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Tool Review
Wings & Fuselage Emphasizer
Wings & Fuselage Detail Emphasizer
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:

Wings & Fuselage Detail Emphasizer is a set of weathering colors by LifeColor. Lifecolor, a division of Astromodel of Italy, has expanded their huge selection of acrylic paint and pigment sets with Liquid Pigments, a new product series. Wings & Fuselage Detail Emphasizer, set LP06 is one of that growing range of products. It consists of five "paints" and a liquid pigment remover. These liquid pigments allow aviation modelers to weather and enhance detail on their aircraft.

The UK price is 17.50 inc.VAT.
    This plane set includes three colour tones for the panel-lining on wings and fuselages. The set also contains a light tone to simulate the dust on the undercarriage and wheels, plus an interesting burned tone for the engine exhausts. These tones are suitable for all the main camouflage schemes.

    What is Green Chemistry?

    The new adjustable Green Chemistry pigments technology allows you to obtain a wide range of colour effects. For best results we suggest using these with Reflecting Agent PG110.

Liquid Pigments Wings & Fuselage Detail Emphasizer
This set of six 3/4 fl oz (22 ml) screw top bottles is packed in a good looking flip-top box. English and Italian text on the back of the box explains the basics of how to use Liquid Pigments.

This set includes:
    LPW 26 Black Liner
    LPW 27 Grey Liner
    LPW 28 Payne Grey Liner
    LPW 29 Landing Gear Dust
    LPW 30 Blue Burned Exhaust
    RE Remover

The pigments are very finely ground. These LP (Liquid Pigments) are more like a stain or wash. In this review I did not attempt to airbrush them.

LPW 26 Black Liner is actually a very dark gray. Even when freshly mixed with my electric stirrer it was not what I consider to be black. That's good because black - unless you are painting something that needs to be black - is an overpowering color. And when mixing with the other LPs of this set, a little Black Liner goes a long way.

LPW 27 Grey Liner is a neutral gray tone.

LPW 28 Payne Grey Liner has a tint of blue to it. Thus it is a cooler effect.

LPW 29 Landing Gear Dust is a light buff presumably simulating dust.

LPW 30 Blue Burned Exhaust is a peculiar color. It appears LifeColor intends it to simulate the bluing of heat anodized metal. Now, I was not alive when most of the aircraft that modelers generally model were operational, nor am I an A&P (Airframe & Powerplant mechanic) and yet most of the tailpipes, wastegate components, and exhaust stacks I have seen cool to a gray or rusty look. Blue Burned Exhaust's bluish color does not manifest itself on the metals of older aircraft exhausts. It seems mainly to be in the age of the jet and turboshaft, of stainless steel and metal components of higher quality. Now among the show circuit and racing community many current warbird owners do gussy up their noble steeds with froufrou chrome and stainless that will "blue" into pretty colors; the components of helicopter powerplants show bluing since the Kaman K-225 of 1951. All things considered I believe a different color would be more useful than LifeColor's Blue Burned Exhaust.

Those five liquid pigments are a fair selection of colors. They should work well for finishing airframes of the WWII USN & USMC and some FAA schemes, many Luftwaffe and Bundesluftwaffe aircraft, several Soviet VVS and PVO schemes, and most modern gray liveries. Except for the black LP, I think that this set is not suitable for finishes that are not predominately blue or gray; while some of these can be used as filters to vary the tones on aircraft of green, brown or tan, and natural metal aircraft, those finishes need their own sets of liquid pigments.

How does these colors work? Read on.

Recently I unpacked one of my favorite models, a late-variant Bf 109. I built it decades ago and decided to upgrade it with modern products. Wings & Fuselage Detail Emphasizer LPs are mainly grays so they are perfect for mid- to late-war Luftwaffe fighter schemes.

I did not try to airbrush these LPs. I used Grey Liner on the upper surfaces and Payne Grey Liner on the RLM 76 blue underside. Black Liner went around the cowling, wing roots and POL panels - straight and mixed with the others. I even used Blue Burned Exhaust on the exhaust stacks.

On one half I removed the LP with water while the other side was allowed to dry longer and treated with RE Remover . Photos show that the gray LP on the upper surfaces noticeably accentuated the recessed lines while wet and yet they blended in and all but disappeared when dry. Black Liner is more obvious when dry, as expected.

Underneath, Payne Grey Liner effected a nice blue filter while accentuating the panel lines. However, it also left "tide marks" that never blended away, even with multiple applications of Remover. Black Liner also dried with some pooling under the fuselage, something I did not intend, although it looks like deposits of an oil and grease film flung by the slipstream.

After drying overnight, the model was almost as matte in finish as when I sealed it with Micro Flat decades ago. That was back before I learned that Luftwaffe paint was a satin finish, so I am happy that there is a slight sheen to the LP.

With my previous experience with LifeColor I have no reason to expect anything but the best performance from LP with an airbrush.

Capping It Off
LifeColor Liquid Pigments Wings & Fuselage Detail Emphasizer is a nice start for certain aircraft finishes. As mentioned above, they are too limited for a wide spectrum of airframe paint jobs and the series could be expanded.

They are easy to manipulate and blend. Both Remover and water work well as thinner. Depending on the surface they adhere to, Liquid Pigments seem very durable and permanent without a clear coat when dry.

Liquid Pigments work great with application by brush. I have no reason to think it would work any less impressively through an airbrush.

Unlike many dry pigments, Liquid Pigments seem very durable and permanent when dry.

I am happy with the results I achieved with this set and recommend it for modelers of predominately blue or gray aircraft.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Liquid Pigments are easy to use and perform very well. They are easy to manipulate and blend. Both Remover and water work well as thinner.
Lows: These are really only suitable for blue and gray aircraft. I question the relevance of two of the colors.
Verdict: I am happy with the results I achieved with this set and recommend it for modelers of predominately blue or gray aircraft.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: LP06
  Suggested Retail: $21.00, 17.50
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jan 01, 2017

Our Thanks to LifeColor!
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 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 ]. All rights reserved.



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