Monday, January 01, 2007

Vallejo makes several lines of paint suitable for miniatures. I use the Miniature and Model Colors line for the miniatures reviewed in the HMG magazine and on line for several reasons. Vallejo paints are easy to find and the color shades remain consistent from one batch to the next. The variety of colors available allow gamers to find just the right shade needed whether he is painting Spartans, Crusaders, the Age of Reason, Napoleonics, American Civil War or World War Two (and later!) The line of paints is commonly used and recommended by several online sites like on the Resistant Roosters, Battlefront and Cool Mini or Not websites (the last offers a great guide to painting ethnic skin tones.) I have found that the colors they suggest for 15mm figures works just as well for the 25mm scale.
Vallejo paints offer a dropper top dispensing method that is very helpful when mixing paints. For those who think this may be wasteful esp. for small projects, it is not. One neat thing that happens with Vallejo paints are shaken in preparation for use is that a very small amount is available at the dropper tip when the top is removed but before it is turned over. A small bubble can be expressed by squeezing the upright bottle – this is just the right amount of paint for touchups or for taking a bit for blending.
One of the big advantages is availability. I am a paint ho and have tons of bottles of old Polly S, Ral Partha, Armoury and other types of paints. Many of these are not made any longer or have changed (the old Polly S Field Grey was awesome but the new style is too green for me.) I have got them (I am a pack rat as well) and occasionally use them. It would be disastrous for me to show figures painted with them as no one can get them anymore – Vallejo paints are easy to find and offer a wide range of military colors and shades!
One suggestion when using Vallejo paints – when using them for the first time or after having not used them for a while, you need to really shake them up well, more than you might for other paints. If you get air bubbles or thin shades of paint, you need to shake the paint bottle more. You will find the colors will go on much better if you do this. Another thing I like to do is to paint a small square of color out onto a set of master sheets of paper (see the photo above.) It mkes it easier for me to compare and pick colors as the shade seen through the bottle is never as good as the painted shade itself. And while talking about colors, there are several shades that fall into my “gotta have ‘em” category including the Pale Blue Grey 907 that works great as a base for painting the difficult shade of white and Carmine Red 908, one of the best shades of red I have seen.


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