Acrylic-Polyurethane Surface Primers from Vallejo

Acrylic-Polyurethane Surface Primers ( 17mls and 60mls)
Acrylicos Vallejo
Available from Model Hobbies for around £1.79 and £4.58 respectively


I’ve tried a great number of different primers over the last few years; some of them excellent, and some of them not so. Some of the latter types I do know people swear by, so dependent on how you apply your primer, and onto what you apply it, will determine how well you get on with it. For instance, I don’t get on well with Alclad Grey Primer. It seems to take an age to micromesh it to a finish whereby the Alclad colour won’t be sucked into it. On the other hand, I love Halfords Plastic Primer in rattle cans. Another of my favourites is Mr Surfacer, again, in aerosol form.



Just prior at my contact with Vallejo, I had seen some talk of their new range of Acrylic-Polyurethane primers, and thought that may be worth testing out, so asked Vallejo if I could do this. My thanks to them for sending these over to try out.

Vallejo’s new range of primers comes in various colours and shades, and therefore is ideal for modellers who may well want to prime their subject in something more akin to the final colour, such as armour modellers. In this respect, this genre of subject is well catered for with this new range of primer. Having a base primer colour close to your intended colour will mean that you will find it less onerous in achieving the final colour you need, with obviously less paint needed to achieve that finish.

Vallejo’s Surface Primer is available, and has been sent to us in the following 60ml colours:

  • White #73600
  • Grey #73601
  • UK Bronze Green #73607
  • Dunkelgelb RAL7028
  • German Red-Brown RAL8012
  • US Olive Drab #73608

We have also received the following in the smaller 17ml bottle, here with their relevant codes:

  • White #70600
  • Grey #70601
  • Black #70602
  • UK Bronze Green 70607
  • German Panzer Grey RAL7021

As  you can see, two sizes of bottle are available for the Vallejo’s ‘Surface Primer’ range, and these are the typical 17ml bottle, more associated with the Model Air and brush paints within Vallejo’s range, and also the larger 60ml bottle, with a flip top opener. Both lids allow you to simply quirt this into the colour cup of your airbrush, with minimum fuss and mess. As is typical, and not recommended, I usually sniff things to get an idea of how noxious they are, and all of these paints, while they do have an odour, it is very, very low. Still wear your face mask though!


There is no need to thin any of these paints as they are already formulated for spraying from an airbrush, despite them seeming a little thicker than I would be used to for this purpose. I can tell  you that they also so seem to work well when applied with a paintbrush, and they do level very well when you do this.

I used both a Harder & Steenbeck Evolution CR-Plus and an Iwata HP-CH to trial these colours, and for my purposes, I found they sprayed very well at between 12PSI to 15PSI. These primers do dry very quickly, and I found that my initial style of airbrushing wasn’t suited to well, as it left a slightly rough surface to the plastic, so to counteract this, I sprayed from a closer distance of around an inch from the surface, and ‘opened the throttle’ a little, making the flow of primer slightly heavier, while moving the airbrush slightly slower. This had the effect of ‘wetting’ the surface more, so a thicker coat was laid down before any was allowed to properly dry. This did give a much smoother coat, which to my delight, shrinks back a little like some of the Tamiya aerosol I’ve used, meaning that my panel lines and rivets were still clearly defined.


I do think it can take a short while to adjust your technique to suit this primer, but the coverage was extremely good, and very similar to the Gunze paints I am used to using.

The reason for trying both airbrushes with this primer was to see how different types would work with this new primer. I find that some paint sprays better with my Iwata than the H&S, and vice-versa, so wanted to give these primers an fair chance. I can report that, for me, both airbrushes handled this formula as well as each other.

In test, I sprayed the interior of the fuselage of my Ta 152 project, in regular styrene, and also the fuselage/tail of my 1/32 Ju 88 Mistel project, combining resin, plastic and photo-etch brass. All materials covered in the same way.

Ta 152 Fuselage and cockpit primed with 'Surface Primer' with some areas oversprayed in Alclad.

To clean my airbrush after use, I swilled the majority of the colour cup with water, and sprayed it through, before finishing off with Premi-Air Foaming Cleaner. This created a few ‘flecks’ which I managed to get rid of with some Lifecolor thinner. If I had some at hand, I think I would have done this with the proprietary Vallejo airbrush cleaner.

So what do we think?
I’m always after expanding my repertoire of primers, and find these to be superb. I’m pleased that this is an ‘easy-going’ primer with regards to application, and also to the flexibility of what you can actually spray it onto. Highly recommended in every respect!

Overall 9/10

Our sincere thanks to Acrylicos Vallejo for the review samples used here. To purchase these directly, click THIS link.