Tool Review
LifeColor set CS-16
Middle East British vehicle camouflage
  • 11012

by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]

This set comes in a thin cardboard box measuring 165mm X 120mm X 35mm, the box artwork is very eye-catching, and on the back are instructions for use in English, French, Italian, and German. Inside you will find six 22ml pots of paint. The pots are made of a clear plastic with a white tinge and black screw top lids. The clear bodies of the pots do give a very good idea of the colour inside despite having a slight white tinge to the plastic.

The six colours included are

UA225 Light Stone

UA226 Terracotta

UA227 Slate Grey

UA228 Light Grey/Silver Grey

UA229 Portland Stone

UA230 Desert Pink

I tested these colours both with an airbrush and paint brush, painting directly on to Plasticard without using any primer. The hand brushed paint, while going on smooth, required four coats of the light colours and three coats of the darker colours in order to completely cover the white Plasticard underneath. When applied using an airbrush, I found that two coats was sufficient regardless of colour and a pleasing finish was achieved. I thinned the paint using de-ionised water, as I live in a hard water area, and was concerned the calcium could effect the paint negatively.

The paint, when applied and dry, has very good adhesion properties. Bearing in mind that I applied the paint directly to Plasticard, I found that rubbing my finger across the paint did not cause any powdering of the finish despite no base coat having been used. The colours also do not appear to darken or lighten when dry. I compared the colours to some three-dimensional drawings and they appeared to be very good matches to these prints. While I cannot guarantee they are perfect matches for actual colours used, they do appear to be very close judging from the prints.

I was very impressed with the properties of these paints, and all the tasks I set myself to test them where met, with the exception of the number of coats required when using a brush to apply them.
Highs: Rates highly in all areas I tested.
Lows: I felt the number of coats required when being applied by brush could result in thick paint layers especially when applying a camouflage pattern.
Verdict: A very good set for anyone making a vehicle serving with the British Military in the Middle East during WW2.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: CS-16
  Suggested Retail: £13.99
  PUBLISHED: Jun 29, 2008
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2021 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.


Good to know about the qualities of the paint Darren. I just picked up the US Olive Drab set.
JUN 29, 2008 - 08:08 AM
I will add the pictures of the other paints open tomorrow, I am afraid I didn't think of taking a picture of the plasticard and as it is now a part of my RammTiger build no longer viewable. Sorry
JUN 29, 2008 - 09:20 AM
Hi Darren, Much appreciated. All the best, Jon
JUN 29, 2008 - 09:33 AM
Hi Darren - I've been anticipating this review for a few days now but (please don't take this the wrong way) I was really hoping for a review of the actual colors and how accurate they are in comparison to some of the more contemporary ref. source such as those produced by Mike Starmer. What the colors look like off your camera and thru my monitor may be a little misleading, hopefully not, so please share that when you can. I agree with you on the paint qualities (used them for a quite a while now) as your comments are applicable to the entire line of paints. I was just hoping for more in depth review of the colors within this set. I have multiple resin and plastic kits that this paint set is directly applicable to so any further help or info is much appreciated. Best, Mike
JUN 29, 2008 - 05:27 PM
Hi Guys, I am just finishing a review of the Life colour Italian Colours Acylic paints & I will include some 'tops off' pictures & also how airbrush friendly they are. Mark
JUN 29, 2008 - 07:33 PM
Michael I am sorry my review does not answer your question, if I understand your question correctly you are asking how they directly compare to another manufacturers paints, or a specific set of prints. I do not own any of Mike Starmerís work that I am aware of, so I canít at this time help from that angle. I compared the dry paint colours against prints in ďWAR MACHINEĒ and a few other books and apart from one print (which appeared washed out) they were very good matches to my eye. I hope this answers your question to some degree.
JUN 30, 2008 - 02:41 AM
the 5 other colors have been added.
JUN 30, 2008 - 05:48 AM
Hi Darren, Thanks for the extra pics The colours certainly vary from the box art (I was worried they were a bit light especially the Slate and Silver Grey) and now look more "in the ball park" of Mike Starmers paint chips. Thanks for taking the time to review and post, I have just ordered a set for myself. All the best, Jon
JUN 30, 2008 - 06:02 AM
Thanks Darren for the additional photos, they do help to get a better idea. I would caution against matching to artwork and try whenever possible to match to a paint chip samples such as those in the Mike Starmer Caunter Scheme book. This isn't a complaint by any means, as I understand not everyone has access to these books since many are rather new to the stores or hard to find. I still don't have all of the new books myself, and am rebuilding my library on UK armor slowly and steadily because of their recent availability. Another note of cost info that may be of help to some guys is the fact these Lifecolor sets are not priced economically. You're not getting a deal, if you know what I mean. Individual bottles run in the $2.75-3.50 USD range (Great Models sells them for $3.25 each) and these sets of 6 paints are priced at $25-28.95 each (Internet Hobbies is selling the previous sets for $24.99 currently) so you will pay more per bottle when buying the whole set (approx. $1-2 more per bottle or about $9 more in total give or take with tax and shipping if applicable). That also plays into the color accuracy question a little. However, I will say I love the Lifecolor range--have them all--and will continue to add their sets to my collections, so this isn't intended as a negative, more of an FYI for those modelers on a tight budget. They do eventually sell the bottles from these sets individually, but how soon after the release of the main set I don't know. Depends on how much of a hurry one is to paint I guess. Lastly, Lifecolor paints thin nicely with tap water meaning brush painting and airbrushing happens very quickly and easily. Saves a lot on thinner costs as well. I still clean my airbrush thoroughly afterwards, (Vallejo's Airbrush Cleaner works great after spraying Lifecolor paints), but their day-to-day use is pleasantly simple, odor and toxic free. Maybe the "greenest" line of dedicated hobby paints? British paint colors, camo schemes and markings are some of the most complicated subjects out there and we are very fortunate that websites like MAFVA and authors such as Mike Starmer are getting to the heart of the matter. New UK armor kits are coming fast from Bronco, AFV Club, etc. and this will be a great time to model WWII UK/Commonwealth subjects, armed with this better level and depth of information and dedicated products. Best, Mike
JUN 30, 2008 - 08:06 AM

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