no alcohol or other toxic substances. It is also completely odorless when sprayed or applied with a brush. Nowadays most of us are concerned about our environment and the impact it has on us and our children. The Lifecolor product line stands clearly stands out in this area."

I've done some initial testing and brush painting these paints is excellent. Great coverage and easy cleanup with either water or the Lifecolor thinner. The colors look to be very accurate and match the color chips I've got, at least on those colors that I have chips to match with. Airbrushing is also very good and I tried thinning with both the Lifecolor thinner and regular water. Either option worked very well for me and I was able to get a nice fade line (around 1/16") with no problems whatsoever.

Military Hobbies is the North American distributor for Lifecolor paints and they are looking for dealers in Canada and the US. They have created a special "Dealer Starter Pack" for qualified and interested dealers. It consists of a store display, color plate brochures and a sampling of about 35-40 paints. It is available for a nominal fee and lets dealers "test the waters" before committing to a full store display. If you are a dealer or know of one that would be interested in this product line, drop Dave Scheel a line.

If you are looking for new paints, I can recommend these as quality colors and easily the best acrylic paints I've used to date. Through either the airbrush or with a regular paint brush, these paints are well worth checking out.

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