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Painting with Vallejo acrylics - need advice

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  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Painting with Vallejo acrylics - need advice
Posted by zokissima on Thursday, April 22, 2010 7:06 PM

Well I've been meaning to try these paints out for a while, and I finally found a pretty good deal on eBay from a modeler who was apparently getting out of the hobby. Got about 40 bottles of various colours, mostly military greens and browns.

I tried the black tonight, and the paint came out very very thick, almost like a paste, and I found myself actually cutting it with water to paint properly.

Is this characteristic of these paints?

What are some pointers to using these and getting the best results...

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Sydney, Australia
Posted by Phil_H on Thursday, April 22, 2010 7:52 PM

"Thickness" is a normal trait of Vallejo Model Color range. While they can be brushed straight out  of the bottle, you may get a streaky, lumpy finish. For best results thin with their proprietary thinner or as you have, with water (I prefer using distilled/demineralised water for consitency, as tap water can contain varying concentrations of chlorine and dissolved minerals).  Viscosity varies between different colours, but generally, they're all quite thick in the bottle.

  • Shake the bottle well, and when you think you've shaken it enough, shake it again.
  • Decant a little paint and thin to a suitable consistency.
  • When painting with the Model Color paints, I find it advantageous to apply a primer as it doesn't adhere that well to bare styrene. I often just airbrush an undercoat of Tamiya acrylic of a suitable colour as a primer.
  • The Model Color paints work best when applied in layers to build the required colour depth. They can be recoated almost as soon as they are touch dry (as little as 5 mins) without lifting the underlying paint, unlike Tamiya acrylics.
  • DO NOT try to use Tamiya X-20A acrylic thinner with Vallejo paints, as it will turn the paint into a sticky ball of goo.
  • Use good quality brushes

You may find that the decanted/mixed paint may dry quite quickly. You can extend your working time considerably and get the most out of your paint by using a wet palette 

A neat little tutorial can be found at their site: http://www.acrylicosvallejo.com/blog/?cat=10

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Massachusetts
Posted by ajlafleche on Friday, April 23, 2010 8:41 AM

What Phil said...except for the comment on propriatary thinner. Vallejo recommends distilled water to thin their paints. You can get a gallon of this at teh drug store for a couple bucks.

If the paints really thick, it might be very old, 10 years or more. If so, you may have a somewhat limited usage expenctancy. There's no way of knowing without asking the seller.

I'm guessing you shook the bottle vigoorously, shook it hard, shook it some more and then shook the bottle. If it's been sitting around a while, it does take some effort to mix the carrier and pigment.

If you didn't shake it and the paint came out that thick, you may have been taken by the seler. Check your other colors. Open a bottle and squeze out a drop whithout shaking. You should see a nectar thick slightly timted fluid. If not, the paint may be too old.

 

Remember, if the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

  • Member since
    December, 2005
Posted by JamesDean on Friday, April 23, 2010 9:03 AM

"What Phil said...except for the comment on propriatary thinner. Vallejo recommends distilled water to thin their paints."

Both may be used, even combinations thereof, but will yield slightly different results and which you use depends on what you want to acheive, what technique you are using, etc.

Water in this instance is not so much a thinner as it is a reducer.  You really need to work very very thin layers when using water as it "spreads out" the acrylic and fewer links get formed as it cures.  You get a relatively weak paint film, which is a non issue for thin translucent layers applied over previous layers or basecoat, but don't try to build a solid basecoat.  Vallejo's thinner is not a thinner in the classic sense in that it is a thin formulation of the same acrylic which is in the paint (you can prove this to yourself by putting a few drops on a pallet and the next day find it has dried to a hard, translucent blob).  As such you can use it to thin to an extreme and still get a "tough" paint film and one which adheres quite well.

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posted by zokissima on Friday, April 23, 2010 9:59 AM

Thank you for the replies guys. I tried one other bottle that same evening, just loosely shaking it, and a bit of the carrier medium slightly tinted came out. I'll go through a random picking of the bottles this evening and see if they're all in the same shape.

So, just to confirm, even when well shaken, some colours will be thicker than others?

  • Member since
    December, 2005
Posted by JamesDean on Friday, April 23, 2010 11:42 AM

Oh yes.  Even though generally ModelColor is quite thick, when properly shaken some colors will be thicker than others.  The metalics are almost a "paste" (and water does NOT work with them, you have to use Vallejo's thinner....but the results are fantastic).

As an added tip, the best way to shake them is not to violently flail your arm (which will foam them...again some more than others), but to vigorously "roll" them back and forth between open palms (with the bottle more or less horizontal).

  • Member since
    July, 2017
Posted by Daggerman on Saturday, July 22, 2017 10:41 AM

In order to help with the  paint mixing while shaking I drop a small object like a ball bearing or fishing lead into the paint pot and it works as an agitator.

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by modelmaker66 on Friday, July 28, 2017 1:21 AM

This is a 7 year old thread!  Didn't someone get blasted for ressurecting old threads not long ago or is it ok now?

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by KnightTemplar5150 on Friday, July 28, 2017 2:19 AM
It appears to be the very first post to be shared by a brand new member and it's both constructive and well intended. Easy mistake to make your first time out. Welcome to the forum, Daggerman - thanks for the tip.
  • Member since
    April, 2012
Posted by OlGolfer on Sunday, March 18, 2018 6:18 AM

Thanks for the kind words about old threads. I've been modeling for many years and a member here but post rarely. Just started using acrylics this year and have checked the posts for advice. Thanks everyone! My own tip concerns airbrushing Vallejo Model paint. Through experimenting, I found adding more flow enhancer and less thinner works for me. About a 60/40 ratio with maybe a drop or two of thinner through the Talon airbrush. I like the Model Air series also but with little thinner or enhancer.

  • Member since
    May, 2018
Posted by Skywalker2453 on Thursday, May 31, 2018 8:18 AM

Phil_H
When painting with the Model Color paints, I find it advantageous to apply a primer as it doesn't adhere that well to bare styrene. I often just airbrush an undercoat of Tamiya acrylic of a suitable colour as a primer. The Model Color paints work best when applied in layers to build the required colour depth.

Hello everyone,

Can I use Vallejo model color directly on 1/72 pilot figure and ground crew set without thinning?

I already brush painted some of the ground crew with Tamiya acrylic XF-67 nato green without thinning and without primer. 

Is it ok to use brush on applying clear coat to the figures? Thanks

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by KnightTemplar5150 on Thursday, May 31, 2018 12:28 PM

Skywalker2453

 

Can I use Vallejo model color directly on 1/72 pilot figure and ground crew set without thinning?

 

Yes, you could technically apply the paint without thinning for brushwork, but why? As Phil noted, "the paints work best applied in thin layers to build up the required color depth." 

The true beauty of the paint is that it is richly dense with pigments. A few drops of water are all that is needed to thin the paint for brushing by hand and you can get a wonderful effect of light and shadow by laying on thin layers of paint. Also, it seems to me that thinning Model Color to where it flows like ink from the brush gives a more even coverage than paint straight from the bottle. Thinning also seems to allow the paint to level off without brushstrokes showing in the finish.

 

  • Member since
    May, 2018
Posted by Skywalker2453 on Saturday, June 02, 2018 12:09 AM

Dear KnightTemplar5150,

Thank you for replying. I have applied one coat thinned Tamiya acrylic to the fuselage of 1/72 F-18 hornet, I will continue with Vallejo (with thinning), will there be any problem if I apply the second coat on Tamiya? Or shall I use primer?

The second option is for the fuselage I bought Tamiya AS-25 Dark Ghost Gray and AS-26 Light Ghost Gray spray color. Can I apply on directly as second coat to Tamiya acrylic? Any suggestions? Thank you 

 

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by KnightTemplar5150 on Saturday, June 02, 2018 1:15 AM

Skywalker,

Ideally, your primer should go down first to allow a proper bond to the plastic. Color coats should follow after the primer has cured and been inspected for flaws. Priming over the top of a layer of paint sort of defeats the whole purpose. 

Be careful shooting Tamiya AS paints to anything other than a primed surface - this stuff is a synthetic lacquer and it can run hot at times; so hot, in fact, that it can lift underlying acrylics or even damage the plastic if applied too heavily. The primer acts as a barrier coat, which protects the plastic and allows for better adhesion. Light coats are key using those rattle cans. Watch the fumes - Tamiya lacquers can really pack a punch!

 

  • Member since
    May, 2018
Posted by Skywalker2453 on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 8:58 AM

Thank you for your advice. I will use Vallejo primer and then model color.

I still have doubts

Can I learn the ratio for thinning Vallejo model color especially on large areas (like fuselage)?

For painting canopy items, can I paint directly with vallejo without thinning (seats, small details)

In order to apply wash (I'm thinking about using Tamiya accent panel) I need to have a clear coat on seats (if not mistaken) so I can apply clear coat with brush? 

 

 

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by modelmaker66 on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 10:51 PM

There is no everytime ratio. I have found that it is pretty much vallejo thinner 2 parts to 1 part model color. You will need to adjust though far each color. It is a feel thing that you will get the hang of just like most painting is.

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