VMC, Windsor & Newton inks, Citadel, Reaper and Matt Medium
There is a lot of discussion threads on paints, so it can be confusing. Which is best? Here are some of my faves. I havent tried the privateer press range yet, but I will get around to it.
Reaper paints are good, thin and flow well and come in a huge array of colors. They also come in color triads for easy shading, which is a great touch. Sadly, they are hard to get here and my local hobby store just stopped stocking them.
Vallejo model colors are perfect paints- come in droppers, have a massive range of muted colors- so mixing is minimal and you dont need to keep track of receipes for doing matching armies. Muted and subtle tones are pretty tricky to get consistently with Citadel colors- they went with bold bright, colourful range (probably to attract younger audiences in the 1990s) and so you need to mix tones a lot for subtlety. If you read any modern 'Eavy Metal mag you see a lot of ratios written down. Why they dont just make triads of colors for beginners I dont know- it would treble the amount of paints kids would buy.
Must haves from this range include the Matt and Gloss Medium, there are some wonderful metallic blues for space marines, and so many brown hues it will make your head spin. Great for those minis with lots of belts, pouches, thongs and bootstraps.
Dont worry if they are seperated in the bottle, give them a good shake and your good to go. You can also use a little thinned dish washing liquid to even them out on the palette and help them mix with citadel and reaper paints.
Tubed Acrylic paints come in two varieties - thick, serious artist acrylics and craft / student paints which are runny. Being a traditional artist and all I have a large amount of these, and to be honest neither make anywhere near as good a paint for miniatures- the medium balance is all wrong, and you have to spend a lot of time working them into a correct flow. Premixing and bottling does not work very well either- and I have found older student paints weep out over resin models- which is rather annoying.
Which brings me to Citadel miniatures paints. Overpriced, but they are excellent- especially the metallics because they have extremely fine metal flakes. You must get the washes- they are brilliant- a non toxic self levelling matt finish wash ready from straight out of the bottle- I highly reccomend buying the boxed set to save money- as you will immediately have to go out and grab the whole range when you try them. I find wash glazes over metallics gives a lovely warm finish.
I was raving about the foundation colors when I was into black undercoats- they have amazing coverage. That said, I havent used mine for the best part of a year- tallarn flesh being the exception- I find its a nice base to mix flesh tones with VMC paints and a little soap- dense pigment is great.
Vallejo game color is a cheeky little range that matches the Citadel paints colors and is designed to be a cheaper alternative. The ones I have have dissapointed me- they are too runny straight out of the bottle, which makes them poor for picking out details- I like to have control over this. The other gripe has been that their metallic flakes are far too big- painting tinny tin onto a model makes it look like a cheap taiwanese toy. Shame, coz its a good idea to have citadel paints in droppers.
WINDSOR AND NEWTON INKS
Have a wide range of rich colors (peat brown and nut brown are must haves) and come in dinky little glass bottles. Mix in matte medium, demineralized water and liquitex flow aid in a 1:1:2 ratio for something like a citadel wash effect.
So there you go, my prefs are VMC, Reaper and Citadel.