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Vallejo Gold - What is their problem - they only have one job to do - it can't be that hard


nheather
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Just bought some Vallejo Model Air metallics.

 

I wanted some metallics for wargaming miniatures.  I typically do 15/18mm so I wanted some metallics that were fine as the big grained ones like Vallejo Game Color don't look good at that scale.

 

I also wanted water-based and didn't want to spend a lot so ruled at the specialist metal paints.  They were also for brush painting, and have been advised that the Model Air works well.

 

I'd heard mostly good things about Vallejo Model Air, but I was warned about two things

 

1) Their silvers, aluminium, silver and chrome are difficult to tell apart so don't waste your money, just buy one.

 

2) Their gold is a terrible colour - has a green tint.

 

So I did some research and it did seem that the golds were an odd colour but those comments were old, and Vallejo had reformulated.  The more recent reviews seemed better.  Also advised that the Gold and Bright Brass and hard to tell apart, the brass being a little lighter and brighter.  So this is what I went for

 

Silver

Steel

Gun Metal

Black Metal

Bright Brass

Copper

Rust

 

Opinions.

 

Well all apart from the Bright Brass (more of that later) are very good.  The coverage is good even when brush painted and the pigment is fine.

 

I went overboard on the silvers I guess, as I could have achieved the steel, gun metal and black metal by just adding black to the silver but happy with the convenience.  Little disappointed with the steel - I was warned that silver, aluminium and chrome all look the same but there really isn't that much difference between silver and steel to be honest.

 

But getting on to the Bright Brass (I assume the gold is the same as they are practically the same colour).  It looks okay in the bottle, not really bright like polished brass, more subdued but nice enough.  It even looks okay on the palette.  But that is where it ends.  Try and paint with it and it is all medium with some pigment floating around.  My first thought is that I'd caught the top of the bottle which wasn't mixed.  So put in on the electric shaker and shook it hard by hand - there is a 1/4" ball bearing in there to help things along.  Nope, still the same.  At this point, I was convinced that the medium must be stuck at the bottom as a sludge, so armed with a stirring stick I open the bottle.  Nope it is all mixed nicely.

 

So in summary the Vallejo Model Air Bright Brass is total and utter rubbish.

 

What puzzles me is how do Vallejo, a company with just one job to do, make paint, actually allow this to happen.

 

What was going through the minds of the developers and testers who tested this paint and said "yes that looks good to go".  I can only imagine that they knew it was Bright Brass because it was embossed in braille on the bottle.  Perhaps their guide dogs saw a rabbit, started barking and the Vallejo testers took that to mean that the paint was good.

 

And bear in mind this is their second attempt, their new and improved formula.  Their first attempt was positively green They got slated and they said "okay, we accept that it is rubbish we are going to reformulate it".

 

But joking aside, I have no idea how Vallejo let this out of their factory - other manufacturers can produce gold paint so why do Vallejo find it so difficult.

 

Moral and advice - DO NOT BUY Vallejo Gold or Bright Brass - spend your hard earned money on another brand.

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel

Edited by nheather
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I think their paints are awful, but for different reasons. Mostly, it's because I have found that they simply won't adhere to anything. I'm just glad that I only bought a slack handful!

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Interesting, I've used Vallejo paints, mainly ModelAir, since my return 'with a vengeance' to modelling a few years ago and haven't encountered any problems apart the transparency of obvious colours like whites and reds, sand browns and yellows etc. which need a few coats to build up the colour.

I have done a couple of Wingnut Wings 1/32nd WW1 aircraft which have brass fittings in the cockpit and have used Bright Brass ModelAir, not ModelColor, with a brush successfully, usually just one coat. I'm assuming you use an undercoat?

 

 Davey.

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47 minutes ago, DaveyGair said:

I have done a couple of Wingnut Wings 1/32nd WW1 aircraft which have brass fittings in the cockpit and have used Bright Brass ModelAir, not ModelColor, with a brush successfully, usually just one coat. I'm assuming you use an undercoat?

 

 Davey.

 

All I have done so far, is sprayed a piece of plasticard with white primer and painted some test patches of each of the colours, all worked well apart from the Bright Brass which was terrible.  Golds from other ranges don't have any problem.

 

So when you say undercoat, what do you mean, primer or an undercoat of a yellow or brown before you put the brass on.

 

For me undercoating would be a pain - okay on large areas but I'm usually looking to put a dab on a cap badge or some buttons, all very tiny and needing a steady hand so it would be nice if the paint went on first time.

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel

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17 minutes ago, nheather said:

 

 

So when you say undercoat, what do you mean, primer or an undercoat of a yellow or brown before you put the brass on.

 

When I did the Camel, I sprayed Ultimate grey primer on all the parts, then the 'instrument panel' was sprayed Vallejo wood, along with other parts of course. The instruments were pick out by brush with GW Chaos Black, I did a bit of Warhammer with my son back in the day, then ModelAir Bright Brass was used with a fine brush, those areas being done in black first. 

I would say I didn't have much trouble, just maybe need a couple of goes in a couple of areas.

Here's a photo which is a LOT larger than in real life!

Hope it helps,  I would try Black instead of white, I remember the painting guides for the Warhammer figures would always recommend Black as an undercoat for metallics.

 

DSC_0018

 

Edited by DaveyGair
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23 minutes ago, DaveyGair said:

I would try Black instead of white, I remember the painting guides for the Warhammer figures would always recommend Black as an undercoat for metallics.

I will second this. I have started priming using Vallejo's black polyurethane primer - brushed on - followed by whichever metallic I need, and after a coat or two it looks good.

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Well my test patch has three coats of Bright Brass and it still looks like clear varnish with a little gold glitter in it.

 

Whereas the other metallic have a full smooth cover in just one coat.

 

Either I have a duff bottle or Vallejo Bright Brass is a truly terrible paint that should never have been allowed to leave the factory.

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel

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On 03/08/2018 at 12:49, lasermonkey said:

I think their paints are awful, mostly, it's because I have found that they simply won't adhere to anything.

I'm surprised to hear that you're having difficulty with them sticking. I use a lot of model air paints that I airbrush straight onto bare plastic in many cases and they stick very well and don't come off at all. Same story when I spray them over a primer base..

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Hi there, as someone else has suggested, prime black. Games Workshop's metallic range are expensive but very good, I think even Vallejo used to make GW paints? A matt black primer seems to make metallics 'pop' better.

Hope this helps.

 

S

Edited by blanco77
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On 8/3/2018 at 2:36 PM, DaveyGair said:

When I did the Camel, I sprayed Ultimate grey primer on all the parts, then the 'instrument panel' was sprayed Vallejo wood, along with other parts of course. The instruments were pick out by brush with GW Chaos Black, I did a bit of Warhammer with my son back in the day, then ModelAir Bright Brass was used with a fine brush, those areas being done in black first. 

I would say I didn't have much trouble, just maybe need a couple of goes in a couple of areas.

Here's a photo which is a LOT larger than in real life!

Hope it helps,  I would try Black instead of white, I remember the painting guides for the Warhammer figures would always recommend Black as an undercoat for metallics.

 

DSC_0018

 

There's a lot of texture on the finish there. Is that very rough finished plastic or lumpy paint?

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On ‎8‎/‎4‎/‎2018 at 4:27 PM, nheather said:

Either I have a duff bottle or Vallejo Bright Brass is a truly terrible paint that should never have been allowed to leave the factory.

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel

I'm not suggesting Vallejo is up there with the best, just sharing my experience using the stuff, at the end of the day you have to use what works for you . :shrug:

 

12 hours ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

There's a lot of texture on the finish there. Is that very rough finished plastic or lumpy paint?

I can't be sure , I just 'clagged' on a coat of Bright Brass on the black.  The actual panel is only about 15mm wide so the picture is a fair way magnified.

 

Davey. 

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3 hours ago, DaveyGair said:

I'm not suggesting Vallejo is up there with the best, just sharing my experience using the stuff, at the end of the day you have to use what works for you . :shrug:

 

I can't be sure , I just 'clagged' on a coat of Bright Brass on the black.  The actual panel is only about 15mm wide so the picture is a fair way magnified.

 

Davey. 

There is no way that I would get that coverage over black with just one coat with the bottle I have.

 

Would take at least three coats to even begin to start looking like that.

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel

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13 hours ago, DaveyGair said:

I'm not suggesting Vallejo is up there with the best, just sharing my experience using the stuff, at the end of the day you have to use what works for you . :shrug:

 

I can't be sure , I just 'clagged' on a coat of Bright Brass on the black.  The actual panel is only about 15mm wide so the picture is a fair way magnified.

 

Davey. 

 

It's not so much just the brass - all the paint coats there look quite gritty at least in the photograph. It's probably just me being picky.

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These ones = Dog’s doo-doo

472epJ8.jpg:poop:

 

These ones = Dog’s danglies

xfIPmwU.jpg:thumbsup2:

 

The metallics in the ‘Metal Color’ range are far superior to the ‘Model Air’ ones.

I’ve only brushed using their 77.720 Gunmetal Grey and 77.713 Jet Exhaust and they went on perfectly with a hairy stick. I’ve airbrushed most of the other metallic in the range and had nothing but good results with them.  If anything, the pigment so fine it’s enough to make cleaning out an airbrush a bit of a chore, as it lingers for ages.

 

Mart

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I just bought a few of the latter.....They do look very, very impressive and you can indeed apply them with a brush!  :o

 

Quite how this miracle is achieved with a water based paint I cannot imagine.....But I suspect that it may be witchcraft!  :pope: 

1 hour ago, LotusArenco said:

If anything, the pigment so fine it’s enough to make cleaning out an airbrush a bit of a chore, as it lingers for ages.

Gaaaarrrkk!  :analintruder:  I really wish you hadn't said that.....I hate metallics for this very reason.  :doh:

 

Still forewarned is forearmed and all that.....At least I now know that I will have to thoroughly purge my airbrush with fire after each use (rather than finding out the hard way the next time I spray olive drab)!  :rolleyes:

 

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23 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

I hate metallics for this very reason.

Par for the course with most fine pigmented metallic paint I think.

Where possible I tend to save up all my metallic airbrushing and do it in one hit, one metallic after another. Strip down the brush completely afterwards and then give it a ruddy good clean.

 

Mart

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1 hour ago, LotusArenco said:

These ones = Dog’s doo-doo

472epJ8.jpg:poop:

 

These ones = Dog’s danglies

xfIPmwU.jpg:thumbsup2:

 

The metallics in the ‘Metal Color’ range are far superior to the ‘Model Air’ ones.

I’ve only brushed using their 77.720 Gunmetal Grey and 77.713 Jet Exhaust and they went on perfectly with a hairy stick. I’ve airbrushed most of the other metallic in the range and had nothing but good results with them.  If anything, the pigment so fine it’s enough to make cleaning out an airbrush a bit of a chore, as it lingers for ages.

 

Mart

 

Mart, your ModelAir bottle looks Horrible. This has me intrigued. 

 

Here's my bottle after a quick shake.

 

The photo's show what it is like as a drop on a plate.

Next photo is on a cheap Humbrol flat brush, then with not much trouble, paint onto a NOT UNDERCOATED piece of Black shiny Plasticard, the small lines are just one dab with the tip of the brush. This is more or less what I did on the Camel's instrument panel.

I think yours must have been mis-filled somewhat maybe?

Their ModelAir Aluminium brush paints really well also.

 

DSC_0020DSC_0021DSC_0022DSC_0023 (2)

 

Not very scientific but it may just be a variance in quality in production.

 

Davey.

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1 hour ago, DaveyGair said:

I think yours must have been mis-filled somewhat maybe?

More likely that it’s been sat on the shelf untouched, feeling somewhat unloved for about 8-10 years. I picked up that pot and a couple of the silvers just to try them out and regretted it, but back then I was still using Games Workshop’s metallics which were exceptional in their coverage regarding ‘grain size’ and never really went back to the Vallejo.

The newer ‘Metal Color’ ones are completely different and much better, some of the newer pots I’ve bought recently even have little shaker balls in them.

 

Mart

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