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In-Box Review
Pigment and Color Sets
Mud and Dust Pigment and Color Sets
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]

Originally published on:


Over the last few years products for weathering your Armoured Fighting Vehicles have come on leaps and bounds. The modeller originally ground up chalks and the like to make pigments if they were familiar with the technique, and then a fair number of manufacturers began producing selections of ready to use pigments; these products allowed conformity and repeatable effects to be created. These pigment products have now started being supplied with paints and effects products as a single purchase; it is two of this product type that will be reviewed here from LifeColor.


The two sets that will be examined in this review are the mud and dust sets from LifeColor. Each set consists 3 pigments and 3 acrylic paints, these are supplied in a segmented card box which makes for good presentation of the contents.
Dust set
  • PG111 N. Europe dust
  • PG112 E. Europe dust
  • PG113 S. Europe dust

  • UA910 - N. Europe dust
  • UA911 - E. Europe dust
  • UA912 - S. Europe dust

Mud set
  • PG114 N. European dry mud
  • PG115 Red dry mud
  • PG116 - S. European dry mud

  • UA913 - N. European dark mud
  • UA914 Red mud
  • UA915 - S. European mud


I am starting this review with an overview of the products. Firstly looking at the pigments in the sets which are for the most part finely ground, I have observed some clumps within the pigments but as the pigments are designed to replicate dust and mud I do not see this as a major issue. The clumps do seem to be pigment colour as opposed to a pigment carrier and so that also goes in the products favour. Each of the pigments in these two sets holds approximately 22ml of product, I believe it states 22ml as an approximate content due to it being a powder as opposed to a liquid. On the rear of the packaging there are some instructions on the use of the paints and pigments; for the pigments it suggests mixing them with the paints in order to obtain a paste with which to obtain a realistic mud effect. It is stated that the pigments on their own can be mixed with water, alcohol, or solvents for application to your model.

The paints in the set are typical LifeColor quality and are supplied in 22ml pots. The colours displayed on the box top are not a great indicator for the paints in the pots, however the pictures I have taken should I hope be a better indicator for you. On the rear of the packaging there are some instructions on the use of the paints and pigments; it is recommended that the paints are thinned with LifeColor thinner or water, i have tried water with these paints and while I have had some success I very strongly recommend you invest in some LifeColor thinner as it insures a more uniform and consistant result.

Field testing

I gave the mud set a field test as being darker colours I believe it makes the effect easier to see and judge. Using a large flat brush I stippled each of the three paints in the mud set on to a test be; in this case the fighting compartment from an old Italeri Elefant. The two paints from this set that I used have good pigmentation and provide strong colour when applied to the model and so variation in the colour is easily achieved by adjusting the thickness of the paint applied.

In this case I applied UA914 Red mud on two areas of the test bed and UA915 - S. European mud in one; before the paint was dry I dappled on PG115 Red dry mud and PG116 - S. European dry mud on the relevant colour using the same brush that had been used for applying the paint. One of the pictures shows the three results I managed to achieve with ease; the result on the left shows UA914 Red mud and PG115 Red dry mud used in conjunction, the result on the right shows UA915 - S. European mud and PG116 - S. European dry mud. The result shown in the centre is managed by using both paint colours and both pigments in the order of the darkest paint and pigment and then going over the top of that with the lightest paint and pigment.

The pictures I believe show not only the colour variation which is surprisingly easy to achieve but also shows the ease with which a textured finish is managed. One important thing to mention is that it is a product that needs to be stippled and dabbed on and not brushed or stroked onto the model or location being applied. A technique which could also be used with these products is to mix a paste or slurry using the pigment and paints in the set and then using air pressure from an airbrush to blow the paste or slurry onto the model. While I have not used this method for this review it will work and of course you can mix the products to add further variation to the finished result. You could also if so desired apply a number of gloss finishes to the effect to give yourself a wet finish when dry.


This product seems to me to perform as I expected and gives the results that I was looking for with ease, the more experience you have of attempting these effects the better the results you can expect to manage, but these sets from LifeColor will push you in the right direction. The products in the sets are easily cleaned up with water and so you can feel more at ease if younger modellers are using them, however you obviously need to take reasonable steps when using any modelling product. These sets from LifeColor are better than I thought they would be and the ease of use makes these products worth considering.
Highs: Nice all in one package for adding those finishing touches to your builds
Lows: The pigments do have some lumps in them which maky effect your opinion of them.
Verdict: I believe these sets are worth giving a try if for no other reason than their ease of use.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: SPG04 & SPG05
  Suggested Retail: 20.50
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Aug 31, 2013

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright 2021 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.



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