No visible difference between two metallic colours on black primer? (all Vallejo)

Hi everyone,

I am puzzled. I do know that the primer colour affects the appearance of the final colour but I have never thought that I would encounter this problem:

I am making the transmission of a Semovente M42DA75/34 (Tamiya 37029). If I use a black primer (Vallejo), and I spray the axle with a dark metallic tone (Vallejo 70.863 gunmetal grey) and the rest of the transmission box with a visibly much lighter metallic colour (Vallejo 70.997 silver) there is absolutely no visible difference between the two colours. What am I doing wrong???

I have also tried a combination of two AK paints (a darker and a lighter metallic colour) with the same result: no visible difference between the two after spraying.

How do you guys make contrast between e.g. steel and aluminium?

Thanks for the suggestions.

That is odd. I als use Vallejo metalics, and silver is so much brighter than silver. Is the coverage ok? I found that he metallics from vallejo have the tendency to form drops. You might need 3 layers to get a proper coverage…

I think it is OK - I have sprayed at least three thin coats. It is weird that when I put a drop of paint of each colour (gunmetal grey and silver) on my palette, they look quite different. On the black primer they look almost exactly the same.

Now I have removed the paint and decided to prime the axle black (before adding gunmetal grey) and to prime the rest white (before adding silver or AK aluminium).

Anyway, suggestions are welcome.

With other brand metallic colors it is suggested after primer to spray gloss black then silver/metallic colors. While I have Vallejo metallic colors I haven’t used them much to let you know if that helps or not.

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The regular metallics in the Vallejo Model Color line don’t need to go over gloss black. Probably doesn’t hurt their color saturation, but doesn’t need it.

The colors in the Metal Color line you should put over a gloss black, but for small stuff I don’t, I only use gloss black if I am spraying larger areas with it.

There is definitely a difference between Gunmetal Grey and Silver in the model color line. Whether over a gloss black base or not.

Personally I prefer the metallics in the Metal Color line, or the Model Air line. Much finer metallic and more realistic.

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when I go to paint my Mustang I have to do more testing also. I dont see to much difference between chrome and steel in model air.

But I am looking forward to trying to find that chrome look for future builds even if it means switching brands.

There was a brand I looked into a few years back, but it was like $20 a bottle.

The R/C plane forum is a good source on this as they love throwing money at problems.

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I had sprayed all of the Model Air metallics out on the wing of an aircraft years ago, and while subtle (very subtle in some cases) differences between the colors, there were difference, however small.

Was a while back, so I don’t remember what I used for primer under them. Not gloss black for sure, but might have been just a regular black primer.

I think the newer Metal Color line has better metallic colors.

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I switched to mission models black primer. I shoot everything in tamiya spraycan primer. Then black because the Tamiya absorbs so good and you can really water down a tad bit more your next color be it primer or paint.

Your silver and chrome look like I see mine.

I think this might have been what I remember chrome guys bragging about. of course the are the types that will do buffing and multiple coats.

I usually use the Mecha Black primer. The added bit of gloss seems to make it flow better (not a gloss like their gloss black primer, but more glossy than their regular primer), and just use the gloss for anything metallic of a larger area than a paint brush full. To be honest, not that much difference in sheen between the Mecha Black and the Vallejo Gloss Black, so if I am lazy enough, I just use the Mecha as it is usually close by.

Alclad works well, so long as you don’t over do it, then it just turns to silver.

I have both the AK and the DSIPEA chrome, but haven’t had the chance to use either. They say the Revell Chrome in the spray can is good, but at $40 a can, they can keep it. Molotow looks good, but is very fragile.

None of the Vallejo Chrome is bumper chrome, more what a panel on an aircraft chrome would look like (un polished of course)

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Just as an update to this. Have tried the AK Super Chrome, and in my opinion, changes the game. Doesn’t require a gloss black primer coat, or any prep at all for that matter (other than cleaning up any mold lines, sink marks, etc, etc).

Sprayed on bare plastic wheels at about 20psi. These were a grey plastic out of the Airfix Quickbuild Jeep Gladiator.

Looks like liquid mercury in the bottle. Very durable. While I didn’t handle these much, I can already tell they are more durable that the Molotow pens.


Which like of AK paint is that from?

I am assuming you mean which line? Not really a line, just a product. AK Super Chrome. AK9198

OK, is it acrylic, lacquer, or enamel? What do you thin/clean the airbrush with?

For the hell of it, I searched “AK chrome” on Scale Hobbyist and found this:


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Silly complaint from me, but 60ml of chrome. A 1/32 B29 maybe?

They make a thinner/cleaner for it (it doesn’t need thinned).

Cleaned mine out with rubbing alcohol, seemed to work OK. I believe it is alcohol based anyway. Smells like it at least.

Alclad is the Holy Grail for metal paint effects, with an extensive range.

Beautiful finishes.