by: Roman [ ]
Acrylicos Vallejo is one of the leading brands specialized in paints and other products for scale modelling (besides wargaming and fine arts branches). Initially they were offering every single possible colour tone as a separate paint jar, however many modellers became confused which paint to use and large excel sheets were available on different web pages with conversion of Vallejo paint codes into RAL or Tamiya or any other system. Luckily, they started making thematic sets where the paints received more “standard” names, common for modellers, I.E. German dark grey, German dark yellow, etc. These sets are divided into “AFV painting system” that are dedicated to colour modulation approach, “Weathering system” for weathering, and “Camouflage colours”. Let’s look closer on one of these sets.
The NATO armour paint set (ref 78.413) comes in a small cardboard box with image of a completed model on the front side of the package and step-by-step guidelines on camouflage application on the back. Here the text is sufficient to follow the steps in an appropriate way and what should be done is clearly captured. Inside there is a plastic tray with 6 paint jars. Unlike regular 17ml jars from Vallejo these are smaller – 8 ml each. This particular set consists of 1 acrylic primer and 6 model air paints. All jars (primer and paints) are ready to use straight from the box after some shaking.
For test purpose I took an old HobbyBoss Dutch Leopard 2 kit and built it OOB omitting small details. First I sprayed the acrylic primer (green). Using approximately 20psi on my compressor the airbrushing went without any issues and the adhesion of the primer on the plastic surface was really impressive. The drying occurs almost immediately and the coverage is rather good as well. However, I think the 8ml jar would be not sufficient for priming 2 modern tanks like Leopard as you go in several fine coats and I used more than half of the jar to cover my model. As the primed surface dried very quickly I proceeded with adding green highlights as advised in the provided SBS. Here I opted for more controlled spraying to avoid masking and make sharp contrasts between the selected elements. The paint is perfectly diluted for airbrushing and I used 20psi again. Some might want to dilute the paint a bit more, but in this case I felt it was good as is. Next colour was NATO brown and it is in three tones; “base” tone and “highlight”. The “highlight” is Burnt Umber and it is quite bright in comparison to «dull» NATO brown. Of course this would disappear once weathered. Finally, there are 2 jars for NATO black – black base and “Dark Blue Grey” highlight. The application was done in a similar way to the above mentioned brown and adhesion was perfect again. Highlight was airbrushed on the edges and top horizontal surfaces that contained black camouflage. Noteworthy, this tone (Dark Blue Grey) is also great for imitation of rubber on tires.
Acrylicos Vallejo received lots of critique in the early days regarding clogging of the airbrush or accumulation of paint on the airbrush needle. In my case I had no problem spraying the paints from this particular set and as it smells a bit different from the paints that I bought several years ago I assume they improved the formula. The smell itself is not disturbing and even sweet. The paints marked as harmless for your health.
This is a great set of paints for NATO camouflaged vehicles. The colours are ready to use and do not require further alterations or dilutions. Adhesion and coverage is very good and a fast durable finish and application is a great feature. Definitely, this is a very good option for NATO armour fans that prefer acrylics without smell.