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Gloss Primer needed for Vallejo Natural Metal Finish?

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  • Member since
    February 2010
  • From: Berkeley CA/St. Paul MN
Gloss Primer needed for Vallejo Natural Metal Finish?
Posted by EBergerud on Saturday, August 31, 2019 10:25 PM

Going to give Vallejo's Metallic paints a try in a couple of days. (Lacquers and enamel paints are out for me - small place, no spray booth.) I was assuming I'd use Gunze's Gloss Black as a kind of a primer. But Alclad - which requires gloss black - is almost translucent, so the gloss black acts as a kind of base. Vallejo water based acrylics may be more opaque - and if so - then perhaps gloss black is unnecessary. If so, I'd use my Duplicolor "Hot Rod Black" rattlecan primer - which is fillable and sandable - both very desirable qualities - but it's at best satin after a polish. (I use it outside). So, do wise heads think I still need a gloss black primer? or could I go with the standard primer? Thanks in advance.


A model boat is much cheaper than a real one and won't sink with you in it.

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Sunday, September 1, 2019 4:08 AM

I've never used them ( still use Testors metalizers, it's just one application of lacquer I haven't changed to acrylic yet and might never) but have watched videos on them. One guy used three different base colors under them and got distinctively different results. At the Vallejo web site they do reccommend gloss black base. But under my metalizers I've used un buffed nail polish with good results, which is almost matte black. In one job I wanted a cast aluminum look and put the nail polish on intentionally dry. I put buffing aluminum plate over that, buffed lightly and it's pretty convincing looking. I wish I had more direct and experienced advice for you but you just might have to experiment and see what you get.

Let us know how you make out with these, I doubt very many in this paticular forum have even tried them.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, September 1, 2019 6:45 AM

I tried the Vallejo stuff just to ensure I'd have a backup in case Alclad went belly up.  I did it the same way I do the Alclad- over MM gloss black enamel.  Worked fine. It goes on very thin just like the Alclad.


Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Sunday, September 1, 2019 11:14 AM

You can use a variety of stuff underneath Vallejo's Metal Color depending on what you want to do with it.

The same goes with AK's Xtreme Metal paints.

I usually go with my normal primer which is Stylnrez Grey and then just put the metal colour on the top. It does nock the natural shine back a little, but not too much.

The above photo is Vallejo's Aluminium on a matt primer. You don't have to use gloss all the time.

The cylinders of the engine were done in Xtreme Metal stainless steel with their Gauzy thing stuff over the top to protect the paint. This also adds a shine. Again on the Stylnrez Grey primer.


This is what I put over all my metal paints both Vallejo and AK as they don't like being masked or handled much.


to get a real shine go with a good hi gloss base coat but black is not your only option. try white or another colour to change the shade slightly. Black will always darken the metal paint shade.

Whan I want to try something different or have never done it before then I always sacrifice a plastic spoon to the paint goddess and try it on that to see what the effect is.

Even using a gloss base coat the metal paint gets a Gauzy coat over the top to protect it!

I had a rough time with Alclad with it refusing to dry and cure and then another time actually melting an engine even after priming. Now I don't go anywhere near and both AK Xtreme metal and Vallejo Metal Color are now my go to metals. Both sit side by side and I use both on the same project as besides having the same colours, the shades are just slightly differerent



  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Sunday, September 1, 2019 1:13 PM

Good stuff in this thread ! Thanks

  • Member since
    February 2010
  • From: Berkeley CA/St. Paul MN
Posted by EBergerud on Sunday, September 1, 2019 4:52 PM

I've done some more research and we're really dealing with two issues. One is black/gloss, the other is smooth (which will also give a gloss). Metallic paints definitely want smooth because they show errors and irregularities on the finish. But the king of gloss you get in Gunze comes from the solvents - Future would do the same thing if hand painted: but neither would guarantee smooth at all - indeed, you could easily get orange peel.
I'm thinking of using my Duplicolor which I think I should be able to sand to a very smooth state (the primer is made with sanding in mind) - this will make it a satin black. As noted above, what impact you want will influence what is done. I'm not sure I want a show room shinny Ki-61 in active service. However, I could use a paint mule and try putting Tamiya X-22 clear (which lays down very well) over sanded Duplicolor.

I've got both Gauzy and Vallejo Varnish - I'll test em both.
Thanks for the opinions. 


A model boat is much cheaper than a real one and won't sink with you in it.


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