Vallejo Acrylic Paint
by Phil Novak
Recently there has been a switch in the model and figure community to acrylic paints. Vallejo acrylic paint is one of the most commonly talked about paints, and with good reason.
The Vallejo is different from some acrylics in that it does not have alcohol in the base. This leads to a longer drying time and a longer working time, which allows paint to go on and cover better.
The paint comes in a 17mL dropper bottle which is great. It’s impossible to spill, keeps the paint from drying out, and you don’t have to worry about dried paint sealing the bottle shut! With the dropper bottle, you use the full bottle of paint, whereas in glass jars you’re throwing half a bottle away because it dried up.
The paint itself is pretty thick, and make sure that it is well mixed. You don’t want to have any clear stuff coming out when you squeeze the bottle. I knock mine against the edge of my workbench a couple of times, and that mixes it up well. Once you squeeze some paint out onto your pallette, you will need to thin it down a bit. For this I find that spring water works fine. There’s no need to invest in exotic or expensive thinners.
Depending on what you are doing determines how much you thin the paint down. For shading figures or doing washes I thin the paint quite a bit. For highlighting I use it practically out of the bottle. Thinning the paint down properly is the real trick to painting with these and getting a good finish. The pigment is vibrant and does not fade, however it is a little delicate.
Try to handle the finished product as infrequently as you can, otherwise you can rub the paint off. Vallejo produces hundreds of colors, and they match what they are supposed to represent. The German WWII camouflage colors are “spot-on” matches. Also available are the Air Vallejo colors, which are designed to be sprayed through an airbrush. These pre-thinned paints airbrush beautifully and come in a variety of colors, including German RLM colors. These paints are a perfect addition to my paint drawer.