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Built Review
German Afrika Korps
Vallejo’s AFV Series German Afrika Korps 1941-1942 (DAK)
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by: Todd Michalak [ TRM5150 ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

It’s no secret that I enjoy the painting side of this hobby and I am sure it is no secret that I really enjoy many all-inclusive paint sets. These sets not only make it easier when approaching a paint job for your model but usually have a range of colors that can be used collectively as well as individually…and hopefully save some money along the way.

Vallejo continues to widen the selection offered under their AFV Series of paint sets. One of their newest to come out is the German Afrika Korps 1941-1942 (DAK) under the name AFV Camouflage Colors. This set contains six 8 ml. bottles of Model Air Colors. The selection included in this set is as follows:

Content

  • 603 - Primer Dunkelgrau RAL7021
  • 606 - Primer Gelbraun 8020
  • 116 – Graugrün RAL7008
  • 230 – Light
  • 097 – Base Grey
  • 520 - Mat Varnish

review

The first thing that is probably noticed by now is the size of the bottles included in these sets; 8 ml. Bottles. They are about half the size of the traditional bottles in the Model Air Colors line of paints. Their size, I feel, does not downsize their usefulness. As I have used other AFV sets from Vallejo in the past, I can say that there is more than enough paint in the set to paint server models, even in the 1/35th scale range.

These sets are designed to be applied in layers, so, thin coats of paint are built up over the range supplied in the set to give the end result of what the individual sets are intended. In this case, the German Afrika Korps 1941-1942 (DAK) set is made for just that, German Afrika Korps vehicles.

As seen by the list of contents in this set, you will notice two greys and three desert colors. Vallejo took the fact that many of the German vehicles at this time were base painted in Dunkelgrau (Dark Grey) and was repainted for use in the desert conditions of Africa with a two-tone camouflage.

The hardest thing as a consumer when buying items, such as paints, is knowing what you actually are getting so you may be able to decide what to purchase…and the best way to judge any paint set is to actually use it. So, I intend to show my experiences with this set and hopefully help show what is included, how it works and lays down as well as finishes.

In use

The first thing that is needed is obviously a model to paint! I just so happen to have a “little” Panzer IV lying about needing some paint. I will be using Zvezd’s Pz.IV Ausf.D in 1/100. If nothing else, this should insure the painting will be a challenge. Onto the paint as the kit, which is geared for the Wargaming community literally snaps together is a short time.

There are two primers included in this set. Vallejo offers a wide range of colored primers which is a plus, coming from one who loves to paint, as this primer coat is actually the base boat of paint as well. Somewhat following the instructions, which are listed out on the back of the paint set, I started with the #603 - Primer Dunkelgrau RAL7021. I was able to put a few drops in my airbrush and laydown this coat with no problems at all. The paint allowed for a clean, smooth base coat to start the painting project.

Allowing very little time to dry, I moved right on with the next color. #097 - Base Grey is intended to highlight a contrast coat to the Dunkelgrau. This would mean application of this coat would primarily be center of the panels on the horizontal and vertical planes. I chose to mix things up slightly and used a small piece of card to assist in modulating this coat. This adds a bit of variation to the color, even if it will not be seen once covered by the next coats.

The next step, per the instruction, is to move onto the DAK colors of the project. #606 - Primer Gelbraun 8020 is the first of the colors to go down. As suggested in the instructions a thin coat should be applied over the base grey color. Hints of the grey will show through as it did in some field applications. Again, these paints flow nicely out of the airbrush, even at lower pressures which were needed for such a tiny model.

With the Afrika base in place the instruction call for the top coat of the desert color; #230 – Light. This light color should be applied in the manner as the lighter grey coat was applied, concentrating the color to the center of the panels leaving the darker color in the corners and panel lines. Again, I chose to go after modulating the tones for variance in shading.

The time came to apply the camouflage. This is the #116 - Graugrün RAL7008 color. I think normally the application of any camouflage can be stressful as you intend to cove a perfectly good coat of paint with an irregular pattern designed to break up the silhouette of the object…now in 1/100…LOL, oh boy! I managed to turn the pressure down to about 10psi and managed to get through this process rather easily. The paint responded well to the lower pressure and covered nicely.

The finishing touches would be next. At this point you can use the #502 – Mat Varnish to seal your model. This is one big reason why I like all-inclusive sets; it comes with a clear coat too! Now above in this paragraph I said “would be next” and this typically would be correct; however, I while back in the painting I could not help myself and added a step in between the two colors. I clear coated the grey colors using the Mat Varnish. Then I applied Vallejo’s Chipping Medium, which doesn’t come with this set by the way…just so that is clear, and then proceeded to paint the top colors all in one step. Within ½ hour of finishing the painting, I took a soft brush, damp with water and began some chipping. After a few minutes pushing a slightly stiffer brush around I had a chipped tank ready for some weathering! Sometime, we just need to play!

Conclusion

I had a decent experience with the German Afrika Korps 1941-1942 (DAK) set from Vallejo. The paint went down smooth without any thinning and all the paints, as well as the varnish, dried with a dead-flat finish typically seen with similar Model Air Colors. Both the Grey and Desert Colors are acceptable for the color range of DAK service in WWII. I feel this AFV Series set of paints is a great buy for anyone into DAK building. The cost of the set is more than reasonable I feel as for the quality and quantity within for the suggested $17.99 US cost for these sets; however, they can be found for a bit less with a little searching.
SUMMARY
Highs: An all-inclusive set designed to paint a DAK vehicle start to finish at a reasonable price range.
Lows: My only thought about a downside to this set is a bottle of wash could be added to compliment the set, other than that nothing to add.
Verdict: A great quality set of paints that give really nice results all at an reasonable price!
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: 78.409
  Suggested Retail: $17.99 US
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Dec 16, 2013
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 95.50%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 89.47%

Our Thanks to Vallejo Acrylics!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Todd Michalak (TRM5150)
FROM: MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES

I am building what I like, when I like and how I like it; having fun doing it. I have been building and finishing models on and off my whole life but the past ten years things really exploded. Just about anything goes when it comes to hitting the bench, but wrecked armor, rusted hulks, ships or ...

Copyright ©2018 text by Todd Michalak [ TRM5150 ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Todd, you are really working wonders with your last reviews. Well done, it is always great seeing the product actually put to use. Cheers, Mario
DEC 15, 2013 - 08:08 PM
Hello Mario! Thank you! It is a good thing when you have the opertunity to share how something works!
DEC 15, 2013 - 10:37 PM
Todd; I'm not being lazy yet I think Maki summed it up for me - nice job showing how these work. And thanks for letting us 1/100 modelers know there are AFVs out there for us now!
DEC 17, 2013 - 05:55 AM
Thank you very much Frederick! I was thinking 1/100 was a tough scale, for me anyway, to paint and figured if I could pull it off it would certainly help show the range of the set for sure. I know this is "after the fact" a bit here, but I went ahead and weathered this last night. Multiple layers of Vallejo's washes work really well over a Mat Varnish clear coat. I have a few of these little ones in the stash now...so this won't be the last kne I have a go at for sure1!
DEC 17, 2013 - 06:51 AM
   

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