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Don’t Just Do It…..B&Q it, again!

As a retailer of model paints, I’m not sure that I should be sending my customers off to the local DIY chain, B&Q, but as a hobbyist, I like to share the tips that I have picked up over the years. I’ve mentioned before that I use  DIY type emulsion for the bases of my figures. My particular favourite being Dehli Bazaar, which is a nice greeny brown colour, or as my father would have said, ‘shitty coloured dim’. I was coming to the end of the tin of the Dehli Bazaar emulsion and the dregs were getting too thick to use, even with thinning, so it was time to get a new tin.

Paint samples and the originals

Paint samples and the originals

I also decided to try out the in-store colour matching facility at B&Q. Whilst I was replacing my usual basing paint, I thought that I would see if I could get some emulsion pots pots of the two other colours that I most frequently use when basing; Vallejo Chocolate Brown 70872 and Iraqi Sand 70819. I just brushed some samples of each paint onto a scrap of paper and off I went to the local B&Q. The young lady behind the counter did warn me that the colours may not be an exact match as they were using Valspar Emulsion as opposed to Vallejo pigments but she would do her best. The sheet above shows that the two vallejo colours are a bit ‘off’ and on the light side but close enough for me. After all, I will be using these for basing, not to replicate a uniform colour.

B&Q sample pots next to Vallejo for size comparison.

B&Q sample pots next to Vallejo for size comparison.

The process took about ten minutes but here’s the best bit. The cost was £3.00 a pot! Each pot contains 263mls! So for £9.00, I have enough paint to keep me basing for the next couple of years. They even kept my details on file so when I need another batch, they can just make a batch up from the details on file. Brilliant!

The beauty about using emulsion for your bases is that it is water based paint and can be thinned with tap water; you can wash your brushes in water and it seems to give great coverage over sand and basing material, even when thinned. If you need to you can mix it with with Vallejo or other actrylic paints – I often add a small amount of White to the last highlight to get a final dry brush highlight on my bases.

Gordon Highlanders - These are just about ready for basing

Gordon Highlanders – These are just about ready for basing

So, with my new basing paint purchased, I’m ready to finish off my next Battalion, the Gordon Highlanders. As you can see above they are just about ready for basing. I need to touch in the green squares on the hat bands and tidy up any obvious errors. You can see that the back packs are all done and waiting to be fixed on. Then it’s just fixing the flags, which I have ready to go.

Portuguese Artillery

Portuguese Artillery

Next up, Portuguese Artillery! The painting goes on!


We don’t carry B&Q paints – you will have to find your own local depot. At Arcane Scenery, we do have a range of nearly 6000 lines, most of which we will send post free to most countries in the world! You can visit our shop here:


Happy Modelling!