This post I am going to talk about paint brands, systems and random products. I am not going to talk about all the different brands on the market just the products that I use and can find in my local area. To be honest I am not loyal to one brand and will always reach out and try new things. I am a bit of a paint whore and will dip my brush in any paint pot.
When you go to your local shop and see the wide range of paints and products it can be overwhelming. I was looking at the Vallejo Model Colors the other day and they had over 20 different shades of green. Our hobby is very unique because we don't really mix paint like canvas artists and we just want to buy the color we need to paint our models. The reason we don't like to mix paint is we paint armies and we need that consistency while painting multiple models. We also need that consistency if we have to touch up the model months later, it is just easier to pull the paint off the shelf to fix your model then mixing up the color you need.
Painting systems take painting to the next level. I feel GW offers the best painting system to include Primer, Base Coats, Highlights and technical products that can take your painting to the next level. They also offer regular articles in their publications that teach readers how to use their painting system. Reaper is another company that offers a painting system that uses Triads for their color line. When you purchase Red Triad it will come with three shades of Red that work together. Vallejo packages their paints for different ways of painting. I recently picked up their Non Metallic paint set with instruction sheet. Companies put these systems together to make painting easier for the artist and so that we buy their products.
Since I am not loyal to a brand of paint or system I will talk about the products that I am currently using. To be honest if GW didn't have such crappy paint pots I would only use their product and paint system. The problem I have been faced with GW products is they dry out over time after opening. If they ever switch over to dropper bottles I would only use their products for my miniature painting but I don't see that happening.
So let me walk you through the products found on my hobby desk.
Lets start with the cheap craft paint that you can find at your local craft store. This paint can be used for painting miniatures however I use it for terrain and bases. This combination is what I use most commonly for bases. It is a good combination with a wash before dry brushing with lighter colors.
For painting miniatures I will use one of the below products that can be found at my local game store. I have already stated how I feel about the GW paint pots and this is one of the colors I have waiting to see if their new paint pots don't dry out over time. The P3 paint pots are great however their paint line is limited and they really don't have a paint system. My preference is dropper bottles and Vallejo offers a wide rang of colors for both military and fantasy.
For washes I use mainly the Warpaint Soft Tone for most of my models. I recently started to explore the Secrete Weapon line of washes, they offer more colors for washes and so far I am impressed. Recently GW started putting their washes in larger pots and they are great washes. These come in handy with terrain projects and get used up rather quickly.
I will also make my own washes with my mixture of mat medium, flow aid and water. I will be talking about this more in the a future post.
I will also use Airbrush Paint with a brush. These paints are already thinned down and can be used right out of the pot. I find the metallic paints work the best with a paint brush right out of the bottle. It is hard to thin metallic paints and having it already done makes life easier.
I have always liked inks, they can really make your model look great however not many miniature paint lines offer inks. I still have a lot of the old GW inks in my collection. I have just recently started using Liquitex acrylic inks and I like them. They have 30 colors in their product line and come with a dropper lid. I also have for Daler Rowney FW acrylic inks and they are the same however different colors. What is great about using inks is that you can use them to thin down your acrylic paint and adjust the color at the same time. I am using ink to thin paints on a current project and so far I like how it works.
Technical paints are starting to become more popular and GW has released a few different lines. I am still exploring these paints and learning how to use them with my miniatures. The AK product line is an enamel product that is used in fine scale modeling. I have used it a few times with some success but still need to practice with it. The GW technical paints are rather easy to use and they offer videos on how to use them.
When I go to the craft store I will pick up artist paints and try them out on miniature painting. I have found that the Liquitex line is more readily available in my area. These paints are rather thick and need to be thinned to use on miniatures.
Recently the local craft store had the Liquitex paints on sale for 30% off and my wife had a 20% off coupon that could be used on sale items so I picked up the Liquitex Soft Body Line and some new inks. The second picture shows how thick the paint is right out of the pot. It is thick and would not work good on a miniature. This paint would need to be thinned down to use it on miniatures. My reason for purchasing these paints is to use them to mix my own colors as I paint single models that will not be duplicated. If you go to the Liquitex website, Liquitex, they have their own paint system with a variety of products. I will be talking more about these products in future posts.
As you can tell after reading this post I am using a variety of different products for painting miniatures. Selecting your paint and paint system is a personal choice and everyone will have a different take on it. This is what I am currently using and who knows maybe next year GW will start using dropper bottles and I will just use their products.