Friday, 22 April 2011

Painting Vehicles – Part 1, Basecoating a Valkyrie/Vendetta

I’ve split this in two and will be showing techniques spread over two vehicles simply because I got bed/no usable pictures of the second part of the Vendetta paint job, so all the weathering will be demonstrated on something else :)

I’ve made several posts in the past on both airbrush use and vehicle painting, but I’m at a stage now where I feel my “technique” if it can be called that is both more effective and streamlined. however for those of you wanting a slightly less beaten look, or wanting those introductory airbrush articles the following posts might be of interest.

A note on primer.

I now use a flat grey halfords car body primer for everything I paint. I like the neutral tone, and the grippy surface. if you use black, you WILL need to apply more paint and in more coats, and if you use white, you will get brighter more vibrant results.


The very first thing for this colour scheme is to give the while model a coat of VMC Iraqi sand. the slightly pink cast adds a very authentic desert camo feel to the rest of the paint. you can of course substitute any light tan or khaki here.


While this coat Dries I apply a layer of humbrol maskol to the clear plastic parts of the canopy. this allows me to spray the canopy the same as the body, but without risk of damaging the clear plastic.

do take care however not to get this on the frame, as it will lift any paint that lands on it.




The next step is to hit the raised areas, upward facing surfaces and any angles that would catch the light such as the bend in the wing a dusting of a lighter colour, here I used VGC bonewhite. this provides some tonal variation, and a sense of highlighting.


I then block out all the metallic areas with black. this provides a solid ground for the next stage which is the careful dry brushing of the metals.

other metals are picked out too, such as the brass engine cowls




Drybrushing is absolutely best done with a large, soft brush, and a literally dry brush. there should be no liquid paint at all remaining, just a transfer of dry pigment, such as you might get from a dusty rag.

I also give the Khaki areas a drybrush with bonewhite to bring out the raised edges.



Careful masking of the underside of the hull is done with masking tape, making sure good contact is gained and that no bleed will occur.

During the spraying, the paint is kept to a very dry application, allowing no pooling, this further reduces the risk of bleed, as does control of the direction of spray, making sure not t spray “up, under” the tape. 


The accessories are sprayed at the same time, and the metallic weapons drybrushed and detailed.






The pilots and cockpit are painted using various colours, keeping them bright so they still be visible through the cockpit






And the canopy is sprayed and glued in place.





At this point, the basework is done, these stages are universal to all my vehicles, the next stages however vary, but I’ll try to run through -

Applying decals

Klear coat

Sponging on scratches

White spirit wash

Rust spotting/weather streaking

Oil/grease and soot

Weathering powders and dirst/dust.

Might take me a few days to get those done, so bear with me, and thanks for reading.


  1. Good work mate. I never thought of using a car primar on models. What kind off effect does it give and how much citedal paint do you need to cover it?

  2. ITs a very nice matte surface, and quite grippy too.

    as for coverage, because its a nice flat grey most paints cover very well, I do have some issues with the normal colours like some yellows and some lighter pigments, but since I always make sure to basecoat with a colour I know will help that coverage, I rarely have issues.

    I use this primer for literally everything, and If I get chance I'll make it a short post, so I can use pictures :)

  3. Cool thanks mate I would love to see how you do it and what effect it gives stage by stage.

  4. Just as these models need a decent paint job, so do real vehicles. You could get experts from to help you do so no matter what vehicle that might be.


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