Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Review: Vallejo Black Lava

Together with the Malifaux stuff I recieved earlier I also got this jar of "Black Lava" from Vallejo.

After reading about basing with this stuff on The Pit of Oni I got kinda intrigued. Basing minis is kinda messy and you always end up with a ton of sand everywhere. Something I'm not too fond of since the cats already make my apartment feel like a gravel pitch.

The jar of lava!

It's made up of some sort of PVA based paint (that's essentially what manufacturers call "acrylics") & small beads / sand. Vallejo says:
Gritty black paste of natural stone and pigment, can be textured and built up and mixed with other mediums.
So I opened it up, picked a 25mm base from GW and slathered on some of the paste with a large brush. I also added two of the "stones" from Games Workshops 40K basing kit (Medium basing slate) and one small slate from the Gale Force 9 range directly onto the paste to see if it would stick. After about 30 minutes under the lamp it was dry to the touch and the stones felt like they were glued on. So it was just a matter of adding paint to it and it was done!

Colors used. Finished base on top of the protective lid from the jar.

As you can see from the picture. The lava dries glossy. Nothing to worry about since the paint dries kinda matte and you'd put on some varnish to protect your minis anyways.

There was no problem with the stones coming off, even though I was pretty aggressive with the drybrushing. So unless you're doing something really scenic with your bases you can skip the glue. Another bonus is that there were no sand coming off, something that usually happens even though you add another layer of watered down PVA to seal the sand.

It's black, which means you can drybrush on top of it. No more need for priming, putting on a basecoat, washing it and then drybrush. And the granules are small enough to feel realistic with 28 – 32 mm "heroic" figures. And you could add some rougher grit if you like to break it up a little.

I'd totally rate this product a 2+ with re-roll. There are more uses for it than just bases. You could use it for a first layer of "mud" or represent rusty parts on vehicles. Paint it on scenery, like walls and buildings, to give it a bit of a rough surface since GW discontinued the Rough Coat spray. Or you could build it up in layers for more scenic bases. The possibilities are endless!!! (Almost ;))

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