Vallejo Model Colour - Basic Tones and Shades Recommendations
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Thread: Vallejo Model Colour - Basic Tones and Shades Recommendations

  1. #1

    Default Vallejo Model Colour - Basic Tones and Shades Recommendations

    Hi guys,

    Another long time lurker, first time poster comes out of the wood-/pewter-/plastic-/insertobligatoryminiaturespunhere-work.

    After receiving a shed-load of miniatures recently (thanks, Reaper!), I want to get back into painting.
    I've had to throw away a lot of my GW paint for drying out (I know their reputation) and have been left with a lot of 'gaps' in my paint range that I'd like to fill in with Vallejo Model Color.
    Unfortunately, there are no shops near me that stock VMC, so I am force to purchase over the internet, and I've found the online swatches completely inaccurate.

    I'm after help finding about 3 or 4 VMC paint colours of complimentary (dark-, mid-, and light-tone) shades that can be used for pretty much any purpose (I'm a casual painter), namely:

    RED (perhaps Hull Red, Rojo[926], Vermillion/Scarlet)
    ORANGE (perhaps one of these could double as the highlight for red)
    YELLOW (I have Flat Yellow)
    OLIVE GREEN (perhap Olive Green as the mid-tone?)
    BLUE (perhaps Andrea Blue as a mid- or light-tone?)
    PURPLE (no idea)
    TURQUOISE (I have Turquoise)
    FLESH (I have Salmon Rose and Basic Skin Tone, but could do with other slightly more yellow tones too)

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
    (they don't have to be based on the mid-tone, eg. a brown, rather than an orange could shade a yellow).


  2. #2


    Hiyas Comic and welcome to CMON!

    Of course, with painting minis, it's best if you have a good number of paints as this will cut down on mixing. But, I can appreciate people being on a budget and not being able to have a whole lot, too. It basically comes down to your tastes and your minis. For me Vallejo flesh tones are too yellow looking (but I use them as gold NMM colors) so I get Cork Brown and lighten it with white. Cork Brown is also a nice mid brown, so it can be used on leather things.
    But, lets go through your list-
    Red- For a shade, Calvary Brown is nice and ruddy and can be used for rust. As for Highlight, I like Scarlet or just adding a peachy color like Light Brown and a bit of white.
    Orange- Shade with Orange Red if you're using Bright Orange as a base- and again, you can use a peach color or go more yellow and add dark sand or Golden Yellow for highlights.
    Yellow-... Y'know, ask anyone and this color is just tricky. I try and go with a yellow-orange like Light Orange for shading. I've tried ochre colors and they just come out mustard looking. You could also go the slightly green route if the yellow is going to be more acid-y or for a Striking Scorpion with Yellow Green. As for highlight, just add white or use Light Yellow.
    Olive Green- I have a ton of these for my Orcses, and I usually mix Med. Olive with something- a dark blue or even grey for shade and a more "greener" green like Flat Green for highlight.
    Blue- I love blue, so I have a bunch of these, but I find myself gravitating towards Dark Prussian Blue/ Dark Blue/ Andrea Blue for shade/ base/ highlight for most blues, but I like the "oriental blues" which are like Azure which are more blue-purples for lighter blues when mixed with white.
    Purple- Dark Prussian Blue can be mixed with Violet for a nice shade here, and Purple with a bit of white or Pink can be used for highlights.
    Turquoise- Blue Green mixed with Dark Prussian Blue (see how handy this color is for me?) or just DPB mixed with Turquoise for shade, and Turquoise with a bit of Deep Sky Blue (which can pretty much be simulated by adding white to Andrea Blue).
    Flesh- Like I said, I pretty much use Cork Brown and add white, so CB is my shade, and about 20% CB rest white is the highlight (or I add a beige color like Iraqi sand or Buff)

    Hope this helps!

  3. #3


    Hi Chrispy,

    Thanks for your advice!
    I'm getting closer to narrowing down the colours that I need. I think I have 25 on the list so far.

    Are there any metals that are good? And if so, which should I grab?
    I have the basic GW metallic colours, but I am willing to replace them.


  4. #4


    It's also worth checking out Reaper Master Series paints. They are similar to Vallejo (dropper bottles) and are already organized into the dark, mid, and light triads. Plus I love their skin tones.

    For metals take a look at the Vallejo Model Air paints. Their grey metals are really nice. I might try their Silver, Gungrey, and Black (metallic). Or just those first two. For some reason the model air yellow metals are just a little weird, the colors seem off. So I'd stick with Model Color for that. Their gold and bronze should get you pretty far. Just be aware Model Color sells acrylic metals (Gold 70.996) and also alcohol based metals (Gold 70.791). The alcohol based ones are listed under "Oros al Alcohol / Liquid Gold." Alcohol based metallics can be very good, but you'll need to a special thinner to clean your brush and ideally separate brushes. Water can cause the metallic pigments to oxidize and any particles left on the brush when you switch back to acrylics can cause trouble. So just make sure you're ordering the type of paint you want.

  5. #5


    Not to high-jack this thread, but I'm a newbie to all things miniature painting. Just regarding the Vallejo Model Air paints - are these fine to paint with just using a brush?

  6. #6


    @ComicJam: For flesh colors, check out the Vallejo "Panzer Aces" fleshtones. The Panzer Aces line of colors is the same as the Model Color ones (in terms of paint formulation), just slightly different colors. The fleshtones are really nice; I find the regular Model Color skintones to be a bit too orange...

    @Lussuria: Yes, you can brush paint the Model Air paints.

  7. #7


    Yes, when I use the Model Air metallics I do it with a brush. As far as I know, acrylic airbrush paint is the same as any other acrylic paint, its just thinned down a bit more so it will flow through the airbrush better. Aside from the metallics I usually avoid airbrush paint since you can just thin regular acrylic and use it with a brush or an airbrush.

    On a side note, Vallejo's Model Air line also has a red and a blue metallic paint which their Model Color line does not. Not something you'd usually need, but they can be great for the right project.

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by Bailey03 View Post
    Aside from the metallics I usually avoid airbrush paint since you can just thin regular acrylic and use it with a brush or an airbrush.
    true, but there are a few really good colors in the VAC line, that are worth to check out.
    Also the pigments are grounded smaller than in other acrylic paints (so it clogs the AB less), because of that I feel they go on smoother (of course it could be just my imagination ), but I really love the VAC black (better than the VMC one) it just flows so nice.

  9. #9
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    I'm going to disagree with Bailey03 for what I consider a good reason VAC White and Black are both much better paints than the VMC versions and because of the thinner compositions are better colours to use for mixing in.

    Comicjam selecting colours based on others recommendations is difficult, we all have favourite colours we use that others will say they never use.
    My favourites that get used on 99% of my figures are as follows;


    and those are the ones I can recall of the top of my head.
    I believe in Karma, what you give, is what you get returned. Affirmation; Savage Garden
    Oh look my IQ results came in:-
    , and proud of it.

  10. #10


    Sorry for my late reply, peeps — I've been away.

    Thanks for all your advice and tips!
    I've gone for a big selection of about 40 paints. There are a few I've missed, but I think this will do for several paint jobs in the mean time!


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