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Subject: Know a good brand of paints for wargame figs? rss

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Stephen Renfroe
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I'm looking for some advice on good paints for wargame figurines. Years ago I used the Citadel paint line put out by Games Workshop. If memory serves they were very good but very expensive. Can anyone point me towards a good brand I can find at a local hobby store?

Thanks
 
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Jim Patterson
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I'm no expert, but I've been very impressed with Vallejo paints (http://www.acrylicosvallejo.com/) for 'Mech painting. They have wargame-related colors and sets, too, for more conventional armies. They come in nice dropper bottles, have a nice consistency, and seem to go quite a ways.
 
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Ryan Powers
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I'll second the Vallejo. Lots of selection, good quality, and reasonable (but still not cheap) prices.


I use mostly Vallejo paints for my minis. (And cheapo automotive primer)
 
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Justin Fitzgerald
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Best = Vallejo.
2nd Best = Games Workshop.

Professional painter for oh... 6 years or so.
 
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Here's a good general overview of the various paint brands out there:

http://myminiaturepainting.com/acrylicpaints.html

Personally, I prefer Reaper Master Series for the majority of my projects. For a good cheap primer, you cannot beat Dupli-Color sandable primer. You can buy it at auto parts stores like Kragen.



 
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Brad Wagnon
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Look under the hot deals forum and order a box of paints from Geosphere. The Adikolor paints are good quality, and you can get a good range of colors in one of his box deals.

Otherwise Valejo is my favorite. I use a few GW paints, but avoid them when possible. (Not due to quality issues, but expense and general dislike of GW and their business practices.)

Partha Paints and Polly S are good paints as well, but depending on your local store, might not be available. I think Polly S only makes military colors these days, aimed at the model market.

 
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Sean Dooley
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I have to agree that Vallejo paints are top notch. One company I'm not seeing represented here, and it is a new paint line so its understandable is Privateer Press' new P3 line. While these paints, thusfar, are aimed toward the purveyor of Warmachine, Hordes, or Iron Kingdoms--and I say this simply based on the color schemes--they really are superior paints.

If you've ever seen the stuff Privateer does in house, its really nice, and the paints were developed by their in house painters. Their opacity is excellent; I use their red ALL the time, as it generally needs less coats than any other red I've used to get a good consistency.

If you're able to come across the P3 line, I wholly recommend at least trying it out.

Cheers!

Sean
 
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Doc Bullseye
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Vallejo, hands down.
 
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A Morris
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They can be a bit tough to find, but I've always used Polly S (also known as Polly Scale) water based acrylic paints. I've found their colors to hold well, they cover well and are not that expensive. Check out your local model railroading shop. The colors are kind of subdued but as far as I'm concerned they work well for military units.

They also had a fantasy line a few years back but I don't know if they still do. You might find some old stock covered in dust somewhere, but frankly most of the colors were available in the Railroad line anyway.

I still use and love Floquil's figure primer, I haven't been able to find anything that works as well.
 
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Sam DiRocco
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keethrax wrote:
(And cheapo automotive primer)



Be careful using Automotive primer. Most of it is an expanding type. It is made to smooth the finish of body work prior to final painting. You will lose a lot of detail on your minis.

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David Winter
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I'm a fan of vallejo,
i find most paints to be similar in quality, but vallejo has the super handy dropper bottle, as well as being cheaper by volume than GW's.
I'd recommend purchasing a pack of small glass beads from a craft store and dropping one into each bottle, Vallejo paints do seperate easily and the mixing bead makes things much faster and easier.

I have heard from a friend that GW's latest range of foundation paints have excellent first coat coverage, even for reds and yellows, so may be worth picking up one or two of these for common base colours.
 
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Eli Smith
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To the OP:
Miniature paint lines are formulated for painting miniatures, they are generally more expensive than hobby paints due primarily to two factors, the first is a higher pigment density, this leads to better coverage in fewer coats as to not "clog" small details. The second is a smaller market and thus generally lower sales. The problem I've found with most hobby fluid acrylics is that I don't save money because I end up buying more paint than I need the size of bottles for anything with decent coverage is usually an ounce or more (I find that the lower quality the paint the bigger the "smallest" bottle tends to be). Coverage also tends to be horrible for hobby paints, you can alleviate some of this by priming your figures white, I'd recommend Golden Fluid Acrylics or Liquitex fluid acrylics.. although they're not any cheaper than the minis lines...

wittdooley wrote:
I have to agree that Vallejo paints are top notch. One company I'm not seeing represented here, and it is a new paint line so its understandable is Privateer Press' new P3 line. While these paints, thusfar, are aimed toward the purveyor of Warmachine, Hordes, or Iron Kingdoms--and I say this simply based on the color schemes--they really are superior paints.

If you've ever seen the stuff Privateer does in house, its really nice, and the paints were developed by their in house painters. Their opacity is excellent; I use their red ALL the time, as it generally needs less coats than any other red I've used to get a good consistency.

If you're able to come across the P3 line, I wholly recommend at least trying it out.

Cheers!

Sean


Let me second this recommendation, these are fine, fine paints, coverage is generally superior to GW and Vallejo with less breakage issues when thinning. I would however steer clear of the metallics, they have severe settling issues which could flummox someone who does not know how to deal with them (there have also been some production issues with the Formula P3 metallics lately, so another reason to avoid them).

I do a heap of painting and know a studio painter or two... and they all tend to use a wide range of paints, although there's often a bias to the brand they started with or have been using the longest.. this is due to the fact that different paints by different manufactures have different properties, these properties take time to learn. Also there are many different painting techniques used by miniature painters and some paints are better for different techniques thus a painter will gravitate toward paints appropriate to the techniques they favor.

I myself take a different appraoch and keep a few different paint lines on the desk and use whichever is best for the technique I am trying to use. This means you'll find Vallajo, GW, P3 and even Golden Fluid Acrylics on my paint rack.

For beginners I suggest one of the following 4 paint lines:
P3 (Privateer Press), Games Workshop, Vallejo Model or Game color lines or Reaper Master series.

Which should you choose?

I'd go by price and availability in your area. If you're not sure you're going to be invested long-term in the hobby I suggest selecting the paint line that is cheapest, easiest for you to locate and has the best stock levels in your local area.

Once you've got some paints and slapped them on a few minis and started you'll probably want to experiment with other lines, I recommend buying a color or two and trying different techniques with them and seeing what works best for you.



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Borja Sierra
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As they have stated before, Vallejo. They are the best. GW has also a good selection of colours, but I would rather choose their inks than their paints
 
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Stephen Renfroe
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Well it looks like an overwhelming majority favor Vallejo. So I'll give them a whirl. Is this a brand I could expect to find at a local hobby or comic shop or should I order on line?

Eli, what Metallic line would you recommend? Citadel is the only brand I have experience with and I can get that around here. How do you think they stack up?
 
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