Monday, April 30, 2012

New GW Paints Review

Last week, I picked up a few of the new GW paints that seemed pretty useful for me. Between my Blood Angels and Executioners, I've had the chance to try most of them out and I figured I'd put up my thoughts.

First up are the three reds suggested for Blood Angels. Mephiston Red is the replacement for Mechrite Red. It's about the same shade, but a bit more saturated and less muted than Mechrite Red. Due to this, it's a superior base for painting Blood Red over. It's a bit thinner than Mecrhite Red straight out of the pot, meaning it doesn't absolutely need to be thinned before use (though it still benefits from a little bit of added water). I don't think it covers quite as well as Mechrite Red, but it still covers better than most paints.

Evil Suns Scarlet is the new Blood Red, and is surprisingly close in color. It's a bit more orange, but I could really only tell placing the two colors directly next to each other on a model under bright light. Again, it's thinner in the pot, but it seems to have a better coverage than Blood Red. It looks like a worthy replacement to me.

I'm excited about Wild Rider Red. It's very similar to Evil Suns Scarlet in consistency, but it provides a highlight to Blood Red that isn't too orange (before we only had Fiery Orange). This should allow highlighting of red with a minimum of fuss, and I plan to test it out on my Forgeworld Assault squad. I've already used it to highlight Blood Red on the Executioners logo on the back of the Rhino, and it looks quite smooth without any extra work.

I picked up the red glaze and shade as well. I've only messed with these a bit, but I'm interested in both. Bloodletter seems similar to the Baal Red Wash, in that it's a relatively light red wash that works well for tinting colors but doesn't really provide any shading to red models. I've used it on red lenses, and it pulls the colors together nicely without really changing the tone.

Carroburg Crimson is an interesting shade as it is quite dark and will actually provide decent shading to red models. It seems to flow well and really gather in recessed areas, just like the old washes. I've only tested it a bit, but it may replace Sewer Water as the wash I use to shade my Blood Angels. 

Yriel Yellow is the new Golden Yellow, and I gave it a try on my Assault Marine helmets. It seems to be a dead on match for Golden Yellow, and I think it has marginally better coverage. However, it still takes several coats to provide a solid color. Alone out of the new layer paints, it seems quite thick in the bottle and really needs to be watered down.

I've read that some people don't like the new metals. The only one I've tried is Ironbreaker, which is similar in tone to Boltgun Metal. I haven't had any issues with it. Coverage is good and it has the same overall appearance.

Necron Compound was the real star of the new paints for me. I was initially very skeptical of the Dry range. After all, I can drybrush with any of the Base or Layer paints, so why did I need a special drybrushing paint? I picked up Necron Compound primarily to write a review about it, and because I drybrush a ton of silver for my Executioners. I figured I'd get some use out of it.

When drybrushing, the goal is to get a dusty finish on the model with no visible brush strokes, providing it's own highlighting. This requires the paint on the brush to be very dry and almost non-existent, building up slow layers. I personally have trouble getting this evenly across the brush. Sometimes there will be a small pocket of wet paint or water in the middle of the bristles that will ruin the effect (even after drybrushing has worked well for the first few brush strokes). This results in an even coat, usually displaying brush strokes. I've found the best way to fix this is to stipple the base color back over it, restoring the dusty texture. Even so, this takes more time and can produce an uneven finish on the model, particularly on large flat areas such as on vehicles.

Necron Compound is essentially a thick paste. Put a bit on your brush, give it a quick wipe down on a paper towel, and then start drybrushing. It provides a perfect, dusty drybrush every time I've tried it. It really does seem idiot-proof. There are no patches of flat paint or brush strokes. In addition, it wastes less paint than traditional drybrushing, because you don't have to wipe so much of the brush.

Contrary to my first impression, I love the stuff! I wish I had it when I started my Executioners, and it will be my base paint for them from now on. I may pick up some of the other Dry paints to try them out as well.

Finally, I picked up these two paints, both of which seem handy to have (especially if Ceramite White provides a clean white with only one or two coats). Sadly, I haven't had the opportunity to try them out, but I will let you know when I do.


  1. Thanks for the review, I was trying to figureout if I like the new paints or not. They tend to look funny in the jar so I have a little trouble trying to pick replacements.

  2. Thanks for the overview, Brian. After a little mental debate, I eventually decided to get rid of all my old Citadel paints and start anew. I feel there's no point in continuing with them, as I'd eventually be swearing when I ran out and have to scrounge around on EBay for replacements. It's a good thing I didn't have much painted anyway!

    Anyway, I've been enjoying all the new paints so far. I did a little paint testing this weekend and I really like the "color progression" of the new range. It's interesting that you were thinking about switching to the Carroburg Crimson wash. I tried it on a test Marine and I thought it looked a bit too purple on him. I actually do prefer reds with a blue undertone, as I don't like too much of an orange effect, but I wasn't so happy with the results on him. Perhaps I put a bit too much on him ... or it could be that I used Army Painter Dragon Red primer instead of a black under coat and Mephiston Red base. I liked the Agrax Earthshade (Devlan Miracle) better ... personal preference, I guess! I may experiment with Secret Weapon washes to see what works best for me.

    I really have been the most impressed with the Texture paint and the Dry compounds. If you're lookin for quick, easy basing you need look no further. Two layers of texture paint (so the base won't show through) and a light drybrush later you get a really nice looking base without all the PVA glue, ballast, and so on.

    All in all, I think the new range is great for beginners, with lots of quick steps and less mixing, while still offering veterans a lot of flexibility!

  3. A nice and easy-to-understand review. I also had my doubts about the metallic paints, but I'm guessing they're not that bad, so I'll go and pick some up soon.




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