Welcome to my panoply of paint.

Paints are like ammunition for my hobby, and I choose them wisely. Well, that’s not entirely true. I love experimenting with different paints, and if I like the results, they become part of my arsenal. I used to be a devoted follower of a particular brand or paint recipe, but in recent years, I’ve embraced a more open mindset.

Manufacturers often claim that their brand or paint range is the best for miniature painters. However, in my experience, most of them have both standout colors and disappointing performers in their ranges. There are also variations in paint properties, such as extendability, saturation, coverage, and more, which can be exploited for different effects.

In my humble opinion, it’s better to choose paints individually based on how they work for you and whether you enjoy using them, rather than exclusively buying into an entire series. Don’t get me wrong—I’ll admit that I spent years using nothing but Games Workshop’s acrylic paint range. However, I’ve since discovered the benefits of trying paints from various manufacturers. Allow me to share a few of the manufacturers I personally use and why.

Primary choice

As a predominantly Warhammer army painter, I have been using Citadel Colour as my paint of choice for years. However, I now use it more selectively, rather than relying on the entire range. Games Workshop’s Citadel painting system remains one of the most user-friendly options for new painters. I incorporate a variety of colors from their range for base colors, mixers, glazes, and effects.

In addition to Citadel, I’m also a fan of Vallejo’s ‘Model’ series for its dense pigments and excellent coverage. I often mix these paints with more transparent ones to achieve smooth bases. Vallejo’s Game Colour and Game Air also have their strengths, particularly when used with an airbrush.

For acrylics, I have a few Scale Colour paints, including their metallics and inks. I find the inks particularly useful for enhancing the saturation of airbrush filters or deep shadows. It’s worth noting that Scale Colour paints can be challenging for newcomers, as they need to be applied thinly and in multiple light coats. I recommend trying them out first before making a significant investment.

In future blog posts, I will specifically mention any paints that I believe deserve special recognition. By exploring various paint brands and finding the ones that work best for your style and techniques, you can enhance your painting experience and achieve outstanding results.

The best of the rest

I’ve singled out these paint types separately because they are thinned differently compared to the standard acrylic paints mentioned above. Tamiya paints, although technically acrylic, are isopropanol-based and work fantastically well with an airbrush. I extensively use Tamiya paints for pre-shading, military schemes, and specific effects like scorching or soot deposits. Their fine pigment and super flat finish make them ideal for such purposes.

In addition to acrylic paints, I also incorporate artist oils from Windsor & Newton into my painting process. I utilize oils for filters, profiling, and weathering effects. Oils offer the advantage of fine pigmentation and a longer curing time, allowing for re-working and adjustments over time.

Lastly, I employ enamels from MIG and AK Interactive exclusively for environmental and weathering effects. Similar to oils, enamels require careful handling and preparation to avoid damaging existing paint layers. However, they have the potential to produce stunning effects reminiscent of those seen in scale modelling.

When it comes to the best airbrush, every hobbyist may have their own perspective and preference. Ask different individuals, and you’ll likely receive several different answers, each valid in its own right. From my own experience, an airbrush has become an invaluable tool in my painting arsenal, working in harmony with traditional brushes to enhance my efficiency.

The market offers a wide range of excellent airbrush manufacturers and models to choose from. Personally, I have been using Harder & Steenbeck for several years now, and it has been my top choice. Specifically, I rely on the Infinity CR Plus and Evolution models, both of which have proven to be reliable workhorses. Not only are they easy to maintain, but they also provide the utmost comfort during longer painting sessions.


Brushes can be a subject of debate, just like airbrushes, when the question of “what is best?” arises. Ultimately, it boils down to personal preference, budget, and your own brush care routines. Over the years, I have used brushes from various manufacturers, but I find myself consistently returning to Windsor & Newton Series 7 brushes. I appreciate their profile and how well they work for me. More recently I have been testing out Broken Toad’s excellent synthetic range of brushes.

If I were to make a recommendation, I would suggest opting for a high-quality brush for acrylic paints over a cheap one. They may be slightly more expensive, but with proper care, they are a worthwhile investment. My preferred brush cleaner is ‘The Masters Brush Cleaner and Restorer.’ Whether you go with a natural hair bristle or synthetic is personal choice. There’s no doubt sable hair, particularly red sable has the edge over synthetic when it comes to maintaining a point with a good snap, but that comes with an ethical cost as well as a financial one. Something I have found personally harder to consciously ignore in recent years.

In case you plan to use oils or enamels alongside acrylics, I advise getting some synthetic bristle brushes specifically for that purpose, as they are more affordable. Mineral spirits used to clean oils or enamels can quickly strip the bristles of their natural oils, causing damage over time and leaving you feeling disappointed. While you can delay the inevitable by using a moisturizing hair conditioner, I personally recommend buying inexpensive brushes for those tasks to protect your investment.

A disclaimer!

When it comes to the vast array of hobby brands for paints, tools, and materials available for miniature painting, I have my own preferences. The choices we make in this hobby are highly subjective, and each person will have their personal favorites based on reliability, budget, specific properties, or compatibility with their working style.

The items I discuss here are not meant to be an exhaustive list, but rather to provide insight into why I use them and how I incorporate them into my work. It’s important to note that these are my personal choices, and I encourage you to explore and experiment to find what works best for you.

Furthermore, I recommend conducting online research and seeking advice from other painters, particularly those who inspire you. Learning from the experiences and recommendations of fellow enthusiasts can broaden your horizons and lead you to discover new techniques and materials that suit your artistic journey.

I really hope this was useful, either way, happy hobbying!