WWI German Infantry Paint Set
Packaging and Contents
The ICM WWI German Infantry paint set comes in a small cardboard box (Image #1). The back features (Image #2) graphics showing some common uses for the included colors. The set of six paints includes: 1008 Deep Brown, 1072 US Dark Green, 1038 German Grey, 1037 Dark Grey, 1070 German Field Grey, and 1034 Dark Sea Grey (Image #3).
The paints come in 12ml plastic bottles with twist-off type caps. I believe ICM has included ball bearings in the bottles to aid in shaking/mixing, which is nice. Like many, I add a small 6mm ball bearing to all of my paints, and anyone who does this knows that it can be messy, so having these in already in place is both a time and mess saver. (Image #4). [Caption: Colors, from L to R: 1070 German Field Grey, 1037 Dark Grey, 1038 German Grey, 1034 Dark Sea Gray, 1072 US Dark Green, 1008 Deep Brown]
I am a figure painter, so understand that this review is written from that perspective.
The paints are acrylics, and so the preferred thinner is distilled water, and this is what I used to test them.
It is very important to note that only basic uniform colors are included. There are no flesh tones, metallics, etc., and there are also no additional colors included to lighten/darken the base tones, though some lightening/darkening is possible by mixing some of the colors with one another.
Acrylics work best when applied in several thin coats. This prevents build up and maintains a smooth surface texture without risk of build up or clumping.
I tested the paints first by diluting them in a 4:1 ratio (paint to water). At this ratio, coverage was very good, and a good base coat was achieved in three coats. This is on par with other popular acrylics on the market.
At a ratio of 2:1 (paint to water) the paint was thin enough for effective glazing. Thinned one step further to 1:1, the paints produced a very effective wash.
At full strength, the paint had superb covering power with no build up or clumping noted. I also tested the paint’s ability (at full strength only) to plug small pin holes and surface blemishes. It excelled. It settled and filled/eliminated the blemishes perfectly.
Finally, the paint was tested through an airbrush. ICM’s recommendation is a 60/40 thinning (paint/water). I chose a 50/50 mix at 20 psi, and the paint sprayed well and had good coverage.
In all tests, the paint dried to what I would call a matte finish with only a slight hint of sheen (meaning, this is not as matte as some other paints on the market, but most would say the finish was matte rather than satin).
I further tested the paint for compatibility with two other popular acrylic brands (Vallejo and Scale75) and also with an acrylic retarding medium. There were no issues at all. The paints mixed well with the other brands, and mixed with the retarder, paint life was prolonged. No chalkiness or change to the finish was noted.
Now, a word on color accuracy. This is very subjective and opinions vary on what is the “right” shade for a uniform or piece of equipment, so take the following as one man’s opinion only.
The 1070 German Field Grey seems very dark. I do understand that there were different dye lots, weathering, sun fading, etc., but this version of field grey is dark and closer to a British uniform, I think. I would suggest that this color needs to be lightened rather than used straight from the bottle. I did make a somewhat lighter version by mixing 4 parts 1024 Dark Sea Grey to 1 part 1070 German Field Gray with only a mediocre result (Image #5). [Caption: Colors: L to R: 1070 German Field Grey, 1034 Dark Sea Grey; Lower: Resulting color with a mix ratio of 4 parts 1034, 1 part 1070]. A better result would be had by lighting 1070 German Field Grey with an off-white, in my opinion.
The three greys are all excellent, and I believe they can be used straight from the bottle for various equipment.
The brown is a really nice, vibrant and warm brown. It would work well thinned and used as a glaze on weapon stocks, but most painters would darken this for use on leather items, I think.
Understanding that there are no included flesh tones, metallics, or whites/blacks for making highlights/shadows, I would say the paints are excellent. They excel in the most important categories of coverage and mixing ability. The paints have a very fine pigment size which promotes good coverage, while at the same time reducing clumping and chalkiness in the finish. They react and combine well with other existing acrylic brands and retarding mediums. The paints would also seem to be a bargain at their $9.99 retail price point (check this, I was not given the retail price and am using the price I found listed for some of their other sets).
Thanks to ICM for the review sample.