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AFV Painting & Weathering
Answers to questions about the right paint scheme or tips for the right effect.
Lifecolor vs Tamiya
GALILEO1
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Maryland, United States
Joined: April 18, 2006
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Posted: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 04:06 PM UTC
Hi,

I know there have been a few posts and reviews on Lifecolor acrylics but I wanted to know, specifically, whether they are, in your opinion, better than Tamiya paints.

I've been stockpiling on Tamiya paints ever since I made the switch from enamels a couple of years back but reading so many seemingly positive remarks about Lifecolor I am finding myself considering yet another switch to this brand before I get too carried away collecting more and more Tamiys paints.

For those of you who have had experienced with Lifecolor, If you could please let me know what you thought of it in general, what thinning mediums you have used, etc. and how, from your perspective, they compare to Tamiya paints (which are undoubtedly nice as well)

I apologize in advance if I'm imposing with these sort of 'general' questions but since working with acrylics has been a bit hard for me on occasions (many occasions), I wanted to get an overall view of whether I should be considering Lifecolor as my acrylic paint of choice.

Thanks much!

Rob
MrMox
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Aarhus, Denmark
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Posted: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 10:44 PM UTC
I find Lifecolor easier to airbrush and the sets makes pre-, and postshading a bliss.

Tamiya is stronger and can handle more abuse, so what I normally do, is to prime/basepaint with tamiya and shade with lifecolor - I rarely prime and just basepaint.

I allways use the dilutants from the same brand.

Hope it helps/Jan

sgtreef
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Posted: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 11:19 PM UTC
Have only used a few Lifecolor paints seem good so far.

Will be trying more as time goes on.

Have you tried Humbrol Acrylic yet?
markm
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California, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 03:13 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I find Lifecolor easier to airbrush and the sets makes pre-, and postshading a bliss.

Tamiya is stronger and can handle more abuse, so what I normally do, is to prime/basepaint with tamiya and shade with lifecolor - I rarely prime and just basepaint.

I allways use the dilutants from the same brand.

Hope it helps/Jan




Same here.
I find that the Lifecolor has great color selection and airbrush great when thinned properly, but they are nowhere near as durable as the Tamiya.
RKinsella
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Dublin, Ireland
Joined: September 29, 2007
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Posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 03:25 AM UTC
Tamiya all the way man! Does exactly what is says on the bottle
Chilihead
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Missouri, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 03:29 AM UTC
Tamiya and Gunze over Lifecolor any day of the week.
Chilihead
GALILEO1
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Maryland, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 05:57 AM UTC
Thanks much for all the very interesting comments on this so far!

These two comments in particular, however, may have just impact my decision but will see...


Quoted Text

Tamiya is stronger and can handle more abuse, so what I normally do, is to prime/basepaint with tamiya and shade with lifecolor - I rarely prime and just basepaint




Quoted Text

find that the Lifecolor has great color selection and airbrush great when thinned properly, but they are nowhere near as durable as the Tamiya.



Did not know Lifecolor were not very durable...Interesting stuff!

Rob
GALILEO1
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Maryland, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 06:04 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Have you tried Humbrol Acrylic yet?



Have never tried anything Humbrol (enamel or acrylic). I was a loyal Model Master enamel user for years so I didn't see the need to try Humbrol since MM worked wonders for me.

Although I too read somewhere that Humbrol's quality (formula changed?) has declined a bit perhaps I could give one a try.

Thanks, Jeff!

Rob
MrMox
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Aarhus, Denmark
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Posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 08:51 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Did not know Lifecolor were not very durable...Interesting stuff!

Rob



Don“t get me wrong, I use alot of Life color as Mark say, they have a great colorselection - especially in the sets. But I find they are more prone to scratches wile handling the kit.

And they are very easy to airbrush, propably better than Tamiya and Vellejo, with the right thinner.

I would reccomend that you give them a try!


Cheers/Jan
Emeritus
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Uusimaa, Finland
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Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2009 - 03:59 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Although I too read somewhere that Humbrol's quality (formula changed?) has declined a bit perhaps I could give one a try.


IIRC, the production of Humbrol was moved to China when Hornby took over. I've heard that too, people having issues with these new production paints they didn't have with the older ones.
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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England - South West, United Kingdom
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Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2009 - 07:03 AM UTC
I only have two things against Tamiya paint which is;
1. They switched to the smaller jars which seemed to create a con as regards pricing.
2. They could do with a larger selection of colours.
That said I still prefer Tamiya paint.
Grindcore
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New York, United States
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Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2009 - 07:43 AM UTC

I've been using Tamiya for 15 years at least. I love it, I thin it with denatured alcohol and it sprays like a dream.

I just bought a few sets of the Lifecolor sets as well as some Vallejo air paints just for a change and more color options.

Does anyone know if the denatured alcohol works with those brands?
GALILEO1
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Maryland, United States
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Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2009 - 08:34 AM UTC
Thanks all for the feedback so far!!

Hmm...It seems Tamiya does, still, have some advantages over Lifecolor....

Rob
Belt_Fed
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New Jersey, United States
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Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2009 - 08:57 AM UTC
This is my opinions

Lifecolor clings onto plastic better than Tamiya
Lifecolor has more colors than Tamiya
Lifecolor has FS numbers
Lifecolor can be thinned with water, but sprays fine without thinner
Lifecolor has a smoother finish than Tamiya
Lifecolor is harder to find than Tamiya
Lifecolor can be cleaned by running under the sink- cleans very easily.
Lifecolor is more expensive than Tamiya
Lifecolor is water based, whereas Tamiya is ether based
Lifecolor comes in a smaller plastic bottle.
Lifecolor does not have a fuzzy/ dusty finish when dry; Tamiya does

I think lifecolor is a better brand of paint- but because of the fact that the LHS sells only the horrific MM Acryls and Tamiyas, I only spray Tamiya paint. I would recomend buying Lifecolors Olive Drab, as it is the most accurate representation I have seen, and try it out, Dependig on your results, you can make your decision. Also, Vinnie Brinnagen (SP? sorry Vinnie) did a review of Lifecolor paints on this site and loves them.
GALILEO1
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Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2009 - 11:07 AM UTC
Thanks for the feedback, Jon!!!

Yeah, I think it's just a matter of trying out a couple to see how they perform.

Rob
lskspore
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Singapore / 新加坡
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Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2009 - 02:48 PM UTC

Quoted Text


I've been using Tamiya for 15 years at least. I love it, I thin it with denatured alcohol and it sprays like a dream.

I just bought a few sets of the Lifecolor sets as well as some Vallejo air paints just for a change and more color options.

Does anyone know if the denatured alcohol works with those brands?



I believe there were many posting on what to use to thin Vallejo paints.
Recommended - Distilled water and Vallejo own thinner.

I use denatured alcohol to clean my brushes whenever the paint gets too chunky onto brush.
I find Vallejo paint tends to become gluely when used with alcohol (isopropane, Tamiya thinner) hence i mix vallejo thinner and distilled water for thinning when air-brushing.
Phil_H
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New South Wales, Australia
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Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2009 - 02:49 PM UTC

Quoted Text


I've been using Tamiya for 15 years at least. I love it, I thin it with denatured alcohol and it sprays like a dream.

I just bought a few sets of the Lifecolor sets as well as some Vallejo air paints just for a change and more color options.

Does anyone know if the denatured alcohol works with those brands?



Jimmy,

I can't help with advice for Lifecolor, but denatured alcohol won't work with Vallejo. The paint will clump up into a sticky ball of goo (an effect known as "flocculation") and will be unusable. You can thin Vallejo with distilled water.
Grindcore
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New York, United States
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Posted: Friday, August 28, 2009 - 09:18 AM UTC


Thanks for the thinning advice guys.

How does the the Lifecolor hold up to masking with tape? I have Trumpeters Stryker ready for painting and was thinking of doing a digital camo scheme on it.

The kit took a header off my bench a few weeks ago and I figured I would experiment on it now.

Thanks,

Jimmy
sgtreef
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Posted: Saturday, August 29, 2009 - 02:50 AM UTC
Never tried masking tape against Lifecolor,but should be okay.

Actually the worst too me has always been Vallejo as to tape and sticking if not totally clean.

SSGToms
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Posted: Saturday, August 29, 2009 - 07:41 AM UTC
Alcohol WILL NOT work with Lifecolor. Use distilled water (works very good) or Lifecolor thinner (works excellent). I have a bottle of every Tamiya color and have been shooting Tamiya for 20 - something years. I am now in the process of replacing all of my Tamiya paint with Lifecolor. I like it that much better. I find Lifecolor to be much more consistent and forgiving than Tamiya and it lays down a perfect, ultra-thin skin of paint every time. The fragility of Lifecolor paint has, I think, been overstated or maybe over interpreted. I have masked over Lifecolor with poster putty and blue painter's tape with never a problem. I consider Lifecolor to be the best paint I have, and their matching to RAL and FS numbers with specific colors is unmatched.
Emeritus
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Uusimaa, Finland
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Posted: Saturday, August 29, 2009 - 08:06 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Actually the worst too me has always been Vallejo as to tape and sticking if not totally clean.


I second that, without primer Vallejo tends to lift with the masking tape. With a primer I've had no problems at all.
wrhouston
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Scotland, United Kingdom
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Posted: Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 01:40 AM UTC
Hi,

I used de-natured alcohol once for Vallejo; don't use it as turns the paint into sludge. The best thing to do is use Vallejo's own thinners but buy the artist acrylic thinners in 250 or 500 ml bottles. It is the same stuff as you get in the 17 ml bottles, and it works out a lot cheaper.

The same goes for Lifecolor. I've found they don't work well with alcohol, use distilled water or Lifecolor thinners.

Best Wishes,

Richard.

Beaver2206
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England - West Midlands, United Kingdom
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Posted: Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 02:13 AM UTC
I think availability locally has an influence on what paints people use. Where I live, there is only Citadel and humbrol, so any oportunity to find paints out and about is jumped at.

RE Lifecolour, love them and would agree with the statement above that it is perfect for shading. Tamiya thicker and harder to thin to the right consistency in my opinion.

Try Hannants Xtracrylics - superbs for all applications!

Stuart
SEDimmick
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Posted: Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 02:39 AM UTC
I don't have much experience with lifecolor paint, but I've heard that it brush paints very well...which something Tamiya paint struggles with when you try to paint larger sections.

The one big thing I didn't like with Lifecolor is the shelf life of it...I had quite a few bottles of it that I got in a paint set and didn't use them. I think they where about 5 years old...and all of them dried up or turned into a goo that was unusable. I have Tamiya paint thats older then that that has been opened up and still is good in the bottle.

I personally use all different paint, depending on what I need it for. I mostly gravitate towards Tamiya and now Mr. Color Lacquer Acrylic paint. But I also have Vallejio for brush painting/figures, Cidelle paint for brush painting meticallic stuff and Testors Acrylic and Enamel paints for odds and ends I need for Aircraft