Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hobby Basics I: Paint

A few years back the choice of paint for use in miniature painting was pretty limited. Most people used the GW colours, because that was, what they could get their hands on.

Today almost every gamer or painter has a FLGS or a website from which he orders his minis and hobby supplies. And because of that, the choice has exploded in the last few years. Now companys like Vallejo, Reaper and Privateer Press have started to gain on GW´s lead, and boy are they gaining.

I personally started with a GW Foundation Colour Hobby Startet Set and some old GW paints I found lying around from when my brother was painting models back in the day - we´re talking end of the 80´s beginning of the 90´s here. Interestingly, some of the paints were still in pretty good condition.

The Foundation Paints are great in some aspects, not so great in others. They cover really well and its easy to lay down a solid basecoat with them. But some of the colours have to be thinned down pretty good before a smooth coat can be achieved - worst offender here is Ilyanden Darksun, which can look pretty grainy and chunky if you don´t thin it down before use. 

My biggest complaint with them is in the packaging. The GW stuff is ok if you want to paint straight from the pot (never do that) but horrible if you want to use a palette (try using that). Also, it´s pretty easy to make a huge mess with the pots, when paint trickles down on the rim - cleanup nightmare.

When it was time to get some more colours I started buying the Vallejo Model Colours for several reasons:

- My FLGS stocked them
- The come in awesome dropper bottles which make measuring and mixing a breeze
- The bottles are cheaper than the GW stuff and you get more paint per bottle

The Vallejo range, at least the Model Colours are very similar to the GW products, they even use very similar names, so it´s easy to find the corresponding colour. Plus they started introducing equivalents to the foundation range and the washes and even have some great products of their own - like the Model Air Range for airbrushing for example.

In the end it all comes down to preference and which of the paints you can get the easiest. You will realize that some paints will let you do techniques that a similar shade from another company wont. You will just have to try it for yourselves.

As always, enjoy and have fun,


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