Friday, January 24, 2014

Paint Range Experiment Proposal

As a person who puts a lot of time into the painting aspect of the hobby, I came to an astonishing realization recently. I have only ever used one kind of paint. That would be GW's paints, unsurprising I imagine. That's what Hubs had for the most part when I started painting, and it's what we've kept buying. So, of course I love the GW paints, I don't know any better!

Paint love

But when I took that fabulous painting seminar last month, we only used Privateer Press paints. I noticed some key differences between their paints and GW's. Not the least of which is consistency. And it got me wondering, what am I missing out on by only knowing and using ony type of paint? I suspect it's a lot. So, I'm here to propose an experiment.

I'm going to compare GW, Privateer Press, Vallejo, and Reaper paints. I really only own GW paints so I have to go out and buy some from all the rest of the lines. They're all easy enough to come by online but I'll see what I can scare up locally first.

There are lots of things to look at when comparing paints. I'm going to make sure to get a some of the "standard" paints, metallics, and washes and compare each in turn. I'll also compare how they work using several techniques, including layering, two-brush blending, and dry brushing.

For the models, I've decided to dedicate one full model to each paint range. That way I can really get a good chance to work with each line. I already have a whole plethora of models I can choose from. I'm thinking either my Reaper Giants or my beloved Rackham Wolfen. Once I get the paints, I'll decide for sure. In either event, they will all be prepped and primed in the same way for consistency.

This isn't something I'm going to do very quickly. I have quite a bit of prep to go through for my Adepticon armies (I'm playing Saga, Necromunda, and Lord of the Rings), so while I'm going to get started now, I don't anticipate being finished with it until the end of April. That said, I'll be posting plenty of WIP photos and a few posts as well.

Now here's where you come in. Are there other miniature paint lines you propose I also try? Other techniques? Suggestions? Let me know in the comments and I'll incorporate them into the test!

Updates:
Part 1: So Much Paint

25 comments:

  1. My suggestion would be to find three identical models, and then use different paint lines but paint them in the same pattern, and same scheme. That way, you'll get a true feel for what the differences in the paints are because you attempted to do the same thing with each one. You'd see how each one did the job, and what one or another did better or worse.

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  2. I love me some Army Painter!

    http://www.thewarstore.com/ArmyPainterWarpaints.html

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  3. Very good idea. I second this suggestion

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  4. As do I. I bought the entire range last year. Well worth it. Between Army Painter and P3, they are the only paints I use, though I have started experimenting with Vallejo.

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  5. The thing that sets P3 apart from all the other paint lines is they exclusively use liquid pigment in their paint formula. It makes for a much smoother consistency, opacity, which IMHO makes blending and other techniques much easier to accomplish. It is great paint.

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  6. The other thing is savings. GW paints are $4 for 12ml of paint in one of the crappiest pots on the planet... I honestly believe they went with those pots so the paint would dry out faster and you would have to buy more...
    With P3 and Armypainter you are looking at $3 to $3.50 for 18ml of paint. Both are in good containers, though I am slowly switching my P3 to dropper bottles as I have come to really like them better.

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  7. I've never tried two-brush blending, but I have done some normal and wet palette blending. I don't really know the differences. Other than that, I think the techniques you listed should give you a good range to try.
    Your Adepticon line up sounds awesome! I love me some Necromunda! I haven't played it in ages, and I just recently found my Orlock gangers!
    I forgot to mention. P3 doesn't have a line of washes like GW does, but they do have Inks. You would need to thin them down to the consistency of a Wash. Armypainter does have washes. Soft Tone, Strong Tone, and Dark Tone. These equate to Gryphone Sepia, Devlin Mud, and Badab Black respectively. They unfortunately don't have any other colors... Sadly, the new GW washes are not the same anymore and I am not happy with the new ones... Luckily I still have some of the older Washes line left...
    Secret Weapon does make a line of Washes. I have no personal experience with them, so I cannot comment. I've heard good things though.

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  8. LoL! I think I've expended my Manly Word Limit for the month! I will now devolve back into incoherent grunts...
    Sorry to have posted so many replies. I seem to be chatty today!

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  9. I've been slowly replacing my old GW paints with the Vallejo Game Colour range. It has most of the analogous colours to GW, plus their Heavy line is just like the old GW Foundation line. I'm not sure if they're better (as I'm not a great painter), but I like the dropper bottles and as Sean said its more paint for cheaper. I haven't tried any of the new GW paint line.


    I also have some P3 paints I really like. I can't live without Sanguine Base and Coal Black now.

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  10. Oh and I did try a few of the Reaper Master series paints, but I personally didn't like them. I found them hard to use and they left a bit of a chalky texture on the mini. But I've also heard people rave about them (especially their triad colours) so maybe I just got a few bad bottles.

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  11. As I'm about to drop ~$200 on paint, I'm not going to buy new models when I have so many unpainted ones already. But the ones I'm considering are all very similar (i.e. werewolves carrying big blades) for this exact purpose. I'm definitely going to paint them similarly, but obviously the paint colors across lines aren't exact matches to each other.

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  12. I considered Army Painter but with only 40 paints in their range I didn't think it would be fair to compare it to the others who have much more (144/218/216/74ish). I think they're great for historicals but trend too dark.

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  13. Yeah, I really liked it when I tried it for the first time. They're the reason I thought of this in the first place. I'm also excited to try the wet palette with them.

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  14. Now that I've used the new GW washes a lot, I've come to appreciate their difference from the old ones. And, if you thin them a little, they're pretty similar to the old ones.

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  15. That's OK, just steal all my thunder and leave me with nothing to talk about in my upcoming post. It's cool. ;-)

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  16. I do appreciate a nice base color paint, I suspect that will be where I see a lot of difference between the ranges.

    I've really come around to the dropper bottles. If nothing else, they're far less messy.

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  17. My entire Dwarf army's skin was painted using one of Reaper's flesh tone triads. I will rave about that a bit. It was excellent and easy to use.

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  18. Yeah they only have 40 different paints in their range, but they're designed to mix together. Because, as Army Painter says, you don't need 15 different reds on your bench :P

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  19. The P3 bottles are identical to the original GW bottles. The only GW paints I have left is Space Wolves Grey and Enchanted Blue. Both are in their original bottles and both are still usable. That says a lot for the bottles IMHO. Yes, the lids can break and the little opening tab can fall off, but to keep paints still usable for 20 years is amazing.

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  20. Coal Black is AMAZING!
    I am also a huge fan of Greatcoat Grey

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  21. I highly recommend you try the Armypainter Warpaints washes. I just wish they had other colors than light brown, brown and black (Soft, Strong and Dark Tones). A nice red, blue and green would be awesome too. I dread the day I run out of Baal Red...

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  22. can't wait to see the end results and read your reviews of the paints. Good luck, and enjoy the painting!

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