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In-Box Review
Black Rubber Shades
Life Color Black Rubber Shades & Co
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by: Todd Michalak [ TRM5150 ]


_ORGINPUB:
Armorama

The Airbrush Company is a family owned, family run business carrying out a tradition of supplying artists and hobbyists with a wide range of airbrushes, compressors and a host of accessories for close to 70 years. Along with providing a large list of high quality tools for airbrushing and painting, The Airbrush Company and Airbrushes.com provide several lines of paint geared towards arts and crafts, automotive, the food industry and most importantly, Scale Modelling.

Recently I had the pleasure of getting a close look at a set of paints offered by the Airbrush Company; Black: Rubber Shades and Co., a fairly new set of paints from Life Color which manufactures a full line of acrylic hobby colors for the scale modeler including flat and gloss colors as well as weathering effects and pigments. In the past couple years, Life Color has branched out their line of paints to specialized sets which focuses on specific parts of our builds spanning all of the genres of modelling.

Black: Rubber Shades and Co


The Black: Rubber Shades and Co. set form Life Color comes supplied in a sturdy flip-top box containing six, 22ml bottles of paint focused on the shades of black associated with rubber and dark plastics. All of the colors are nicely nestled into a cardboard cutout to secure the bottles of paint within the box. This set retails through Airbrushes.com for £14.16 (ex. VAT) / $20.20 US.

Contents

UA 731 Dirty Black
• UA 732 Vulcanized Rubber
• UA 733 Tire Black
• UA 734 Worn Black
• UA 735 Deep Cockpit
• UA 736 Burned Black


All of these colors are exactly what we have come to expect from Life Color; consistently mixed acrylic paints that can be hand brushed or applied with an airbrush. Each of the six shades provided are different tones of black spanning a small spectrum of colors that encompass the ranging look to rubber and dark plastics as seen on tires, hoses, cockpits, leather products and basically any surfaces on the models we depict that would appear black in color.

Test Drive


All of these Life Color paints can be thinned with water and/or Life Color Brand Thinner. As part of this review, I also tested thinning the paints with other name brand acrylic paint thinners with success. It is best to always use the manufacturer’s brand of thinner on their products to ensure the best results; however, it is always good to know what you can and cannot use with the paints you have on your bench. In running the paints through their paces, I was actually able to shoot all of these colors through my airbrush, which has a 0.15 tip, without thinning. While the paint did flow nicely, results were much better mixing one drop of thinner to about 4 drops of paint. The application was smooth and covered excellent. I was able to laydown sufficient coverage with the 0.15 needle with a pressure setting of about 15 -18 psi.

My approach to painting has always been that of thinly applied coats built up to achieve full coverage. For this application, I was pleased with the results I seen. I used standard plastic spoons as a testbed for this review. The paint was shot over a cured light grey primer. The results showed me the color and application was very consistent providing a smooth, dead-flat finish.

As a second means of application, I hand brushed the paints to check their coverage qualities. I have used many different Lice Color paints in the past for hand painting as the paint levels extremely well covering typically in one coat…as suspected, the paints from this set do exactly that. Since the Life Color paints are soluble by water, thinning the paint slightly prior to brush applications allow the paint to flow nicely into creases and recesses limiting the need for tight cutting in like around rims on wheels. With the paint thinned, a second application may be needed, but this goes quick as no second cut-in is needed.

Cleanup of these Life Color paints consists of washing your tools with water; thinner will dissolve heavier or dried paint easier allowing a soap and water cleanup at the end.


Conclusion

When it comes to the Black: Rubber Shades and Co. set of paints from Life Color, the paint, more or less, speaks for itself. The black shades included in this set are perfect for depicting all types of rubber and plastics. There is an excellent range to the colors allowing the modeler a wide variety of options when painting these black tones. Depending on the weathering desires of the modeler, everything you need to create shades of flat black is contained in this set. As always with Life Color, the mix of the paints is consistent and the coverage is fantastic with either a hand brush application or use through an airbrush. The only downside, and by all means not a big issue, would be the bottles themselves. Since the bottles are screw top, getting the paint from the bottle into the airbrush is more difficult than with other manufacturer’s tipped applicator bottles; pipettes or eyedroppers will be needed. The larger 22ml bottle makes up for the non-built-in applicator….more paint is always a good thing! I have to give the Black: Rubber Shades and Co. set of paints from Life Color excellent marks for color, coverage and cost!

Highly Recommended!



Special Thanks to the folks at the Airbrush Company and Airbrushes.com for providing the Black: Rubber Shades and Co. set of paints from Life Color for this review. This set and more can can be purchased direct from Airbrushes.com!


SUMMARY
Highs: Consistent mix with excellent coverage properties with either paint brush or airbrush. Colors are a fantastic match to all types of rubber and dark plastics. 22ml bottles.
Lows: The screw top bottle without and applicator tip (a very minor issue at best)
Verdict: An outstanding set for anyone looking to match the real world look to rubber and plastic on their models. Excellent paints at a decent price!
Percentage Rating
98%
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: CS 27
  Suggested Retail: £14.16 (ex. VAT) / $20.20
  Related Link: Airbrushes.com
  PUBLISHED: Jan 24, 2016
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 95.50%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 89.44%

Our Thanks to Airbrushes.com!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Todd Michalak (TRM5150)
FROM: MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES

I am building what I like, when I like and how I like it; having fun doing it. I have been building and finishing models on and off my whole life but the past ten years things really exploded. Just about anything goes when it comes to hitting the bench, but wrecked armor, rusted hulks, ships or ...

Copyright ©2018 text by Todd Michalak [ TRM5150 ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Historicus Forma or Silver Star Enterprises. All rights reserved.



Comments

I read "Black Rubber Shades" and dismissed it. Then I looked at the effects and concur that these are valuable and I want a set!
JAN 23, 2016 - 07:37 PM
This set can also be used to mimic the vast variety of black paint used in railroading. With Testor's terrible decision to discontinue the exceptional Polly Scale line, these allow modelers acrylics that can pitch hit for weather blacks.
JAN 29, 2016 - 10:19 PM
We broke our quick reply box. Working on it. Until fixed go to topic to reply.
Thanks.
   

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