A Strategy for Brush Painting (in the U.S.A.)

If I lived in Europe I’d use Revell Aqua Color, but since I’m stuck here, I have to improvise.

Testors Model Master Acryl is the foundation of my paint collection. I now know I can supplement that with Badger Modelflex and Xtracrylix–but I wouldn’t really try too hard to find Xtracrylix unless there was literally no choice or option. Some RAF colors ARE hard to find, so Xtracrylix would provide them. Colors such as Hemp or Desert Pink, for example.

For white and yellow paint, I’ll use Tamiya gloss acrylic versions of these colors.

I wouldn’t waste my time or money on Humbrol or Vallejo products, with one very prominent exception. Vallejo Metal Color is one of the most important inventions (to me) of the twenty-first century.

So there you have it. Vallejo Metal Color. MM Acryl/Badger Modelflex. Tamiya gloss white and yellow. I also happen to like Tamiya flat black.

6 Replies to “A Strategy for Brush Painting (in the U.S.A.)”

    1. I have a–ahem–“sizable” collection of paint. The paint that I have works well for me, so there isn’t going to be a paint revolution. The only Revell colors I’ve used are dark green and gray. I’m told that coverage for white and yellow is no better than MM Acryl. Silver is supposedly good, so I might try that. I’ll gradually add Revell colors as needed, with an emphasis on “problem” colors. The demise of Polly Scale has meant that some colors have gone away, replaced by MM Acryl colors which are just wrong– WWII Luftwaffe being the worst.

  1. Which Luftwaffe colours have you seen that do it for you? They all seem to be different in their interpretations, especially your favourite; RLM02, with some being a beige, others like humbrol being a slate grey.

    Revell white has good coverage, but there is an issue; it isn’t white! I would call it an off white, or very light cream. Maybe that is why it covers well…..

    The Reds cover well.

    I actually haven’t tried the yellow yet. I have always used enamel yellow, so cannot vouch for it.

    1. I mix my own colors, mostly. RAF colors are very difficult to match AND they are super-well documented so it’s doubly frustrating. I have “versions” of RAF, USAAF, Luftwaffe, IJN, IJAAF, French, Soviet and Australian colors that I have mixed up myself. I rely on my own eye, mostly. I used to rely on Polly Scale but they went away, and before they went away they shipped a lot of color-defective paint just to rub salt in the wound. I have some “funny” FAA Dark Slate Grey from Polly Scale and some home-made Extra Dark Sea Grey that I’m not entirely happy with. Model Master Acryl colors are hilariously wrong most of the time. The easter bunny blue they sell as USN Blue Gray is a hoot. I find that if I mix the color myself, I have only myself to blame if it’s wrong. More comfortable that way.

  2. I’ve really been enjoying going backwards through your blog posts.

    Maybe you explain it someplace further back, but I haven’t gotten there yet, so I’ll just ask: why do you dislike Vallejo paints?

    I don’t like it for airbrushing, but for hand brushing, I found it to be very forgiving. Very little streaking, good opacity, great range of colors.

    I like using it for painting fine details, but it is more fragile than a tin shack in a hurricane. Is this what you dislike about it?

    1. Vallejo Model Color is the paint I do not like. Vallejo Model Air is usable, and Metal Color is wonderful. The problem with the Model Color paint is that it’s very thick and chunky, and when I thin it to the point where it should flow out and self-level, it beads up. If I don’t thin it, the thick and chunky paint retains brushmarks and THEN it DRIES with the brushmarks remaining. After it dries, it can be scraped from the plastic quite easily. It’s possible to accidentally scrape it off. In every way, Vallejo Model Color is a TERRIBLE paint for brushing. NONE of the above problems exist with Revell Aqua Color or MM Acryl. There may be a way to apply Vallejo Model Color to models and have it work out, but I don’t paint that way and I’m not interested in learning. My methods work. It’s the Vallejo Model Color paint that fails.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.