June 15, 2013

Product Spotlight: Vallejo Model Washes

Vallejo Model Washes
The more sophisticated modeling seems to get the more devices and materials come onto the market to make these new effects possible. Pastels, textures and washes are now part of most modeler’s toolboxes.

Here we are featuring Vallejo Model Washes... so just what is a wash? 
A wash is a very thin paint mix. The exact proportions will vary depending on the effect required, but typically a mixture of 5% paint to 95% thinner would be used.  Many types of paint can be used – oil, enamel, acrylic and even soluble water colors. It is important that the type of paint used does not affect the underlying base paint surface so it is common to put a protective layer of varnish on the base coat of paint before applying a wash.

The Purpose of a Wash:
The aims of putting a wash on a model are to enhance the surface detail increase the appearance of depth. The small size of figures and models means that surface details may not be very visible because items on the model or figure will not cast shadows the way the full-size object would. To an extent, the wash technique is a little like painting shadows and darkness. It is complimented by dry brushing which aims to highlight raised areas. The washing and dry brushing techniques when used together help to bring a model or figure to life, add realism and create visual impact.

The VMW Range:
Vallejo Model Washes are a range of eighteen new color washes for armor, vehicles, planes, ship, figures and war game figures. Each of the colors can also be mixed together to achieve further variations of shade and can be used with airbrush or brush, according to the model and the effect desired. Model Wash can be mixed with pigments to achieve a wide range of effects such as oil and flaked rust, mud, earth, dust, moss, etc. and when mixed with acrylic colors, they further help achieve the look of heavy wear and weathering.

The washes have been formulated with a modified acrylic resin so that the superficial tension is similar to that of the traditional solvent-based washes and filters, but with the advantage of working with a water-based medium. Average drying time is around 20 minutes. If several layers of wash are to be applied, it is best to wait around 40 minutes between applications. They can be applied by brush or airbrush, and painting tools are cleaned with water. Each of the new washes comes in a 35 ml (1.18fl.oz.) bottle, attractively labeled and easy to read. Each of the washes has the traditional black, snap-lock tops that have been used on their larger paints and primers. The wash itself dries in around 15-20 minutes depending on the temperature and humidity of where you are working with them. You can also layer washes on top of each other as well. I found that these washes performed on top of Vallejo colors – but there must be a hard clear coat down first or you could suffer some deterioration of the original coat of paint.

The new Vallejo Model Wash Series makes a nice addition to the weathering rack on anyone’s bench. Safe, easy to use, easy to mix and easy to clean up using only water, these washes add some really nice blending and various effects to any model. Vallejo has supplied excellent various products used widely within the modeling community and the new washes stand with the long line of quality products.

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