I am very appreciative of Acrylicos Vallejo (AV) for sending new products for review, and I am equally appreciative of all the Review Corps crew members who take care of all of the legwork to get materials to reviewers and the completed reviews published for the modeling community. It is a privilege to be part of this manufacturer-modeler group effort.
I am pleased to see more specialized weathering and detail treatments from Acrylicos Vallejo. Each of these relatively transparent stains, coupled with thicker snow and grass, is designed to effectively simulate outdoor operating conditions. Using these stains will bring a vehicle out of the showroom and elevate it to a realistic operating appearance in the snow and grass, looking thoroughly traveled. Furthermore, all sorts of diorama materials can be dressed up to show weathered appearances. Each 40 ml bottle provides about 440 scale gallons of liquid in 1:35, so your diorama and vignette stock is easily covered.
A very nice step-by-step guide to using these effects is available on the Acrylicos Vallejo Website (see link above.) All of the environment effects tested were brushed, except for the Snow and the Crushed Grass, which were dabbed and rolled smooth with a toothpick. An annotated listing follows:
- 73.819 Rain Marks: Very thin, little stirring needed
- 73.820 Snow: Gooey, chunky paste, dabbed on from above, but readily smoothed
- 73.821 Rust Texture: High flow, bigger tip recommended for airbrushing, looks like metal flake in the bottle! Applied well with brush, thick stuff by comparison to others in this group, but stir well, do not shake
- 73.822 Slimy Green Dark: Very thin, bright yellow green, flows well into cracks and ponded well on low spots, good simulation of the real scummy thing, little stirring needed
- 73.824 Streaking Grime: Bright grayish green, a little darker than 822, little stirring needed
- 73.825 Crushed Grass: Fibrous green paste dries out to show a shiny fibrous texture
Since this review is evaluating stain quality to represent environmental effects, and the reader may have several applications in mind, I did not paint a model per se, but instead made a “test-bed” of white plastic sheet with a Tamiya 1:35 section of brick wall. The test bed was partly sprayed with gray primer and the bricks with a red brown acrylic, with the base dotted with a black felt-tip marker to illustrate contrast. I also did a drip test on a plastic sheet. I inclined the surface about 15 degrees, put a drop of each stain under the corresponding stain number, and teased each drop downward to represent a liquid flow. The Snow and the Crushed Grass did not flow down, so I flattened them out to show opacity. I did not shake, but stirred each stain to bring up all of the pigment. I discovered that the working time is reasonable. Please look at the test bed photos to see the contrasts.
Conclusions and Recommendation
These stains worked flawlessly, very certainly creating a mossy, weathered effect. The top bricks on the wall look positively slippery. The rust shows a good flake appearance when thickly applied. The rainmarks did not turn out clearly on the bricks, but did look like a wet dust wash on the test sheet. The snow is fairly thick and coarse-grained, representing a wetter snowfall, not a dry high-mountain powder. The grass retains a shiny appearance when dry, and has a bit of fresh-cut fairway appearance, but careful application of other brownish weathering tones might make the effect even better. I am pleased with the effects on the tilted sheet, and look forward to putting all of them to work. My brushes cleaned easily with water, and there is no nasty chemical fume issue. A possible con to these stains is overuse. Be subtle!
I highly recommend these environment effects without reservation.
Thank you again to Acrylicos Vallejo and the Reviewer Corp, it was a lot of fun!