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AFV Painting & Weathering
Answers to questions about the right paint scheme or tips for the right effect.
lifecolor airbrush
youpey
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: March 11, 2008
KitMaker: 520 posts
Armorama: 460 posts
Posted: Friday, April 10, 2020 - 02:04 AM UTC
i ordered an airbrush and was curious what people thought of lifecolor for airbrushing a tank. im looking to get the US Olive Drab Camouflage Acrylic Set for my sherman tank.

i have used lifecolor to brush paint before, but i never brushpainted a full tank. i typically used spray paint for it.

is the lifecolor good for airbrushing, or would i be better trying to put together a similar set using vallejo air. i read reviews where people said lifecolor was hard to thin correctly, but they were reviews from 10 years ago, and i wasnt sure if things had changed

i have no real experience with an airbrush, i tried a couple of times before and had not much luck and ended up losing the airbrush years ago during a move.


also, do i need to prime with lifecolor or vallejo model air?
Tojo72
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North Carolina, United States
Joined: June 06, 2006
KitMaker: 4,619 posts
Armorama: 3,453 posts
Posted: Friday, April 10, 2020 - 02:27 AM UTC
Vallejo is tricky to airbrush also,good to use their thinner and flow improver.I used Lifecolor once or twice with no problems.Yes it is a good idea to prime all acrylics,I like Tamiya Extra Fine in the rattlecan.

One suggestion for your 1st airbrush project try Tamiya paints if you can,very easy learning curve.
jekrott
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Connecticut, United States
Joined: March 25, 2006
KitMaker: 480 posts
Armorama: 348 posts
Posted: Friday, April 10, 2020 - 03:00 AM UTC
Next to Mission model paints,my next choice is life color paints,a little on the thin side but I like that because it won't hide details.I always prime my models 1st and did with life color as well.Hope that helps.
SSGToms
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Connecticut, United States
Joined: April 02, 2005
KitMaker: 3,547 posts
Armorama: 3,038 posts
Posted: Friday, April 10, 2020 - 03:10 AM UTC
I have tried nearly every paint on the market today and I have settled on Lifecolor as the best paint you can buy. It hand brushes and airbrushes right out of the bottle (or you can thin it 20% for airbrushing with distilled water or their thinner). When you airbrush it, it sucks down on the model in a thin skin that brings out the detail in amazing clarity. It dries quickly on the model, but does not clog the airbrush tip. Their color range is huge - 200 colors plus all their wonderful sets, and they are a water acrylic, so clean up and thinning are easy. I have bought the whole line and now, with a few exceptions, Lifecolor is all I use.
I will agree with Tony, though. Tamiya is very easy to use, you almost can't mess it up. Thin Tamiya with their lacquer thinner or blue windshield washer fluid 50/50 paint to thinner and spray away. It's very easy to learn on but the color range is limited.
phil2015
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Illinois, United States
Joined: July 27, 2015
KitMaker: 182 posts
Armorama: 155 posts
Posted: Friday, April 10, 2020 - 03:25 AM UTC
I had mixed results using Lifecolor in the airbrush. I used it for awhile because I could both brush paint it (awesome for that) and airbrush it. But I find it difficult to get the paint consistency right - it seemed to require a different amount of thinner for each bottle.

I ordered a couple of AK 3rd generation because they are supposed to be both airbrushable and brushable.

I agree with others that Tamiya is a great place to start for paint to run through the airbrush - and if you do try this, do thin it with the lacquer thinner.

I don't know how hard it is to get a good mask for painting these days, but that is essential if you use an airbrush.

Regards,
Phil
youpey
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: March 11, 2008
KitMaker: 520 posts
Armorama: 460 posts
Posted: Saturday, April 11, 2020 - 02:25 PM UTC
i was able to find a bottle of vallejo model air and a bottle of lifecolor in my stash. i am going to test to see which i like painting with better on a junk model.

i just hope the airbrush arrives soon, my wife is starting to grief me because the paints are going to be my birthday present and i have told her which i want yet
ironhull
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Venezia, Italy
Joined: November 23, 2013
KitMaker: 130 posts
Armorama: 130 posts
Posted: Saturday, April 11, 2020 - 05:29 PM UTC
I didn't airbrush Lifecolor (or Italeri and Vallejo too) because I tried a lot of thinners and mixing rates without any good result. Lots of clogging everytime.
Everything changed when a friend of mine suggest me to thin them with Vallejo airbrush thinner and mix an acrilic retardant.
Now I am happy with this formula
40% color (Lifecolor) or 30% (Vallejo and Italeri)
Vallejo thinner up to 100%
Acrilic retardant: two drops, not more, for each cup of airbrush.
I always mix everything in a small cup and then drop on the airbrush filtering it (ask lady for an old stocking, it work well and you can wash and reuse it). I think this operation is really important.
I usally spray at 0.9 atm
Sometimes paint clogs the airbrush but I need only a small brush with some water to clean the nozzle.
Bye
SSGToms
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Connecticut, United States
Joined: April 02, 2005
KitMaker: 3,547 posts
Armorama: 3,038 posts
Posted: Sunday, April 12, 2020 - 01:05 AM UTC
Mike,

The thing I don't like about Vallejo Model Air is that it is a latex acrylic, just like house paint. I have found it to have poor adhesion and you can peel it off your model in a thin rubber sheet. It is impossible to sand a feathered edge - the paint just rolls up in a rubber ball no matter how fine a grit you use. If you experience a sag or run while airbrushing, stop and strip the whole model to start over, because there is no way to repair it.