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Sequence and types of paints?

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  • Member since
    April 2019
Sequence and types of paints?
Posted by brettkp on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 6:57 AM

Hi all,

I've been out of modelling for a while and am not looking to get back into it. I previously airbrushed with Tamiya enamels and had issues with weathering. I suspect my paints aren't any good and I'd like to switch to acrylics.

I've bought some Vallejo Model Air paints and primer (waiting on delivery) to get started. My main subject is aircraft, so I'd like some help with what the layer sequence is and what types of paint to use. I've had a look in various forums and on YouTube but haven't been able to make sense of it all. So here's what I think I need to do when airbrushing using primarily acrylics:

1) Prime - Vallejo Primer as I'm going to use Vallejo acrylics

2) Pre shade - If required. Acrylic

3) Base - Acrylic

4) Post shade - If required. Acrylic

5) Gloss - Acrylic?

6) Decals - With associated solutions to get them down properly

7) Gloss - Acrylic? to seal the decals. Is this required? Should it be a varnish of some sort?

8) Weathering/washes - Enamel. My understanding is that doing an acrylic wash on acrylic could lift the lower layers, but enamel would be ok?

9) Final clear - Not sure here. Acrylic? Enamel? Varnish?

Any help with the sequence would be great!

Thanks :)


  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 6:36 PM

This actually has been covered in several threads fairly recently. I won't try to duplicate those and leave the sequence aspect to others. I will say that personally I feel that Vallejo Model Air is a decent choice in paint ( there are those who would not agree with me) if you utilize their system well and mix them well.. They are pre thinned but that doesn't mean they don't work all the better with a touch more thinner added and a little retarder.  Vallejo makes those products and where you only need a little per paint job it's just as well to buy theirs. Some people like the flow aid as well.

The Vallejo primer is ok but I personally feel the Badger Stynylrez is superior all around. Along the way, assuming you stay in this and  also stay with acrylics, then you might consider buying into Stynylrez in the Future, not that Vallejo primer is bad mind you ( just let it cure well or heat set it) but Stynylrez is better. And that is fairly well confirmed past just my opninion, other users would agree and some you tube tests confirm that as well. Just sayin. Still others will only use solvent based primers.

As to your  enamel snaffoo, not sure what happened there. If you did an enamel wash on enamel paint though, then you should have had an acrylic clear coat barrier on there.

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 6:47 PM

Try to minimize the amount of decal setting sols. They can mess things up unless they are really needed.

I've never had any problems with acrylics over acrylics.

I pretty much use Tamiya spray primer. I would like to try the Badger stuff though.

A final thought. wait as long as you can stand it between coats. Like days.

Modeling is an excuse to buy books


  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 7:13 PM

I often cheat on the cure time because we have an air fryer with a dehydrate mode. Kind of nice my wife " had to have it" because it's worked out awesome for my painting lol.

  • Member since
    April 2019
Posted by brettkp on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 7:54 AM

Thanks guys. It sounds like I should be ok as long as I keep the enamel to just the wash (mainly going to try the Tamiya Panel Line Accent), and use acrylic for everything else with appropriate drying time. 

OMG: I'll have another look through the forums. And yep, it was enamel on enamel. I shouldn't repeat that mistake again. I've ordered some flow improver too so to start with I'll just see how I go airbrushing again and getting used to acrylics.

Then I've got an F-15C Aggressor to finish which will now be my guinea pig for getting back into it.

Thanks again,




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