Sunday, October 26, 2014

Vallejo Game Air: Using Vallejo's New Airbrush Paints

Many readers are familiar with, and probably use, Vallejo's awesome line of military airbrush paints: the Model Air line. Can't say enough about Model Air paint. Great pigment density, brilliantly pre-thinned for airbrush use. Fantastic coverage. What could Vallejo possibly do to make their line of airbrush paints any better? about a line of bright colours more suited to fantasy and science fiction figures? That's just what they've done. Released in Europe a few months ago, their new Game Air line got great reviews...and it's finally available in North America.

Nothing tells you more about the differences between Model Air and Game Air than this single photo. On the left, there are the muted historical military tones of the Model Air line: USAF Dark Grey, USAF Green and IDF Green. Now, on the right, we have some of the new Game Air colours: Ultramarine Blue, Magic Blue and Electric Blue. Perfect for so many fantasy and sic-fi projects.

So, my first project to try out the Game Air colours was this Mage Knight metal figure of a Crypt Worm. Once I had finished it, I realized that it probably wasn't the best example because I did it up in muted organic colours...but it did at least utilize pink...something not in the Model Air line!

Anyway, starting with the base figure, this two-part model was glued down to a base, primed and inked...and I painted up the flagstone base first. Now to move onto the paint job.

The Vallejo brochure that came with the Game Air colours suggested a few triads of paints that can go well together. I wanted a rotting flesh look for the Crypt Worm, so I used their suggested Khaki—Dead Flesh—Bonewhite progression. At first glance, this didn't make much sense to me; This wasn't a progression of a single colour. But I wanted to give it a try anyway.

I'm glad I did. the subtle brown from the Khaki and green from the Dead Flesh worked really well together. I added in the Squid Pink to provide colour interest around the mouth and underbelly areas of the worm.

To pop out the model's detail, I washed with Sepia, Fleshtone and Red.

I then went in and brush-highlighted the raised portions of the sculpt. This is where I would normally go to standard hobby acrylic paints...but I wanted to see how versatile the Game Air line was, so I used them with a brush. The highlights were painted on with the Dead Flesh, Bonewhite and Stonewall Grey colours.

Super-happy with the results. The thin, but dense, Game Air paints provided great coverage and translucency during the highlighting pass.

And the tonal variations I was able to lay down initially with the airbrush carried through to the final figure.

So, overall, this new line of paints from Vallejo gets two thumbs up from me. I picked up my set at the Game Store in Red Deer, south of Edmonton.

'Til next time.


  1. I have liked the air colors that aren't metallic...but had an awful time spraying their metallic colors. (had to chuck one of the bottles, as it actually had clumps in it).

    Make sure when using the premixed bottles that you test it on a piece of paper or towel first to make sure there isn't anything floating in there. Once it's in the airbrush, it's a lot of pain and suffering to unclog everything!

    1. Greg,
      You can always brush-paint the Model Air metallics if you don't like airbrushing them. Really nice brush characteristics.

  2. Nice review and an excellent result.
    Thanks, Kevin.

  3. Do you mind saying how much the set cost? Have had a real tough time tracking these down *anywhere* in Canada. The sets are usually pretty pricey, especially when compared to buying the individual paints (which goes against common sense actually) but beggars cant be choosers....

  4. Kickin123,
    Unfortunately, no price break. Full retail on the whole schabang. As far as I know, the set is just coming available at wholesalers in Canada now (of which there are only two, I believe). You'd have to bug a local retailer to bring them in (as I did).