These paints are excellent when you wish to create a more realistic colour palette for your miniatures and can offer a level of authenticity that may escape other ranges.
Kabalite warrior from the Dark Heart. Instead of smooth transitional highlight on the armour, the 'eavy metal team have edge highlighted the armour plates to emphasize the sculpted lines of the miniature.
If you were to purchase these paints I would highly recommend you create some gunk to help you with transitional blends dilute and help blend colours together more smoothly.
One of the strongest advantages this range has over its competitors is the eye dropper style paint pots. When the paints are used only a minimum amount of paint comes into contact with the air and so extends the working life of the paint. For those who use an airbrush using the eyedropper is much easier to keep track of quantities and is much easier to squeeze into the receptacle.
Bottles are well designed but not perfect. Paint will dry in the nozzle and this will lead you to just apply more pressure on the bottle, thus causing a mini-explosion of paint on your palette; very annoying. However, these clogs are easy to clean out with a straightened out paper clip.
There is no agitator for a paint that has a reputation for separating into medium and pigment in bottle. I would recommend buying agitators for the Model Colour and Game Colour ranges, but this would bump the price up. Taking the cost of agitators into account, each paint would cost about 4p more (but these can be re-used over successive generations of paint that you buy).
The Model air range suffers from the same problem as the rest of the vallejo range; the colours easily sperate and need plenty of shaking. However, because of the thin consistency of the paint, these problems aren't a big deal (two or three shakes will normally be enough to mix the paint). It could be argued that another disadvantage of the range is that you're paying for diluted paint; something that you can learn to do yourself with regular acrylic paint. For the way I paint (thin layering) these paints are ideal to use straight out of the bottle, but some may not like the consistency of this and would prefer to thin the paint themselves.
Other products in the Vallejo paint range:
Price: £3.20 for a 35 ml. plastic pot with a childproof cap.
This is an alcohol based paint that uses metallic pigment mixed with resin to produce a much more vibrant finish. This next bit is important if you wish to use these paints:
"The colours can be mixed with one another and dry almost instantly. They can be overpainted or varnished almost immediately. The specific weight of the pigment causes the formation of sediment at the base of the container, and paint should be thoroughly shaken or stirred before use. If it were necessary to dilute the colours further, only 96% pure alcohol should be added to avoid oxidation."
In my opinion, these paints are unparalleled in their finish of true metallic metals. They require a little more effort to use, and ideally, you would need a more robust style of paint brush (those used for oil painting and are designed for the rigors of cleaning with turpentine or spirits). For the tiny amount of extra effort you put into the preparation of these paints you get an incredibly vibrant and strong metallic finish. These paints work excellently with citadel's range of washes.
The alcohol used to dilute this paint is isopropanol, or rubbing alcohol. It can be bought quite cheaply from your local chemist or online. Please beware that this alcohol is extremely flammable and so are the Liquid gold paints themselves. Be careful in their use and storage.
Price: £2.00 for a 17ml eye dropper pot
I have not used these, so I cannot pass on an honest opinion about them. I've read that they handle very much like much like Games Workshop's range of washes.
Vallejo Extra Opaque
Price: £1.79 for a 17ml eye dropper pot
I have not used these, so I cannot pass on an honest opinion about them. I've read that they handle very much like much like Games Workshop's range of Foundation paints.
Vallejo also produce aerosols, varnishes, brush cleaners, drying retarder etc. There is a lot to play with here for the miniature painter. These offer good value for money and are an excellent resource for people who are just starting to explore wider world of fine art with acrylic paints.
The full line of auxiliaries can be found here:
These pigments help produce very realistic mud and rust effects. They can be sealed with matt or glaze medium. The full range can be found here.
Vallejo offer an unbelievably diverse range of good quality paints, at a cheap price. If you are only used to Games Workshop's range of paints, pick up a couple of pots of Vallejo paint to try them out. I have not tired the range of washes or extra pigmented paints but I have read that they are quite similar to Games Workshop's wash and foundation ranges. This is not the finest example of acrylic paints on the market, but in terms of price, availability, range and quality, the Vallejo range offers an excellent resource for the miniature painter.
Links related to this article.
For a discussion on paint agitators
Home made paint agitators
Vallejo to Games Workshop Citadel paint comparison chart