|LIFECOLOR - Shades of Black|
A themed set of black paint from Lifelcolor!
Lifecolor Shades of Black
Supplier: The Airbrush Company
Lifecolor acrylic paints are made by an Italian company called Astromodel. The range of mainly..but not only...armour related paints is enormous, and still growing. Most colours available in matt, satin and gloss. In addition to individual pots of 22ml, Lifecolor also market a range of boxed theme sets of paints, such as this themed set of er...black.
I must admit I was sceptical when I first received this set for review from The Airbrush Company. I mean...black is black. Isn't it? There have been times when I have been painting various completed models that I have added a drop or two of some other colour to black in an attempt to achieve something a little different to the black I had been using. This happened mainly when painting something such as a tyre. Or a black leather coat on a figure. Yet I had always assumed that by adding a few drops of this, or a few drops of that...I was no longer using black. I was using a very dark grey, or a blue-black, or some other as yet un-named shade of something. I still hang on to that in a way. Black isn't a colour after all. It's merely the absence of light. Understand Physics and you'll understand why this is so.
So...I'll try and approach this from a modeller's stance, rather than a Physics teacher. It's not easy! Well...ok. It is really. Basically, that's what this set is all about. We've all had moments when using black that we've felt we could really use something just a little different to differentiate it from another panel, maybe next to the one we're painting...which is also black. No fear...Lifecolor is here!
Six different blacks. I've tried them. They all look black! Seriously. Put them next to each other and you can see the difference, but look at them all individually and you would swear they were black. The set contains six 22ml pots of each shade of black;
UA731 Dirty Black
UA732 Vulcanized Rubber
UA733 Tire Black
UA734 Worn Black
UA735 Deep Cockpit
UA736 Burned Black
Therein lies another problem. An individual 22ml pot of Lifecolor paint is £2.65. It would be reasonable to suppose that if you purchased a boxed set of six, then since it works out at £15.90, and it's customary to be offered a small discount for buying six in one go, that you might even be able to purchase said box set for £15? Well you can't. Apparently we have to pay extra for the nice box they come in. £1. Doesn't sound a lot, but I've yet to find a use for it. If I cut it up I might be able to make a small shed for a diorama or something. Probably won't though.
Anyway...enough of the box...back to the paint! To generalise about Lifecolor paints ...they are extremely nice to use. Easy too. They airbrush terribly smoothly, and offer a vastly superior, smooth finish, with none of that powdery texture so beloved of a certain Japanese manufacturer. They're so good in fact, that I've almost completely given up using any other type of paint. For airbrushing that is.
To have a closer look at this particular set of paints I used a square stencil to spray an area roughly 1.5" square in each of the different shades. If you compare them below, the differences can be seen, although I'm afraid the limits of digital photography don't allow a full appreciation of the difference.
Also shown below is the colour chart supplied by Lifecolor themselves. The differences between the six shades are not as marked as that would indicate, lying somewhere between the photographs I had taken and the colour chart. They are different enough however that I am now convinced of their usefulness, and will be putting them to good use.
Great idea for a themed set. Really puzzled about the pricing policy though. Still....if you've ever found yourself wanting a slightly different shade of black, then I've no doubt you will find a use for this set. I know I will.
My thanks to The Airbrush Company for the review sample.