Tool Review
Imperial Japan Navy WWII Set 1
Imperial Japan Navy WWII Set 1
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Imperial Japan Navy WWII Set 1 by LifeColor, set CS36, is a six-color set of satin acrylics. kindly provided this set and writes about LifeColor paints:
    Water soluble acrylic colours for modelling and hobby. LifeColor is excellent for paint brushing or airbrushing on plastic, resin, metal, vinyl, wood, cloth and ceramic.

This is one of two sets for the Teikoku Kaigun (Imperial Navy). The other is Imperial Japan Navy WWII Late War Set 2, a set for the "green hulls" of the late war Kido Butai (Mobile Striking Force, or aircraft carriers). The colors of this review are also appropriate for early to mid-war carriers.

Imperial Japan's navy had four main shipyards: Sasebo; Kure; Yokosuka; Maizuru. Each had their own idea of what a warship gray hue should look like. Traditional in naval paint sets a hull red is included, as well as a deck color. Teikoku Kaigun uniquely covered the decks of many ships with a brown linoleum, and that color has been reproduced. Those six hues are presented below.

The Set
LifeColor packs their sets in a good-looking flip-top box. Inside are six 3/4 fl oz (22 ml) screw top bottles. There are no instructions other than as printed (in multiple languages) on the back of the box, plus six printed color chips. Lifecolor reminds us that these can be mixed with their Tensocrom Medium to create washes and glazes. I very much appreciate that the bottle caps are molded with an internal rim, which both provides a small palette cup, as well as inhibits paint fouling the bottle and cap threads.

These paints are made with very fine ground pigments. They have no noticeable odor. Generally, I find them to be thinner than other brands I am used to, almost like a heavy wash. The paints of this set seem to be formulated for either airbrushing or 'hairy-stick' brushing.

The six (6) satin colors of this set are:
    UA 643 Sasebo Grey
    UA 644 Kure Grey
    UA 645 Yokosuka Grey
    UA 646 Maizuru Grey
    UA 647 Linoleum Deck
    UA 648 Antifouling Hull Red

Some IJN ships had wooden decks and no such color is included here.

Before use I gave each bottle 20 vigorous shakes to mix it before making each color chip.

I only airbrushed this set. I used an old diaphram compressor that generates 12-15psi and shot the paint through my Aztek with a white tip. None of these six colors required any thinning and all sprayed smooth and covered with one coat. Some dried sateen as advertised but some look matte to me.

Five paint colors cleaned out of the airbrush completely with tap water. Just to be certain, I chased it with a cup full of airbrush cleaner. One color required some airbrush cleaner.

After curing 48 hours, I scratched a fingernail across the cured chips. No paint scratched off.

Well, once again I have a set of LifeColor paints that I can find no fault with. I am happy Imperial Japan Navy WWII Set 1 contains the color UA 647 Linoleum Deck as a wood deck is easy enough to replicate.

I am again impressed with the easy of use of these paints. Airbrush performance is excellent. Except for one color not magically cleaning out of my airbrush with just water, I have no complaints. Adhesion is excellent! The bottle design is great.

LifeColor has created another essential set for modelers of Imperial Japanese warships. I happily recommend it.

Please remember to mention to LifeColor and that you saw this product here - on Model Shipwrights.
Highs: Six standard colors for Imperial Japanese ships. Airbrush performance is excellent, as is adhesion, and the bottle design is great.
Lows: One color not magically cleaning out of my airbrush with just water.
Verdict: This is an essential set for modelers of Imperial Japanese warships.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: CS36
  Related Link: Imperial Japan Navy WWII Late War Set 2
  PUBLISHED: Aug 29, 2019
  NATIONALITY: Japan / 日本

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved.


Nice review, Fred!
OCT 08, 2019 - 08:24 AM
That antifouling red looks "redder" than the typically seen IJN color, which is usually depicted as a more brownish hue - but who really knows...? Anyway, I'm just delighted to see more dedicated IJN paints available! Thanks for the review, Fred!
OCT 20, 2019 - 02:17 AM

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