When you are choosing the right paints for you for painting miniatures and models you want to make sure that you are as safe as possible. Not only should you consider whether or not the paints are toxic, but also whether they are flammable and if you will need any additional safety equipment.
When it comes to paints for miniatures and models there are two brands that immediately spring to mind: Citadel and Vallejo. These two brands are very well-known, but are they safe?
Citadel and Vallejo paints are water-based and are not considered flammable, and are completely safe.
Are Citadel Paints Dangerous?
Citadel paints are water-based acrylic paints. This means that they are not dangerous in any respect. Not only are they perfectly safe to use but they also last a very long time. Many people see Citadel paints as an investment and this is certainly true.
As long as you look after them properly and ensure that they are always sealed correctly, kept at a cool temperature and out of direct sunlight some hobbyists have attested to the fact that their Citadel paints have lasted over 20 years!
Are They Safe to Eat?
Although nobody recommends that you eat paint, because Citadel paints are non-toxic they will be perfectly fine to ingest. This is good news for anyone who likes to lick the tip of their brush to ensure that the paint does not dry out or to simply shape their brush using their mouth.
So, even if you have a little one who just so happens to eat some of your Citadel paint, you can rest assured that it will not do them any harm.
Are They Flammable?
The good news is that no, Citadel paints are not flammable. This is because they are water-based. So, you will be perfectly safe with your Citadel paints. This can come in handy for travelling as we will explore below.
Do They Give off Fumes?
No. Citadel paints do not give off any fumes. You can add the paint to a spray gun to aerate it if you desire this effect, in which case it would be best to wear safety equipment such as a mask and gloves. Although this is not strictly necessary (as the paint is not toxic and safe to ingest) it is always better to be safe rather than sorry.
Instead of purchasing a premade set of Citadel paints, we recommend building your own paint set with this build your own assortment bundle. This allows you to choose only the colors you need or want at a great value.
Is Vallejo Paint Safe?
Yes, just like with Citadel paints, Vallejo paints are perfectly safe. Contrary to popular online rumors they do not contain any lead and are non-toxic. This means that you can lick your paintbrush and breath freely when painting your miniatures or models without worrying about your health.
There are some pigments that used to contain certain pigments that were viewed as detrimental to health. These were cadmium and cobalt. However, they are no longer used in more recently produced paints. However, if you still have some old paints in your collection then you may find that these pigments are in your paint.
Vallejo has introduced a paint line called Acrylic Studio which does not contain either of these pigments and so you can be safe in the knowledge that every paint in this line is 100% safe.
However, as with Citadel paints if you are going to use them to spray paint then it is ideal to wear a mask to protect yourself from inhaling any droplets. Regardless of how safe the paint is it is never a good idea to willingly inhale paint into your lungs.
Can I Bring Citadel or Vallejo Paints on a Plane?
One of the main rules for bringing items on a plane is that they must not be flammable. So, the good news is that both Citadel and Vallejo paints are non-flammable. This means that you can indeed travel with them on a plane.
However, it is always a better idea to pack themin your check-in luggage. This is because they are going to be classed as liquids. So, if you have over a certain amount of liquid, either in total or in each container depending on the airline, then you will have to dispose of it.
Unfortunately, if this happens to you then it can be a costly mistake. You may have to put a lot of your treasured paints in the trash at the airport. If you are allowed through with your paints you may then be subject to tests and a lot of questions.
So, if you know that you are going to be in a rush, or you simply do not want to deal with all of the hassles of explaining your hobby at the airport then avoid putting your Citadel paints in your carry-on luggage.
Pack your paints well, ensuring that the caps are properly sealed (perhaps also placing in a plastic bag to catch any spills), and place them in your check-in luggage. This can save you a lot of time, hassle and possibly money.
Thankfully, neither Citadel nor Vallejo paints are flammable. In fact, both of these paint brands are perfectly safe, even to ingest. This means that you can rest assured that you are never dealing with anything dangerous when you are enjoying your hobby.
The only time that you will need to use safety equipment is when you are using paint in a spray gun as this will aerate the particles and allow them to get into your lungs. Although the paints are entirely non-toxic this can still be dangerous. So, to avoid this problem it is best to wear a mask just to be safe.
Because the paints are non-flammable you are also allowed to travel with them on a plane. However, we recommend packing them in your check-in luggage as they will class as a liquid and be subject to hand luggage restriction in size and volume. This trick can also save you a lot of questions at security.