Glazes, transparent paints that do not obscure the surface on which they are applied, unlike opaque paints. Glazes only become opaque in very thick layers (e.g. Prussian blue, carmine lake). Depending on their characteristics, opaque paints can have a glazing effect as they are increasingly diluted with the paint medium. Whether a colour is suitable as a glaze or opaque paint also depends on the binder; Schweinfurt Green, for example, is an opaque watercolour, but a glaze when mixed with oil, a property that is particularly evident in chalk, which, excellent as a watercolour, does not become opaque in oil.

Burnt umber glaze.

These Airfix Soviet Riflemen were painted Vallejo 70.924 »Russian Uniform«; the riflemen on the left is fully painted, but not glazed. The soldier in the middle has received a glaze of the single pigment colour PRIMAcryl 13.684 »Natural Burnt Umber« (PBr 7, iron oxide). His comrade, pictured at right, was glazed with the artist oil colour Lukas Studio 311 »Burnt Umber« a mixture of pigments PY 42 (transparent iron oxide yellow), PR 101 (synthetic iron oxide red) and PBk 7 (soot), which has left a conspicuous reddish cast.

Sap colours, pigments soluble in water which, when spread on paper, shine through and are therefore used for water painting and for coloring copperplate engravings, lithographs and photographs, maps, etc. The pigment solutions are mixed with malt decoction, sugar or rubber and the mixture is evaporated to the proper consistency. Sap colours are sold as inks, as paste in tubes and, evaporated to dryness, in seashells and porcelain dishes. Blue sap colours are: indigo carmine, indigo solution, soluble Berlin blue and logwood decoction with copper vitriol; as re: carmine solution, Orseille, safflower red, madder and wood red (sap red). Yellow sap colours are derived from decoctions of crucberries, yellowwood, quercitron bark, turmeric root and gamboge spiked with alum, ground with water, saffron extract and picric acid. Green sap colours are obtained from the blue and yellow, particularly beautiful from indigo and picric acid, then from crystallized verdigris, from chrome alum solution boiled for a long time and from sap green. Brown sap colours are: sepia, bistre, cauldron brown, nut brown, caramel, liquorice, catechu. In addition, all coal tar colours that are soluble in water or aqueous alcohol are used, and frequently the translucent (transparent) lake colours as well.

Single Pigment Colours

A small overview of transparent and glazing single pigment colours suitable for miniatures, models, and dioramas.

  • Zinc White* (PW 4, semi-translucent), PRIMAcryl 13.100
  • Glaze Orange (PO 71, transparent), PRIMAcryl 13.216
  • Quinacridone Magenta (PR 122, translucent), PRIMAcryl 13.326
  • Quinacridone Violet (PV 19 Quinacridone, translucent), PRIMAcryl 13.328
  • Glaze Violet (PV 23, transparent), PRIMAcryl 13.330
  • Delft Blue (PB 60, translucent), PRIMAcryl 13.432
  • Ultramarine Blue (PB 29, translucent), PRIMAcryl 13.433
  • Phthalo Blue Cyan (PB 15:3, translucent), PRIMAcryl 13.439
  • Phthalo Turquoise (PB 16, transparent), PRIMAcryl 13.455
  • Phthalo Green bluish (PG 7, translucent), PRIMAcryl 13.563
  • Phthalo Green yellowish (PG 36, translucent), PRIMAcryl 13.564
  • Glaze Golden Yellow (PY 150, transparent), PRIMAcryl 13.674
  • Madder Brown (PR 206, translucent), PRIMAcryl 13.681
  • Glaze Oxide Brown (PR 101, transparent), PRIMAcryl 13.682
  • Atrament (PBk 31, transparent), PRIMAcryl 13.791

Mixed Pigment Colours

  • Prussian Blue (PB 60, PB 15:1, PBk 7, semi-translucent), PRIMAcryl 13.440
  • Vandyck Brown (PR 101, PBk 7, semi-translucent), PRIMAcryl 13.685


  • Lueger, Otto: Lexikon der gesamten Technik und ihrer Hilfswissenschaften (Stuttg., Leipz. 1908)


* contains zinc oxide.

Source: Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon, 6. Auflage 1905–1909

Model Paints