February 08, 2014

MichToy Product Spotlight: The Lifecolor Master Mixer Set

It doesn't matter how many paints you have, sooner or later you'll find you need colors that aren't there! It could be that the paint shade in question simply isn't available, or that model colors don't match your references. Or it could be that you want variations in the basic color. For small areas and "one-offs", it's often sufficient to mix just a few drops of paint, but for larger models and with colors that you'll need to use repeatedly, an air-tight storage pot is needed. It's also important to have a reliable way to test and replicate your custom-mix accurately, and it's to meet this need that LifeColor have released their Master Mixer set.

The set is packaged in one of LifeColor's standard boxs with instructions in five languages on the back, and comprises:
6 x Empty screw-top plastic 22ml bottles
3 x Plastic pipettes
1 x Master dropper
6 x Blank labels
6 x Test cards
The bottles, pipettes and master dropper are all re-usable.

The paint bottles are the standard LifeColor type. I find these a very handy size, and the design makes them unlikely to tip over accidentally. The screw tops fit firmly but, so far at least, I've never had one stick solid with paint build-up. The labels provided fit precisely and wrap right round the bottle, so I'd actually cut them into smaller sections to allow you see the contents in the clear bottle.

I've used similar pipettes to these before and have found them pretty durable. Unlike those with a rubber nipple, they don't seem as prone to damage if you're using them with strong solvents. Including three in the set is a nice touch, because it saves washing them out continually to avoid contamination as you experiment with blends of different colors.

The test cards are 2.5” x 4” (6cm x 10cm) pieces of good quality white card. You could comfortably cut them into four for economy and still have ample space on each to judge colors.

And, finally, there's the master dropper. I was initially sceptical of this because it's basically a long bolt thread with a rubber handle. Could a screw-thread work better than the flat brush I normally test paints with? The answer is emphatically "Yes!" - the thread wicks up and holds a good quantity of paint, and rolling it on a piece of card produces a thick, even patch of paint.

LifeColor's Master Mixer set is well thought out and should be very useful if you're serious about mixing your own paint. This set is a good way to get you started with everything you require in one pack. By: Rowan Baylis via Aeroscale

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