Paint Review: Revell Aqua Color

This paint is not sold in the U.S.A.–but it is widely available in Europe.

Revell now sells the paint in the U.S.A.

Now, for a story…

I dug out my old bottle of Revell Aqua Color dark green. It hadn’t been opened in years. When I unscrewed the cap, I found the dreaded sight of a paint that had almost gone “solid.” A big chunk of solid paint-stuff filled the bottle. So thick I could have pried it out and sliced it into slices. I thought “that’s that–no way will this paint come back.”

Then I added some water and began to stir. I didn’t expect much….but the more I stirred and the more water I added, the more I thought I was witnessing a miracle. The paint came back. Like an old enamel, left to dry out in the tin, the Revell ACRYLIC came back and turned into usable paint with the addition of some water and a lot of stirring.

Perfect finish. Perfect adhesion. AND it can be brought back from the dead by stirring in water.

  • Self Leveling
  • Need for Additives
  • Coverage
  • Proper Drying Time
  • Compatibility
  • Stippling
  • Fingerprinting
  • Adhesion
  • Line Drawing
  • Color Selection
  • Smell
  • Price


I’m updating my review (again!). This paint is very good. I can’t say that it’s bad in any way– now that I’ve had a chance to look at an actual Revell paint rack. So, now that it’s available at U.S. hobby stores, I have upgraded my review. You can do a LOT worse than this paint. If you build plastic models, and you don’t use an airbrush, then this is probably a paint that you will rely on pretty heavily in the coming years. The past is gone and it would be irresponsible of me not to recommend this product.


24 Replies to “Paint Review: Revell Aqua Color”

  1. I know you don’t care, but for those readers who do, it sprays perfectly with warm water and a touch of flow improver when thinned. Best of both worlds. Windex then cleans the airbrush nicely afterwards. Truly a friendly, forgiving paint in all regards.

    Now, at least look at some of the UK shops that sell it online. If the postage is acceptable to me here on the other side of the world, surely it would be less to the US? Unless some strange economic nonsense is afoot.

    1. Just while I am here, a problem with the bottles that adds to drying out; sometimes the lid doesn’t go on perfectly, as your grey paint lid there. This is caused by two little prongs that always bend the first time you open the paint jar. Get some sidecutters, and cut them clean off. They will then seal up again easily, making sure the paint doesn’t dry out.

      And don’t overfill the container, otherwise the lids don’t like going on and air inside can pop the lid off.


    These guys have given me a decent price after ordering and then letting them get back to me with a price. There are others, but I was happy with what they quoted, so went with it.

    Now I didn’t think about the paint price itself. Converted into AU dollars, and up against AU hobby paint prices, this is a winning price – for me – but then I thought ‘whoa, with Dan being in the US, he is probably used to paying bugger all for these paints’ so I guess it may not be such a great deal for you after all. Maybe it is. The conversion for the US dollar at current would be $2.34 per 18ml pot.

    There may be cheaper shops there, but this one had the paint, and other odds and ends I wanted, with a decent delivery price.

    1. Whoa is right. I don’t know what “bugger all” means exactly, but if it means that the hobby stores tie me up and have their way with me then you are correct sir. I calculated the cost of ordering the Aqua Color direct from eModels and it’s an incredible $3.51 American including postage. That is about 25 cents less than I pay for MM Acryl and I don’t get it delivered to my door. I’ll have to forgo the neolithic customer service provided by the grumpy old men at the local shop, but c’est la guerre. Internet future, here I come!

  3. Great news!

    So that means you now have a formidable arsenal at your fingertips (well, as soon as any order touches down at your house).

    Hobby shops have brought this on themselves really. I have begged, pleaded, and shook my fist at the local stores to get what I want in, and they always say ‘No, we don’t carry xyz’ or ‘Our supplier doesn’t carry xyz. Honestly, they are using a business model that died in the 90s, and wonder why so many of them go out of business. I am all for keeping local jobs, which is why, in spite of KNOWING I could get things via the internet for cheaper and get the actual things I want, I have tried to give them a chance to bring in what I want.

    What can you do…

    1. No primer. The only “priming” I do is the application of paint to check a seam or some other blemish that’s been repaired or filled. I’ll apply a coat of the regular acrylic paint to see if it needs more work. Revell and the other paints I recommend stick to bare plastic just fine. The adhesion isn’t quite as good as enamel, but since I don’t use masking tape it doesn’t matter.

  4. So okay I’m going to order some Aqua Color.
    I have reduced my thinking processes to that of gibbering idiot on one quest— to decide on the correct Red Baron red. I’ve researched everything I could find on the web and several good books. I have looked at the fabric and wood artifacts in the Brit and Aussie war museums. Bugger all, every damn one looks different. None of the colors suggested by “experts” jive with each other or quotes from the Baron hisself. I’d love to hear
    from anyone who has delved into this and has formed an opinion, Vermillion, Carmine, Red oxide, Maroon, bright RGB red, —–arrgh any old Red —–.

    1. If I ever build that Dr. I I have in the stash, it’s going to look like this.

      Blood red (not Testors Bloode Red). All over. Like some kind of David Cronenberg thing.

  5. Hey folks. Revell Aqua is readily available on eBay. The sellers are in the UK, and seem to have most of the wide range of colors. Pricing is reasonable as is shipping. I ordered 6 colors that arrived in the promised
    if long, time frame.

  6. Hey folks…
    Revell Aqua is coming to North America,. to Canada in June, and USA in August. Also their enamels, spray cans, and etc. supplies. I just hope that a wide selection of colors will be included by Revell and dealers.

  7. Just received from my online hobby store my 3 bottles of Revell Aqua I purchased from my online hobby store hobbylinc. The first impression are negative, the tins are tiny, like the size of the little Testor’s paint bottles of old. The writing on the square tins is almost invisible and it does not look easy to open. The price of $3.29 seems a little high. I hope it brushes better.

  8. I bought about a dozen colors from Hobbylinc. They were $2.99 each. These come in square plastic bottles, not tins. 18 ml which is a bit more than you’d get in the old Model Master Acry bottles that were 15ml. A bit awkward to open at first, but it works. The three colors I’ve tried so far brush like a dream, self leveled very nicely with no brush marks, no adhesion problems. I applied over primer and bare plastic. Cleaned up easily with water. I’ve only tried a few of the darker colors so I don’t know how the lighter ones cover, but the three is tried I got complete coverage in one coat. Great paint I just wish they had a bit better color selection!

  9. The actual Revell color chart has a wide range of many many many colors. Yes it would be good if more folks like Hobbylinc carried more of them….. make noises for more.

  10. I like the Revell Aqua, but the names they give their colors are like like i am doing errands for Velasquez or Bob Ross. Where is the Japanese Green or the nato green or the rubber black?

  11. Gona give aqua brushing 1/35 pt 596. Small parts on spure . read mission model paints not so good for brushing? Any suggestions ? Testors is no longer made.taymia seems ok but revelle has top rating. Need some advice thanks

    1. Welcome aboard. You’ll find that the illusion of being on a cruise ship will dissipate rapidly if you upset the captain. My paint reviews may be unfocused but they contain the information you seek. TLDR: Badger MODELflex

      Badger MODELflex is the last American paint that’s made using an “ammonia” formula. This is what I consider the best type of model paint for me (not best brand– TYPE). Revell Aqua is “similar” but not the same. It’s also hard to get in the U.S. (i.e. not at my local hobby store). Xtracrylix is also “ammonia” type paint but it’s also hard to get and glossy.

      Sadly, this is all bad news for brushers. The airbrush NWO is taking over and we are now fighting a guerilla war to save our lungs and lungs of the babies yet to be born and future of a free and righteous land where eagles sing and strange dark birds eat all the food from my bird feeder and I’m really getting tired of it and what happened to all the squirrels?

    2. UPDATE:

      While I was telling the kids about how we used to have to take drugs and hallucinate our own videos, I totally missed the Warhammer revolution and, like a typical old fogey, I began to complain about how things have changed…

      Now I know that for us brushpainters– the world is a very friendly place. All you have to do is perform an “about face” and march AWAY from the plastic model airplane kits and TOWARD the Warhammer mob. Once you go Warhammer, you don’t go back– except, of course, WE go back, carrying strange tales of newfangled paint and model kits that sell for THREE HUNDRED BUCKS (gasp) and we go back to our plastic model airplanes, but we cheat and use the Warhammer paint on them.

      Best of all possible worlds…

      1. The Revell line can be funny, but covers many applications pretty well for us. Let’s take the RAF for fun. Revell does great for Dark Earth, Dark Green, Medium Sea Grey, Ocean Grey, Sky, Extra Dark Sea Grey, and so on. They may not all be NAMED properly, but they are excellent matches (if you want to know them, let me know). The only thing it lacks are the desert colours, though Middle Stone can be done with an easy mix, and Azure Blue is…well, to date, there has only been one paint manufacturer that has pulled off a 100% correct Azure Blue, Colourcoats enamel, so anything in the ballpark is what most modellers use. Finding a light, pastel blue and adding a dash of red to it is the usual way to make a rough Azure Blue, but Revell, like most hobby paint manufacturers, lacks good blues for this purpose, except maybe in the gloss section.

        Warhammers Citadel paint line has virtually nothing to cover any of these colours, and I wouldn’t know where to start trying to mix them. I have scoured the colours, bought a few that were “recommended”, and so on. Never had any luck. I do use them in my figure painting selection though, along with Coat D’Arms and some other “figure” paint lines. They also have the unfortunate aspect of having a super thick line, a normal line, and lots of other weird paint types; all of which contain different colours and shades.

        One thing I do like about the figure painting lines of paint is that most of them are uniformly matt colours, with the user adding gloss varnish to any area they wish to shine up. Something the hobby paint manufacturers should have picked up.

        I am very interested to see what you have discovered about these paints, but I daresay these aren’t the droids we are looking for.

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