Vallejo Paints Questions

I think you’re being too hard on your self. I know this because I say the sam thing about half the stuff I paint.

The PaK looks great. I really can’t find much to critique considering you’re just getting back into things. I’d be very happy with that on my shelf.

I can see what you’re talking about with the brown on the Pz. II. I don’t brush paint anything larger than figures, so I’m sadly no help to you there.

I’ve had mixed results airbrushing Vallejo but I’m getting the hang of it. They are prone to dry tip and it makes me nuts. But again, thin with a few drops of flow improve and/or retarder. Low pressure and many layers.

Edit: Oh yeah! Washes!

I hate acrylic washes. I can never get them to work. If you’re looking for a low odour alternative, get your self some odourless thinner and a few oil paints. I use Mig’s thinner, but there are many other brands. Raw umber will work as a wash on just about anything and with oils will give you ample working time.

A clear coat is a good idea between as it’ll give you a barrier and make application and clean up easier.

I think Don is spot on when he says don’t be too hard on yourself. Experimenting like you are doing is a good approach but you won’t win every time.

I must ask what are you using as a primer when you paint with Vallejo?

In terms of acrylic washes the easiest way to create them is with Vallejo Glaze Medium- this extends the paint drying time and will help the paint flow into the details like a wash should.

Thank you for the replies, Canmedic and Karl187!

I have not attempted to brush paint a model since I was a kid but many people claim it works with Vallejo Model Color so… Oh well. I will try stripping with alcohol and go from there.

Vallejo paints clearly suck for washes because water has such high surface tension. Soap will bring that down, but I am not sure which Vallejo produce works like soap. I will try the Vallejo Glaze Medium and see what happens.

Over a decade ago, I used MIG oil paints with Mona Lisa odorless paint thinner for all washes, blending, and most weathering. They were really great for that sort of thing. I want to get away from oil based paints but maybe they are required for the really artistic stuff.

The PaK was primed with Model Master enamel Light Ghost Gray. The Panzer II did not receive a dedicated primer coat. Please note, primary painting on both models was done with enamels, not acrylics. My experiments have not yet reached the point of spraying acrylics and I have zero confidence Vallejo acrylics will stick to anything without a primer coat.

Also, my two attempts at figure painting with Vallejo Game Color acrylics ended…um…badly. I am really starting to wonder how people get good results from these paints and why people like them so much.

Just my little input, Im not good at painting by any means and I do hair brush only.

The waterbase Vallejo washes is well known to be mediocre in other miniature painting circles, most likely from the lack of pigment. I learnt that some people thin out their waterbased paints to use as washes.

Using wet pallet is always recommended, to the point it might be a requirement imo if you want to make high quality painting.

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I’ve never used Model Master paints so I can’t speak to any experience with them. What I would suggest is to buy an acrylic primer of some sort- even a rattle can would do. Then try the Vallejo paints over that.

I use a wet palette for my Vallejo’s as well and I do washes once in a blue moon with them but only as a pin wash on a vehicle, but this is rare for me. I’ve used a wash on the figure in my previous post just around the collar because I didn’t trust my ability to put a dark line in there without screwing up the head I just painted. I should have painted the uniform collars first but it came out ok.

Thank you for the replies, Dinocamo, Karl187, and metalhead85!

I decided to nix using acrylics for washes and weathering. My new plan is: Vallejo Acrylic Primer, airbrush Vallejo Acrylics, detail paint Vallejo Acrylics, clear coat Vallejo Acrylics, decals, clear coat Vallejo Acrylics, wash and weather with MIG (or whatever) Oil Paints, finish with MIG (or whatever) Pigments.

More progress on my wayward Panzer II.

Using 91% alcohol and cotton swabs, I removed as much of the Vallejo paint as possible without damaging anything. Even after three or four days, alcohol took the Vallejo paint right off. To my surprise, it also took off the Model Master enamel Panzer Dark gray!

I washed the model again and will repaint everything in the next day or three.


The ongoing saga of learning to use Vallejo paints without actually painting with Vallejo paints continues.

Just gak.

This is the Bogward IV I pulled out of the trash, performed surgery on, and repainted. My airbrush has too settings–clog and splatter.

The last of my Vallejo Paints arrived yesterday. Tomorrow may be the day I try to use them because, quite frankly, they cannot perform any worse than what I am currently using.

If you are reading this and thinking, ‘Oh my golly gosh’, learning requires practice and practice involves making mistakes. They only way to improve is to keep at it.


Sadly, I continue to have terrible experiences with Vallejo paints. The paints do not cover when brush painting. The gray and white primers do not cover when brush painting. Even at 50% paint to 50% thinner, plus flow improver, the paints constantly clog my airbrush. The airbrush cleaner flat out does not work. I’ve been trying to spray a gloss clear coat for three weeks without success. I just completed another two hour paint session cleaning my airbrush as every attempt to spray the gloss clear coat immediately resulted in a clog. Strangely, every time I switch back to enamels, everything works perfectly. I can go hours without cleaning my airbush. I am truly baffled, trying to understand these weird, difficult paints.

@Damraska Yes, Vallejo AIRs have a reputation of clogging the airbrush so it’s not just you. Windex cleans them out very well.

Mission Models paints is another…if Mission Models paints airbrushes well, then it’s great, if not, it’s like Vallejo AIRs.

I’d use Gunze Sanyo or Tamiya paints for airbrushing even though their military colors may be limited.

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I just had a thought and checked the local humidity. During my paint session, it was hovering at 25%. According to the local forecast, humidity climbs to 50% at night. Maybe I need to spray between midnight and about 6am.

Thanks for the suggestion, Trisaw. I do not have any Windex but I do have rubbing alcohol. Maybe that will help.

I think that is why AK Interactive came out with its 3rd Generation Paints that won’t clog the airbrush.

I have yet to try AK 3rd GEN airbrushing, but I’ve noticed that the paint does not separate from the thinner.

AK said that they used a new resin formula for 3rd GEN so I believe whatever you try, the Vallejo’s resin formula will not achieve the results you’re looking for.

As for brush painting Vallejos…the results vary as some bottles are mixed well and others are very thin or thick. There is no real consistency as to how the paints in the bottles behave if they sit around for a while. Adding Vallejo Thinner and Retarder helps, but yes, it can take a few coats to cover.

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Thank you for that advice, Trisaw. The AK Interactive 3G paints seem promising but a quick search did not reveal much useful information about their products. If they make third generation clear coats, I could not find them on their wretched website. The online shops I usually frequent do not carry much AK stuff. I will keep looking.

Right now, I need gloss and matte acrylic clear coats that actually work. Does anyone have a suggestion?

Edit: I found 3G clear coats in one store.

I have been using Vallejo Model Air for my base coats for years without big problems. A few tips you may consider:

  • Airbrush must be clean from start
  • Use a needle size of 0.4mm (smaller tends to clog, yes)
  • Use Flow improver, about 10%
  • No need to thin the paint too much, 2 paint/1 thinner or less
  • Use higher pressure
  • Keep an eye on the tip of the needle, if it has dry paint remove the cap, clean the needle tip with a brush with water or alcohol, shot outside the model and continue
  • Do not try to cover in one pass, better use several thin layers

From what I see on the Borgward camo, your paint is too thin and/or too much (pulled the trigger too far back).
Clogging may be caused by insufficient pressure or needle too small, in any case cleaning the tip of the needle usually solves the problem.

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AK 3rd gen will dry on the tip, as same as Vallejo, it is only marketing hype :wink: . As Carlos said, you need bigger nozzle (I use 0.35 on Iwate Eclipse), but I can spray either Vallejo or Scale75 even with H&S Infinity 0.15mm nozzle. Flow improver and retarder helps, many thinners have retarder and flow aid in them. I particularly like the Scale75 thinner, no smell at all and sprays fine with most acrylics I use.
My two cents.

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Unfortunately, I have done almost everything suggested thus far without achieving reliable results. My eyesight is no longer sufficient to see paint drying on the tip, which may be an issue. These days, when the airbrush clogs, I give the nose a swipe with the needle retracted before trying any other remedy. It sometimes works. My airbrush has a .35mm tip. Please keep in mind, I’ve run my airbrush a couple dozen times since I started this thread, trying to work things out.

The paint on the bogward was definitely too thin and my airbrushing skills are poor. My motor controls handling the airbrush are lousy at best. I have great difficulty thinning paint to the proper consistency because I do not have enough experience to know what the proper consistency looks like. Sometimes ‘skim milk’ is too thin, sometimes too thick, and sometimes it works. My mixing ratios have gone all over the place as I try to find combinations that reliably work. It varies from paint to paint and session to session.

I decided to experiment with the humidity and rubbing alcohol. First, I gave the airbush nozzle and a few other parts a bath in rubbing alcohol. Then I waited for the humidity to climb above 50% and the temperature to cool. After midnight, I gave it another try. To my surprise, I was able to spray Vallejo Glass and Vallejo Matte without any issue. I could not see what I was doing in the poor light, but that is another matter.

Then the strangest thing happened. I cleaned the airbrush and switched to Panzer Dark Gray enamel. The paint was separating in the cup. I sprayed 4 army men, cleaned the airbrush, and found something akin to tar inside the airbrush. Fun with chemistry. The enamel must not like the alcohol.

In the future, I think I will spray acylics or enamels in a session but never both. I am still trying to work out pretty much everything. Cleaning is definitely an issue as nothing seems to reliably work.

I have pretty much accepted it will take me years to reach mediocre. :slight_smile:


This can also be the issue, you want to stir not shake.


Yeah. It always looks so easy in videos like those. It is very frustrating to watch them, do the same thing, and have it not work.

I agree it can be. The last video is something I have not seen before. I find it’s small things that makes a huge difference. For instance mixing paint in the cup or jar, long ago I was using a toothpick and at a club meeting someone mentioned they used a common house nail to stir, that being like 4/5 toothpicks together. That small change made a big difference to me and spraying.

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Try cleaning the needle as well, unretracted.

If your airbrush as a screw on the rear end to limit the needle run, that helps a lot.
Regarding thinning, I prefer being short. In fact, lately I have been using Vallejo directly from the jar, with a drop of Flow Improver at most.
Note also that sometimes different colors may require different thinning ratios, don’t know the reason

Yes, it must be perfectly clean before switching mediums. Those mixes are not good and can produce hard to clean clogs…

Keep trying, once you get the trick everything is much easier. And shouldn’t take that long!