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I'm your standard speed painter. The models look playable and you can tell who is who but they never stand out from the crowd.
I used to be the best painter out of my group of friends but I've been overtaken. They have enough money to buy spray cans, varnish and ink (while frankly I'm skint).
So basically is the difference drastic and are there cheaper alternatives. If I can't find a substitute I guess I'll be making some spending cutbacks (oh the joys of multiple expensive hobbies )
basecoating miniatures is alot better than going without. varnishes and inks are just a waste of money to me. if you find it difficult to find cheap spraypaint to basecoat, go to wal mart. they have flat black and white spraypaint for about 98 cents or so. it works just as good as the fancy Citadel crap you pay 9 bucks for.
they also have acrylics there that are as good as citadel. we pay enough for the miniatures already, don't you think?
**Life is an undefined equation**
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A very skilled driver using a Mini can match or beat an unskilled driver using a Porsche. It's just much easier to do well with quality and the right tools. And of course the skilled driver in a Porsche can do really well.
Just keep looking for alternatives. I still spend good money for paints (Vallejo) but save on everything else, ink, matt spray, primer, etc.