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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Brief Review: The New GW Paints

Hey there Chaos fans! I'm back with a brief look at the new Games Workshop Citadel paints. Of course, I've been excited by the news of the release. I am particularly excited by the new lines (like texture) and the return of the inks (only 4, but still...). So, naturally, I went out and bought the new How To Paint Citadel Miniatures guide/DVD and a whole batch of new paints. Does this new line reflect an improvement over the old GW paint range? Or is this just a GW cash-grab? Let's find out, shall we?

I am very, very impressed with GW this time. This new range of +140 paints is just staggering. Now, I can be critical of GW (I've had articles here showing folks how to SAVE money, I've criticized GW for allowing Chaos to fall by the wayside, etc.), but I must state for the record that these new paints are amazing. Whether you're a veteran painter or someone just starting, these paints are great. Even if you're like my friend who uses Vallejo or Reaper (I have too from time to time), there are things in the GW range that you will find useful. I'm going to give my impressions of each of the types of paints...

1 Coat of Khorne Red
Base: When GW released the "Foundation Paints" a few years back, they were somewhat mixed. Some were great, while others (like Macharite Red) still took a few coats to get right (without being streaky). This time, GW has gotten the Base Paints right. The paint goes on nice and even, and the color is well-defined with just one coat. In these two examples, I have painted Khorne Red on the Blood Slaughterer and Caliban Green on the Nurgle Sorcerer. I am very impressed by the Khorne Red, it's a great color and just one coat looks smooth and deep already. Great stuff here!

Shade: The Shades are similar to the washes that GW released a couple of years ago. They work about the same, though there are more to choose from. However, I feel that their coverage is much better than the old washes. In the example, I used Nuln Oil over a Scab Red cloak. The results are striking! Look at how deep it makes the garment look.

Layer Paints: Now, I certainly haven't had the time to try all of these out- there's a ton to choose from. However, I must say that the couple that I have used thus far go on really well. They are bright, clean, and go on nice even over black. I have already tried Wazdakka Red (which IS brighter than Red Gore, FYI)- it goes on nice and smooth. I am dying to try Wych skin- it looks like a great layer paint for my Dark Eldar Bloodbrides skin.

Texture Paints: I must confess- I hate modeling bases. I find it tedious to PVA glue sand, let it dry, then put a thin layer of glue to seal it, and then... blah blah blah. All of my Plague Marines have bases, but as I went onto others, I either bought pre-done bases (like my Khorne Daemons skull bases) or simply stopped basing outright (like my Dark Eldar). Now, here comes the new Texture Paints. I am very, very happy here. The Texture Paint allows you to make a dirt base in just one sweep of the brush. The dirt in the paint sticks right on, no glue or mess required. If you want only a little, just put on some. If you want a lot of dirt, just paint more on the base. It is so simple. An operation that used to be tedious and take time now just takes an  hour (I waited to really let things dry). In the examples below, I used Armageddon Ash Texture, followed by a wash of Seraphim Sepia, followed by a use of Tyrant Skull Dry paint. The results are great, and only took a brief amount of time. This may be one of the cleverest things GW has ever made, and I will now be basing ALL of my Dark Eldar like this straight away. If that doesn't show you how impressed I am, nothing will.

Dry Compound: Now, dry brushing is a fairly simple technique. However, these new "dry compounds" make that process even easier. The material is fairly thick, rub it off the brush and you get a very nice and even drybrushing effect- no huge streaks. For most experienced painters this is no problem; however, the variety of colors that they have for this are different from their regular colors, so that the right set up of base, layer, and dry brushing can have a powerful combination. I used dry on the bases (after the Texture Paint and shade was applied)- it went on nicely 1 2 3.

Glaze: Kind of like the inks of yore, though not quite as thick and not quite as many. However, these glazes do indeed serve their purpose well- they go on and color the model with a stronger hue than had been. I missed the old inks, and it is nice to see GW bring back the big ones. Here, I used the Green glaze on the Medusa's tentacles, while yellow on her exposed brain and eye.

PS- The book, How To Paint Citadel Miniatures, is a very good book for the beginner. I bought it to learn more about the new paints and their uses. I also like to get new ideas, techniques, and inspiration from books like this. The book did well on all accounts, and the DVD that comes with it goes along with the book, actually showing you the techniques described in the book, and the slice of British humor certainly helped. Its a nice product, though a bit pricey AND if you are a really experienced painter, you may find that this book isn't worth it. However, if you just appreciate looking at nicely painted models and enjoy reading about others techniques, then this book is right up your alley. Of INTERESTING note, they show NO 40K Chaos Marines in this book. None. They mention Nurgle and Khorne (They show a daemon, but that's it), but they don't show ANY Chaos Marines, Vehicles, etc. If you suspect that they'll be bringing out the new line of Chaos soon, I think their lack of inclusion here IS evidence of that... At any rate, I'll give the book 3 out of 4 Marks of Chaos (subtract 1/2 if you are too experienced for this book, considering the price tag).

Until next time, my faithful disciples of Chaos...

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