Tool Review
Video Review included
Dust Pigments & Colors
Dust Pigment & Colour Combo Set
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Lifecolor, a division of Astromodel of Italy, enhances their huge selection of acrylic paint and pigment sets with Dust, set SPG04. One of six sets in Lifecolor's Combo series, these three paints and three powdered pigments allow modelers to get dirty and have a dust-up with any subject from many countries and any era.

Set SPG04 arrives in an attractive flip-top cardboard box with the six 22ml plastic bottles held in individual compartments. The bottle caps were molded with an internal rim which both provides a small palette cup as well as inhibits paint fouling the bottle cap thread.

The paints are made with very fine ground pigments; the dry pigments are probably those used in the paint. Neither have a noticeable odor. I find the paint to be thinner than other brands I am used to, almost like a heavy wash. These paints are not formulated for one-pass brushing, rather for multiple passes and airbrushing.

Gettin' territorial?
Presumably because most of the wars modelers like to model occurred in Europe, the colors of these dusts mimics three regions of Europe. That need not put off a modeler of American subjects as a brief glance at my dusty automobile proves the hues in this set will be right at home on a North American subject!

This set includes:
    PG 111 Northern Europe Dust - Pigment
    PG 112 Eastern Europe Dust - Pigment
    PG 113 Southern Europe Dust - Pigment
    UA 910 Northern Europe Dust - Acrylic
    UA 911 Eastern Europe Dust - Acrylic
    UA 912 Southern Europe Dust - Acrylic

There are no instructions other than as printed (in multiple languages) on the back of the box, plus six printed color chips.
    LifeColor Pigments can be mixed with water, alcohol or other solvents and turpentine or white spirit for oil paints. Apply the mixture with a brush or an airbrush that has at least a 0.3 needle and nozzle setup due to the thickness of the pigment. You can also apply the pigments with a dry brush obtaining shades of dirt or dust. By mixing colours and pigments you can obtain a dense paste for simulating 3D effects, which can be very useful painting tracks or simulating rust. -

Lifecolor reminds us that these can be mixed with Tensocrom Medium to create washes and glazes.

I applied these products by brush onto a painted model. To paint the example armored vehicle I employed my "flick-brushing" techniques with the paint, straight from the bottle, onto both a dry model (running gear) and a water flooded surface (hull and turret).

Take note that the model has not been overcoated with any matte finish. That's how flat these paints dry naturally.

Pigments were applied by daubing and scrubbing them with a horribly abused artist's sable brush. Consider wearing a dust mask and eye protection if you work without ventilation. These products don't stink but the ultra fine powder can rise up into your face. Note that in the video.

Airbrushing Lifecolor
Lifecolor tells us that we can mix the pigments with liquid and shoot them through a heavy duty airbrush nozzle to create a gloppy texture. I did not try that nor did I airbrush any of these paints. However, I have no reason to suspect that these paints will be any less satisfying than my experience airbrushing other Lifecolor paints. I have rated airbrushed coverage as excellent, covering with high opacity.

Lifecolor instructs that for airbrushing, use low pressure. Not surprising they also recommend using their own thinner but state water will suffice. I have applied Lifecolor paint through my Aztec airbrush with a acrylic general purpose (black) nozzle. Air was supplied from a reservoir with a regulator from which I used 12-15 psi. None of the colors ran nor puddled straight from the bottle. I 'stretched' the paint by cutting it with water. Both consistencies worked to my satisfaction. The paint dried flat. What more can we ask of it?

I did not attempt bristle brushing with this set as it would not fit my need. Yet like my airbrushing experience, bristle brushing has been good. As noted before I find them to be thinner than other brands I am used to, almost like a heavy wash. None of the colors have left brushstrokes. None of the colors ran nor puddled.

Excellent! I decided not to test it with tape. Instead I simply looked for nicks and scratches after normal handling. Results - no nicks or scratches. Even the pigment did not rub off without a conscious effort to remove it.

Adhesion is excellent! Bottle design is great and package design is pleasing. These paints cleaned easily with water.

Brushing is different from my experience with other acrylics because they are so thin out of the bottle. Yet I judge that these paints brushed well.

This set can afford the modeler a ready made set for simulating dust and dried splashed mud. While the colors are named for Europe they should be right at home on a North American subject. Other parts of the world, too.

These are quality paints and dry pigments and I certainly recommend them.

We thank for providing this set to RailRoadModeling for review! Please tell them and retailers that you saw this paint set here - on KitMaker.
Highs: Adhesion is excellent regardless of the method of application! Bottle design is great.
Lows: You may find brushing different from your experience with other acrylics because they are so thin. Powdered pigment dust could be an irritant.
Verdict: This combo can afford the modeler a ready made set for simulating dust on any subject and any era.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: SPG04
  Suggested Retail: 20.50
  PUBLISHED: Jan 25, 2015

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

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...

Copyright 2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. All rights reserved.



Video Review

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