Tuesday, February 10

New colour road-test: Painting acrylics Hataka Style

A new paint company has launched a very professional line of acrylic paints covering many genres,theatres of war and shades - called Hataka, this new Polish company has sent Nic some paints to test out - what better way than to make a kit with them and see if they meet our expectations...

Workbench build test:
Hataka Acrylic Paints
set of 6 x 17ml Acrylic paints
Available from  Hataka Hobby and Au 16 Escadron 

You have probably noticed that the last couple of years modelling has evolved in many ways. It isn’t just about the quality of kits these days, the tools and products that we use for building models have changed a lot too. A couple of years ago, there were 2 or 3 paint displays in the LHS - today, you have meters of paint, washes, pigments, primers and products in all kinds.

Until about two years, I painted some very nice kits with my old enamel Hubrol paints, using a 25 year old airbrush. With all the new paints and products, sometimes I feel like I have to learn everything over again. But those first steps into acrylic paint sure helped me get some nice results! A lot of new brands are introduced on the market and I wanted to try out the latest: Hataka Hobby from Poland. I received a sample of these from Au 16 Escadron inBrussels.

Hataka offers different kind of combinations, also for more modern aircraft:
Like some other brands, Hataka proposes sets of paint in different themes. I got my hands on the Late Luftwaffe Paint set, including 6 different colours:
-        RLM 66 – Black Grey –for the cockpit
-        RLM 75 – Grey-Violet
-        RLM 76 – Light Blue
-        RLM 81 – Brown-Violet
-        RLM 82 – Light Green
-        RLM 83 – Dark Green
These are the most used paints at the end of the war and although that I miss RLM-02 for wheel bays, interior parts and gear, this set is quite complete. I know there has been debate on RLM 83 – this was likely to be a dark blue colour – and the dark green used on late war aircraft is probably a dark green shade of RLM 81. Now, to me that is semantics, I mainly wanted to know whether these Hataka paints work good and if the colours look fine.

So, I got myself something late war – Hobby Boss Focke Wulf Ta-152 C11 – and started building. I picked this one, because it is a nicely detailed kit with not too many parts and a straightforward build. I could have picked one of Hobby Boss Ta-152 C-11 series, but that’s a lot of more work just to test out some colours.
A quick-build of the cockpit – nicely detailed, by the way – gave me the posibility to test the paint. RLM 66. The paint comes in little plastic 17 ml bottles with which you can measure the paint drop by drop. To help you get the paint mixed, Hataka placed a little metal ball in the bottle. When the bottle is full, it’s not so easy to shake though, even with the ball. I got me some good music and danced around the house a little ... and the paint got mixed ...
I mixed my paint with tap water to get it liquid enough to spray. Worked fine. The first thing I noticed, is that this is a very forgiving paint. Close by, from a distance, little or a lot of air pressure: this colour was very easy to use.

With the cockpit painted, dry-brushed and washed, I rushed on with the construction of this very nice kit. The first evening I constructed the entire kit, the second I sanded, puttied and polished where needed. The third evening, the big challenge began.
The first colour I was going to use, was the RLM 76. Now, I never use any primer and this is where I made a big mistake. The colour was easy to mix and spray, so things were really going my way. One problem however, is that you only get these 6 colours in the box. If, like me, you like to use different shades in order to bring some life into the panels and camouflage, you would need at least black and white too. I used a little RLM 66 to get the light blue darker. So, I picked a panel, used some masking tape – that I first stuck on the palm of my hand a couple of times to get it not to stick too much and placed it on the first layer. I sprayed the shade – went great by the way – but when I wanted to get the tape of, the paint came with it. Just like that. You really need a good primer for these Hataka paints! Actually, at the edges of where the paint was gone, you could just peal of the paint! Not good... But I have to be honest: it was because I didn’t use any primer.
Another thing that you have to know about this paint: you have to clean your airbrush really well. This paint tends to be sticky and you don’t want the paint residue to pile up in your airbrush. I used a lot of Tamiya airbrush cleaner on this test.

RLM-76 looks pretty good from here:
RLM 82  Light Green gave me no problem and because I had my warning with RLM 76, I was very careful with shading. I used Post-Its and those did a good job.
Next was the RLM 81. The Brown-Violet seemed to be more violet than brown and I was a little worried about the shade. Compared to Gunze RLM 81, this was a big difference. I have to say that I always add a little drop of red to the Gunze RLM 81, but this Hataka shade looked very flashy. In the end, I used it anyway hoping that it would look okay.  
The paint is easy to use and very forgiving. Eventhough the RLM 81 is a little transparent, spraying several layers – sometimes from very close - gave a good result. I was brutal on the paint, but hey: this was a test. And it passed the test very nicely!
The engine stains, the wheels and the prop & spinner were done with Gunze Tire Black. With all the painting done, I quickly finished the kit with a couple layers of Future, decals, and a wash. Everything was set with some matt varnish. I really like how this 4-day build turned out.
I can recommend Hataka paints. Like any paint, it has it specifics and for this one, you need to make sure to use a good primer on which the paint can have some grip. And don’t just buy the boxes, buy some other shades as well, such as black and white. Just make sure you clean your airbrush thoroughly and all will be okay.
Hataka also boxes other paints: camouflage for US aircraft in Vietnam, early Luftwaffe colours, US Army Air Force, US Navy shades, etc. Hataka makes it very easy for us modellers!

Nicolas Deboeck

Thanks to Hataka Hobby and Au 16 Escadron for the paint..