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In-Box Review
German War Colors
German War Colors; 1937-1944: Camouflage colors used during WWII
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by: Rick Cooper [ CLOVIS899 ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

AK Interactive continues to aggressively expand their line of finishing and weathering products for plastic modelers. They have recently released a new set of 6 acrylic paints in a boxed set entitled, German War Colors 1937-44 (AK 560) which have been designed by modeler extraordinaire Mig Jimenez. Obviously, the set is intended to provide the paint needed to replicate some of the German Armyís camouflage colors used during World War II.

The paints are advertised as being suitable for brush and airbrush as well as being a new formula. They also carry a disclaimer that the paints have been developed by AK Interactive in their own factory, presumably to clear up any confusion as to whether or not these are simply repackaged Vallejo products.

Contents

The paints are packaged in an attractive full color box that features a Tiger I on the front painted in a German Dark Yellow with a camouflage overspray of German Olive Green. The reverse of the box shows five more German vehicles that are all painted in the colors provided in the box. Each of the six colors comes in what has recently become the go to option of a 17 ml dropper style bottle.

The paint selection that AK Interactive has chosen to include in this set includes;
  • AK 704 Dunkelgrau which replicates RAL 7021
  • AK 752 Olivgrun (option 1) RAL 6003
  • AK 753 Dunkelgelb (initial) RAL 7028
  • AK 754 Dunkelbraun RAL 7017
  • AK 755 Olivgrun (option 2) RAL 6003
  • AK 756 Polizei/Waffen SS green with no corresponding RAL number provided

Review

The best way to test any set of paints is to simply load them in the airbrush and start spraying; so I did. Letís see what happened.

First, the paints come out of the dropper with a nice thin viscosity that really needed no thinning at all which makes them just that much easier to use. Despite that I know that many of us still like to thin (I think a 12 step program may be in order for you serial thinners!). AK Interactive recommends that you use their brand of thinner, AK-712 Acrylic Thinner, but I think it is important to note that AK Interactive does not state this as an imperative only saying ďif necessaryĒ.

Many modelers like to try and save a few pennies with homebrew thinners so I tried two popular cheap options; water and Windex. When I thinned with the Windex the pigments quickly broke down so I would advise against using this as a thinning agent. Windex worked well to clean out the airbrush after use but I would really recommend that you leave it on the shelf if you need to thin. The water gave adequate performance as a thinning agent as well as general clean-up, but again the paints really needed no thinning in my test drive.

I gave each color a clean airbrush to start with and four drops in the cup to get a look at how they would spray and what they would look like when dry. The colors all sprayed very easily and smoothly, really top notch paint and clearly the equal of Vallejo Air acrylic paints. You can see the result of my paint test in the photos to the right. I spend most of my day in a classroom so grades come naturally for me and this one would earn an A for airbrushing.

The only one that may need a bit of explanation is the Olivegrun option one spray swatch. I wanted to see how the two options compared and felt like the best way to get a good comparison was to just go ahead a spray a stripe of option two directly over option one to see how they contrasted to one another. You can see that option two is somewhat lighter than option one; you may well be able to use them for modulation or shading.

After I airbrushed I gave each paint color a test run with hand brushing. Again, I didnít thin at all as none of the paints seemed to need it straight out of the bottle which is something I really appreciate. They all brushed well, the paint was a tiny bit grainy and had a moment of difficulty adhering to the surface before it took hold. While the paint did not go on quite as smoothly as Vallejo Model Color or Humbrol I would still give a grade of somewhere in the B/B range for hand brushing.

Of course, many of us want to see some kind of comparison with other popular paint choices of the same color range so I set up a little side by side comparison. I used the paint choices I normally employ for these particular colors; for German Dark Yellow I have been using Vallejo Dark Yellow Primer as it matches the correct RAL number, 7028. When brushing I have a few Humbrols that still more than hold their own so I pulled out Humbrol 93 Dark Yellow. For the Olive Green shade I used Humbrol 117 with a brush and Vallejo Air 71096 Panzer Olive Green through the airbrush. The German Dark Gray was matched with Vallejo Model Color 862 Black Grey for the airbrush comparison and both Xtra Color Schwartzgrau-Panzer Grey (RAL 7021) and Humbrol 67 Tank Gray.

The results are off to the right, they each seemed to match fairly well. The AK Interactive colors all seemed a bit lighter in tone which matches what the web site says about their paint that it has been formulated with Scale Reduction Effect in mind which lightens the color. The only one that didnít appear lighter was the Olive Green, but after layers of filters, washes, and various forms of weathering I think it may well be a moot point for most.

Conclusion

I think anyone would be happy with these paints. They work as advertised, they are nicely thinned, the colors look right, and the ease of use of the dropper bottles makes it plain why that style of paint bottle has become so very popular. I could quibble with the color selection, why the strange Polizei Green and no true Red Brown will probably be debated around the various model forums, but it is hard to find fault with the actual performance of what is in the box. Recommended!

SUMMARY
Highs: Smooth, nicely thinned, for use with both brush and airbrush. Colors are all lightened for scale effect.
Lows: No Red Brown for common three color camouflage, the set instead includes a green color for Polizei or Waffen SS units (anti=partisan work?)
Verdict: Recommended. A nice set of paints that do just what they say they will, in either brush or airbrush they deliver.
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: AK 560
  Suggested Retail: $20.95
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Sep 08, 2013
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.73%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 91.30%

Our Thanks to AK Interactive USA!
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 Rick Cooper (clovis899)
FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES

I have been modeling for about 30 years now. Once upon a time in another century I owned my own hobby shop; way more work than it was worth. I tip my opti-visor to those who make a real living at it. Mainly build armor these days but I keep working at figures, planes and the occasional ship.

Copyright ©2017 text by Rick Cooper [ CLOVIS899 ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Dear Rick First all, thank you very much for take your time to review this set, and thank you very much for the feedback. I just wanted to clarify some points about your doubts, and I hope it can help a bit. First one, the reason why not is not included a Red browm in this set is becuase it was already included in the 1945 acrylic set, released few months ago. We thought that, because many people bought that set, they already have that color, so, we can inlcude in this new set different colors to offer more range for all those german subject lovers. In another hand during our investigations about german colors we found the very interesting Polizei-SS color (in fact both were a bit different, but we decided to unify in only one due the similitude). That color is common confused with German panzer grey, because in B/W pictures both colors have the same value. But after a long research, we found many S and Polizei units used specific colors that were not represented under RAL colors. This inlcuded color is great for all these new soft skins from Miniart or ICM, trucks, or small vehicles. Finally, about the 2 Olivegrun, we found also a lot of information regarding this color. This color was in fact one color, not lighter versions, but only the darker one. In fact very dark. One good example is the fmoaus octopus King Tiger from 1945. We can see in these color pictures the real dark Olivgrun. During all war, the olivgrun was used straigt from the jar, showing vehciles with a high contrast between Dark Yellow and the green. But at the same time you can find many vehicles with lighter shades green. After a small reserach we found the Olivgrun was used in different ways, thinned with maybe petrol or other thinner, resulting in lighter greens. This is why there are big differences of contrast in vehicles from same years of the war. So, we decided to include both greens, so modellers can decided what to use in each case. I hope my explanation can be easy to understand, but my poor english is not enought good for this kind of technical issues. Sorry. And thank you again!!! MIG
SEP 08, 2013 - 05:32 AM
Mig your English is fine and answers the questions raised by the reviewer.
SEP 08, 2013 - 07:18 AM
Mig, Gracias por su respuesta. No preocupe, su Ingles es mucho mejor que muy Espanol! Gracias para su ayuda en seleccion du polizei color, ahora entiendo. Creo que necisito tarde color le guerra!
SEP 08, 2013 - 08:29 PM
Mig: Can you please explain Resedagrun as offered in your 1945 colors set? I cannot seem to find any reference to this color being used for camo. Mil gracias!
SEP 11, 2013 - 12:29 PM
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