Sunday, May 31, 2009

Black Lava by Vallejo

Black Lava

On my adventure to a new gaming store this weekend I was introduced to a new hobby product, Acrylicos Vallejo’s Black Lava.  Black Lava is a thick black  paste that contains small stone fragments and can be used for all sorts of rough textures. 

I bought it up thinking it would be superb for doing terrain.  While I was right, I got to brain storming of all the different things this amazing product could be used for.  Eureka!  Black Lava is the miracle product perfect for mud on tank tracks and model bases.

Black Lava wet

To the right is a picture of Black Lava painted onto a base.  This was a slot base so I filled it with green stuff first and then used a large flat brush to coat the surface with the Black Lava. 

After letting it dry for a good period of time. I moved on to painting.  Vallejo suggest 45 minutes to several hours of drying time depending on thickness.


Black Lava finalHere we have the final product.  I actually like using the Black Lava a lot better than using traditional PVA glue and basing sand.  Black Lava is quicker, easier and I think results in a much better base.  Although, I bet that a combination of the two would make for some outstanding results.

In case you’re wondering how I painted the base: Paint Scorched Brown > Heavy dry brush Dark Flesh > Dry brush Bestial Brown sparingly to create unevenness > Dry brush Bubonic Brown > Dry brush Bleached Bone concentrating on only the highest points.

I highly recommend this product and I’m sure there are hundreds of uses for it.  If I come up with anything else I’ll be sure to post.  Thanks for reading.


  1. Wow, that looks great! I'll have to go hunt for some of it- the way you painted the mud looks incredibly realistic

  2. I want one of those! It looks very good. And like you said, suitable for tank tracks...

  3. It's very good - and can also be used on vehicles for added realism (i.e. muddy tracks, etc).

  4. That looks really good. What's the cost of it?

  5. Thanks for the comments everyone.

    @ Chris - I paid $12.95 for the jar. It's 6.75 fl. oz.

  6. Interesting! I'd never heard of the stuff, but it looks brilliant - I'm definitely going to hunt some down and give it a try. Nice find!

  7. WOW!

    Anyone know if you can get it in the UK?

    And - by the way - I just realised I didn't have a link to you. SORRY! Please consider this remedied.

    - Drax.

  8. Just wanted to say thanks for this post, because I went out and ordered some and it works great! Definitely cuts down on basing time.

  9. Sounds like a promising product and a great time saver!
    Some questions though: How hard is the surface? Do the particles come off when drybrushing too strong?
    How thick is the paste? Can you apply it with an old brush or do you need a spatula? As I like paint and prime my bases with the model attached, is it possible to wipe off the not yet dry paste in case you accidentally hit the feet of model? Thanks :)

  10. @Stahly - This stuff is fantastic. To answer your questions:

    The surface after allowed to fully dry becomes rather hard and very durable.

    No fragments or chips, once dry it all stays in place even under heavy drybrushing. This stuff stays in place better then basing sand with two additional coats of PVA glue.

    The paste is thick, really thick, but it can be applied with an old brush. I use a flat brush with nylon bristles very similar to the Citadel large drybrush. This stuff can get a little messy, but clean up is really easy. Water alone will rinse the stuff away.

    Yes, it is possible to wipe away the un-dried paste, but if using the Black Lava for basing I highly suggest that it be applied before the model is attached to the base as the thickness of the paste will make it very difficult to maneuver around legs or other bitz.

    I have another post on it here:

  11. Ok I'm coming to this party late - but this is a really neat product... Thanks for the overview!


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