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Author Topic: Army Painter Speed Paints  (Read 6162 times)

Silent Disapproval Robot

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on: April 05, 2022, 11:08:46 AM
Army Painter recently released their new line of Speed Paints.  They make the same promise as Citadel's Contrast Paints in that they'll provide a base coat, shading, and highlight effects with one coat.

I bought a fair number of pots of the Citadel Contrast paints when they first came out but I was generally underwhelmed by the results when compared to just a regular base coat and wash.  I also found that the properties of each colour of contrast paint varied quite a bit.  Some were much more viscous than others and some had much more pigmentation than others.  I found that it took quite a bit of time and experimentation to find out how best to use each paint (some required thinning to prevent coffee staining, some would work well with one coat while others required two or three) and, as a result, I wasn't seeing the promised benefits of ease of use and less time spent painting.  Also, they're bloody expensive.

Due to my less than positive experiences with Contrast Paints, I wasn't all that interested in the Army Painter line but just happened to be in a local hobby store when the first lot of the new paints arrived.  The owner offered to sell me a set a day earlier than they were supposed to go on sale so I bought a starter kit.

PROS:
Dropper bottles instead of pots and each bottle comes with a mixing ball.
Half the price of a pot of Contrast Paint
Uniformity of paints regardless of colour.  They all seem to have the same consistency and level of pigmentation so it's easier to learn how to apply them.
Better and more even coverage than contrast paints.  They apply more evenly and one coat usually does the job with less pooling and coffee staining.
Most colours seem to give a better sense of highlights and shadows compared to Contrast Paints (a few don't).

CONS:
The colour range is more limited than Contrast Paints and the paints included in the Starter Set tend to be very vibrant.  This leads to more cartoony, high contrast looking models.  Some people prefer this but I tend to like more muted, natural looking models.

Harder to control the flow when compared to Contrast Paints.  The Speed Paint seems to get away from the brush more easily than Contrast Paints and will run along deep recesses past the point you were trying to cover.

They don't behave well when thinned with water.  Contrast medium works fine as a thinner (I haven't tried the Army Painter Speedpaint thinner medium yet but I hear it works well) but water causes it to lose cohesion.

Can look a bit chalky or pixelated over some primers.  I tried Vallejo, Tamiya, Mr. Hobby, Citadel, and Army Painter primers.  These paints look best over Citadel Contrast primers.  Oddly, they tend to look almost pixelated over Army Painter primers.  Same with Mr. Hobby.  Vallejo was OK but a little bit chalky looking compared to the Citadel primer.  The paints had an almost hydrophobic reaction to Tamiya and didn't seem to want to adhere very well.

*The BIG ISSUE:   These paints reactivate when they get wet, even if you've let them dry for days beforehand.  This means you can't layer colours or even put a wash of a glaze over them as the Speed Paint will re-liquify and end up messily blending with the new colour.  This means you have to apply a varnish layer after using the Speed Paints (and too much varnish will also cause the paints to reactivate and possibly flow past where you applied them).

VERDICT:
I like them better than Contrast Paints and I can see using them for batch painting up lots of generic figs for tabletop fantasy games.  Whip up a bunch of zombies or goblins or skeletons in no time.  I wouldn't use them for more unique minis though as you're going to get tabletop ready results from these paints, not quality jobs.  They also wouldn't be much good for vehicles or anything with a lot of large, flat surfaces.

 


 



Undercovergeek

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Reply #1 on: April 05, 2022, 11:13:27 AM
Good write up - I’ve seen a number of YT videos from guys I follow

I think the overriding conclusion has been nothing contrast does it doesn’t do but half the price

In fairness from what I’ve seen I like the effect that f highlights and shade better

Did not know about the reactivation though



Silent Disapproval Robot

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Reply #2 on: April 05, 2022, 11:24:14 AM
Yeah, at first I thought it might be an issue with the primer or even that I hadn't cleaned my brush properly but when it kept happening, I did a few searches.  This guy has a good video showing the problem.  He explains and demonstrates it starting at the 6:30 mark.






bayonetbrant

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Reply #3 on: April 05, 2022, 11:29:20 AM
the paints included in the Starter Set tend to be very vibrant.  This leads to more cartoony, high contrast looking models.

I wonder if that's not in part b/c the brighter colors offer greater contrast for those highlights / details?  I don't know that for sure, but it seems like it could be a factor.

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Silent Disapproval Robot

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Reply #4 on: April 05, 2022, 11:42:31 AM
Could be but from what I've seen, they're much more saturated than the Contrast Paint range.  The Orc Flesh green that comes in the Starter Set is the one that really stood out to me as being way too vibrant.  Purple was a close second.




Bison

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Reply #5 on: April 05, 2022, 01:16:28 PM
They are ink-based paint from IIRC which is why they reactivate and have stronger pigmentation.



Silent Disapproval Robot

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Reply #6 on: April 09, 2022, 12:24:00 PM
I got a chance to fiddle around with the paints some more.  There's a learning curve (rather, an unlearning curve) but I am starting to get the hang of it.  A couple of videos from Spikey Bits put me on the right path and I'm really digging these paints now.  I hope they release more colours because that's the biggest drawback for me at the moment.

The key is to do exaggerated zenethal priming and drybrushing, then throw a layer of matt varnish over the mini, then wash and basecoat the stuff that you don't want to hit with speedpaints, then do the speedpaints as the final step (with a bit of highlighting and weathering at the very end if desired).

Another layer of varnish to prevent the speedpaints from rubbing off and you're done.  They gets some really nice results using this method and I find I like them a lot more than Contrast Paints.   

The minis do tend to look a little chalkier than those painted in the regular fashion but I can get one done an about a 5th of the time so it's worth it for me.




Bison

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Reply #7 on: April 10, 2022, 02:07:28 AM
I have watched some videos and I just do not see how this process is quicker or easier than normal painting. Now that being said, I still want to try it. :)



Undercovergeek

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Reply #8 on: April 10, 2022, 07:54:31 AM
I have watched some videos and I just do not see how this process is quicker or easier than normal painting. Now that being said, I still want to try it. :)

If you apply a base layer, wash your brush, choose a darker shade and apply it, wash your brush, choose a lighter highlight and apply it - these paints do all that in one simple brush stroke



Silent Disapproval Robot

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Reply #9 on: April 10, 2022, 01:12:21 PM
My first attempts with these were a little disappointing but now that I'm trying the method shown in the Spikey Bits video I posted earlier, I'm finding them to be pretty decent.

I find that the minis painted using this method can still benefit from some edge highlighting but the paints do a very good job of basing, shading, and zenethal highlighting.

Compared to washing, cleaning tide marks, layering, glazing, and highlighting, this is way faster and easier.  I was never the best painter and I'm getting worse with age as they eyes start to go and the hands aren't as steady as they once were so these paints are of value to me.



Silent Disapproval Robot

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Reply #10 on: April 28, 2022, 07:53:28 PM
I went and bought some random WizKids figs from the FLGS a few days ago.  They were already pre-primed but I did a bit of pre-shading and highlighting and then just started throwing down some SpeedPaints.

The whole process took about 90 minutes of priming, shading, varnishing, and painting (with about 6 hours waiting for things to dry).  The Speedpaint application only took about 45 minutes.  They are harder to control than normal paints as they want to flow and, due to the re-activation issue, mistakes are very hard to clean up.  Having said that, for 45 minutes of painting, I'm fairly pleased with the results.  Nowhere near as good what I can achieve with a normal painting process but this took only a fifth of the time.  Now I just have to see how the SpeedPaints will hold up to repeated grasping by sweaty nerd hands.

Everything on the figure is speedpaints apart from the base, the metallic buckles, and the head of the staff (from the green bit up).







thecommandtent

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Reply #11 on: April 28, 2022, 08:24:59 PM
That came out great!



Undercovergeek

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Reply #12 on: April 28, 2022, 08:48:32 PM
Indeed he did - lovely

What did you use for flesh?



Silent Disapproval Robot

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Reply #13 on: April 28, 2022, 09:32:35 PM
Crusader Flesh Speedpaint.



Bison

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Reply #14 on: April 29, 2022, 01:28:24 AM
SDR that looks really, really good!


Can you varnish the mini or does that cause it to reactivate and run?
« Last Edit: April 29, 2022, 01:31:11 AM by Bison »