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Life Color Tensocrom TSC01
These days there's no shortage of modelling finishing products, but Lifecolor's Tensocrom range remains a mystery to some.

So we thought it was only right we unravelled what exactly the Tensocrom range is & how to use it.

Officially, they are labelled as "acrylic agents for weathering models" & are supposed to be are both simple & easy to use. Compare an ordinary bottle of Lifecolor paint with a Tensocrom & you quickly start to get the idea.

They are semi-opaque watery solutions with much less colour pigment than normal paint. Think of it as a type of “filter” as made popular by certain model manufacturers. But Lifecolor's range is solely water-based & is non-toxic – which is a massive plus. As they are odourless, you get none of the stink associated with enamel based filters.

In the official literature Tensocrom works by binding “a solution of pigments in a special medium, which can be glazed over any brand of colour to shade, dirty or age the model, enhance its details or make it chromatically uneven”.

In other words, you use them a bit like a glaze, building up semi-transparent coats of varying intensity. The glaze dries very fast, quicker than an enamel-based product, but must be almost transparent for best results.

When the water content evaporates, you are left with a sort of staining which is very realistic. You can enhance the effect with repeated applications.

Set one (Lifecolor, Ref: TSC01) contains the following shades.
TSC 202 Sand
TSC 203 Earth
TSC 204 Grass
TSC 205 Rust 1
TSC 206 Rust 2

Now, as we like to test everything here at Scale War Machines, we can say with conviction that these things really work – in fact we use them a lot. Special favourites are the Sand & Earth tones, which really are convincing when creating dusty & dirty deposits on your model.

The grass shade is quite bright but I am sure we will find use for that. The rust tones are slightly pinkish in hue, but can also be used to good effect. We think they can probably be improved by adding a bit more orange to the mix. As all the references are inter-mixable with any Lifecolor paints, that shouldn't be a problem.

Finally, you get a pot of “Medium”. You can use the “Medium” to blend any of your own Tensocrom shades from scratch using existing Lifecolor paint references. Given how good their mud, dust & rust paint sets are, mixing them with the “Medium” may give you your own set of shades that work effectively.

As you'll see with our forthcoming review of their second Tensocrom set, there're more references in the range that are especially useful including oil, kerosene & fuel stains. Remember that Tensocrom can also be applied with an airbrush at low pressure, something we have yet to try.

For clean-up, use water, the Lifecolor own brand thinners or airbrush cleaner.

This is an innovative & unique product & we have to say it comes out of our tests with flying colours. Stay tuned to see our forthcoming Tensocrom video tutorial to see exactly how we use them. Highly recommended.

Life Color Tensocrom TSC01
Life Color Tensocrom TSC01
Life Color Tensocrom TSC01
Life Color Tensocrom TSC01
Life Color Tensocrom TSC01
Life Color Tensocrom TSC01
Life Color Tensocrom TSC01
Life Color Tensocrom TSC01
Life Color Tensocrom TSC01
Life Color Tensocrom TSC01
Life Color Tensocrom TSC01
Life Color Tensocrom TSC01
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