continues to aggressively expand their line of finishing and weathering products for plastic modelers. They have recently released a new set of 6 acrylic paints in a boxed set entitled, German War Colors 1937-44 (AK 560) which have been designed by modeler extraordinaire Mig Jimenez. Obviously, the set is intended to provide the paint needed to replicate some of the German Armyís camouflage colors used during World War II.
The paints are advertised as being suitable for brush and airbrush as well as being a new formula. They also carry a disclaimer that the paints have been developed by AK Interactive in their own factory, presumably to clear up any confusion as to whether or not these are simply repackaged Vallejo products.
The paints are packaged in an attractive full color box that features a Tiger I on the front painted in a German Dark Yellow with a camouflage overspray of German Olive Green. The reverse of the box shows five more German vehicles that are all painted in the colors provided in the box. Each of the six colors comes in what has recently become the go to option of a 17 ml dropper style bottle.
The paint selection that AK Interactive
has chosen to include in this set includes;
- AK 704 Dunkelgrau which replicates RAL 7021
- AK 752 Olivgrun (option 1) RAL 6003
- AK 753 Dunkelgelb (initial) RAL 7028
- AK 754 Dunkelbraun RAL 7017
- AK 755 Olivgrun (option 2) RAL 6003
- AK 756 Polizei/Waffen SS green with no corresponding RAL number provided
The best way to test any set of paints is to simply load them in the airbrush and start spraying; so I did. Letís see what happened.
First, the paints come out of the dropper with a nice thin viscosity that really needed no thinning at all which makes them just that much easier to use. Despite that I know that many of us still like to thin (I think a 12 step program may be in order for you serial thinners!). AK Interactive
recommends that you use their brand of thinner, AK-712 Acrylic Thinner, but I think it is important to note that AK Interactive
does not state this as an imperative only saying ďif necessaryĒ.
Many modelers like to try and save a few pennies with homebrew thinners so I tried two popular cheap options; water and Windex. When I thinned with the Windex the pigments quickly broke down so I would advise against using this as a thinning agent. Windex worked well to clean out the airbrush after use but I would really recommend that you leave it on the shelf if you need to thin. The water gave adequate performance as a thinning agent as well as general clean-up, but again the paints really needed no thinning in my test drive.
I gave each color a clean airbrush to start with and four drops in the cup to get a look at how they would spray and what they would look like when dry. The colors all sprayed very easily and smoothly, really top notch paint and clearly the equal of Vallejo Air acrylic paints. You can see the result of my paint test in the photos to the right. I spend most of my day in a classroom so grades come naturally for me and this one would earn an A for airbrushing.
The only one that may need a bit of explanation is the Olivegrun option one spray swatch. I wanted to see how the two options compared and felt like the best way to get a good comparison was to just go ahead a spray a stripe of option two directly over option one to see how they contrasted to one another. You can see that option two is somewhat lighter than option one; you may well be able to use them for modulation or shading.
After I airbrushed I gave each paint color a test run with hand brushing. Again, I didnít thin at all as none of the paints seemed to need it straight out of the bottle which is something I really appreciate. They all brushed well, the paint was a tiny bit grainy and had a moment of difficulty adhering to the surface before it took hold. While the paint did not go on quite as smoothly as Vallejo Model Color or Humbrol I would still give a grade of somewhere in the B/B range for hand brushing.
Of course, many of us want to see some kind of comparison with other popular paint choices of the same color range so I set up a little side by side comparison. I used the paint choices I normally employ for these particular colors; for German Dark Yellow I have been using Vallejo Dark Yellow Primer as it matches the correct RAL number, 7028. When brushing I have a few Humbrols that still more than hold their own so I pulled out Humbrol 93 Dark Yellow. For the Olive Green shade I used Humbrol 117 with a brush and Vallejo Air 71096 Panzer Olive Green through the airbrush. The German Dark Gray was matched with Vallejo Model Color 862 Black Grey for the airbrush comparison and both Xtra Color Schwartzgrau-Panzer Grey (RAL 7021) and Humbrol 67 Tank Gray.
The results are off to the right, they each seemed to match fairly well. The AK Interactive
colors all seemed a bit lighter in tone which matches what the web site says about their paint that it has been formulated with Scale Reduction Effect in mind which lightens the color. The only one that didnít appear lighter was the Olive Green, but after layers of filters, washes, and various forms of weathering I think it may well be a moot point for most.
I think anyone would be happy with these paints. They work as advertised, they are nicely thinned, the colors look right, and the ease of use of the dropper bottles makes it plain why that style of paint bottle has become so very popular. I could quibble with the color selection, why the strange Polizei Green and no true Red Brown will probably be debated around the various model forums, but it is hard to find fault with the actual performance of what is in the box. Recommended!