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New Vallejo Weathering DVD

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  • Member since
    February 2010
  • From: Berkeley CA/St. Paul MN
New Vallejo Weathering DVD
Posted by EBergerud on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 11:51 PM

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To help muddy the waters concerning the best way to weather models (especially armor) AV Vallejo has just released a new "how to" DVD called "Acrylic Techniques." As the name implies it is a video guide to painting and weathering model armor using acrylic paints & mediums along with some pigments. No oils, no enamels, no plaster. Acrylics and pigments - along with various mediums available from Vallejo consisting of ingredients you can best guess by buying them from Vallejo. If you want to make your own (and thus really understand the chemistry of painting a model) some experimenting is required. Take some of my remarks with this in mind. This may be the best of these efforts and I recommend it highly with reservations.

There are a number of DVDs like this out now which leads me to believe that they have serious advantages over slightly less expensive "how to" books published by people like Osprey. This is the fourth one I've bought and am very sold on the format. Watching how things are done has huge advantages over books and articles. Some of this is inherent, some of this is that modeling people write modeling articles and books and frequently are not very good at putting themselves into the shoes of those that do not understand what they're doing. (I'd like to get paid for reading segments of a "build" article that refer to picture for illustration of a technique discussed in print that leave one with the question of "how did they do that?") With things on video you see it. However things are rushed and a lot of the really important technical details concerning timing, sequence and especially non-paint materials are left up in the air. This defect is largely because companies that want you to buy their products create these DVDs. Which means that you are buying for an advertisement as well as a tutorial. No problem if you trust the company and don't mind that as much possible is done for you and don't mind paying for it. It is a problem if you want to achieve the same results with standard solvents & pigments of a large variety: to do that you need to know what solvents are employed. Much to be said for the later approach. You could save a little money, but it would also help a lot during weathering if you understood what you were dealing with and what the effect the product had under different circumstances. This is not without importance here, because the acrylic paints recommended are from Vallejo which, in dramatic contrast to Gunze or even Tamiya, is very close to a water based acrylic paint. (Fans of these DVDs or You-Tube lurkers might well check out the wonderful site Foley Models - formerly Promodeller from the UK. Phil Foley has about 20 3 hour plus video builds concentrated on single models. They are very good and Foley has the ability to understand that you don't really get what he's doing. It's $2 a month for full use the video builds, photo builds and a remarkably informed and civilized forum.)

This DVD is written by Mig Jimenez who is now talking a very different modeling game than he did in the early MIG days. (MIG has at least two videos by Adam Wilder that show their techniques.) Jimenez last year did a DVD that highlighted the use of enamels in filters/washes and streaking. (I might note that everyone wants you do use acrylic base coats. The question is what to do after that basic phase is past.) Now Mr. Jimenez argues that you can do the whole thing from start to finish with acrylic paints and some standard pigments. The techniques employed are mighty convincing and if it all worked as claimed would undoubtedly save the modeler a great deal of time. Of course the author is one of the world's great armor modelers and I suspect he could do something decent using crayons and sharpies. That said, if you want to do anything under the general category "weathering" you can now do it with Vallejo acrylics guided by Mig Jimenez. You will need some Vallejo goodies however if you want to follow the bouncing ball. First, is "acrylic thinner" which is often used. What is this stuff? It's milk colored and resembles greatly the "airbrush medium" or "airbrush extender" available in art stores. If it was closer to Tamiya A-20 thinner, I don't understand the different color and somewhat denser viscosity. Vallejo varnishes both matte and satin also appear. Here again, they look more like artist mediums than either Tamiya Clear or (certainly) Tamiya Flat Base. (Not going to bet money on it, but I'd guess that Tamiya Flat/Clear would fit better into this scheme than the ISA based Tamiya thinner.) Vallejo now offers a acrylic retarder that is thicker than anything than I've seen, but is used to give a little extra time for streaking etc. That's a new one of me - the acrylic retarders I use are clear and water thin. Even their airbrush cleaner, which appears clear, has some use. All I know is that stuff is clear: might be something like A-20 with a little ammonia in it. (Might add that this DVD alone discusses tip clogging and suggests some good measures to deal with it. As I use this type of acrylics and mediums, I would still suggest lacquer thinner for this and brush cleaning. Water based acrylics are wonderful paints but require a good cleaning or you brush will stick and require surgery the next time. The good news is that if done right away the brush will clean extremely well and be ready two weeks later. The bad news is that water based acrylics can really gum up a poorly cared for brush. (It’s a little like using Future: bad stuff not to get out of your airbrush but easily done if you tend to it.)

I haven't done a model with these techniques yet but I think my next tank (a Dragon PKI - let's see this brown/grey scheme) will work well with it. The advantages are pretty obvious. The more comfortable one is with a paint the quicker you’ll get into its tempo and understand how things will look a few steps down the road. Must say using acrylics, oils and enamels (and pigments natch) on a tank – which I do now, leaves a lot of “let’s see” problems down the road. Lessening that will help a lot of modelers I think. Drying is fast. Clean up easy. If a good model comes out of this maybe there’s good reason for many to put aside artist oils. Might add that because acrylics are the star, Jimenez uses the airbrush for as many tasks as possible – like that or not as you will.

Interestingly, I noticed that the model used in the DVD (a modern PKII) evolved into a kit that was lovely and complex. It was not, however, as “over the top” as I’ve seen from the “heavy weather” gents on Adam Wilder’s DVDs and a host of video builds on the board. Good or bad news as you like.



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


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