Great paints or a lost cause?


I've been using Games-workshop's (GW) line of paint for more years than I care t recall having started of with them as a Christmas present when I was about twelve I'm now on the other side of thirty so as you can tell that's a long time without broadening my painting horizons.

The real impetus to trying something new was in 2007, after not having painted for about a year (damn World of Warcraft sucked me in) I dug out my GW paints and to my horror discovered that out of around fifty pots all but ten had dried up!
I knew this was a problem on the new style pots but I was pretty annoyed that nearly my whole collection had gone drier than a Arabs sandal on me.

Having also seen the price hikes on most GW items I decided to start searching the net for alternative paints to replace my losses, I had read many good things about the Vallejo line of paints so I took the plunge and ordered the Game colour set.

A few days later I was the owner of a nice range of replacement colours for my beloved GW paints, Vallejo are quite cheeky and name their colours in a similar vein to GW for example.

GW colour Vallejo colour
Bad Moon Yellow Bald Moon Yellow
Blood Red Bloody Red
Warlock Purple Warlord Purple

[block4]Bench Test[/block4]

I grabbed some figures and sat down to give them a try, first impressions are great they felt a little different from the paints I was used to but I had no problems adapting my painting style.

They seem to be a lot smoother than GW paints I believe this could be due to a finer ground pigment used to colour the paint.

The Vallejo range is more consistent than GW's, I have found in the past some colours from GW have been truly awful for coverage, translucency and viscosity on the other hand all the colours I've tried so far from Vallejo have been fantastic, yes some variation does occur between colours but does not veer from dishwater to treacle consistency.

I was hooked on the game colour paints but found the colours to be to bright when I started to paint some world war 2 miniatures (same problem as GW paints colour range)

That's when I discovered the model colour range from Vallejo, and what a range it is!

Consisting of over 180 paints, washes, alcohol based metallics and special effects I was really spoiled for choice.
The colour range is much more muted and down to earth than the GW range, and I feel my painting has come on leaps and bounds since picking up a lot of the range, I now find myself using the model rather than game colours about 95% of the time, with more shades of each colour it even saves mixing paints for highlights on rank and file troops and just spoils the painter with choice.


Well there is a couple of downfalls with the Vallejo paints which I will cover in a minute but first I'd like to mention the bottle and price comparisons.
The Vallejo come in nice little dropper style bottles which don't dry up!
The paints are also a lot cheaper than GWs, List prices for Vallejo paints are £1.80 for 17ml where as GW are £2.25 for 12ml overall that equates to a GW paint being 88% more expensive (gw costs 1.87 per 10ml Vallejo 1.05 per 10 ml)
The two catches are that the metallic colours are not quite as good as GW's they are thicker and it is a little more difficult to get a good flat coat with them and one final caveat is that once you have tried Vallejo's paints you will want the whole range!

[block4]Summing Up[/block4]


  • consistency in quality
  • huge range of colours
  • low price
  • dropper bottles so no dried up paints


  • metallics no quite as good as GWs

9star- Overall