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.
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.