For the last few weeks I have experimented with Vallejo Game Color and Model Air paints for hand painting fantasy figures and German World War II era soldiers. So far, Game Color paints provide decent coverage and perform fairly well while Model Air paints mostly suck because they are too thin. Having just finished another unsuccessful paint session, it now seems obvious I need Model Color paints for figures.
For those of you who use Vallejo paints, is there a specific set you would recommend for hand painting German World War II soldiers? Would the same set work for American soldiers? It would be great if the set includes a dedicated wash or two.
Thank you for your consideration.
Vallejo make a set, but it comes with camo smock colours too. You are probably best to buy what you want singular.:
I am not a great figure modeller. However I try an avoid using the same colours and mix my own adding lighter or darker colours to give the figures variety. The uniforms were made from different dye lots, different materials, different sources, etc. Then there were the conditions, mud, dust, sweat, etc that all change the basic colour no matter how well they are cleaned.
When I add a ‘wash’ into the crevices, I use 70822 Model Color German Camouflage Black Brown thinned with water. It is a great colour for shadow and crevices.
While Vallejo Model Air (VMA) is for airbrushing you can from what I read brush paint with it. The best I can tell you need to add thinner/air flow improver to the mix. This helps break the water tension that will help brush it better. That said VMA might be best used as a glaze/wash and not as a base color for brush painting. If wanting to use as a base color, then I would airbrush first then brush paint.
Vallejo has some sets for different uniforms. One set I like is the newer Alpine mixed set.
You can find it elsewhere also. You get a good figure, which helps painting a lot. You get most of the colors needed especially for the uniform, doesn’t usual have a flesh set for example or weapons. It also includes a booklet with step by step instructions on color mixing etc to help paint the uniform.
Thank you, Peter! Four of the figures I am currently painting appear to use exactly those colors. While the Vallejo set is not available from Scale Hobbyist, the individual paints are, so I will start with those. If you recommend any other colors, please let me know.
I already have 70822 and will try it for some washes a little later today. Painting with acrylics is still very new to me so such tips are very welcome.
Thank you, Ryan! I was able to find the individual colors from the paint set you linked at my preferred hobby shop. My spares box already contains a bazillion discarded figures to practice on so another is not necessary.
All the Model Air paints I have tried so far are very thin out of the bottle. When brush painting, dark colors cover okay, especially over contrast priming, but light colors look miserable. On the other hand, Game Color paints like Bone White work very well. If there is a trick to using Model Air paints for brush painting, I have yet to figure it out.
Two of the three videos you linked were known to me and I am specifically trying the techniques in the third. Contrast priming definitely works but so far, my results look nothing like those achieved by skilled painters. Part of that is eye sight, part is bad brushes, part is wonky paint, part is unsteady hands, and the biggest part is inexperience.
Fortunately, I have lots of old figures to sacrifice to the Muses.
I also use Vallejo paints for figures, both Model Color and Air Color, using brushes only. I find that the Vallejo Air colors while thin, can be used practically straight from the bottle, and Vallejo Model need some thinnig.
I make only 1/72 scale kits and usually add some figures to the kit.
The purpose of the Alpine release was it give you a very nice figure to work from which makes painting easier. Second was the booklet but maybe the video is the same, the ones I have don’t have a video to my knowledge so I cannot compare. I found the information very helpful with painting my Hellboy figure, first real figure painting I did and it helped.
Probably seen this one and I thought I included but guess I didn’t. The flow improver should help with the light colors.
Till a month ago, I wasn’t into German uniforms too, now I painted some with the AK 3rd gen German Uniforms. I like the AK colors.
Hope this helps too
What was an eyecatcher, were these pictures of uniforms, how different the colors are!
Hey Ryan. That video was helpful and partially explains why I am getting good results with Vallejo paints sprayed through my airbrush. As recommended in many videos, I am putting three drops of Flow Improver into every airbrush cup of paint. When dry, the resulting primer and clear coats look very good. I was doing this to avoid dry tip on the airbrush. It must also prevent the paint from beading up.
With regards brush painting, I will experiment with Flow Improver and see what happens. It should definitely help with tints and washes, but I do not understand how thinning already thin paint will improve coverage. I only saw Model Color paints in the video.
Thank you for the suggestion and pictures, TeeAge!
For now, I am strictly purchasing Vallejo paints and products because I am already dealing with too many variables. (If only I had a brain.) However, many people have recommended AK paints and when the time comes, they will be the next brand I try. (Many fantasy figure painters use both AK and Vallejo paints.)
I have seen pictures like the ones you posted and, knowing about the great variation in uniform colors, my concern is not exact color matching. However, my current paint selection is relatively small and I need to start somewhere. Also, all my figures wear equipment with really teeny tiny camouflage patterns. The patterns vary but all include some combination of green, umber, and yellow ocher. I do have figures with gray or green uniforms like the one you posted. After I botch the current batch of experimental subject (those poor, poor little plastic people), I can purchase the AK set and try it on some gray and green guys.
Oh. That is interesting. The AK splinter pattern uniforms has what I need right now.
I took the plunge and bought just about every AK set for German uniforms like shown above. The best thing is virtually zero duplicate jars between 5 sets of paints! I have a lot of Vallejo since a store stocks it but you do have to watch out on their sets, I have the US WW2 tanker and NCO set w figure. You’ll find several duplicates plus I had a few colors already from what I bought off the rack. As ,any noted, the Vallejo model air is basically prethinned for out of jar airbrushing, but it’s not always the case. I’ve had few issues brushing it w a hairy stick but I’ve been typically using darker and heavier pigmented colors. Model color is perfect for hand brushing as in.from what I’ve played w in the AK 3rd vs Vallejo, either is good value and similarly priced.
I think that no color, either axis or allies can be find in the right tone, ready in a bottle. But the sets are showing the way. A great help to me is the app Model Colors, but you have to fill in consequently the new bottles you bought ;-).
I mostly like the “similar’ button, keeps you away from the modelshop often
Thank you for the advice! Last night, after reading your post, I made a spreadsheet listing all my paints, then checked it against the large order I am building. Now I need to build a cabinet to store them. My current system–an Artbin storage box–le sucks.
Thank you again, TeeAge! That application looks interesting.
Maybe these pictures might help give you some ideas
I built these to fit the gap between the ledge that runs around the room and my desk. 1/4” finished craft plywood for the back then I bought stick 8 ft long of various flat trim wood, already size, I just had to cut to length. Then I used a finishing nail gun to assemble. I made the widths the size of the plywood I bought, resulted in few cuts, I just had to ripsaw them by length. I measured my paints to decide on the depth of shelves and used another piece of scrap trim to make a ‘step’ so I could double stack narrow bottles two deep but still see what’s there. Spray painted white and tacked them to the wall. Worked great for the set up I have. Just wanted to show to give you some ideas.
That is a very nice hobby room and storage system.
My work space is tiny–a small desk and some storage containers–so I need to keep things as compact as possible. Everything must seal and clean easily because my house is very dusty and constant cleaning taxes by strength. Finally, all flammable items and paints need to reside in earthquake resistant enclosures.
I have very little experience with carpentry and few tools. There are some carpentry books in my purchase queue. I envision building something akin to a large jewelry cabinet.