Friday, December 8

Hands-on tutorial video review: VMS Pigment Jockey (+ a 20% discount)

VMS supplies are a little bit of a dark horse in our industry. We know that Clayton Ockerby swears by them. So we were interested to see his review of the new "Pigment Jockey" in text and video from. See how he gets the best out of this interesting product in his review...
Hands-on tutorial video review: VMS Pigment Jockey 
From VMS Supplies
Product Link on the VMS website (scroll down for a 20% discount)

For a lot of modellers VMS may not be an overly familiar brand however for those of us who have heard of them you will know there is a buzz growing around the brand.

Just like a lot of armour modellers, I first saw the VMS product showcased on YouTube being spruiked by everyone’s favourite Uncle, Martin Kovac (AKA Uncle Night Shift). I loved the results he was getting and the positive way in which he was speaking about the product. Although a little tricky to source in Australia I managed to hunt down a supplier and ordered the product to try for myself. I’m pleased to say I wasn’t disappointed, and their range of varnishes is simply the best I have ever used, and I love their superglues too.

But today I’ve been given a new product (or new to me at least) and that is their ‘Pigment Jockey’ line. At first, I didn’t understand exactly what a ‘pigment jockey’ did or was, but as I see it it’s VMS’ range of pre-thinned enamel paint specifically designed to work with common tones when weathering your models.

There are ten colours in the range at present spanning over three groups of colour tones. Although as I understand it the paint can be confidently mixed and blended together, giving you a greater scope of colours available to you.
Items 1 to 5 cover the Earthy tones in the line. These are Light Earth, Brown Earth, Sandy Earth, Dark Earth and Red Earth. And please let me apologise to the people screaming at the screen for 4 and 5 being out of order in the picture. Please forgive me!
Product 6 to 9 is the range of the rusty tones. Track Rust, Medium Rust, Fresh Rust and Light Rust. And thank goodness I was able to count in this line-up.
The final colour in the line is number 10 and is a Steel Metallic colour.
Interestingly the pigment jockey line was developed in consultation with Martin Kovac. It’s marketed as a ‘reversible weathering liquid’, so if you read between the lines that means you can reactivate it using an enamel thinner (of which VMS have their own line under the name of Universal Weathering Carrier).
The product is used for splattering, streaking and to use as a wash. It can be thinned using an enamel thinner (or VMS’ Universal Weathering Carrier) and can be combined with pigment powders to create volume in your effects. The pigment jockey acts as a carrier for the pigment powder and will help it bind to the model surface.
The liquid comes in a 30ml, spill resistant, screw top bottle. The dropper style of bottle is very handy for distributing and using the paint from a workflow point of view. Downside of a bottle like this is it is easy for the nozzle to clog. This was the case with a number of the bottle I had however a small piece of wire or a needle was all that was required to clear the blockage.
But there’s no review better than actually seeing the product working, so I thought I’d give it a try. I’ve created a video below to help showcase some of the techniques I used to achieve the results. So, for those of you interested I’d encourage you to take a look.

The colour that appealed to me the most was the #1 Light Earth. The product was applied in a number of different ways. The front section you see in this image was brush painted along the bottom edge and dried off using a hairdryer. The paint was then blended in an upward motion using a flat brush moistened in white spirit to create those vertical streaks you can see.

You may also notice the heavier streaking coming from the top edge. This was created using the same techniques only this time working from the top down and using a touch more paint. The effect was then enhanced even further with a little speckling.
A closer look at the rusty plate shows some interesting tones in the surface. The effect was achieved using three of the rust colour tones. The Track Rust, the Medium and the Light Rust.

The darkest colour was applied around the bottom edges of the section. Before it had time to dry the medium and then the light rust colours were sponged on. By keeping the paint wet and introducing white spirit to help them blend and merge together I was able to create and interesting rusty look in a short amount of time.
I tried the rusted effect on a different area only this time using different base colours and was quote happy with the results for a first attempt.
For this section I first began with the Light Earth, only this time the paint was feathered using a sponging technique. By simply distributing the paint in a dabbing motion on a small piece of sponge I am able to create a realistic looking base layer of dust.

The effect is enhanced with some speckling as well as using the dark earth colour in a smaller area along that bottom edge.

You will also notice the fuel or water stains running down the sides. This is applied using Track Rust and a fine brush. The paint is easy to control using the brush and presents an interesting look to your models.
The rear section of the tank is where the splattering or speckling is focused. This is the area where the most mud and debris would have kicked up off the working tracks, which is why this technique works so well in these areas.

The effect is achieved by loading the paint brush with the paint and then flicking it across a toothpick or an airbrush needle to create the splatters.

You can also mix the pigment jockey in with pigment powder to create greater volume in your mud effects.
The combination of all of the techniques really comes together at the rear of the model.
I continued to experiment with the paints on the other side of the model and was able to create slight variations on the finish with a little greater focus and refinement…but they all came about using the techniques I have mentioned.
I mentioned combining the Pigment Jockey in with the textured pigments, and this seems to be where the product really makes an impact. VMS have their own line of pigments however I don’t have them to show you, so I used what I had on the shelf.
The effect in the image was achieved using a Vallejo pigment, made into a paste using the pigment jockey. When the paste had dried, I was able to scrub the excess away and refine the look to appear as clumping mud.
In this section a darker pigment is applied dry, and a diluted mix of pigment jockey and universal weathering carrier was applied to the pile using capillary action to wet the pigment. The pigment jockey should help bind the pigment to the model.
I continued to experiment with the Pigment powders only this time using another VMS product called ALKYD binders with the pigment. This was applied as a paste to the tracks, dried off with a blast of hot air and then using an old brush the excess paste is removed.

The various tones you see in the tracks was a result of using the Pigment Jockey product as a selective, diluted wash to alter the tones in the pigments.
There is a lot to like about what VMS are bringing to the table and what I have used I really like. I’ve mentioned many times their varnish is amazing, and I have been using that for some time now with excellent results.

When it comes down to it, we can’t get away from the fact that the paints we use in this hobby are (in most cases) are either acrylics, lacquers or enamels. It doesn’t matter what you call them or how you sell them, the facts are the facts. This line of Pigment Jockey colours is a line of enamel paints aimed at streamlining your weathering.

They work beautifully alone but when paired with a pigment powder the effects you can achieve reach a new level. You can use other manufacturers pigments and you are able to mix the paints with other enamels (or at least that were my findings during testing).

Do they work? Absolutely they do! I was able to create some interesting and realistic effects using them. Would I be able to create the same effects using other product? Well yes, is the answer, but like with everything in this hobby we will have our preferences and what works for some may not work for others. 

I like the VMS philosophy and the targeted nature of their weathering product. I’m looking forward to trying some of their other lines in the near future.

Clayton's video of this construction is up on his excellent YT page - Workbench Hobbies 

Clayton Ockerby

Clayton has managed to negotiate a deal so you can try the VMS line for yourself. Go to the VMS site at checkout enter the code - "WORKBENCH-BONUS" for a 20% discount. This offer wont last forever and is limited to one per customer (minimum spend applies).
See more of Clayton's amazing works on his YouTube Channel, his modelling portal "Workbench Hobbies" or his FB page