Victory Points
What Are Some of The Best Paints For Your Miniatures?

Joe Perez | 31 Mar 2015 15:00
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Painting Miniatures

So, you've primed your minis, you know how to thin your paints and you know how to take care of your brushes now and you're ready to paint your miniatures. To do this, you're going to need select paint which to use to dress your forces up for battle. There are a ton of options available to you, and it can be overwhelming, but I'm here to help educate you so you can make an informed decision. As a commission painter, I have quite a lot of paint, but not all of it is one brand. I tend to bounce around and pick up paints from a bunch of different ranges to accommodate my color needs. While I can, and do, mix my own custom colors when I'm painting I still wind up buying specific colors to minimize the time I spend mixing and speed up painting. After nearly two decades of painting, I've used more types of paint than most, and each one has it's own pros and cons. Lets run through some of the big names.

Vallejo Acrylics

vallejo acrylics

Vallejo is a company that is based in Spain and have been around for years. Modelers have been using them for everything from scale WWII models to wargames and everything in between, and they are one of the top names in paints for hobbyists and professionals alike. They have numerous paints, primers, brushes, washes and pigments. They can be purchased individually or in sets, with the sets containing entire ranges of paints for specific tasks such as skintones , non metallic metal, true metallics or any other number of specialty tasks. The sets are fantastic for newer painters not sure what colors to use for some standard things like leather or wood. They also offer a line of airbrush ready paints that are made to go straight through an airbrush without thinning the paint. Most of the paints and inks come in dropper bottles, which is great for the longevity and conservation of your paints. Dropper bottles let you squeeze out just what you need while keeping the vast majority of your paint from being exposed to air, which just makes sure your paints last that much longer to let you get that much more return on your investment. Vallejo also makes what is widely considered the best metallic paints available, as it's Acrylic paint that uses very fine aluminum powder so it goes on incredibly smooth.

There are over 500 individual colors to choose from, and for all of the majority of your painting needs it will be almost impossible to not find the color you are looking for. One of the things to note is that there are no games associated with the company, they purely produce paints and paint products. While this sounds strange, it's a huge selling point. Over the years there has been a ranges of paints produced by game companies that were amazing, but ultimately the game failed or players moved on to the next game and those companies stopped producing those paints. I have several pots of paint for long dead games that I'll never be able to get again. While the paint droppers may seem small, you tend to get a lot of life out of the paints, making them incredibly cost efficient. The only downside is that sometimes they can be tricky to find locally, but online retailers have helped to make them more available. They are well worth your time to look into when making your purchases for model paints.

Games Workshop / Citadel

citadel paints

Another big name that you can find at almost any game store is Games Workshop or Citadel Paints. This is a paint range of 160 paints designed with their games in mind for specific colors. Not only do they offer regular paints and shades, but they also offer several technical and special effects paints. These are offered in 12ml pots that open up hinge style, and cover everything from your basic colors to the super brights. One of the great things about this paint range, is that due to the nature of their games, there are a lot of very bright and vibrant colors that you can't find anywhere else. They also have several washes, shades and glazes available that make some of the finishing touches for your models that much easier. These are widely available, and can be purchased in sets or individual paints. These are designed specifically for miniatures and will give you a great starting point.

These tend to be a bit more expensive than other paints, and the pot style paints means you're going to want to be careful with how long you leave the pots open and exposed to air. They are also produced by a third party company, and not directly by GW. This has always been the case with Citadel paints, and needs to be considered. Over the years there has been a few times where Games Workshop has changed the company that produces the paints, which can lead to color mismatches down the line. That said, where they really shine is their technical effects paints, shades and glazes. They have one of the largest ranges of colors available for shades and glazes, which really helps when you're looking to give your models a wash. Their technical paints, such as Blood for the Blood God and Nihilakh Oxide are fantastic for adding finishing touches to your models such as blood splatters or corrosion. While there are several methods to do things like adding rust or blood splatters, the Citadel Technical paints make this job a lot easier, especially when you're a new painter. I recommend staying around from the Imperial Primer, 'Ardcoat and Lahmian Medium. While they work fine, they are a bit expensive for how much you get.

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