Help with Vallejo Paints

Hi All!

I’ve been building models for 35 years and have used Vallejo since it was really first available in the States.

Now to the problem…I’ve been airbrushing the joints on my kits with primer and then Mecha Dark Steel. Once I get the parts assembled such as the thigh and calf, when I then position that leg, the armor scrapes away the Dark Steel I put on the joint.

Are there any tips or tricks to prevent this without switching paints? I can’t use anything overly toxic since my 10 year old daughter builds at the same time I do.


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Welcome to the forum!

Sadly, I’m not as knowledgeable on model building as some of the others here (I only have the very bare basics at my disposal ffff), but I’ll try to help in the meantime! Could it be that the paint isn’t properly attaching itself to the plastic? I wonder if there’s some sort of trick to apply a finish to it, like how using hairspray on pencil sketches keeps the art from fading and getting smudged.

Also, it’s absolutely precious that you and your daughter build together, makes me wish I had started way earlier. :sob: I’m sure we’d all love to see what you’ve built!

The primer seems fine. I’m wondering if I’ve let the Dark Steel build up to much when airbrushing.

As for things I’ve built, nothing has been painted (some what sacrilegious to me) so I think I’ll post my first painted one :smiley:

Have you put a top coat over the dark steel?

If you want gloss you can use Pledge/Future floor polish right out of the bottle and it’ll give it a nice protective gloss coat. If you don’t want gloss you can add a flatting agent to it as well.

I have not. Would that prevent the armor plate from chipping the steel when the joint is moved?

Other paint will not really help some my be slightly better than others ( I will some time pray lacquer paints directly on to the plastic but you don’t want to use that stuff with kids about). The only way to stop this happening is either don’t move this kits parts or what I do is increase the gaps between armour and frame by gently sanding the outer frame parts that will rub on the inner parts, it a painful process but the only definitive way to stop it.

I think I’m going to have to sand for clearance which is a little scary since I’ll have to build the joint, check it, and then disassemble it for painting.

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I use a flat file this this type of sanding and remember to cut down the mail pegs to help with disassembling the kit.

As a few have stated, definitely throw some top coat on there. I know I Valejo makes gloss and matt/satin top coats. Would for sure help. May not fully prevent any chipping, but will at least slow it down.

Wouldn’t another coat of something cause the armor plate to rub on the joint even more?

Yes, and no. It’s going to rub on the clear coat first, so you won’t notice actual chipping of your color. As long as you aren’t posing over and over you should be able to get into the pose you want without seeing damage to your actual paint/color.

Thank you so much! I’ve loved the clear coats from Vallejo so I’ll give that a shot since I want the joint itself to be matte.

Does Future work well for the armor plate?

I’ve only used Valejo and MIG clear coats so I can’t comment on the Future.

Thanks! I’ve just gotten into Gundam and am trying to sort the the ddifferences compared to armor or figures.

Could it be that the paint is just too thick? I’m assuming you’re using acrylic unless Vallejo has a lacquer line now. I painted a few of my kits with Vallejo Model Color, both airbrushed and handpainted, and my experience with it has always led me to believe it goes on somewhat thick.

One you can try is sanding down the area of the armor plate that’s contacting with the joint and see if that helps.