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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have assembled what models I have and would like to move on to painting. I know I have to base before anything else but what paints should I use? what are some good brands of paint to use that won't cost an arm and a leg?
 

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LO's Resident Time Lord
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Well, there are plenty of in-depth guides by smarter people than me who can give you more detail than I can, but I'll take a stab at an overview:

First off, you need primer. Most people use a spray can with oil-based paint, but there are plenty of alternatives if you don't like that idea. Most people will also tell you NOT to buy a high-end brand-name primer. Testors (compared to GW's spray primer) is cheap and effective, from what I'm told (I don't spray-prime). Whatever brand you choose, the main colors are black, white and gray. If you are planning a light color scheme (lots of reds and yellows), then prime white. For daker schemes (black, purple, deep blue, etc.) prime black. Not sure, or planning to do both? Get gray.

As to which paints, the best advice is to make sure you get model paints. Sounds like a given, but if you don't know, there IS a difference. Model paint is designed to have a high pigment in thin coats.

Speaking of thinning, get yourself an eyedropper or an empty bottle with a dropper tip (Vallejo makes them), and get used to using it to add water (or thinner, if working with oil paints) to thin them down. It means you'll often need to do more than one coat, but in the end it will be worth it.

Most model paints are acrylic, so they thin with water, and clean up with water, too (although you'll never get them out of fabric or carpet -- beware!).

As to brands, there are tons, but here's what little I can tell you, based on experience and knowledge from others, about the Big Brands(tm):

GW/Citadel Paints: If you're playing games workshop games (40k, WHFB, LoTR), you've likely heard of these. You're probably also likely to find them wherever you find the models. They're not bad, and a good start. Personally, I find other brands cover a little better with "regular" colors, but of note is Citadel's Foundation range, which covers nicely over primer (whatever color the primer and paint is) and they work well as basecoat colors. Also good are the wash sets, which make shading MUCH easier. I also like Citadel's metallics, and have heard (but can't confirm) that these metallics work better than other brands.

Vallejo: The second most popular I've seen. They come in dropper-tip bottles, which makes mixing colors a breeze. They also tend to run thinner on average than Citadel, though you should still get used to thinning your paints. They have two ranges that combine to offer MANY more colors than Citadel, and one range (their Game Color series) was clearly made to compete directly with Citadel (including "rip-off" color names). Vallejo also makes mediums like glaze, matt, etc., that Citadel doesn't make at all. The "regular" colors cover much better, I think, than Citadel. I know nothing, however, about Vallejo inks/washes or their metallics, but I hear they aren't as good as Citadel's.

Tamiya: I confess I don't use these, and can only offer anecdotal testimony. I hear of them most often used in air guns on vehicles. I've also heard that they don't work well with acrylic-based washes, so if you use them to basecoat, you should expect to use oil-based paints or products for the rest of the project (though this is WAY beyond my understanding).

Reaper: An old brand that has been revamped in recent years. I haven't tried them in a LONG time, but I hear they're pretty darned good. Like Vallejo, they tend to run thinner, and also come in dropper-tip bottles. Reaper also sells triple-bottle sets, with a base color, one lighter version, and one darker version, which makes the shading and highlighting stages much easier.

P3: A fairly new brand from Privateer Press. Like Reaper, they have highlight and shade versions of their colors, but they don't use dropper-tip bottles. Haven't used any of theirs, so I can't say much about them, but I've heard many good things.

Prices vary between $2-4(US)/bottle. I'm not sure which is cheapest, but I will say one bottle goes a LONG way, so they're worth the money. Also keep in mind that the above brands are made for miniature painting. Other model paints, such as Testors, are worth a look, though I can't comment on them. I also should point out that if you like oil paints, that's a whole different world, and I'll defer to others for opinions on that.

Good luck, and be sure to search the forums for more specific/better advice!
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much. You answer was spot on for what I was looking for even though I provided little info on why I was asking. I apologize for not going into detail about the game and whatnot. *I work third and I am normally in bed around 7 or so in the morning just can't sleep today*

I have gotten into 40k and plan on playing Black Legion to start with, I also plan on expanding into LAD and Orks later on down the road.

I was told by someone you that the paints you get at walmart work great, but I can't think of the brand they sell. I would rather get something that will look good with practice not something that will look like crap because of bad quality.

I understand for quality you have to pay but I am interested in looking at all the options before I go with one brand over another. I also have noticed that GW has released the mega paint set and was wandering is this worth it or should I just skip this and get different products?
 

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Walmart's model paints are not very good. If you would like to go with cheaper brands, then the way to go is to visit your local craft store, not Walmart.

(That's Micheal's, Robert's, Hobby Lobby etc).

The paints you are looking for are acrylic, and generally the best brand to pick up there is Delta Cream Coat.

The trouble with craft store brands is that they tend to be a little less consistent with their quality, and the colors aren't tuned for minis (but that's actually a good thing sometimes). Delta is a fairly good brand that I often mix with P3 or Citadel paints.
 

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LO's Resident Time Lord
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I personally wouldn't buy any sets. First off, I mix and match brands: GW Foundations, washes and metallics, Vallejo for all other colors and mixing mediums. Any paint set except maybe the Foundations and the washes is bound to give me something I'll never want to use.

Also, you're bound to get colors you don't want in the "mega paint set." While it may be cheaper to buy all these paints in one set, it's better long-term to buy them as you need them. At least, that's what *I* find. Smaller sets, like the foundations and washes, are cheaper and have a smaller number of pots, increasing the chances that you'll truly get your money's worth and use them all, you know?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Walmart's model paints are not very good. If you would like to go with cheaper brands, then the way to go is to visit your local craft store, not Walmart.

That's kind of what I was thinking when he told me that. It's not that cheaper means better in my book, I just want to make sure I that I get the most bang for my buck when it comes to the paint I get.

Also I don't want to be forced into thinking that GW brand is the only one out there ya know. Thanks again for the advice.
 

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a really bad thing about GW is that the paint dry i the bottle quite fast compared to vallejo. Its probably because the opening is to big and not tight enough. In my experience they dry i a year or even faster some times, and the old GW bottles dident dry out in 10 years. I have never had a Vallejo dry out jet. So a big paint set from GW is a bad idee if you ask me. Maybe its ok if you paint really much...
 

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Amen to that - I have some paints from 15 years ago which are still going strong (go amethyst!). I like the older GW flip-top lids, though I think the new Foundation paint pots are also quite good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I didn't stop to think about the type of lid on the bottle. I don't plan on spending all my free time painting as I plan on only painting when I'm in the mood to. I'm also looking forward to practicing on some models one buy one, in order to get it down since I'm exactly known for having a steady hand or being artistic inclined(at least as far as painting, drawing and such goes).
 

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LO's Resident Time Lord
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Practicing on "junk" models is a VERY good idea. Also consider trying out techniques on bits of sprue. Great for learning how to drybrush! I also use them to try out color combinations.

Another great trick is to use "color chits." If you can get a sheet of plasticard, cut a strip about an inch wide. Then, prime the whole thing (white or gray is a good color). Next, score it at intervals and break it up into pieces. Now, paint each piece, and write the color (including color item numbers, when applicable) on the other side. Like choosing paint for your house, these chits will allow you to mix and match dried paint samples. Good for seeing what colors will look like next to each other BEFORE you start painting. I started this a while ago and I love it!

As to the lid, the "old school" way was to have the old-fashioned screw-top bottles. I don't know about others here, but I found that keeping paint from drying in the threads was a skill unto itself, and when I found out GW had bottles that flipped open and closed, I chucked the Reaper starter set I had (as I said before, this was quite some time ago). Today, most manufacturers that have pots use a flip-top lid (except Tamiya, but I think those are meant to screw directly onto an airbrush), or the dropper tips instead (far superior, I find).
 

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Amen to that - I have some paints from 15 years ago which are still going strong (go amethyst!). I like the older GW flip-top lids, though I think the new Foundation paint pots are also quite good.

An interesting note: P3 uses the old GW flip-top lids (the kind they used ten years ago).

This is really because the guy who designed the old Citadel line and told them to use the flip top lids left GW and started working for Privateer Press.

His name is Mike McVey, and he has since left Privateer Press and is now working in his own painting studio. He is still one of the very finest painters on the planet, with close competition from his wife Ali McVey.
 

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Good old Mike - met him many moons ago at my first ever Games Day - thoroughly nice chap who was happy to povide pointers. Didn't know he had designed the flip top lid, cool fact!
I'm not sure that he designed them, I just know that he insisted on using them.

Another interesting fact: he and his wife hate dropper bottles. When P3 first started up, Ali said some nasty things about dropper bottles, and angered some people who were used to using Vallejo paints.
 
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