by: Darren Baker [ ]
AK interactive and AK interactive USA have not been going for a year yet and already they have become a powerhouse of new and exciting products, both for the painting and weathering of scale armour models and digital media covering how to produce stunning models and effects both with their own products and others. With Mig Jimenez involved with developing products for AK interactive you know they have many more products coming to the modeling hobby. In this review I will be taking a look at one of AK interactive’s Colour Modulation sets they recently released: AK interactive 4BO Russian Green.
The set arrives in an end opening box and contains 8 x 17ml paints, these paints are;
• AK 003 Grey Primer.
• AK 010 Satin Varnish.
• AK 029 Russian 4BO Shadow.
• AK 030 Russian 4BO Dark Base.
• AK 031 Russian 4BO Base.
• AK 032 Russian 4BO Light Base.
• AK 033 Russian 4BO High Light.
• AK 034 Russian 4BO Shine.
A short note on the box this product is supplied in; on the back of the box you will find a series of eight pictures which provides the user with the recommended order of application of the paint colours, and an idea of where each colour should be applied. The placement of the paint will, of course, change with the various vehicles the paint is applied to, but it does provide a fair guide to its usage. The paints are not loose inside the box but supplied in a plastic tray, and in my case were packaged in the suggested order of use.
The paint that makes up this set is acrylic and supplied correctly thinned for application via an air brush. I suspect that application via a paint brush would be possible, but I do not believe you will achieve as pleasing a result as you will achieve with an air brush. The container that the paint has been supplied in allows for clean and easy application to your spray brush, and also allows for controlled further thinning of the paint should you wish to do so.
I have never used Vallejo paint before to my memory and as I have opted to use these on a KV1 that I am building for the “Killer KV Campaign” I have supplied pictures of the paints in order as they are applied to the model or after every couple of colours have been applied, the only exception here are the tracks, wheels, and area under the sponsons which have been painted using the normal Tamiya colour I use on Russian Armour.
The AK 003 Grey Primer was pleasantly easy to use and was sprayed through my airbrush at about 20 psi, this is the highest pressure I use when spraying Tamiya paint. The coat was smooth with a very light sheen to the dry finish. I then applied AK 029 Russian 4BO Shadow at the same pressure after deciding which areas I felt needed it. This coat not being a complete covering caught me out slightly as I found I was getting to much overspray at the pressure I was using, but I did not suffer any rough high spots and as this is a shading colour I decided to continue with this colour at the same pressure.
The AK 030 Russian 4BO Dark Base was the next colour to be applied and as it is a light complete coat I reduced the pressure to 15 psi which improved controllability. The result looked good to my eye. This was then followed by AK 031 Russian 4BO Base and AK 032 Russian 4BO Light Base, after these two colours were applied I was really happy with the result.
I then moved on to the application of the last two colours ,AK 033 Russian 4BO High Light and AK 034 Russian 4BO Shine and finally the Satin Varnish. From a personal point of view I did not like the effect of the application of the last two colours as to my eye it left the vehicle too light in colour on its uppermost surfaces, the finish does however grow on you the more you look at it.
The satin varnish which seals the paint is as good a varnish as I have used before regardless of whether it was acrylic or enamel, and as with all the paints goes on easily, cleanly, and leaves a smooth surface ready for weathering.
This colour modulation set from AK interactive and AK interactive USA is a good product that does provide an interesting and pleasing finish to your armour models. I personally prefer the effect after just the initial first four paints have been applied with perhaps a very light coat of the fifth colour, but as stated that is just an opinion and yours may differ from mine. As far as weaknesses go I can think of only three;
1. as with every product, regardless of how well made it is, there is a learning curve that the end user must, at the very least, become proficient at, and in this case it is your use of the airbrush and what can be achieved with it. No, I do not claim to be an expert in the use of an airbrush as I tend to be a little heavy handed in its use, so if you like the finish I have achieved you should be able to at the very least match it.
2. Currently there are no replacements available for the colours as you use them, and obviously some colours will run out long before the others. I have raised this concern with the manufacturer and been told that if there is demand it will be met. This to me shows the willing commitment of AK interactive and AK interactive USA to the customer above anything else.
3. The last weakness is a combination of product design and the user’s ability to judge a needed quantity of paint. Once the paint has been dispensed to your airbrush any that is left cannot be returned to the original container, therefore it is better to fill your airbrush more than once in order to reduce waste.
With all that said I still highly recommend this product to you in order that you can give your model an interesting and pleasing finish with a good variation in colour that can only get better as you master their use.