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AK Interactive Soviet Aircraft Colors 1959-1970 AK2300


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Air Series

Soviet Aircraft Colors 1950 - 1970

#AK 2300

 

by AK Interactive

 

Available from AK Interactive for € 18,95

 

AK2300_1.jpg

 

What we have here is a complete paint set for your typical Soviet early cold war jet. It’s a mix of two AK Xtreme Metal jars and four bottles with the interior, radome and cockpit colours. Get this and some panel liner and weathering agents and you’re good to go. To be precise the exact paints included in this set are:

 

AK2301 Cockpit Turquoise

AK2302 Radome Green

AK2303 Interior Green

AK2304 Cockpit Grey

AK479 Xtreme Metal Aluminium

AK480 Xtreme Metal Dark Aluminium

 

I did the math (so you son’t have to, and because I’m dutch) and if you buy these paints separate from the AK Interactive webstore, you’ll spend € 19,60, so getting this set is slightly cheaper.

 

The set is part of the Air Series range from AK Interactive. The range includes a lot of assorted sets (Luftwaffe, US Modern Aircraft, etc..), weathering sets (spilled oil, panel liner, pigments, etc...) and books. I especially love the panel liner myself.

 

 

AK2300_2.jpg

 

The paint

First of all, let me tell you I’m a BIG fan of Mr Hobby paint and am always hesitant to try new brands, especially in a set (instead of trying one bottle). Therefor I will try to compare this paint to Mr Hobby (and / or the very similar Tamiya paints).

 

The first difference is the thin-ness. You can shake (not even that hard or long is necessary)  the bottle and pour a small amount directly into your airbrush. Tamiya and Mr Hobby typically needs to be thinned pretty much, if you like to build up your paint in thin layers (like me). I sprayed the back side of a plastic spoon and noticed that the paint covers pretty well. Almost in one go. Therefor I ideally would thin this paint too, but only with about 20% acrylic thinner, instead of 40%-50% I use for Mr Hobby. The bottle tells you to use the AK Interactive acrylic thinner, but I used some Humbrol acrylic thinner and found that worked pretty well too.

 

AK2300_3.jpg

 

AK2300_9.jpg

 

The paint dries quick to the touch (about 20 seconds) into an egg shell satin finish. Just the way I love it. I’ve had good experiences with Mr Paint too, but that tends to dry more glossy. It kind of depends on what you want to achieve and how you’ll go about applying masks, decals and weathering agents to determine if gloss or satin is most suited for your needs. As I said: I like the satin finish: very similar to Mr Hobby and Tamiya paints. Only one word of advise: clean your airbrush well after use. The residu around the needle behaves different than Mr Hobby paint and can be harder to clean. Just spray some acetone through the brush after use.

 

The Xtreme metal paints are quite remarkable. Again: very good coverage after only two passes. Much like Alclad paints. But what I like more is (again) the satin / glossy finish that does not get affected by the acid from my fingers. Then I stuck some Tamiya masking tape on the fresh surface (5 minutes later) and pulled it off. The tape that is. Not the paint J Perfect if you want to mask areas to apply a different shade of aluminium.

 

The subject  

One of the most typical colors on a cold war jet will be the cockpit green / turquoise which can be hard to mix yourself. Compare it to an even more difficult color: the ww2 japanese cockpit green… I love this color and it appears to look the same shade in a lot of photographs.

 

A spoon-full of Cockpit Turquoise:

 

AK2300_4.jpg

 

Below you'll see two examples of the turquoise green in two different shades. This could be the lighting of the subject or the result of UV weathering. Again: be sure to check your references.

 

cockpit.jpg

 

cockpit2.jpg

 

 

Not like the radome green (which differs in tone through weathering, sun, age) or the interior green, which seems to go from olive-like green to almost dark green from photo to photo. There are two cockpit colors included in this set, because not all cold war jets were all turquoise under the canopy. If you look at the pic below you’ll see the cockpit of a Su-22. Just a matter of checking your references.

 

The Su22 cockpit in light grey and the AK paint below:

 

cockpit4.jpg

 

AK2300_6.jpg

 

Then the radome: Again: two different examples. One clearly weathered through sun and drought and one pristine restored. The AK paint below:

 

radome.jpg

 

radome2.jpg

 

AK2300_5.jpg

 

I have seen SO many different greens inside these jets (gear bays, gun bays, avionics bays), that I don't think there's one definitive color. All I know is that this green below looks pretty cool ;)

 

AK2300_7.jpg

 

As said there are two tones of Xtreme metal included in this set. Aluminium and Dark Aluminium. Perfect for variation in shades. The two shades are actually pretty close together as you can see. If you’re looking for some more contrast, you can just add a little bit of black (or Tamiya Smoke as I like to do). But to my eye, the contrast on a lot of models is often exaggerated.

 

 

Below two nice examples of a Mig21 with subtle tonal variation and the AK paints below:

 

metal2.jpg

 

metal1.jpg

 

AK2300_9.jpg

 

Just look at the perfect finish of the aluminium:

 

AK2300_10.jpg

 

Verdict

This is a perfect set for anyone that took the step (or wants to take the step) to acrylic paints. I did, and I’ll never go enamel again! And also the perfect starter set for anyone that joined a soviet cold war group build J The pro’s are the excellent coverage, the finish (satin), quick drying, adhesiveness (doesn’t get pulled off by your masks). The only con I could spot was you need to make sure no residu remains in your brush. You actually should always clean your brush after use, but we all do this more thoroughly one time than the other. One last thing: I love these screw cap bottles. Much easier to open than the always stuck Mr Hobby jars. Even when I have both opening aids from the Mr Hobby range.

 

A special thanks to AK Interactive for the review sample.

Available here.

 

Jeroen Peters

 

AK2300_13.jpg

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These look better than the Vallejo stuff. They always clogged my airbrush up.

 

Looks like a neat set. Seems we are entering a golden age of paint choice too ;) 

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nice review JP.  appreciate the actual testing of the paints.  looks like the paint was applied on unprimed plastic, yes?

 

Exactly! And then applied some masking tape to check adhesiveness. 

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