Friday, 8 November 2019

Testing GW Contrast Paints on 15mm

There have been miles of column inches (and the youtube equivalent) produced over the past months about Games Workshops new "revolutionary" Contrast paint range, promising to base and shade in one easy quick coat. Well after watching another YT video the other day the one comment that stuck in my mind was "not good for large flat areas" - so good for 15mm then? I'll give it a bash...

First a bit of catch-up background. For those not in the know, this blog has been gathering cobwebs due to me moving from comfortable wage slave to overworked, underpaid self employment, solely running a computer repair shop. 15mm Skirmish Supplies has also continued to be run from here, so I decided to expand\diversify a bit and give some of the shop over to Tabletop gaming (Board and War games). Coincidentally Games Workshop sales called, and as I'd had a few folk in mentioning it I took the plunge and became a stockist (for better or worse). Part of the mandatory starting stock list included 3 contrast paint colours Iyanden Yellow, Blood Angels Red and Guilliman Flesh).
With the colours easily available for testing I chose to use a pack of Blue Moon "Idirion Legion" figures - I'd been wanting to paint up their pulp sci-fi outfits for ages and the red\yellow combo seemed ideal for this.

Base coat colour is always mooted as a consideration for the final colours, but as this is 15mm priming white was the obvious choice. First colour down was the Iyanden Yellow. First impressions? A thicker wash (and goes onto the model as accordingly). Having spent years applying washes (and occasionally exclusively) this wasn't a worry, the usual rules applied. Drying time was noticeably quicker mind you and the shading\surface difference was more marked.

Next up was the Blood Angels Red (I hadn't decided what I was doing with the helmets at this point in the photo above). Pretty much the same application and effect. For a darker colour the shading was still good and more conveniently (as I'm not the neatest to painters) it when it overlapped with the yellow the result was still the same red, not heavily influenced by the yellow overlap as I would normally expect from a wash.

I dabbled with the thoughts of adding highlights, but in the end I didn't to stay true to the experiment (and a little through laziness if I'm honest). The rest of the figure was finished off with standard acrylics.

The end result? I'm quite happy with them actually.

The time of painting was shortened, which is a plus for me at the moment. The effect at the "15mm distance effect" is less pronounced than if I'd been doing the usual 2 or 3 layered painting, but it was still there (helped by the bright colours used obviously). Also the thought of using these to get through some of the 15mm pile is less daunting than the usual paints, which again is a plus - this pack wouldn't have seen pigment for a good time longer without it. As every with the easy or fast track painting techniques it's a compromise, so may not be for everyone.

Next experiment I think will be with a more normal colour scheme. I've a 15mm Orc Army that has stalled after 2 test figures that may bear the brunt of this.


  1. What do you mean by "15mm distance effect"?

    1. Probably a poor choice of phrase. As the figures look as if they are further away, the different layers need to be quite distinct for the highlights\shading to stand out. I don't know if that makes any more sense?

    2. Hi Sam, makes perfect sense and you're right. When I switch from 25/28 back to 15, it's a whole different approach. Your stuff looks great!