Adventures in painting: Badger Minitaire & Vallejo review

A collection of model, book and wargame reviews, edited and maintained by members for the community.
User avatar
Posts: 161

Adventures in painting: Badger Minitaire & Vallejo review

Post#1 » Sep 13 2013 02:10

So, I had posted about getting 40% off Badger Minitaire Paints over here: ... 02#p267902

Here is what follows as the beginning of my adventure/review using my Badger Krome and Badger Minitaire airbrush (and Vallejo Surface Primer).



This is a fairly new (October 2012) line of airbrush paints made by the Badger Air-Brush Company, who makes an excellent line of airbrushes if you are interested.

There are 68 paints in the set with another 12 "ghost tint" colors, as well as Flat, Semi, and Gloss finishes (and a drying retarder).

The range and depth of colors is very nice (not as large as some, but I suspect they may expand it at some point).

I have heard about these paints, and having acquired an airbrush a couple months ago, decided to take the plunge and branch out. Not that what I was using wasn't bad. I was using a combination of paints: GW and Vallejo Model Color, and thinning them down enough to effectively shoot through my airbrush. The results were good, I felt...but I felt that at some point, the paint I was using was going to be my limiting factor when it came to improving my painting.

So, rather than wait, I bought 13 colors and one Ghost Tint.

And, upon recommendation by another painter, I 'upped' the quality of my primer. After all....if you start with a crappy foundation, the results, no matter how talented you are, will be crappy.

So I got a 200ml bottle of Vallejo Surface Primer (black). It's an acrylic-polyurethane primer that....oh my smooth as silk to apply, dries with a semi-gloss finish, and covers beautifully. I got mine, with s&h, for $19 and it was worth every single penny.

I hadn't used it through my airbrush until today, I was just brushing it on. With the brush I thought it was awesome. Through the is utterly and completely Image awesome. I can't describe how smooth it goes on.

It comes in other colors, so go get what you need. You have my blessing. You're welcome. And get me some more too while you're at it. I'll give you my address. Thanks. :roll:


Back story (every hero needs a back story)

I started with some rag-tag Kroot that I had gotten in a trade. They were completely buried in paint when I got them (like, kindergartner level of application). Gobs and gobs of paint were tossed on these poor fellas.

Into the Purple Power bath they went.....and stayed....and stayed.....and stayed.....I think they were there for about 2 1/2, maybe 3 weeks. The paint was that thick and tenacious. Like a fat man on a big burrito, it just would not let go. Even after scrubbing with every brush in my arsenal, there were still a few places that just wouldn't release the icky paint---not to mention that the primer stained the plastic, so there was no hope for these kroot ever coming out close to their original shiny grey.

I also noticed that some of this tenacious paint that had stuck around like an unwanted relative at the holidays was "cracked". I'd never seen anything like it before. It wouldn't come off. It happened on a crisis suit too, which I have a picture of:


Not sure what I'm going to do with this....guess I will try to sand it. But...anyway, on with the story.

So, some of the kroot had a few hard-to-reach spots that were cracked in a similar manner. I figured "Well, let's prime it and see how it goes."

Yeah, the Vallejo Surface Primer kicked those cracks in the butt! It smoothed them out and filled them in and I can't even tell you which models had them now. Amazing, I tell you!

I am doing my kroot in shades of brown, and last night I dabbled with *brushing* on some layers of minitaire paint. Yes, good old fashioned brushing. People had said that you could do this...and like a hyperactive kid overloaded on sugar on Christmas morning, I tore into my paints last night.

Here is my brushed kroot:



The manufacturers were really thinking when they made these a "dropper" bottle with a flip top. So very easy to drop some out and not WASTE any!! No dipping brushes and wasting paint necessary. If you don't drop out enough, add a few more drops. It's that simple.

The Minitaire paint is thin. It really does not need any thinner added to it. They market it as airbrush ready, and they are not lying when they say this.

So, as I showed above using it with a regular brush is possible, though you will find that it will be more like "juicing" or "layering" of colors when you apply it because of its viscosity. If you get too much on, it will pool (kind of like a wash would). If you don't think you're getting enough because you can't see the color change---then you're putting on the right amount!! :D Especially over black it is hard to judge just how much paint you're putting on. It takes a lot of patience to build up your base color and not pool your paint. You just need a good light source and have to watch for the "wet" effect where you applied your brush to know that you got some on there...and eventually you'll find you are building up the color.

But enough about regular did I do with airbrushing it?

So, I base coated my kroot in black (I love you Vallejo!).

Then I went and sprayed some "Dark Leather" Minitaire over top, trying to leave some of the dark/black areas for shadows and muscle definition.


The phone camera isn't great, but you can see the difference in coloring, especially the black primed guy on the left vs. the other two:

Image Image

The Badger Minitaire paint covered like shut down corner Darrelle Revis. When I wanted it to "block" out the black, it easily did so. When I wanted it to gradient slightly over/into the black, it did so. It did everything I asked of it. It was ready right from the bottle. The color is rich and "full"...I just can't describe how great it looks.

I am so freaking excited as a tornado in a trailer park I am thinking about all the different blue colors that I bought and applying them to my 3 naked hammerheads!!

"What's that Ghost Tint you got?" I hear you thinking.

No, it's not something from Ghost Adventures or Ghost Hunters.

What it is, is a way to add a translucent layer over existing paint.

So, if you lay down a layer of white, and then apply a ghost tint of blue,your white is tinted blue, but still retains some white properties. And depending on how much tint you apply, the deeper the blue. I will be sure to take some pictures when I get to playing with them. It looks like fun stuff to play with.

SUMMARY (for now)

Badger Minitaire and Vallejo Surface Primer are worth their weight in gold.

If you are serious about your painting, and are looking for ways to take it to the next level....I recommend you try these paints. Even if you don't airbrush, you can still use these paints, provided you apply them with proper patience.

If you want to get serious about your need to get some great paints to work with. Having high quality paints will actually make it easier to hone your skills and help make you a better painter.

I will add more to the review as I progress, but for now, this is as far as I have gotten to play.
Last edited by TheMeanDM on Sep 14 2013 12:57, edited 1 time in total.
I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.

User avatar
Posts: 1283

Re: Adventures in painting: Badger Minitaire & Vallejo review

Post#2 » Sep 13 2013 03:37

Nice review TMDM, this may find its way into the review section after you rework some of your non-compliant word usage. It seems you have a great deal of effort put into this and I would love to see it become a useful resource for the community. The joking within is colorful and perfectly fine, but please remember the family friendly qualities of our site and reword your post to reflect this.


User avatar
Posts: 99

Re: Adventures in painting: Badger Minitaire & Vallejo review

Post#3 » Sep 13 2013 04:05

TheMeanDM wrote:Into the Purple Power bath they went.....and stayed....and stayed.....and stayed.....I think they were there for about 2 1/2, maybe 3 weeks.

Did you change out the purple power during this time period? In my experience PP and simple green lose their paint stripping power after a couple of days. With extremely paint encrusted models I will change out the soaking solution for a fresh soak every other day and it seems work better then just soaking it in the same solution bath the whole time.

Edit: Oh and very nice review!
Want your crisis suits to have hands? try my guide

User avatar
Posts: 145

Re: Adventures in painting: Badger Minitaire & Vallejo review

Post#4 » Sep 13 2013 09:06

I have also just recently acquired an airbrush, so it is nice reading about others experiences when starting out because I need all the help I can get. =)

As for the surface primer, I'll have to give it a shot. It's about time for me to restock on primer anyway - convenient timing.

Thanks for the effort in writing up your thoughts.

Return to “Reviews”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests