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Made in gb
Fresh-Faced New User




Hi All,

I haven't gamed/played 40k since 4th Ed and am looking to get back into the painting aspect as I have plenty of unfinished models to work on. Problem is my paints are all a bit old and unusable after all these years. I've been looking on the GW website and there doesn't seem to be any comprehensive sets of paints like I'm sure there used to be. I also don't recognize any of the names of the "types" of paint. I used to use a variety of what I guess you would call "standard" paints, "inks", and at the time the new "foundation" paints. Does anyone have any advice on where to start with paints now, it all seems a lot more complicated than it ever was before. Doesn't have to be GW of course if there is a fantastic set elsewhere!

Cheers!
   
Made in ca
Fireknife Shas'el






Okay, so as far as GW goes, they have the following:

Spray Primers
Base Paints - these are higher pigment and more opaque to go over primer coats better.
Layer Paints - these are generally more translucent so better for highlights rather than large areas
Shade - highly thinned paints for easy shading (i.e. "washes")
Contrast Paints - these are pretty recent and are designed to act like a base, layer and shade all in one go. They're for speedpainting, basically. The results are inferior to normal painting and they take a bit of experience to get right, but done properly you can paint stuff up decently quite quickly. GW has special primers meant to work with them (both in spray and bottle - the bottle are for touchups), but they're not necessary as long as your primer is decently smooth.
Technical Paints - sort of a catchall, this involves the special stuff like paint Medium (i.e. the non-pigmented stuff already in your paints so you can thin the pigments without making the paint more watery), some 'chalky' paints for verdigris effects, or for quickly painting gemstones. It also includes texture paints for quickly giving bases some texture - there are both gritty and crackle versions for each color.
Air Paints - designed for airbrush but can be used straight from the bottle with a brush. This is useful because GW paints in general are pretty thick overall and need the most thinning of any paint range I've tried.
Dry Paints - super thick paints designed for drybrushing.

GW has great reds - Khorne Red Air being a personal favorite - and their shades are generally good. Most other ranges have colors very close to GW and are easier to use and often cheaper.

There are tons of other paints on the market and there are standouts in each range. Vajello and Reaper are probably the most popular and have the biggest ranges (dwarfing GW's ranges). I'll comment on each that I've tried (there are others like Scale75, TurboDork, Green Stuff World and more I have not tried and will avoid commenting on).

Reaper has a huge range and they pre-thin their paints so you don't have to. That's the theory, anyways, it doesn't work 100% that way. Still a great range of paints. They have High Density paints that function like GW's Base Paints and probably the widest range of metallics on the market. They have some great oranges and yellows as well. They also have a tri-paint system where you can buy 3 paints that are basically within one step of each other so you can use them as a base, recess and highlight without much thinking. Really great for skin tones. My personal favorites paints from Reaper: Orange Brown, HD Mustard Yellow, Marigold Yellow, Coppery Orange.

Vajello also has a massive range and they have different formulations - their Model Color range is more for display models, having a ton of military colors as well as a Model Air range for airbrushing. Their Game Color range is more vibrant and holds up better to wear of handling and there's a Game Color Air range as well. Generally both Model Color and Game Color ranges are good, but Vajello's washes aren't very good at all and I'd avoid them for the basic GW Shades. They have some great metallic and excellent blues. Personal Favorites: Brassy Brass, Bright Bronze, Glorious Gold, Ghost Grey (almost white and great coverage), Blue Green.

Army Painter is a range of paints that was designed for mass/speed painting from the get go. Their fame is their Quickshade range, which is meant to be painted over the entire model to shade the whole thing at once. You can even get paint can volumes to dunk your whole mini into. They also have a good range of spray primer/basecoats and a decent range of regular paints. Recently they came up with a Speedpaint range to compete with GW Contrast paints but it hasn't been released yet (soon?). If you just want to get an army quickly painted Army Painter is your friend, if you're painting for display, not so much. I've used them but there are mostly better options.

INSTAR is a fairly new range of paints produced by a fellow DakkaDakka member. They have an Alpha range that's pre-thinned but high pigment, which makes them great for airbrushing but they work off a regular brush just fine. INSTAR also sells stuff called Water+, which you use in place of water as a paint thinner and it works better than just using water. I'd highly recommend Water+ as well as Alpha Pure Black as they're both fantastic. INSTAR also sells primary colors and has a mixing chart so you can make your own colors! The Alpha Range and Water+ can be used together to make contrast style paints or washes as well - personally I prefer just having a consistent shade/contrast, but it's an option. INSTAR also sells paint in various size of bottle (I have a 100ml bottle of Alpha Pure Black) and their prices are quite reasonable.

P3 is a paint range by Privateer Press that's formulated for higher pigment. I've only tried a few and I found them tricky to thin down to paint smooth, but that was 10+ years ago and they may have improved, some people like the range just fine.

I hope this helps.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/01/23 22:33:11


   
Made in us
Lieutenant General





Florence, KY

List of the 'kinda close' equivalents between the old Citadel paints and the current ones from Games Workshop:

Spoiler:

'It is a source of constant consternation that my opponents
cannot correlate their innate inferiority with their inevitable
defeat. It would seem that stupidity is as eternal as war.'

- Nemesor Zahndrekh of the Sautekh Dynasty
Overlord of the Crownworld of Gidrim
 
   
Made in us
Angry Blood Angel Assault marine





Wisconsin

I primarily use Citadel paints, as they got a very good range of colors and the paints are very high quality. A little pricey, but high quality.

The Army Painter makes good paints, and has a better range of purples than Citadel and also an orangey red that I really like called "Mars Red". The problem though, is that their paint medium is EXTREMELY thick and tends to sit at the bottom and no amount of shaking will get it to mix. There is a very nice video by Geek Gaming on how to fix the issues with The Army Painter, found here: https://youtu.be/xWzLRD1Cetc
Long story short, The Army Painter paints are a good value, and quality product, but they need some prep work to function properly, which is a pain.

Scale 75 paints are another brand I use, and in my small experience are quite good. They require little thinning and apply rather smooth.

Tamiya paints are quality acrylics that use an alcohol based paint medium. I pretty much only use their clear paints and their "Chrome Silver" which is the most amazing, brightest and reflective silver paint I've ever used. They are quite thick out of the pot and can be thinned with either Tamiya's regular thinner or rubbing alcohol (isopropyl). I don't know the exact ratio, but when thinning these paints, you only need to use a very tiny bit of thinner, otherwise you'll end up stripping the paint off your model when you apply it - which I found out the hard way. Also, never, NEVER EVER, use Tamiya thinner to thin your water based acrylics, as you'll just turn it into a clumpy mess. I was lucky in that I knew that Tamiya was alcohol based and other acrylic paints were water based before I started painting models, but the story of modelers who didn't know any better and decided to pre-thin other paint brands with Tamiya thinner, is a sorrowful tale that is all too familiar on these boards. :(

I hope the info I've provided really helps you in your modeling journey and return to the hobby!

   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





Green stuff world does small sets of paints that contain a scale of colours for layering or achieving certain effects.

So the do blue, red, green etc with a progression of dark to light

They also do metallic paint sets, black and white and everything in between, the colours you need if you want to do non metallic metal etc.

I really like their paints so I’d suggest checking them out
   
Made in ca
Ancient Venerable Dreadnought






I will throw my vote behind Reaper master series paints as well

Reaper IMO is some of the best paints on the market for the price, and has a crazy range of colors. In fact i enjoy them so much i literally bought the entire rage. They are smooth and go on like butter, you can wet blend them super easy, they thin down great in water or a water alcohol mix, they will go through an airbrush like Gak through a goose. They are over all IMO the best paint out there, and the only one coming close to it is scale 75

No in terms of metallic, i use scale 75, i find their metallic are the best i have used so far, with the only ones i dont use from them being scorched metal from reaper. However Scale 75 does NOT thin with alcohol, in fact never use alcohol with scale 75, something reacts with it in the paint and causes it to finish with a frost on it.

That said, GWs contract is super good stuff and is amazing to use in an airbrush, but army painter is giving them a run for their money here with speed paints.

Either way, i personally strongly suggest Reaper.

NOW, one final note though, if you are using, well bascially any non GW paint, you have to seal it after you are done. GW paints are specifically deigned to be handled, this is why dry GW paint tends to peel off rather then chip or rub off, because the mixture is intended to be handled a lot. Reaper, scale 75, and even Vallejo paints are not intended to be handled that much, this is why you will see these pants tend to chip, and rub off, so once you finish your model you have to put on a sealer once you are done.

To many unpainted models to count. 
   
Made in gb
Frenzied Berserker Terminator




Southampton, UK

NB if you're googling based on the above, it's Vallejo not Vajello
   
Made in us
Angry Blood Angel Assault marine





Wisconsin

 Backspacehacker wrote:

NOW, one final note though, if you are using, well bascially any non GW paint, you have to seal it after you are done. GW paints are specifically deigned to be handled, this is why dry GW paint tends to peel off rather then chip or rub off, because the mixture is intended to be handled a lot. Reaper, scale 75, and even Vallejo paints are not intended to be handled that much, this is why you will see these pants tend to chip, and rub off, so once you finish your model you have to put on a sealer once you are done.

Question: If my models aren't being played with and are meant just for display, do I still need to seal it? Will the paint just naturally peal off over time?

   
Made in ca
Fireknife Shas'el






 ShadowsAndDust wrote:

Question: If my models aren't being played with and are meant just for display, do I still need to seal it? Will the paint just naturally peal off over time?


No, the paint won't peel unless something really wrong happens (like unwashed resin might have leftover mold release lubricant on it). Handling minis with bare hands often causes the paint to break down from the oils in the skin, rubbing off paint (sometimes). Minis for display won't see enough handling for that to happen, and sealant often slightly alters the appearance of the paintjob, so might not be desirable.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Crispy78 wrote:
NB if you're googling based on the above, it's Vallejo not Vajello


Haha I make this mistake all the time, mea culpa.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/01/24 02:15:41


   
Made in ca
Ancient Venerable Dreadnought






As mentioned, if you are not handling your models, you dont need to seal them.

The paint will not naturally peel off over time, at least, i have never seen nor heard of this ever happening. If they are display i would suggest putting it in a display case though so as to help prevent dust.

To many unpainted models to count. 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





I cannot in good faith recommend any GW paints other than their contrast line.

Army painter, vallejo, and AK paint sets. You can get an effective colour range from them for a good price. Theyre also all dropper bottles, which makes mixing colours precisely much easier.
   
Made in ca
Ancient Venerable Dreadnought






 Gregor Samsa wrote:
I cannot in good faith recommend any GW paints other than their contrast line.

Army painter, vallejo, and AK paint sets. You can get an effective colour range from them for a good price. Theyre also all dropper bottles, which makes mixing colours precisely much easier.


Truth be told from what im reading army painters speed paint blows GWs contrast outta the water apparently. Reviews on it are glowing. I will say though contrast through an airbrush is fething amazing

To many unpainted models to count. 
   
Made in au
Grizzled Space Wolves Great Wolf





These days if I were restarting my paint collection I'd probably mostly stick with Vallejo due to price and availability, but with some select paints from GW (specifically their "base" paints and "contrast") and a couple from Army Painter (specifically their Ink/Washes).

 Backspacehacker wrote:
 Gregor Samsa wrote:
I cannot in good faith recommend any GW paints other than their contrast line.

Army painter, vallejo, and AK paint sets. You can get an effective colour range from them for a good price. Theyre also all dropper bottles, which makes mixing colours precisely much easier.


Truth be told from what im reading army painters speed paint blows GWs contrast outta the water apparently. Reviews on it are glowing.


I dunno which reviews you are reading, that's not the impression I've gotten from the reviews I've seen/read. They have given me the impression that they're mostly similar to contrasts, but runnier, go into the crevices more, and are a bit harder to manipulate.



This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/01/24 06:10:07


 
   
Made in ca
Ancient Venerable Dreadnought






This is one of those really funny things about painting but, that's actually why I hear they are better, the flow and fill in gaps more.

Goobertownusa did a good review on them all, he applied each one to both a metal and white primed model really interesting to see the effects

To many unpainted models to count. 
   
Made in us
Lieutenant General





Florence, KY

 Backspacehacker wrote:
This is one of those really funny things about painting but, that's actually why I hear they are better, the flow and fill in gaps more.

Goobertownusa did a good review on them all, he applied each one to both a metal and white primed model really interesting to see the effects



'It is a source of constant consternation that my opponents
cannot correlate their innate inferiority with their inevitable
defeat. It would seem that stupidity is as eternal as war.'

- Nemesor Zahndrekh of the Sautekh Dynasty
Overlord of the Crownworld of Gidrim
 
   
Made in ca
Ancient Venerable Dreadnought






https://youtu.be/zsHGUAAi420


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Either way, memes and video linking aside, the contrast or speed paints are just a tool we can use.

Just one type of paint we could debate over what's better and what's worse. That siar in terms od paint for the OP I'm still here for reaper

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/01/24 18:00:37


To many unpainted models to count. 
   
Made in gb
Fresh-Faced New User




Thanks everyone for the responses. You have given me a lot to think about! It seems as though most people aren't huge fans of the GW stuff. How does coverage of paint of these other brands compare to that of GW's base paints? (I assume these are pretty much the same as the old foundation paints and I remember getting on well with them when covering large areas of block colour). I'm not planning on playing any games at this point so I'm not too bothered about wear and tear - I'll probably use some sealant anyway as the models I want to be painting up are mainly metal at this point (I have a few squads of Vostroyan Firstborn).

At the moment I'm looking at getting some Vallejo or one of the other non GW brands due to the glowing reviews above. I'm checking to see if there are any sets I can buy with the colours I need. Many people used to use sand/gravel for basing, has this been replaced by GW's technical paints for many people? These look quite interesting.

Dug the airbrush out the garage as well today so might look at getting some airbrush paints as well. My brushes are all dead though so I'll get some more from GW unless someone has any reason I shouldn't?

Cheers everyone!

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2022/01/24 18:42:28


 
   
Made in ca
Ancient Venerable Dreadnought






So in terms of coverage this is one of those, well it depends lol. It depends on what you are painting over, some paints have better coverage then others. Vallajo and reaper I would save have about the same coverage if by coverage you mean "how many coats do I need to get a solid layer. Which will again depend on a lot of things but If your painting the same color over the same base with the same paint mix I would say pretty applicable for both to be able the same.

Compared to GW, they will not go on as thick, so where as with GW you might have to do only 2 passes, reaper and vallajo 2~3

Basing: yes and no, gw does not have any like big chunks of rock for bases, their technicals like mud, astrogranet ECT ECT, is basically just sand and paint and some adhesive to keep it all together I think. It's a quick down and dirty easy way to get a mud base or what have you. You can still get the same results or better by doing it all yourself by mixing sand, glue, spread then paint the sand. It's really just how you prefer the look.

Again I would avoid GW stuff, not because it's bad, but because it's over repriced. Case and point, a pot of sterlin mud from GW is 8 bucks, vallajos thick mud is 16 bucks and you get I would say probably the same as 5+ plots of sterlen mud.

Again it's a great fast way to base models.

Airbrush paints: honestly, don't waste your money, 90% of the air brush paint is just pre thinned regular paint. Buy the paint you want, buy some plastic cups for like pills, or medicine and mix your paint in there. You can either mix your paint with airbrush thinner or make your own thinner with a distilled water and 90% alcohol mix at 1:10 1 part alcohol 10 parts water.
Also learning how to properly thin paints for an airbrush will overall make you a better airbrush painter as you can then turn anycolor into an airbrush paint rather then relying on premixed stuff.

Brushes: don't buy GW, again way way over priced. Go with Windsor newton, broken toad, Raphaels, for work horse brushes in like size 1, and zero. If you want a fine detail brush, artist opus size 1.
I think army painter has some really good dry brushes you can use as well. Just don't waste money on GW hobby hardware.


This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/01/24 18:57:17


To many unpainted models to count. 
   
Made in us
Rogue Daemonhunter fueled by Chaos






Macon, GA

There's nothing wrong with buying GW's brushes at this point, but you can get the same or better quality for cheaper elsewhere. As a rule, most things GW makes for the hobby can be sourced cheaper from other companies.

There is no single starter box I'd recommend to anybody. Every company has its strengths and weakness, and with weird availability it can be hard to even track down a lot of things.

to your questions:

Base paints are hit or miss. some cover like old foundations, others still take two or three coats over dark primer. If coverage is your goal, look hard at Pro Acryl or Scale 75, as they are very pigment heavy.

basing is still wide open, with plenty of people still using sand and flock, others using technical, and others using textures from vallejo, Ammo, or Monument Hobby.


My Painted Armies
: Co. B, 37th Praetorian IG: 21,000pts
KOW Ogres: 4500 points
Loyalist Emperor's Children: 2500 points 
   
Made in ca
Fireknife Shas'el






Honestly the main virtue to Citadel Paints is that they're the most easy to obtain. I'm lucky to have a hobby store in town that carries Vallejo and some Reaper paints as well as Tamiya and some AK Interactive stuff.

   
Made in gb
Been Around the Block




My main advice for buying paints when you’re just getting into or back into the hobby is buy what is the most easiest and convenient for you to get first. If GW is easiest for you to get then grab that, if you have to order offline take your pick! Nothing kills the enthusiasm for the hobby than waiting a week to get the right shade of blue.
   
Made in gb
Fresh-Faced New User




Thanks for the clarification on my questions everyone! I've made an online order for a custom selection of 14 Vallejo Model Colour, 4 Vallejo Game Colour (I found it difficult to find a good selection of metallics in the model colour range) and 3 army painter washes/inks. I'm definitely going to be missing a few colours to start with but I kind of thought that I'd get the colours that I needed to start off with and then expand when needed. I have no blues, purples, oranges or yellows on the way! Also treated myself to a new paint station from Bandua, some basic brushes from the army painter and some Kolinsky sable brushes from Creative Models. Excited!

I don't live close to a store (1 hour away for GW or an alternative) so I wasn't really restricted on what I could order.

Thanks for the help everyone!
   
Made in au
Grizzled Space Wolves Great Wolf





 Backspacehacker wrote:
Goobertownusa did a good review on them all, he applied each one to both a metal and white primed model really interesting to see the effects


A criticism of Goober's review is that he used very "easy" models. They're models with very dense detail well suited to that type of paint. Honestly, he could have just painted them with regular old acrylic inks and they would have looked good. Other reviews like TaleofPainters, Squidmar, Dana Howl, they used them on more challenging models that are more representative of your average army IMO.

In the end I don't think either blows either out of the water like you mentioned, just that they are similar but slightly different.

Emperor's Guardsman wrote:
Thanks everyone for the responses. You have given me a lot to think about! It seems as though most people aren't huge fans of the GW stuff. How does coverage of paint of these other brands compare to that of GW's base paints? (I assume these are pretty much the same as the old foundation paints and I remember getting on well with them when covering large areas of block colour). I'm not planning on playing any games at this point so I'm not too bothered about wear and tear - I'll probably use some sealant anyway as the models I want to be painting up are mainly metal at this point (I have a few squads of Vostroyan Firstborn).


Base paints are the replacement for Foundations, however they tend to be a bit more vibrant but what they gain in vibrancy they lose in coverage. For me, I prefer the base paints, as most of the foundation paints I found I needed to mix with regular paints as they were a bit too muted for my liking, whereas base paints are closer to the tones I like.

Many of the Vallejo Model Colour (not Game Colour) are have very good coverage also, however it can be hard to guess which ones have good coverage and which don't, I think it's somewhat a coincidence because the colours in that line try to emulate real world military colours many of which naturally tend to having good coverage. Because GW bundles all the good coverage ones together into the "base" range it makes it easier to choose.



Automatically Appended Next Post:
Emperor's Guardsman wrote:
I don't live close to a store (1 hour away for GW or an alternative) so I wasn't really restricted on what I could order.


I always just assume anyone who lives in the UK must live spitting distance from a GW, aren't they like McDonalds over there? lol


This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2022/01/24 23:18:24


 
   
Made in gb
Fresh-Faced New User




AllSeeingSkink wrote:

I always just assume anyone who lives in the UK must live spitting distance from a GW, aren't they like McDonalds over there? lol


They really are! However I live in a designated Area of Natural Beauty which basically translates to terrible roads which takes ages to get anywhere!
   
Made in ca
Ancient Venerable Dreadnought






Well, silver lining, if you do go with vallajo you are a lot closer to the source, iirc, they ship outta Spain, I think. So should get them pretty quick. Over here in the states if there is not any localling takes forever to get an order x.x

To many unpainted models to count. 
   
Made in us
Grumpy Longbeard






Ill put my vote for GreenStuff WOrld paint sets
https://www.greenstuffworld.com/en/search?controller=search&orderby=position&orderway=desc&search_query=set&submit_search=set-basic.html?search_query=set&results=489
And Reaper paint sets.
https://www.reapermini.com/search/paint%20set


Keep in mind that Reaper is made in USA
And Greenstuff World shipping to US from UK Nowadays might take months, like it did for me.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2022/01/26 00:21:21


 
   
Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut






Reaper has a UK warehouse. It doesn't always have the same stock levels as the main Reaper factory, but shipping on UK orders is domestic.

   
Made in us
Grumpy Longbeard






 Turaxa wrote:
Reaper has a UK warehouse. It doesn't always have the same stock levels as the main Reaper factory, but shipping on UK orders is domestic.


Ah, thanks! So, then the GreenStuff World will get to UK lickety-split and Reaper depends.

 
   
Made in us
Stalwart Ultramarine Tactical Marine



Alaska

I will also throw my recommendation in for Reaper. I took a looooong break from any hobby stuff and my old citadel paints in the hex pots were all pretty much shot. I didn't dive right back in and wanted a starter paint set that was still comprehensive. I got a killer sale deal on reaper master color kit #1 and #2 combo off of Miniature Market and they were fantastic. Better spread and smoother than the older Citadel stuff, but still packed with pigment, easy to mix on a wet palette, and dear lord the dropper bottles are a godsend over the old screw off tops and the flip tops.

Kit #1 and kit #2 should cover a lot of your bases, especially if you can use/remember a color wheel to mix what you want. Those kits, a few metalic bottles, and a couple washes and you should have plenty to jump back in and put out good paint jobs on a wide variety. I am gonna admit to sinning and using walmart Krylon rattle can primers and they do a pretty good job actually and way cheaper than miniature primer. Just don't get sandable primer that is made for fill in/buildup.

As others have said, if you go with someone other than Citadel you can get pretty good stuff for pretty good prices. Like this https://www.miniaturemarket.com/amywp8021.html
   
Made in ca
Fireknife Shas'el






Note that Reaper also sponsors/affiliates with some twitch streamers, so there may be discount codes to be had. I know Jimmy the Brush has an affiliate link at a bare minimum.

https://www.twitch.tv/jimmythebrush

   
 
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