The magic wash. The revolution. The lifesaver. The cheater. There are many names we hear them being called. When Games Workshop put their range of washes out it basically changed the way 28mm Games Workshop 'Hobbyists' life forever. Funny though as washes have been part of miniature painting since god knows when. I guess most GW fanboys/purist are indeed in their own bubble. And I must admit I fell into the aforementioned categories once upon a time.....
Enough of my rant and on to the juice of this article. Like I mentioned my painting and hobby has progressed a lot since my fanboy days and I have expanded my hobby way beyond the offerings of GW. In fact, with the damning GW EMBARGO imposed since JUNE 2011, I have had no choice but to look at alternatives to my painting needs. Refusing to pay ridiculous local retail prices I not only moved away from GW supplies but away from anything GW unfortunately.
Here I have recently acquired a bottle of Vallejo Wash Umber shade. I have also bought the black shade and sepia shade to try out. But in this article I shall focus on Umber shade as it's the closest to our beloved GW Devlan Mud wash.
Here I have tested it on my Flames of War Soviet Tank riders. The one on the furthest right is GW Devlan Mud. And the other two on the left is Vallejo Umber Shade.
Here's a back view. Devlan Mud on the left. And Umber shade on the 2 miniatures to the right.
So what's my verdict? Devlan mud is slightly darker however the difference is minimal. I never use my washes straight out of the pot as it is always too thick and dark. I always add a small drop of water to thin it down a little, and I have done this on both washes in the examples I've shown here. Basically I feel that the Vallejo Washes behave very similarly to the GW ones. With the only exception that they dry REALLY MATT. It's like you sprayed your entire mini with a thick coat of dull coat. Nothing really wrong with this for me as washes are normally a first stage for my painting so there will definitely be more layers of paint going on them and the effect won't be noticeable when your miniature is completed. However if washing a miniature is the final step of painting (I know many who use washes as a final step) then maybe you need to take note of this.
Price is a no-brainer for these as vallejo paints are always so much cheaper than GW ones. So that's a plus point.
Overall I am happy with the results and can safely say that once my current pot of Devlan Mud runs out I will be switching over to Vallejo's washes for my painting needs.