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Vallejo Chipping Medium Review

Updated: Jan 16, 2023

Greetings one and all,


With all the Necromunda writing, I’ve gotten a real urge to paint some Underhive inspired terrain. This led me to look into how to gain the paint chipping effect, and in my search, I found Vallejo Chipping Medium. But here’s the question; is it any good? Does it beat the old tried and trusted hair spray method? Read on and find out.



Back in the day, the best way to get a chipping effect was with hairspray, and water, some recipes called for salt too but I digress. The basic method was;

  • Spray the base colour you want to come through the chipping.

  • Varnish.

  • Spray 2-3 light coats of hairspray.

  • Spray topcoat and allow to dry.

  • Apply water to the areas you want to weather.

  • Use an old brush to weather the area, keep a paper towel to take away or add water as needed.

  • Once satisfied, allow to fully dry and varnish.


It's not a bad method and it’s served us well for ages, but over the last few years, the array of specialist tools we have access to has expanded massively. Among this list are liquids that are specifically designed to make achieving the chipping effect easy. The formula for these liquids has been specifically designed for model paints and kits, so they do not run the risk of damaging either, unlike the hairspray method which is clearly not designed for such tasks.



So how does the Vallejo Chipping Medium work? Well, the method is as such;

  • Spray the base colour you want to come through the chipping.

  • Varnish.

  • Spray a coat of Chipping Medium.

  • Spray topcoat and allow to dry.

  • Apply water to the areas you want to weather.

  • Use an old brush to weather the area, keep a paper towel to take away or add water as needed.

  • Once satisfied, allow to fully dry and varnish.


As you can see there is no difference between the methods of using hairspray and Vallejo Chipping Medium, so making the switch to the medium instead of hairspray is an easy one, especially as it ensures less chance of damaging your models or terrain pieces. I feel I should point out though, that while Vallejo Chipping Medium is rather effective, I would suggest slowly adding water as needed, otherwise you might wash away far more paint than you meant to.



Another thing to take into account is the tool you’re using to create the chipping effect. A toothbrush works well when used lightly, but anything from an old paintbrush and even interdental brushes and such can create really unique patterns.


Overall, I really like the effect that the Vallejo Chipping Medium gives. The key though, is very much patience. Make sure you let everything dry properly at each stage, and then use a soft touch when removing the paint. You can always remove more, but putting more paint on again is a pain so it's definitely a balancing act.


That's all for now. Next week, we’re going back to the world of Nercomunda to look at those hulking brutes of that world, the Goliaths.



Bonus!

As I talked you through the theory, I thought I'd add to this review by showing you how I used the Vallejo Chipping Medium in a practice run.



For this example, I'll be using the armoured container from the Battlezone: Manufactorum – Munitorum Armoured Containers set.



I assembled the armoured container, but couldn't decide if I wanted to do the doors a different colour, or if I even wanted them at all, so I just didn't attach them securely so they're easy to remove.



I then gave the armoured container a black undercoat and then sprayed a base coat of Vallejo Gunmetal Grey. This base coat will be the colour that I want to show through the top layer of paint, so I have sealed this with a few coats of matt varnish. Once that dried, I applied the Vallejo Chipping Medium, which I again allowed to fully dry.


I then applied a layer of Castellan Green, and once dried I started the chipping process.


I used a toothbrush and gently removed layers of paint little by little. As you can see from left to right, I removed increasingly more paint as I went along. You can get a variety of effects which I think look great, from just a few scratches right up to entire areas of the container's paint scheme peeling off as though looking like they've really seen a lot of damage.




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