One of the most popular methods of obtaining variation in color and depth in the surface paint layer on a model kit is to use a range of colors to provide shadows and highlights. Vallejo
has provided a simple paint system in one single box to allow every modeler the ability to create this effect in a specific color pattern. Intended for air brushing, on a very small scale model or a figure, the paints can be hand brushed.
The Bronze Green painting system includes 6 8ml bottles of color: #601 grey primer, #018 camouflage black green, #250 bronze green, #252 1st light, #225 light green, and #522 satin varnish. The paints are placed in a small plastic tray. While not very big they provide enough paint to complete more than one model kit.
Step by steps instructions are provided on the back of the box. The Tamiya 1/35 scale Cromwell tank is used in the instructions as the demonstration subject.
- Step one is to coat the kit in primer
- Step 2 is the first color, black green, applied around profiles and details
- Step 3 is bronze green added to the center of panels and upper parts of the model
- Step 4 is 1st light, a lighter green, that is added to the most exposed areas of the surface, providing a lightened appearance to the paint surface
- Step 5 is light green, placed on specific areas to increase the lightened paint effect or call out specific details
- Step 6 is a coat of satin varnish
Seeing how easy it looked in the instructions, I gave it a go. Having a Tamiya Cromwell on hand, I began the paint application process. An important note here is to make sure to have a clean kit, wash it gently in soapy water to remove any release agent or oils on the surface of the plastic or the paint won't adhere and may bead up.
I did as the instructions show, starting with the primer coat. My experience with Vallejo
primer is that it goes on easily and with no issues. This time it went on "splotchy". I don't know what happened as I did not do anything different. I cleaned it up and used the primer I already had on hand, which went on much better. The application of each following color was effortless. All sprayed very smoothly. I used a Badger 150 at about 10psi. The paints were applied straight from the bottle. I did allow for a full day of curing time between coats. While my photos don't show it very well, the contrast between paint coats is really quite distinct and gives a very nice look of depth and variation.
Black green over the panel lines, edges and details, and also on the lower hull sides. Bronze green applied to the center of each panel area, and on the road wheels. 1st highlight applied to details, raised areas and lightly in the middle of panels, and on the wheel hubs and drive sprocket rims all came off effortlessly. I tested the light green, #225, on the hatch handles. It is too bright for my taste (I am not a fan of adding these bright highlights as they seem too strong, but others do prefer the contrast they provide-to each their own) but the color would do well representing paint on a worn or scratched area as part of the weathering sequence. Last was the satin primer, which went on easily but did leave a slight frosting effect in some areas. As I have not used Vallejo
clear varnish before I attribute that to user error.
In all, I am very happy with this product. It is easy to use, doing just what the instructions say will give you nearly identical results, and there is enough paint in the small bottles to complete a couple of kits at least.
The list price appears to be about $13.99 but in shopping around I have seen it as low as $9.99 US, with shipping costs putting it at about $15.00. Prices vary so shop around.