Help support TMP

"Best Metallic Paints" Topic

14 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Painting Message Board

561 hits since 17 Apr 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

AC196317 Apr 2018 1:38 p.m. PST


Looking to buy a small set of metallic paints. I'd prefer acrlyic and I mostly use Vallejo, but happy to consider over brands.

I have a box set of Vallejo Model Color which has many metallics but I find that they are thick, the flakes are quite big and if thin them down they become quite transluent and the size of the flazes becomes more noticeable.

I've done a little research and this seems to be a common criticism though it seems that the Model Air range are very good – well for silvers they are but apparently not so much for gold and brass colors.

This is just for miniatures, not for large surfaces and for brush painting. Typically it is for small delicate areas like button, crests, buckles – I don't want to have to layer I just want to be able to touch the area once with my brush and leave a decent metallic finish.

What do you guys use?

Garand17 Apr 2018 2:06 p.m. PST

I have yet to find a decent warm metallic in acrylic that worked well, except for Vallejo Game Color Bronze (that stuff is great…for bronze). If I have larger areas to paint in a warm metallic, I use enamel testors gold (in the little square bottles!), since metallics in enamels tend to be better than in acrylics. For cold metallics (like steel), I still use GW's old Boltgun metal as a base for steel, but I am starting to run out, so I may try the newer line equivalent to see how that stacks up…


Ivan DBA17 Apr 2018 2:17 p.m. PST

I think the best are Coat d'Arms. I think Black Hat still sells them. I also like Reaper.

GrenadierAZ Inactive Member17 Apr 2018 2:27 p.m. PST

My vote goes to Scale Color's metallic paints, which are the best I've ever tried.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Apr 2018 2:46 p.m. PST

Dick Blick for my silver metals.

Valejo and GW for the rest.

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP17 Apr 2018 3:08 p.m. PST

Vallejo Model Air for buttons and bows. Deco Art for armor, helmets, etc.

AC196317 Apr 2018 3:45 p.m. PST

Thanks for the suggestions many of those are new to me, may not be easy to get in the UK.

I also meant to say, though no one has mentioned then any way, I'm ruling out the likes of Alclad and Vallejo Metal Color, they would seem great for doing a 1/32 P51 Mustang but are over the top and expensive for what I need.

I agree about enamels. I was brought up on enamels (mostly humbrol) and Instill think they are the best but I'm trying to move with the times and switch to acrylics.

I think the thing with metallics is finding ones where the flakes are fine so you get a smooth well saturated finish. The ones with the bigger flakes tend to look grainy and if you thin them they can look like flakes floating in a solvent.

Personal logo jeffreyw3 Supporting Member of TMP17 Apr 2018 4:13 p.m. PST

Try thinning your Vallejo acrylic metallics with thinner medium--not water. The Air Metals are quite nice.

ced110617 Apr 2018 8:24 p.m. PST

New UK company Instar paints is replicating GW paints, and has a line of metallics. Contact the owner if there's anything specific you need, since they're expanding their range. The company is an offshoot of their other paint business which does paint matching.


Durban Gamer18 Apr 2018 4:47 a.m. PST

Jeffrey, what is the thinner medium you are referring to? and would it work for all acrylics, or just Vallejo?

Mick in Switzerland18 Apr 2018 6:05 a.m. PST

Games Workshop Citadel metallic colours are usually very good. They have smaller flakes than Vallejo.

As mentioned above, Vallejo have a special range of metallic colours which have a different solvent to their Standard Model Colour and Game Colour ranges.

Personal logo jeffreyw3 Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2018 9:29 a.m. PST

Sure, I generally use the Vallejo Thinner Medium to thin my acrylic paints now: link

Vallejo also makes a set of alcohol-based metallics, and I have a few, but I tend not to use them because they're just fussier to use than acrylics.

I've gotten good results with their new water-based Metal Colors range: link

I use their Airbrush Thinner for the latter (just because I had it around).


Personal logo Swampster Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2018 11:52 p.m. PST

The Foundry metals are good. I also like the P3 paints which are available in the UK but only from a few online retailers.

TamsinP19 Apr 2018 2:24 a.m. PST

I've started using Vallejo's glaze medium to thin my Model Colour metallics – it seems to do a better job than their thinner medium for this.

I've also used the Model Air metals and the "silvers" and copper are fine but their golds are terrible.

I've heard good reports about their Metal Colour range but haven't tried those yet.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.