Tool Review
British Railways - 1960-1970
British Railways Mid Period 1960/1970 - Set 2
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

British Railways Mid Period 1960/1970 - Set 2 is the second of three new railroad sets from LifeColor. This six-color satin-gloss acrylic paint set is item XS-11.

LifeColor is releasing three new sets for British Railways, covering three specific periods from 1948-1990. These sets cover England's post-war steam to diesel transition, up to the dawn of eventual privatization. Five years ago we examined the LifeColor set XS06, British Railways. That set features a sample of six unique colors found through the three eras. Those six colors and three eras are now expanded with three almost comprehensive sets of unique colors from LifeColor. Once again, the colors were developed in collaboration with British railroad expert George Dent.

Set 2 Mid Period
Set XS11, Mid Period, 1960-1970 arrives in an attractive flip-top cardboard box with the six 22ml plastic bottles held in individual compartments. The bottle caps were molded with an internal rim which both provides a small palette cup as well as inhibits paint fouling the bottle cap thread.

These paints are made with very fine ground pigments. They have no noticeable odor. I find most of them them to be thinner than other brands I am used to, almost like a heavy wash. These paints are not formulated for one-pass brushing, rather for multiple passes and airbrushing.

There are no instructions other than as printed on the back of the box, plus six printed color chips. Lifecolor reminds us that these can be mixed with Tensocrom Medium to create washes and glazes.

This set includes six 22ml jars of paint:
    UA 814 Loco Green (Late)
    UA 815 BR Maroon
    UA 823 Sherwood Green
    UA 824 Diesel Loco Roof Grey
    UA 825 DMU Green (Late)
    UA 826 Warning Panel Yellow (Early)
Personally, I think that BR Maroon and Loco Green (Late) are two of the most beautiful colors ever applied to railroad rolling stock. Thus, I prize these colors and thoroughly enjoyed trying these paints.

Recall I wrote that this set is almost comprehensive? As the years passed, BR revived some of the local private liveries with blue, brown, and green. Perhaps those may be forthcoming? Those, and structure colors? (Hint hint.)

What are these British Railway (BR) colors based upon? As the box indicates these colors were developed in partnership with George Dent of Model Rail Magazine and The Airbrush Company. An overview of BR livery can be found through Click here for additional images for this review, below.)

Loco Green (Late) was used on steam locomotives until their fires were dropped in 1968.

BR Maroon was used on locomotives and passenger cars from 1950 to 1968.

Sherwood Green was the second color on two-tone green diesels.

Diesel Loco Roof Grey was for the roof of green diesels.

DMU Green (Late) multiple unit diesels and electric locos and cars from late 1950s to early 1970. I have no information on the "early" variant of this color.

Warning Panel Yellow (Early) for the front of locomotives, mid-1960s-late 1980s.

I did not try to handbrush these. I airbrushed these colors onto painted models. The loco was overall orange. The passenger car was primed with gray. The MoW car was already yellow.

Lifecolor instructs that for airbrushing, use low pressure. Not surprising they also recommend using their own thinner but state water will suffice. Most of the colors I thinned 20% thinner to 80% paint. I sprayed them with my Aztec airbrush, using a medium area coverage 0.50mm nozzle. Four colors were shot from an old diaphram compressor of about 12 psi. Paints were shot onto a smooth unprimed white card sample swatch.

Airbrush coverage is excellent with complete opacity, except for BR Maroon, which required a second coat. All covered perfectly and smoothly. The paint dried semi-gloss. None of the colors ran nor puddled.

However, Loco Green (Late) and Sherwood Green were thicker than the other four, requiring reducing with 45% thinner to 55% paint. Even then, they required more pressure, up to 30 psi. The paint sprayed using the diaphram compressor but it was taking longer.

Diesel Loco Roof Grey was shot straight from the bottle with no thinning. Unusual for yellow, Warning Panel Yellow (Early) fully covered completely on the first pass.

Excellent! 'Nuff said.

Once again I am enthusiastic about these acrylic paints. They did not thicken or clump after the bottles were opened. Two colors required almost a half-and-half mix of paint and thinner, and one required no reducing. Lifecolor states they should be thinned with the brand thinner, which I also tested. All six colors performed exceptionally well via airbrush, even the two thicker greens.

Adhesion is awesome! The bottle design is great, as is the packaging. These paints cleaned thoroughly with three airbrush paint cups of water, and a few drops of Lifecolor Cleaner.

These are a fine set for the middle era of British Railways. These are quality paints and I recommend them.

Please tell retailers and vendors that you saw this review here - on RailRoadModeling.

* Smith, Mark. "British Railways (1948/64) Livery." Goods & Not So Goods, An overview of railway freight operations for modellers. N.p., 2003. Web. 27 May 2014.

Smith, Mike. "British Freight Locomotive Liveries." Goods & Not So Goods, An overview of railway freight operations for modellers. N.p., 2003. Web. 27 May 2014.

Multiple contributors. "Wagon Paint." National Preservation. N.p., 13 Oct. 2013. Web. 27 May 2014.

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Easy to use, and adhesion and coverage is awesome. These paints performed exceptionally well via airbrush.
Lows: Two greens required more thinner than the other four colors, and BR Maroon required a second coat.
Verdict: This set should allow modelers of the mid period of British Railways to create the most common liveries. These are quality paints.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: XS11
  Related Link: British Railways, 1948-1959
  PUBLISHED: Jan 03, 2020
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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