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  • A paint is a paint of course of course

    Hello Mr Ed here........ what paints do you use?

    At risk of posting highly flammable thread I want to gauge the general consensus regarding paint quality nowadays, what has prompted this post? .....well my disapointment with some brands (or particular colours within a range) of paints in recent years, am I alone, what do you think?

    Most of you probably have a selection of brands as I do and maybe like me you may have multiple generations of a particular brand. It is claimed, rightly or wrongly, that certain brands suit particular styles of painting so perhaps you may have an opinion regarding suitability of brands based on this assumption. There is a lot of hearsay and Chinese whispers within the hobby regarding formulations of paint brands which promotes speculation on their quality and usefulness, I'm really more interested in personal experiences not the "I was talking to someone who new a bloke that was mates with a guy that work for........"

    I'm interested in hearing/reading what your thoughts are regardless of your experience, style and what you paint for (table top, display etc) if I can decode general trends I will try to write up your combined thoughts as an publishable article. This post will also appear on my blog to broaden the cross section of opinions.



    Let me provide a bit of background as to my own paint collection. No matter what the age if the paint is still viable and behaves as it did when I first purchased it I still own it, this makes my paint collection look a little like a museum, I have no shame. Big old glass jars, tiny 80's Humbrol white plastic pots and tinned enamels, every type of citadel pot, Ral Partha/AD&D fat screw tops etc. Of course many more have been tossed than survived the years as the climate isn't kind to paints that haven't been carefully watched what was liquid last week might well be hard as rock the next. As far as style goes, well to be honest, for many years has revolved around painting 15mm historical armies (lots of figures) so layered dry brushing was the most effective way for me to produce good results on small miniatures in quantity although generals or personality figures would get thorough treatment with carefully layered highlights and shading. The last year 18 months has seen me move to 25-32mm with an eye to painting display miniatures mostly utilizing dry layering and if I'm feeling bold or confident I use the transparency (well diluted) style. Surprisingly enough it is the transparency style and a very old Humbrol acrylic which started me thinking, I found I was having enormous trouble getting the right result with GW and Reaper (both new) paints and as a last resort went to an old Humbrol, in good condition and close to the right shade, success. No plasticky (it's a word) finish, no shiny shiny. no breaking down of previous layers, in short other than slightly courser pigments which led to a very small amount of chalkiness easily fixed a nice even matte finish. Now I generally use RMS (new) and Citdel (older black screw come flip top) and vallejo model colour (circa 08) none of of which I would whole heartedly recommend nor denounce outright although the Citadel/GW can be very annoying.

    3lp
    hmmmmm maybe P3........ anyone want to lend me some?
    three little pigs
    Last edited by three little pigs; 16-11-2011, 02:35 am.
    Wohohohohohoho!
    What do you mean wohohohohohoho?
    You've just eaten the most acid I ever seen anybody eat man!
    Paint Pig-my wargames blog
    three lil pigs painting-my painting blog

  • #2
    Me...

    First love, Vallejo Model colour. Like the high pigment count for ease of coverage over tricky colours underneath and the more realistic tones suite my tastes. 90% of the paint I use on my mini's comes from this range.

    Second love, Vallejo Air metallics (I will likely never use anything else. These are the cat's ass. Anyone not using them need to try them!). Citadel washes are on every mini I paint as well.

    Less frequent are the GW and Vallejo Game colour paints. Nothing against the paint really except I don't use a lot of the bright style colours associated with these paints. I use a lot of the foundation colours as bases for mixing with the VMC range as well.

    P3, dislike the finish these paints give. Like some of the colours but usually use these very thinned for glazing or mixing. It's a rare day I use the paint as a base colour on it's own. I find it leaves a waxy sort of look that puts me off.

    I avoid the Reaper ranges. Find them chalky and generally awful. I've tried a LOT of them from a ton of batches, I just don't like these.
    "Who needs weights? Animals don't lift weights, and animals are STRONG!"
    -Chuck "the Truck" Wallace

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    • #3
      I have used every miniature paint brand out there that I could get my hands on. Reaper's pro, Reaper's Master, Reaper's HD, Vallejo, GW, P3, Coat'd'arms, Ral Partha, etc, etc, etc. I have had problems with every one. From lack of sticking to a primed miniature, shinnies, chalkiness, mixing (so if you try to mix colors you don't get the color you should), crackling, chalky, and on and on. I ended up mixing and matching lines to find a workable set of paints and, even then, I had to make custom additives because the majority would not play nice without a custom additive. This... just to get the paint to work like a normal acrylic paint should. It's almost like some of the paints has Future Floor polish or some other funky thing added to it. The final straw for me was the inability of several of the lines I was using to have a consistent color in every batch. You should not buy two pots of a color and then have to paint over the first pot's paint because they are very noticeably off, then coupled with a batch that seemed to have sand for filler and the second bottle from a different source had the same problem. Fine paint makers don't have any of these problems and I know artists who have had oil paint 30 years old that was still good as good as a freshly made paint tube of the same color from the same brand. There is no reason why bottles of paint should not be viable in use and consistent in color after a couple of years, much less months apart.

      If you are an army painter or just use one or two non-blended highlights, you shouldn't have a problem. GW and several other lines was designed for this type of painting style. But I don't paint this way, I thin VERY thin to blend and layer. Because I am fed up with the crap shoot of quality from bottle to bottle, we've been making our own paint to paint with.

      @three little pigs P3 is the best I've seen so far, but it still has problems. (and mileage varies depending on your painting style) I would avoid the metallics for instance, inconsistent and not very good coverage and grain wise.

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      • #4
        Thanks for your thoughts ScottRandom. Your getting some really good transitions and blends with the VMC what do you use to achieve these? Do you primarily wet blend, layer and glaze or.........? Some colours in particular in the RMS range produce overly chalky results for me too although I have found the the Reaper HD range to be quite good.

        3lp
        Wohohohohohoho!
        What do you mean wohohohohohoho?
        You've just eaten the most acid I ever seen anybody eat man!
        Paint Pig-my wargames blog
        three lil pigs painting-my painting blog

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        • #5
          Thanks Valloa, so I would gather from your reply that you feel the quality of paint in the market place is slipping I have had one or two good words to say about the Reaper HD line particularly for base coating as it is heavy on pigment and possibly less additive/binder or any other PVA filler than the Master series, it does cover well and relatively smoothly. Ah yes, the days of dry brushing 500 15mm figures for an army are well behind me.

          Thanks for your input, maybe I will try some P3

          3lp
          Wohohohohohoho!
          What do you mean wohohohohohoho?
          You've just eaten the most acid I ever seen anybody eat man!
          Paint Pig-my wargames blog
          three lil pigs painting-my painting blog

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          • #6
            Originally posted by three little pigs View Post
            Thanks Valloa, so I would gather from your reply that you feel the quality of paint in the market place is slipping
            Just a tad... ;)


            The P3 has good coverage, better in the lighter colors IMHO than the Master Series HD. Most of the colors play pretty nice if you do thinning or add a lot of additives. I have seen some color discrepancies between bottles of the same color, so I would recommend checking new bottles before painting over paint from an old one if they are the same color.

            Have you ever tried tube acrylics? (not student grade)

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            • #7
              I use VMC, GW and P3 in pretty much equal amounts, and occasionally some VGC, Coat D'Arms and Tamiya.

              I usually find that a mix of GW/VMC, GW/P3 or P3/VMC can each bring slightly different results, but on the whole I can use any/all in their singular forms with no great impediment. To me it's more about dilution and/or additives to get the paint to do what you want it to do. Some paints in each of the ranges fall apart when diluted, and others over power even when heavily diluted, but I then use them accordingly.

              In terms of observed limitations - P3 tends towards plasticky, GW has more temperamental paints (especially in the foundations) for falling apart and can be a bit too saturated, VMC can be a bit gritty in the paler colours and not exactly robust when handling during painting, Coat D'Arms is too glossy, VGC is really plasticky and Tamiya doesn't mix well if you use the 'clear' colours.

              So why use them? - P3 colours offer a lot of tones not seen in other lines and probably behave the best straight out of the bottle with a little dilution, GW has brightness that the others don't (I know I said too saturated above, but horses for courses and all that) and certain colours are always on the painting table, VMC has the largest variety of colours which allows me to subtly alter blended colours more easily, CdA just has a couple of colours that I haven't seen elsewhere, Tamiya's 'clears' are just perfect for things like blood and ooze effects.

              As I said though, I tend to find that mixing colours from 2 or more manufacturers at once gives me the desired effect more often than not.
              CMON Gallery / Me on Putty&Paint/ Wamp Gallery / Black Hand Painting Blog
              Originally posted by TheProdigalGamer
              You people scare me





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              • #8
                Originally posted by three little pigs View Post
                Thanks for your thoughts ScottRandom. Your getting some really good transitions and blends with the VMC what do you use to achieve these? Do you primarily wet blend, layer and glaze or.........? Some colours in particular in the RMS range produce overly chalky results for me too although I have found the the Reaper HD range to be quite good.

                3lp
                What do I use? Just tap water. I Guess I'd be a layer and glaze kinda dude.
                "Who needs weights? Animals don't lift weights, and animals are STRONG!"
                -Chuck "the Truck" Wallace

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                • #9
                  I'm similiar to you Pig - I have a few Ral Parth paints that I hope will last forever (DragonScale Red especially), and keep colors I like, no matter the line and don't bother replacing ones I don't. Having said that, now're days I mainly use P3 together with some VGC and GW paints. I recently picked up a set of Secret Weapon washes, which I like for the most part (I'm planning on doing a Review of them in the near future).
                  Miniatures painted in 2015: 21

                  I've Been Wagged! http://www.wamp-forum.com/VB4/showth...844#post158844



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                  • #10
                    Secret weapons washes are Lester Burley from awesomepaintjobs washes....and he freely shows the recipe in a video and over on dakkadakka

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                    • #11
                      Used old GW paint, Lukas, Vallejo Game Color, Vallejo Model Color, P3, Reaper HD,... but whenever a new range came on the market and I tried it, it was disappointing. There is no perfect range of color. Not the color makes a good paint job alone.
                      Mostly it depends on your painting techniques you prefer. I started with old GW colors. (e.g. go fasta red) After trying - kicking into the corner. :) But today I can even paint with this color. If I layer. For coverage better use VMC or P3. But P3 gets shiny if you use to much paint. Because of its high density of pigments this happens very quickly. So its always a try and error Principe for a newcomer. But never stop painting. Try different things. This will improve your skills. You will find your own way and which color to use for an appropriate effect. Try to splash on paint and see the result. Try to use very thinned down paint and layer. See the Result.
                      my Blog: Odins Men

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                      • #12
                        I am slowly transitioning away from GW to Vallejo for 2 main reasons. Firstly I like the more muted tones of the VMC range and secondly using GW pots makes me a lazy painter. Because I have to decant the Vallejo paints onto a palette I will mix and dilute it better.
                        Also Vallejo Air metallics or the dogs nadgers. Switching from GW metallics to Vallejo Air was the biggest improvement in my metals I could have made.
                        Vallejo are also better price wise than GW's.
                        I haven't touched other brands except a quick try with Andrea Flesh paints and I just didn't like them at all.

                        At the end of the day I think different paints suit different folks and its a case of trying them to see if they suit you - same as with brushes and wives.
                        Shop at the Wampstore

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                        • #13
                          although I would suggest not trying multiple wives...you'll never afford the first..let alone trial and error
                          they tend to frown on you trying whats newer :D

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                          • #14
                            I like the GW paints and I have a few vallejo game colour and a few tamiya clears, I have to say that the GW washes are excellent.

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                            • #15
                              When I first got into painting I used GW paints exclusively. I wouldn't say it was a belief they produced the best paints; they were simply the range that was most readily availible. As the years wore on I started playing around with wet palettes and trialed paints from reaper (mc), vallejo(gc and mc) and a range that died called adikolor.

                              I don't have much brand loyalty. I'll try most new paints I come across (never seen p3 marketed in my area so I'm uncertain of them) and have come to the conclusion that I'll take the best tool for the job and don't care who provides it.

                              GW has a great range of washes and the foundation paint provides excellent coverage when I starting off a model from black primer.

                              Any product in a dropper works better with a wet pallet. Around half of my paint supplies are still GW but I often use them out of the bottle after I cut them with flow release.

                              I am a big fan of the Vallejo MC range. The range is massive and colours break down nicely into 3 step shade/base/highlight even before mixing. I'm playing around more with alternate skin tones more than I ever have before and have had a lot of fun with mixes I'd never considered. They have a good range of military colours as well if you are trying to paint close to canon historical stuff.

                              Reaper MC has a really solid 3 stage bone progression that is colder and more sinister than the bleached bone (too bright) I had been using for skeletons. I have a couple of their liners (seem like washes or inks; there is a light sheen but not a gloss dry like the old citadel inks (still have a stash of those).

                              I use flow aids and glazes marketed by golden and liquitex (no miniature paint company does it cheaper and it is quality stuff)

                              Finally I'm about to take the plunge into some oils for weathering effects after I seal the rest of the paint job on some vehicles. Haven't done it yet but I'm jealous of stuff I've seen other people do and want to give it a shot. I've been wondering about the Vallejo metallics for a while now and might have to pick them up after reading the other posts on the thread.

                              The best product is the one that does the job you want done best (some practice or trial and error may be required to get that best result though). If I've ever been reluctant to trial a new product it's because I've become complacent and comfortable with a procedure I think I know well.

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