My models

Pz.IV Ausf.H – Part 2: First coat


Encouraged by the success with stripping the paint on the Panzer, I was quite looking forward to making some further progress on this model. I took the opportunity of having this model ready for painting and decided to try some of the things I have learned during the recent workshop with Mike Rinaldi and replicate few things from his books.

My first step was rather usual – undercoat the kit in dark black color (Tamiya Nato Black). Then I have decided to try something different and applied the coat simulating red primer, for this I have used Vallejo Cavalry Brown (982). The shade looks very nice and is very close to the red primer I can remember from my early years, when I was helping my father painting metal roof on our house. The problem with this paint is that it is Vallejo. I guess the paint is not meant to be airbrushed, so I had to figure out how to do it. Straight from the bottle the paint is simply too thick to spray. I tried to thin it with Tamiya Acrylic primer (I recalled one of my friends saying this thinner should be used with Vallejo paints), however this has not really worked. Regardless of how much I thinned it, I ended up with this oozy muddy mix which got splattered every time I tried to apply it with airbrush.

At the end I thinned it with Tamiya’s Lacquer thinner and quite heavily at that. Even then the paint application was far from what my typical experience is with Tamiya acrylics. The paint still splattered a bit and it only worked because I needed full, opaque layer of paint. Should I need the semi-transparent layer I normally need to build color gradation, Vallejo is definitely not to be used.

One other problem with Vallejo paints is that in my experience they clog the airbrush. After longer time of airbrushing I simply need to clean the airbrush thoroughly with airbrush cleaner, which is quite tough stuff, so I really use only if the Lacquer thinner is not strong enough to do the job, which is not that often.

So if anybody out there has a secret method how to easily airbrush Vallejo paints, please share it.

Categories: My models

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6 replies »

  1. Hi

    Besides the fact that vallejo has his own thinner, you may try to use glass cleaner. Not the blue one, the transparent. It is cheaper and you willl have optimal resuts.

    I use “cristasol”, a glass cleaner made by Ajax, fairly commmon here in Spain.

    I hope it will help.



    • Hi Jose,
      thanks for advice, I should give it a try. I am always bit suspicious to use things like cleaners, but I know that many modellers find them helpful. At this time I tend to stick with Tamiya paints as I feel most comfortable with them.
      Anyhow I do appreciate your help very much.
      Thanks for reading my blog,
      Cheers from Canada,

  2. I think the problem is that Vallejo is not meant to be airbrushed. There is of course the separate line of Vallejo Air which are meant to be used with airbrushes.

    • HI DM, I encounter similar problems also with Vallejo Air paints or paints from other producers such as AK or Mig. Not sure why. Also I find the finish with these paints having kind-of latex look… I am sticking with Tamiya, just because they work best for me…

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