Revell’s Trail of Tears

When I reviewed Revell’s Aqua Color paint I gave it my highest rating. Only the crappy packaging filtered into the outcome, and took “the magical paint” down from heaven and put it in the real world where things have faults.

But we all know that behind every “perfect” thing is an ocean of cosmetics and Photoshop and airbrushing.

Not that kind of airbrushing. The other kind.

Anyway, Revell’s paint, technically, is a wonderful thing. It does so many things well that it deserves the high rating that I gave it. But everything else about this paint pisses me off. The marketing and promotion of Revell’s paint is ghastly. It’s annoying. It’s bad.

It’s all about the way the product is described. They’re deliberately coy about what the colors actually are. The colors have names like “blueberry ripple” or some bullshit. So you don’t really know what you’re buying. This isn’t as bad as Vallejo’s tendency to provide FALSE information–such as identifying a bottle of U.S.A.F. Insignia Blue as U.S.N. Dark Sea Blue (the colors are similar, but the are not the same) but it’s pretty bad.

But the real criminality is the way they don’t provide simple solutions to complex color problems. They don’t give the simple color name/number for the colors referred to in their kits. Instead, they provide a transparently venal marketing ploy in the form of a formula based on Revell paint numbers. (Airfix also does this and they will also burn in Hell but two wrongs don’t make a right).

Oh, for shame, Revell!

I don’t have a problem with mixing paint. I LIKE to mix paint. But Revell makes it much harder than it needs to be by failing to provide some basic information in the kit instructions. C’mon, Revell. Now that you’ve jettisoned those slimy Americans, go back to good German values and put the damned color names and (whatever standard) number on there and we model builders will do the rest. Your paint is good enough to stand on it’s own. You don’t need a coat of slime on the package to sell it.

Brushpainter

Well look, I already told you! I deal with the customers so the engineers don't have to! I have people skills! I am good at dealing with people! Can't you understand that? What is wrong with you people?

comments
  • I haven’t seen any of Revells adver. its paint.
    I have another problem though. I had some Revell Aquacolor that came with a starterkit. Nice litte pots – easy to open and close and stayed that way.
    Recently I bought a full “bottle” – one of those square things in the pic. Odd way to put paint into a box. I sorely miss the lid to be screwed or pressed in place – preferably the former. The Revell box lid just don’t want to stay close following some use. It keeps popping off! Now its secured with a solid elastic band.
    Its darn good paint. Should revert to some classic bottle though.. 🙁

  • Carsten,

    Get some side cutters and get rid of the little prongs on the lids. Closing problem, gone.

  • Greg
    I’ll try it out – thanks! 🙂

  • Greg
    It works 🙂

  • I just bough a bottle of i think sky gray, it is really thick and yet requires multiple coats to remove brush strokes? What gives?

    • Yes… now it’s coming back to me! I recall that the Revell paint I experimented with was more like “condensed soup” than soup. You’ll need to put some water in it and stir. I hate those plastic “cube” bottles so I “decanted” mine into other bottles. I have a lot of paint, and I also have a LOT of empty bottles. They stack up, over time. I also found some groovy empty plastic bottles at Ax Man…

      …lucky me.

      Ultimately, your painting will only be as good as the time you spend experimenting and fooling around with it to see how it works. I do about an hour of research and development for every two hours of building time. I like to mix paint, test things out, and fool around in general. Anything to fill the endless dreary days waiting patiently for the arrival of The Grim Reaper and sweet release of death!

  • Yes, thanks to you ans your site, i find myself. Experimenting with painting techniques, additives and brands.

    So add water to the Revell Aqua? Hence aqua? Would you suggest i, add water to the whole container or only as needed? A full dropper of water? I added a full squeeze dropper of windex to my Tamiya Japanese Army Green, seems to be working well.

    • I think there’s a misunderstanding here that I’m going to have to work hard to straighten out (and I might fail anyway). I’m not very familiar with Revell’s paint. I had two “bottles” of it, and I experimented with them quite a bit. I reviewed the paint favorably because it seemed, to me, at the time, to be fool-proof and easy to get around the world.

      But my preferences were influenced by my fondness for the Airfix Tribute Forum and my attempts to help the folks there to do better, less toxic brushing and avoid spraying paint. I found out that I was on a fool’s errand. Airfix is God and Humbrol is His prophet. So my attempts to get the Brits to buy German failed, foreshadowing Brexit by a few years.

      So, all i really know about Revell’s paint is that it works well when thinned a bit with water, but I also know you can add too much water, but I also know that the water will, eventually, evaporate.

  • I found a tamiya tank model who is molded in a tan color, a color very close to the color of the actual tank. What does that mean for brushing in color? Do i mot color it, leave it tam and just add details or do i have to prime it or do i just paint the sand color on top of the molded tan?

    • What you’re asking is: What will produce a good result? I can’t tell you that, boss. Nobody can. Part of what this blog is all about is that too many of us model-building geeks can’t, or won’t, think for ourselves.

      You gotta walk that lonesome valley,
      You gotta walk it by yourself,
      Nobody here can walk it for you,
      You gotta walk it by yourself.

      Woody Guthrie

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