and AK interactive USA
are relative newcomers to the modelling world, but with a host of top modellers involved in this new company, not least of which is Mig Jimenez, you know they will come up with some new and exciting products. Iain Hamilton of AK interactive USA sent me some items to review from this new range when I communicated with him in regards to a feature on some of his work.
The three streaking effects I am taking a look at here are:
• AK012 Streaking Grime.
• AK013 Rust Streaks.
• AK014 Winter Streaking Grime.
Common to all of this product type they are all supplied in a 35ml plastic jar with a screw cap, and are enamel based. Each colour can be darkened or lightened by mixing the product to various ratios with other products in the range in order to increase the options for the modeller.
The three streaking products I am looking at here are all supplied pre-thinned for use with both hand and spray brush. After use all materials used for application of the product will need to be cleaned using white spirit, you could, of course, use the white spirit supplied with the range but any white spirit will do for this purpose.
Iain Hamilton, for the benefit of this review, also sent me the DVD Washes, Fading, and Oils
and which is reviewed here by Jim Starkweather, Washes, Fading, and Oils
, and I will echo Jim in saying this DVD is an excellent tutorial.
White Spirit (thinner):
As the AK011 White Spirit is an integral part of this product series I will cover it first. I suspect most of you are thinking it's white spirit what’s the big deal, why should I buy white spirit from the range rather than using any old brand? The white spirit included in this range has been formulated to thin these products perfectly while not being so hot that it could destroy the finish, or too cool that it does not mix perfectly. You could use other brands of white spirit with these products, but the finish may not be of the same standard as you could achieve with the white spirit from the range.
The application methods I have used to test out these products have been learnt from watching the above mentioned DVD, and due to a question asked in the forums here in reference to this DVD I have applied them directly onto Tamiya paint, and onto a painted surface that has then been sealed using Klear (Future). First the bad news, these effects do not work as advertised if used on a gloss coat as the pigment does not have a surface it can adhere too, so in order to get best results from the products they must be used on a matt surface. I would also suggest that they are used on an acrylic paint surface rather than an enamel paint surface as otherwise the white spirit may damage the under laying paint finish.
All three products were applied using vertical strokes of varying length and allowing them to dry for at least 30 minutes before being brushed vertically with the white spirit. The first picture shows the Rust Streaks applied and allowed to dry for 2 hours (I have found the longer the product is allowed to cure the stronger the colour after being brushed over with white spirit. The second picture shows the same product applied to a gloss surface. Picture three shows the Rust Streaks after being brushed with white spirit, it is important to mention that the white spirit is brushed vertically over the streak effect to get a natural look to the finish. In this picture you also see the Streaking Grime applied.
Picture four shows the effect on the streaking effect when used on a gloss surface, as can be seen the effect has been completely removed from the model. Picture five shows the Winter Streaking Grime applied and allowed to dry, you can also see in this picture the two previous colours after being brushed with the white spirit. In picture six I have shown what will happen to the finish if you are over enthusiastic with the white spirit and brush, this will also be the same effect if the brush is used horizontally over the streaks.
Lastly I was unable to get a picture that showed clearly the effect left behind by the Winter Streaking Grime, so you will have to take my word for it that I felt the effect was very realistic, and with the weather the UK has had the last 2 weeks I know what a vehicle looks like after snow and salt has been encrusted on it. One other item I wish to mention about these products is that you can build up layers which create a quite pleasing, if subtle, colour variation.
These streaking effects are a good product with the only real limitation being the knowledge of the user, and the ability to use them in a realistic way. I hope that this review has shown not only what the product is, but how not to use it as regards using the white spirit and on what surface to apply them too. I do have one minor complaint which is to do with the packaging, the card insert in the lid has a habit of sticking to the bottle top rather than staying in the lid (yes the card insert went on the floor leaving a nice circular brown mark, this required a clean up job with white spirit while the wife called me a few names).
In closing I have to strongly recommend these products as apart from the inserts in the lid I could not fault them if used correctly, and advise that you look into purchasing the DVD as it will really help to get the most from these products.