New Citadel Paints

Archive Painting

This weekend I spent quite a bit of time painting up the Chaos Lord miniature from the Dark Vengeance 40k boxed set.  This miniature is the first for quite a while that has actually “inspired” me to do some proper painting using a brush rather than an airbrush and fancy pigments.

For those modellers who have been living in a cave for the past six months, in March this year, Games Workshop withdrew their whole range of paints and replaced it with a range that consists of 145 completely different colours using a different formula paint.  A lot of people slated Games Workshop for daring to remove colours such as Skull White and Bleached Bone.

The range is split up into a number of different pot “types” each with different properties and usage:

  • Base pots – are high pigment and designed for good base coverage.
  • Layer pots – are thinner and intended to be painted on top of base colours.  This is where the majority of the colours are (70).
  • Dry pots – are very thick and intended to be used for drybrushing.
  • Texture pots-  are basically paint with sand to use for basing a miniature.
  • Wash pots – are the Citadel washes.
  • Glaze pots – are unique in that they contain four primary colours to use to ‘glaze’ or ‘tiny’ a colour rather than provide shading.
  • Technical pots – this sub range includes Liquid Green Stuff, Varnish, Medium etc – technically they’re not paints per-se.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I was let down by Wayland Games with the order I put in for paints so resorted to borrowing them from a friend who bought the entire range of 145 when they came out.  This was actually a bit of a blessing as some of the paints I had ordered I didn’t actually need.

My Chaos Lord was painted using a combination of the current range and the last range (in the 2008 hex pots).  Two reasons for this – firstly I only borrowed a dozen of the new colours and secondly so that I could compare the two in relation to each other on a single item.  Overall the new range performed much better than the old ones.  The paints were all consistent to control when thinned and they somehow seemed smoother.  Using the older range I was struggling to get as smooth an application of paint using the same techniques & brushes.

One clever thing that Games Workshop has implemented is that nearly all of the paints have complementary colours so you don’t have to mix when you’re highlighting and shading.  This makes life a lot easier for painting armies as you’re not going to worry that your mix will look different across a squad.  In fact because of this I have sped up my painting as I use the brush to put paint onto my palette rather than carefully counting out drops using a cocktail stick to ensure I get exactly the right mix.

The new Washes are different to the older ones without a doubt.  There isn’t a Devlan Mud alternative in the new range and instead it’s been replaced with Agrax Earthshade (which is a black/brown colour).  I personally prefer this colour as it gives a more realistic effect, however not having the Devlan Mud brown will be a bit of a pain for certain effects.  The new Washes have a different binding agent in and apply less transparent than the old ones.  This means that you very much have to paint them on rather than splodge them over an area and let them work their magic.  Again it’s a mixed blessing – I prefer it as it plays to my painting style more and the more solid application actually means you can achieve some very nice techniques with not too much effort

One gripe I do have is that there isn’t a Layer black, only a Base.  Although you can thin it, Chaos Black is a better paint – however the colour of Abaddon Black is a purer black.

My general opinion is that the new Citadel paint range is they are a vast improvement in comparison to the previous one.  It’s going to take a long time to get used to the new ranges rather bonkers naming scheme and I fancy that people will continue referring to them using the old names for a long while yet.  The colours within the range meaning you have to mix paints less often means faster and more consistent painting – however the downside is that you really need to purchase paints in sets of at least 3.


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