Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Musings on the New Paints

Greetings all, I am back from my week of camping in the woods and once more connected to this interweb thing. It looks like Mulder pressed the buttons on time and posted last week's efforts in my absence so all is well!

I promised recently that I would share with you all my musings on the new paint range that Citadel have brought out. I now feel ready to do so, having spent a few weeks working with them. The easiest way is probably to split up the range into it's component parts and examine each in turn.

The base paint range is essentially what the old foundation paint range brought to the party. Solid coverage, clean base shades, does what it says on the tin. There is one important difference though, whereas the old foundation paints used to be entirely dull, desaturated colours; these new ones are bright and vibrant. Lots of colours now have a cool and a warm version of themselves in the base paints and the addition of Ceramite White is one of those innovations that should have choirs of angels singing the first time you pick up the pot! In short, I love the new base paints. The only foundation paint I haven't got a decent analogue for - and mourn its absense - is Charadon Granite.

Just like the base paints the shading washes are essentially an upgrade on the previous wash range. I know people have been grumbling about them but I really cannot see the problem. I think the new range has more intensely and finely ground pigments. The medium the pigments is suspended in dries smoother and leaves nice gradiated shading. The major difference between these and the previous shades is that the new ones provide a slight glaze and thus change the tone of the underlying paint. If you want the original wash effect just thin them a little. A major advantage is the lack of foul reeking stench to the new washes. The old ones used to kiff more than a little. Games Workshop seem keen to promote Base-Shade-Layer-Layer as the method du jour, I respectfully disagree, instead use Base-Layer-Shade-Layer-Layer. Gives a smooth transition.

The layer paints are effectively the old range of paints with one important difference, coverage. The new layer paints are a little more translucent than the old citadel colour range. This may seem like a problem but is actually an advantage, the translucence gives a nice boost to blending layers of colour. Just don't try to use a layer paint in place of a base, it simply will not cover well enough. Get into the habit of using a base paint, any base paint as a colour primer beneath the layers.

How to describe the Dry Compounds? They are kind of like blancmange in texture and are absolutely laden with intense pigment. You dip the brush in and wipe off the excess, the result is brilliant. Far less chalkiness than using layer paints and the different shades make it easy to choose the right one. It is a shame that the highest tones of the new paints are only available in dry compounds but I suspect - haven't tried it yet - that adding some thinner medium and water would create more normal paint.

To my mind one of the biggest shames of the new range is that there are only four glazes. They work wonderfully well to enrich the tones of the paint they are applied over. I just wish there was a flesh one, a brown one etc. For red, blue, yellow and green though these are hard to beat. Don't forget though that a watered down shading wash with some glaze medium added will perform a similar task.

I've played with these but I must confess, they are the worst element of the new range. I'd much rather have had six extra glazes or something similar. Truthfully I don't like using these much. The pigmented nature of them means that it is hard to avoid messing up the painted feet of the miniature you are basing. As a result the "simplicity" of the new textures is undone by the care needed to apply them. I won't be bothering with these much and sticking to sand and PVA. I might play with adding texture to scenery with these but I haven't done so yet.

In short, I really do think that the new paints are an improvement on the previous range. You do need to make some small adjustments to your painting technique to gain the best from them but they are worth it. The new shades and bases are the stand out successes for me and are well worth your time and cash! Are they perfect? No, of course there are some colours that you will probably never use, the textures are kinda pointless too. On the whole though? Very pleased. Hopefully you will be too.


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