AK Interactive RAF Camouflages Paint Review
|Date of Review||September 2015||Manufacturer||AK Interactive|
|Subject||RAF Camouflages||Product Number||AK 2010|
|Pros||Ready for airbrush and paint brush right out of the bottle||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$34.99|
AK Interactive has been producing a very wide range of paints and weathering products over the last several years targeted to the armored fighting vehicle modelers. What you see here is one of the first releases being targeted to the aircraft modeler, and they took on one of the more difficult subjects - RAF colors.
This set contains eight 17ml bottles of paint with a color selection targeted for World War 2 RAF subjects. The colors in this set include:
- RAF Dark Green
- RAF Dark Earth
- RAF Medium Sea Gray
- RAF Ocean Gray
- RAF Sky Gray
- RAF Middle Stone
- RAF Azure Blue
- Aircraft Gray Green
There are three factors to consider when chosing your paints: color accuracy, paint performance, and price. How do these colors look against the BSC 381 color standards?
|Color||BSC Color||AKI Color|
|104 Azure Blue|
|241 Dark Green|
|283 Aircraft Gray-Green|
|362 Middle Stone|
|450 Dark Earth|
|629 Ocean Gray|
|637 Medium Sea Gray|
You can see in the table above that the color hues align though where many companies state that they factor 'scale fade' into their colors, with two exceptions, these colors have a shade darker than the standards. Azure Blue and Sky have varying degrees of fade in their colors. I find that weathering tends to lighten colors (depending on the techniques used) and starting with darker-than-standard shades will get you near standard colors when you're finished. The hue of Medium Sea Gray seems to be a bit off to my eye.
As you know, Vallejo divides their paint line into two groups - airbrush-ready Model Air and paintbrush-ready Model Color. The Model Color thins well with our homemade airbrush thinner (as well as the Vallejo thinner of course) and goes on as well as the Model Air, which means the major difference between Model Air and Model Color is viscosity. Whatever AK Interactive has done, they've found the right viscosity that will brush and airbrush right out of the bottle.
I squirt a little of the AK Interactive RLM 65 out of the Luftwaffe paint set (same formulation) into my Iwata gravity feed airbrush and painted some spare parts. The coverage was smooth and consistent as well as quick-to-dry. I left one surface of one part unpainted, so I grabbed a paint brush, squeezed a little RLM 65 onto the brush and painted that surface right up to the edge of my airbrushing. The results are impressive - the paint self-levels (no brush strokes) and once dry, I can't see the difference between the airbrushed and hand-painted surface. Your results may vary...
I applied Tamiya yellow tape to several parts and burnished the tape into place. When I removed the tape, no paint came off. I've noted in similar tests that there is some mold release agent being used in the injection-molding processes of many companies now that doesn't seem to wash away when parts are washed in soap and water. Regardless of how I clean my parts before starting a project, I always wipe down the parts with Isopropyl Alcohol before painting. I did so in this test as well and the results are great.
When we first looked at these about a year ago, they were still difficult to find from North American outlets but that has changed. Nevertheless, you need to be mindful of the price as a few online retailers are still charging premium prices (above $34.95 USD). Remember what I said about comparison shopping in my Hobby Shopping Online article? With Stevens International bringing the line into the US, you can find these paints available at several online retailers as well as on Amazon.com. Street prices are even lower now so the price per bottle is comparable to Vallejo. These paint sets are also available directly from AK Interactive's website.
My sincere thanks to AK Interactive for this review sample!