3-Colours Review – Warpaints

September 28, 2011 by elromanozo

As you know, The Army Painter started out just doing spray cans and quickshade, and moved on from there… Always basic gear, with the wargamer in mind, aiming to offer both quality and a cheaper alternative to other brands.

Let’s talk specifically about the paints, named “Warpaints“… I thought at first it was for colouring warriors.

The set I received contains nine colors… It’s the general Mantic Paint Set (The Army Painter set contains ten). Either is pretty normal for a basic paint set, in my opinion… It’s one or two over the Games Workshop ones, and it’s cheaper for the quantity.

The paints come in dropper bottles… An excellent feature, unfortunately diminished by the fact that the nozzle is slightly different from the Vallejo ones. My set came with… a few pre-clogged pots!

I had to unclog them with a needle, something that I’ve never had to do before for paint pots.

Even if it were just a flawed set, it demonstrates a tendency to clog that other drop bottles do not have.

That said, the paint flows easily… It’s very liquid, and although it isn’t a wash, it requires very little water/medium. This is liberating for beginner painters who dare not fiddle with dilution, or for wargamers who can’t be bothered with anything, but using paint right out of the pot…

(Yes, I’m looking at you, Darrell!)

The tones are pretty basic… so basic, in fact, that they don’t have any special names.

None of that “gory red”, “titillating pink”, “ogryn flesh” (whatever that means…) or “Devlanese Off-Strawberry Puce” nonsense.

I kid you not… the tones are White, Black, Red, Blue, Green, Brown, Flesh, Silver and Gold. In other sets, you may find Bone, Yellow, and Armor.

That’s it.

And that’s all they have.

Literally! The entire Warpaints range is comprised of twelve tones.

While I’m all for teaching people how to mix properly, this is frankly disappointing.

Granted, the tones are useful. Deep green, Basic red, nicely saturated brown, “flesh” (arguably difficult to mix from primary colors)… and I love the baby-linen… almost lavender blue.

That’s one problem. If they had included a deep blue, you could have mixed some white in and made sky blue. With sky blue, if you try darkening it with black, you will only get a greyish mess!

That also means no deep purple… there’s no bronze either… all those lonely colours miss their pretty sisters!

Furthermore, even though their pigments are thin and their paints well loaded with them, all of those colours separate, inside or outside the pot. Even with vigorous shaking, the thinner will rise above whatever you drop on your palette… Unless, that is, the set I got was defective.

No wonder they’re called warpaints… they are vivid, primitive colors to be dabbed on like the Celts used to do, before dipping in the muddy quickshade of the battlefield.

But I exagerate… of course, the purpose of these paints is not to cater to the experienced painter’s needs.

They’re basic, affordable bottles… they’re sold in individual pots, for about two thirds of the price of a Citadel one!

Not to mention they contain more paint, 15 ml instead of 12,5. Which means, they’re slightly cheaper than Vallejo per milliliter.

Even with their flaws, such paint sets are excellent for someone who doesn’t want to invest too much to discover our hobby and it’s everything you need in a single purchase, including one or two decent “hobby” brushes and either miniatures or half a can of primer, depending on the set you buy.

A sweet deal for introducing kids to the hobby without exposing them to the talons of a certain store chain’s sales patter… if they like it… treat them to the real stuff when they’re done with this one.