Vallejo Model Paints

Hello, I am new to Vallejo Paints first of all and I have just air brushed a Vallejo Model Color paint thinned with Vallejo thinner and let dry overnight. I wanted to see how well it adheres to the plastic with my finger nail and noticed how easy it comes off the plastic not like Tamiya acrylics. How do you paint with these Vallejo Model paints? Vallejo has some colors I really like that Tamiya does not have? Thanks in advance, George


Put down a coat of primer first. I used Tamiya rattle can primer and it sticks well to that. Vallejo’s own primer is quite watery I found and didn’t adhere as well. No acrylic is going to be as durable as enamel. I’ve had Tamiya acrylic scratch off just as easily on bare plastic. Probably the most problematic things I’ve had is the paint lifting from masks on canopy frames. You really have to make sure you trim along the frame with a sharp blade before removing the masks.
I do about 90% of my models with Vallejo and have been really happy with them and the colour range is massive. I have had some difficulty spraying fine lines, mottles etc with them but I’ve always put that down to my airbrush kit rather than the paint.
Best of luck with it.


If you do choose to use Vallejo primer, get the spray can type. It is very good in my limited experience .
Their Primer that you put in an Airbrush doesn’t really stick to etch. And your airbrush WILL be required to be broken down and cleaned, no matter how clean you think you got it.


Where Model color really shines is brush painting.
I haven’t tried all the migs, ammo and Ak paints, but to me there is no better.
There’s alot you can do with it for weathering too.


I’ve had the same issues. As mentioned , I’d prime 1st. It was suggested to me on another site when I mentioned the exact same issue, dry paint with the help of a hair dryer or drying box. I however don’t do either , just primed , but I did have some chipping , etc to deal with after painting. Yep on the brushing VMC vs using airbrush.


George, I use Vallejo paints for many years now and am really happy with them. But Model Color are brush paints! If you airbrush your models use Model Air, they are for airbrushing. And as the others already mentioned, use a primer underneath. I also clean the plastic parts also before painting with denatured alcohol. That also helps to get a good paint surface later.


This is, unfortunately, very common with AV paints.

It’s helped a good bit if I clean the parts and prime with a strong lacquer. I had good luck with Mr. Surfacer.


I use Vallejo varnish after the paint dries. They have flat,semi-gloss,high gloss varnishes.

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I’m never a Vallejo user by choice other than for detail painting. On the rare occasions I’ve used Vallejo beyond painting small details:

  1. Model washed in Dawn dish washing soap and warm water to remove contamination.

  2. Model is air dryed and rotated in paint booth with fan running for at least 24 hours.

  3. Coat of Mr Surfacer 1500 is applied and allowed to cure for at least 48 hours.

  4. Vallejo is applied and allowed to cure for at least three months in a dry low humidity area.

I’ve carefully weathered directly on unprotected Vallejo paint with oil washes & drybrushing that was cured in this manner without issues.

Vallejo is always my bottom of the barrel paint choice for painting models because its typically so fragile without special considerations in my limited experience despite great color selection.

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Hi @George,

I’ve had pretty good luck with Vallejo, as @BlackWidow notes above, using their Model Air paints, shot directly from the airbrush. I’ve also had pretty good luck with the painted surface drying pretty quickly, and being reasonably hard when done.

I use different primers for different purposes. If I am working with dioramas or large surface areas, I’ll use Vallejo IDF Grey, which is generally a dark tan color and goes on evenly. For other vehicles I tend to go with Tamiya rattle can fine grey as a base for most colors, but will use fine pink for some shades of red.

If you try the Model Air colors, I have found that shooting a few layers, building the color up, works, and as such the underlying primer color can/will (depending on primary color) effect the shade of the top coat, or primary model color. For example, when using a red color, if you use a grey primer, the final paint color will be a darker tone, whereas if you use the pink primer, the final paint color will be lighter.

For illustrative purposes, here are some examples of Model Air in different uses:

The F1 car was painted with Model Air Italian Red over Tamiya pink primer, and received several layers of Aqua Gloss II clear coat, with the first few layers being sanded with very fine grit film, with the following layers polished -

The old truck is painted with Vallejo Model Air US Interior Yellow, over Tamia Grey. The weathering is painted over the yellow, using several washes made from diluted Vallejo colors, highly diluted Lifecolor Dust 1, AK enamel weathering colors, and Tamiya dark brown Panel Line Accent Color

The JLTV truck is has a Tamiya grey primer base, and Vallejo Ivory for the top color, followed by a faint wash of Lifecolor Dust1.

The dio uses several colors and any wash/weathering techniques I could think of.

As far as problems with Vallejo Model Air, I’ve found that for air brushing, a “fresh” bottle seems to clog less than when using an old bottle, as the old paint seems to coagulate a bit. I keep the old bottles anyway, and use them for brush painting - which, like painting with an airbrush, requires a few layers.

I found the colors pretty easy to use, from the beginning, but also found that practice goes a long way.

So, hope this helps -



As I mentioned to you on FSM,a good primer like Tamiya or Mr Surfacer will do the job,I forgo washing the plastic finding that the primer does the job.


Gilles Villeneuve love it, awesome! I would like to do a Alain Prost McLaren/ Honda from Model Factory Hiro one of these days.

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