Tool Review
Vallejo acrylic white primer
Vallejo Acrylic - Urethane white primer 73.600
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by: Nathan Ram [ METOOSHELAH ]


Primer is probably the most used substance in modeling. It is used to give the model a first, even coat, so as to help the modeler detect flaws in his or hers model. The primer serves also as an agent, which forms a strong bond between the paint, and the model itself. This feature is particularly important, as some paints do not adhere to the model well, or do not adhere equally over different materials (plastic, resin and metal) that are used in the hobby.
It seems as Vallejo, maker of fine model color ranges are trying to make themselves more relevant than ever to the modeler. It has started a new pigments line, and now it has released an acrylic primer.
The primer comes in a 60ML (or 2.02 US fluid ounces) with a nice pouring spout (just like the one in the Vallejo thinner). Unlike other primers, this one is white. I for one prefer the gray primers, as they are neutral color, with no effect on the coat above them. The white tone of the Vallejo primer might lend a lighter shade to the coat above it, so a relatively heavy coat will be needed.
In order to give the more comprehensive review of this product, I will be comparing it to the primer I normally use - Tamiya's gray surface primer. I will go through spraying both products on plastic, and on PE (I don't have any resin item that I can test them on). After the coats will have dried, they will be sprayed with my colors of choice – Tamiya's X-3 (royal blue) and XF-23 (light blue). The primers and colors will be sprayed by Iwata hp-cs.
the tests
First, the primers were sprayed on bare plastic. You can see in the photos that the Vallejo primer, gives an adequate result, but in the bottom line is inferior to the Tamiya primer. Note the uneven coverage of the Vallejo primer compared to the Tamiya primer (pictures 1-7: the dark blue bracket in picture one shows the test areas. blue circle is to show the uneven coverage). Normally, I wouldn't bother with it as it seems petty, but I do like an even coat of primer before I start painting, so as to make sure that further coats of paint will have something to "hold tight" too.
Whilst the plastic was drying, I went ahead to test the primer on leftover PE. Again, both primers were sprayed directly over the subject. Alas, the Vallejo primer proved to be inferior again, and more notably that on the plastic. The uneven coverage is very much visible to the eye, and simply won't do (pictures 8-12; blue circles marks places of uneven coverage).
When the primers have dried on the plastic, I have sprayed the aforementioned colors on them. This time, the Vallejo gave a good result, as the colors adhered very well and evenly to it (pictures 13-17).
Cleaning: the reason I add a paragraph regarding cleaning is this: after I have finished using my airbrush, I usually spray lacquer thinner once or twice, and it gets the brush fairly clean. Don’t attempt this with the Vallejo primer or you will be removing bits of white goo from your brush, in a very frustrating way (the nozzle was filled with these). So, what you should do is this: spray clean water once or twice, and then, after most of it is out of your brush, you can spray your AB cleaner (though I do recommend disassembling your AB after priming).

Even though this product has proven somewhat inferior to the primer I usually use it has its strong points. It comes in a large bottle (60ML compared with Tamiya's 40ML) and has virtually no annoying stench. The easy to pour spout also adds up, as it is easier to pour the primer into the AB cup without any additional tool or without getting any on the lid (which eventually dries and simply jams the stopper.
Highs: Large quantity; spout; no stench.
Lows: Uneven coverage, especially on PE.
Verdict: Some improvements are needed before I switch to it from the Tamiya primer.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  PUBLISHED: May 19, 2010
  NATIONALITY: Spain / España

Our Thanks to Vallejo Acrylics!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Nathan Ram (metooshelah)

Copyright ©2021 text by Nathan Ram [ METOOSHELAH ]. All rights reserved.


Hi Rob, I've used 30psi for some of the 'colours' although the grey/white is next to be sprayed on a future build. I am going to try the grey at 40psi. As modellers we should avoid spraying at set PSI's as temperature & humidity can be contributing factors. Regards Brian
JUN 21, 2012 - 08:32 AM
I usually am using 25-30psi for the primers.
JUN 21, 2012 - 03:06 PM
So do I. A little higher than usual
JUN 21, 2012 - 07:54 PM
I JUST got the grey Vallejo primer, and used it for the first time. The first time i tried to spray it, I thinned it, which was a major mistake. I found that spraying this stuff works perfectly when using it straight out of the bottle. I found that about 20 pounds through my Iwata airbrush worked just fine. Cleanup was an issue at first, but I followed advice I got here on Armorama, and using SImple Green works great. Very nice stuff!
JUN 23, 2012 - 05:46 PM
Curt,glad it worked for you.Simple Green is good stuff.Jeff T.
JUN 24, 2012 - 12:48 AM
Thanks for the input on your pressure settings gents. I'll be giving the primer a try in a few weeks when I get closer to the painting stage of my current project. Rob
JUN 25, 2012 - 07:36 AM
Hi I spray the Vallejo primer at the same pressure as all other paints and that is around 15 to 18 psi. Paul
JUN 26, 2012 - 06:48 PM
The nice thing about this stuff is you can pretty much throw it on by brush and it will self level really nicely.
JUN 27, 2012 - 04:49 PM
That's true, it brush paints as well as it airbrushes! I never mentioned that this gives the Vallejo Black, Grey, and White primers a huge advantage. If you have done sanding or putty work, or need to check a seam for gaps, you can primer just that one small area with a brush (which will show up the flaws) and fix it before it's too late.
JUN 27, 2012 - 06:11 PM

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