Sunday, March 25, 2012

145 Exposed: Revisiting paint and GW

"All we have is paints, paints, paints, paints, paints, spam, paints, paints and spam."

Remember back when I talked about GW's new paint and how they are promoting and releasing it? Well, no surprises. I get an email about it and GW's blog is lit up over what is essentially a re-branding of the same paint that Citadel has had for years. It is very much ado about nothing.

While BoLS felt content with what is little more than a picture and a blurb about the new release, we here at TMM hold ourselves to higher standards. I'm going to take a look at the information in the release and write it up longer and more properly.

The blog post over at GW is rather appalling. The writer(s) of the blog like to style it as a fan-written insider-yet-maverick perspective. It is designed to give a personal and human voice to what has historically been a rather detached and impersonal website. I do not know who writes this blog, but the tone is a departure from the fun and friendly style that has been shown most frequently. The post about the paints reads like an infomercial and was obviously written by someone trying really hard to sell you something. Through the post they use phrases that seem to pump up the value and importance of the paints while not really giving you specific ways where they are superior to the old versions.

This may sound like complaining or GWbashing and perhaps it is a little. More it is a bristling at the hamfisted selling techniques. The paints are new and exciting but you are going to sell them to me on merit rather than trying to make them seem like the second coming (form without function pissing me off seems to be a running theme in this blog).

GW also put out a video narrated by Timothy Spall, the fat guy from Harry Potter!

Below the jump cut, we'll take a closer look at all the paints.

In the running theme of GW trying to sell their products to a younger audience, they have separated the paints into several easy to identify categories so that kids will know what kind of paint they need (I guess). I want to preface this by saying that I have not tried any of the new paint yet. I probably should have started with that, but if I waited until I have tried all these paints, or even just all the new types, this post would have been years in the making.

My main concerns with these paints is the same ones that I'll have with all the new types but I will voice them here. I worry that they have changed the names of a lot of the paints and it is going to make it hard to for me to find the analog with the new name. I am sure that there will be a cheat sheet (THERE IS!) and even if there is not, finding the new paints should be easy with a little effort. Given the lack of any effort on my part (effort is hard!) I am sure the friendly Black Shirts will do all the work for me.

Furthermore, I worry about subtle changes to the colors. I am partial to my colors and if they change them, they wont match. I am sure that they won't change the old standbys like Bleached Bone but I do worry about the colors that have seen flux over the years like Dwarf Bronze and Scaly Green. I hope they bring them back or at least analogs.

One could say that they are the Foundation of good painting.

Base Paints

GW changed everything a while back with the new Foundation paints. They had 3-4x the pigment concentration of the basic paints. That means with just 1 or at the most two coats you can go from black to a white. This makes painting colors like yellow and red that did not cover well much easier. For someone who loves his Blood Angles, that rocked my world.

Now, it looks like they have re-branded the Foundation paints as Base Paints. To me Foundation = Base but perhaps that was too complex for some folk. The video says that they have added some colors to the pastel line but not really much else. This is good news to me. I like the foundation paints but could never use them for anything but undercoating due to the muted nature. I like bright and vivid colors like the next guy and am looking forward to using them.

The short of it is that there is no difference between Foundation and Base paints except for the addition of a few new colors.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Layer Paints

Described ad the backbone of the range, Layer paints seem to be what GW is calling you plain old paints. They were jealous and wanted a special proper noun name too and thus Layer Paints. The video says that you can "blend them, mix them, shade and highlight with them..." which you can do with finger paints if you wish too. That does not make them different or unique. They are not formulated differently (according the email, blog or video) to have any new properties. The only thing I can see different about them is the name and I don't like that part. Hard to say if there are the same number as the old paints or if they have added any new colors. It is going to be fun and frustrating to discover which ones will be my new favorites and new old standbys.

I understand that it does not follow that lack of evidence is not proof of absence, but it does follow that if there was any dramatic change to the properties of the paints, GW would have made a big deal about them. I am nonplussed overall. If you are going to go through this big reboot and put me through the headache of memorizing new names, then at least give me something for the trouble.

The short of it is that there is no change here. Memorize the new names and get to painting.

"You are peculiar for a Shade"


I am a little disappointed that they did not give these an adjective like Layer or Base but only a little.Also, if you can name where the quote from the caption comes from without using the Googles, you will my fealty for a lifetime.

These appear to be the last generation washed. Here, in the video, they imply that the paints have been reformulated, but fail to say in what way they have been reformulated. If they have changed the colors a bit, that is a reformulation without really changing the chemical or practical properties of the paints/washes.

There has been an addition of some new colors. There are 12 new washes where there were only 7 or 8 (working from memory here) of the previous incarnation of washed. Like the Foundation paints, the old washes were revolutionary and really changed the way people painted. For starters, they dried matte. That was insane. Previously, washes dried with a sheen which made it ugly to look at and hard to paint over. The old washes also really clung to the cracks and gave great shading. The down side is that they pooled if you do not watch them carefully.

The large English bloke on the video says that the new washes are just like the old washes only better! Then he fails to say in what way they are better. This is just another example of the infomercial-style sales statics. I felt like he should have had a headset on or a big fuzzy beard when he is talking to me like that.

I am hoping that they took a page from the Army Painter system and made these more similar to the dips that they have. If they reduced pooling a little I'll be happy.

The short of it is that they have a few new colors but likely no change here other than the names.

I've been Glazed and confused for so long it is not true.


Thank the Emperor, the glazes are back. For those young pups out there, Citadel made some friggen foxy glazes back in the day. They were like a wash, but where as a wash is designed to provide shading, a glaze changes the overall tone of a model.

I can't find it now, but there was an old "how to paint Orks" article that was in a painting book that showed how glazes can be used to great effect. The based the Ork green then dry brushed it Skull White or Bleached Bone. Then they applied a yellow glaze to it and it gave the skin such a different feel. It turned the drybrushed tips a yellow hue while leaving the green mostly unchanged and at the same time not overly shading the model. They were magical.

If the new glazes are like the old ones, they are going to be supremely useful in controlling tone of the model. I think these are being massively under promoted and am really looking forward to trying these.

The short of it is WOO!

There is a David Koresh joke in here somewhere.

Dry Compounds

Sounds like something out of Chemistry class. These appear to be dried out versions of Foundation paints. We all know (or you should know) that you have to water down your paints to get smooth coverage. That works against you for dry brushing as you have to wait for the paint to dry out on your brush before you can start.These paints promise to short cut that waiting time by giving you already dried out paints.

I ain't so sure about these. For starters there is the cost of buying a whole pot of paint for just drybrushing and the hassle of storing that pot for the day you'll need it. I am also apprehensive of the paints drying out further to a useless state with no way to water them down predictably.

The short of it is the jury is still out. I'll pick up a pot just to try it out but it has that one change to dazzle me before I go back to the old ways.

I think that these are the paints that are textured, right?

Textured Paints

So if I am understand the video and the website correctly, these are paints that are only good for painting your bases? These paints have grit and stones of various sizes in them to add texture (hence the name). They are touted as "one step basing" yet the fat guy from The Last Samurai adds that they look great with a drybrush or a wash. That's hardly one step.

While they seem pretty excited about it, I am underwhelmed. I can add grit to my paints or just paint over sand. I am failing to see their use. I wont buy a pot of paint that have a very specific use and one that is not practical for me.

See when I base, I paint the base brown and glue sand down. I despise painting sand thus these paints' usefulness is lost on me.

The short of it is if this is your thing, go for it. I'll spend my hard earned on those sexy glazes.

Don't get technical with me.

Technical Range

I knew there was going to be a catch all or Misc category. These are all the thing in pots that are not paint but are super-useful. I have not had the pleasure (or need) to use the liquid Green Stuff but look forward to it. For the matte and gloss coats, they are indispensable. You can however get more bang for you buck from Microscale Industries, makers of fine model train supplies. I bought some gloss and matte finish years ago and have yet to run through my stash. While I have not tried the GW versions, it is hard to believe they would be so great to justify the increased cost.

I don't know what is up with the primer. It appears to be black paint and I am failing to see how it is different. I would love to be told how it is different. The site says that it is useful in place of spray paint but I've never seen the brush on that can stick as well as my Krylon. I may be willing to give it a shot. It rains for 9 months out of the year where I live and an alternative to spray paint would be a welcome change.

I am very interested in the Lahamian Medium. Now I do not know what a lahamian is or what an easy or a hard one would look like, but I think I like them. The site claims that you can use this stuff to make your own glazes and we all know how much I love them glazes. It also says that you can use it to seal transfers to a mini but I have a pretty good system for that already that I'll spill at a later date.

The short of it these are useful tools to have in your tool box.

How to Paint... The Book!

I own every Citadel "How to Paint..." book that is or has ever been including the Masterclass book (which was just a compilation of all the awesome painting articles in White Dwarf) and they have not been stellar. There are good tidbits in there but overall they lack in content. They are written towards a beginner and are thus (not to sound arrogant) a little beneath me. I also do not really paint the 'Eavy Metal way so we are at odds there.

I am excited about this book thought. Despite the hefty price tag ($50!) it is going to be a great introduction to the new names and range. That is worth part of the price alone even if it does not contain any new to me techniques. Also good news is that it is a book and then does not fall under the Embargo.

The thing that makes the book really stand out is the DVD that it comes with. This is a new realm for GW. They have never done anything like this before. It might have been smarter of them to dip their tow in with some YouTube how to paint videos in order to get their style and voice down a little before jumping into the world of DVD production but that was their choice. I am interested in seeing what they have to say but doubt it will contain any useful information for me. It will probably be full of "This is drybrushing" and lack advanced techniques.

I dig the layout. You can easily rest the book on the table as a reference and look at it as you paint. Good choice GW!

I am likely going to try to pick this up on Bartertown once the excitement dies down for 50% of retail. It just ain't worth $50 to me at this point.

The short of it is if you are just getting into painting you should own this book. If you are an old hand, feel free to download the cheat sheet and move on. There will not be anything new in here.

1 comment:

  1. I'll let you know about the paints and the book, brother - just Adv. Ordered some to try out for the upcoming painting oath.