onsdag 28. desember 2011

Grey matter

Let me begin by returning to something I mentioned yesterday - so why is Vallejo my current paint manufacturer of choice?

Since I started painting miniatures almost 20 years ago, I have used a range of different brands. First I used some of the standard, cheap hobby varnish that can by purchased anywhere. That lasted all of 1 Space Marine, and boy, did he look fugly. Then I turned to Citadel Colour, and a long running love/hate relationship - the main "hate" part was those dark years when they used the crystal clear containers with (any sort of) black cap. Never before or after have I found a paint container that will more quickly and consistently dry out paint! Lately, they have done a lot to remedy this - although opinions vary greatly, I happen to be one of those who find the new(ish) range of Foundation paints indispensable for certain types of painting (though I would not use it on 1/300 models!).

There are also a smattering of other acrylic ranges in my cupboard, some more known than others. Earlier this year, I also placed a number of Humbrol Enamel paints in the recycling bin. If there is any advice I can pass on to future generations it is this: Enamels are the DEVIL. They smell. They take forever to dry. They are a pain to thin, and cleaning your brush of them just sucks. Today, acrylics can do anything enamels can do - though faster, better and with no permanent brain tissue damage.

So why do I love Vallejo? Well, they are a professional, dedicated, established, systematic manufacturer with excellent products. Their paint is a dream to handle, thin and apply. The range of colours available is staggering, and I have no experience with them revising or removing large ranges of their products.

They also have an excellent package format, with their eye-dropper style bottles. The paint does not dry in the bottles, and remains consistent every time a drop is dispensed. Never have I experienced less waste of paint, or had paint containers so consistently easy to open and without flaw or defect.

Oh, sure, even Vallejo is not perfect. The paint, for exampe, is slightly too thick straight from the bottle for me, and I find the long, narrow shape of the paint bottles poorly suited for mixing the paint quickly. That being said, I have always had to thin my paint before using it, regardless of manufacturer, and mixing became a lot quicker once I found Vallejos own tip of squeezing the bottle with the cap on to mix rather than shaking it. Storing the bottles on their side has also helped.

When there is even a local store carrying the complete range, there is little else I can ask for. Whenever I run out of a colour, my current practice is to bring the empty pot to the local store and pick out a Vallejo equivalent. What's not to love? :)

Today's photo is of a product from Vallejo that I started using after painting my first lot of 1/300 planes. Having no good hand hold, I found that before applying varnish, I had to go back and paint over several places where it had accidentally gotten rubbed off. Scouring the web for suggestions, I found this product.

After staring to use Vallejo 601 Grey Primer, rubbed-off paint has ceased to be a problem (admittedly, more experinece with handling 1/300 aircraft might also have helped), except for in the more extreme circumstances - the Do17z tail rudders described previously is the only example I can think of.

Vallejo Colour:

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