Comparing Paint Brands, Qualities: War Council



Warcouncil answers the question, WHAT PAINTS DO WE USE and WHY!!!

Wagon 1War Council™ is a presentation of White Metal Games™ and airs twice a month.  Unlike many gaming centered podcasts, our show focuses exclusively on HOBBY.  No mathhammer or GT/Meta game talk here.  We talk to industry professional about painting, sculpting, 3D printing and casting models, kit bashing, and more!  Caleb Dillon is the Owner of White Metal Games and Phillip Kohrman is the owner of Brushwork Minis.

We are full time miniature painters, making a living doing what we love, and we invite you to join us for a chat about miniatures!

Check out our most recent episode! You can also download us on Itunes!



Episode 27 is Here

In this episode Phillip and I have an informal and impromptu chat about Paints.  One of the most common questions we get is What Paints do you use?  So in this episode we discuss the Brands we Favor, the Colors we Love, and the pros and cons of each.  We discuss the stigma of why so many painters are afraid to branch out and use colors from new ranges.  Although we were supposed to have Bo from Army Painter on the show, Bo had to delay and we will try to get him back on a future episode very soon.



Khorne Lord 9

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And until next time, PUT YOUR MINIS WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS!!!

Caleb Dillon, White Metal Games





  • SilentPony

    I’ve had some really…mixed results with Army spray. I’d say 90% of the time they work great and I get an even, smooth covering after about 2 light coats.

    But that 10% has me teeth-breakingly angry. Don’t know why, but every now and then the spray comes out think and goopy, instantly hardening but with cracks and chips all over it, or having a rough sandy texture that flakes off if you so much as run a brush over it. And I’ve tried different model types(metal, plastic, etc…), at different times of day, warming the bottles in warm water first, just about everything I’ve read online that might affect the paint.
    Nothing seems to be the singular 100% guarantee fix.

    And nothing gets my modeler’s wrath raging than converting up a nice and proper Ork whatever only to have half the model covered in a thick paste and the other a sandy dust.

    • arkhanist

      The two most common causes of sandy primer are too high humidity, i.e. > 50%, or spraying too far from the model so little clumps dry before it lands. For armypainter primer sprays, I think it’s max 20cm – i.e. about half a foot away. Do light passes, rather than focus on the mini so you don’t drown it. Also try and keep the can as upright as possible rather than at an angle.

      For humidity, all you can do is check the weather report beforehand, or spray indoors (such as a garage) – sometimes you can get away with it by spraying them and immediately putting them somewhere dryer inside to well, dry.

      Gloopiness might be a build up of dry paint in the nozzle. When you’re finished priming, turn the can upside down and spray out any leftover (not onto your minis, obvs!) until it sprays clear. And always shake the can for a full minute at least before use.

      I always do a ‘test’ prime of a bit of cardboard first to make sure it’s coming out smooth when using spray cans, for primer or varnish – as you say, there’s little more frustrating than a bad prime job!

      Personally I’ve switched to Halfords grey primer in the UK, as it’s cheap and excellent, but still sometimes use armypainter if i need that particular colour.

    • finbikkifin

      My friend, have you heard the good word of Gesso? Brush-priming indoors! You can mix in some paint to white gesso to get custom colours, or just use grey or black gesso! Any time, any weather!

      Plus it’s super-cheap for a bloody huge bottle.

      • Satyan Patel

        Hot damn! I have been using Gesso for years on the larger plastic buildings from a spray can. Though after you mentioned it, I guess I can buy it by the tubs cheap and never realized that one can mix paint it! I do brush primer in the winter, but GW paint is quite expensive by the pots. Vallejo is great, but man Gesso from now on!

        • finbikkifin

          You can use it straight, or dilute it slightly – I find straight works best for me. It looks a bit gloopy when it goes on, but tightens up a hell of a lot as it dries. Sometimes this means you need to touch up a few spots that ended up bare after the first coat, but overall it’s so much more convenient.

          I’m using black at the moment, for Reasons, but grey/white, with a light black wash to bring out detail and make painting more convenient, would probably be my ideal means of priming miniatures.

    • Severius_Tolluck

      In addition to hte advice given by those below, I might add an airbrush is a good way to prime too! The airbrush primers are thin, will last forever, and you can do them safely indoors without worrying about ventilation too much

  • Zingbaby

    GW paint pots are just garbage, unfortunately the actual paint is quite good and many of the colors are excellent making it hard to resist them.

    I’ll use any brand though.

    • I greatly prefer dropper bottles. However, the GW paints work well for me, and the way they’re organized with base and layer combos and paint charts and GW videos make them easy to use. It’s enough to overcome my dislike of their bottles. Honestly, I go through paint quicker with droppers so they could sell more paint to me that way.

      • Statham

        This. I only got back into the hobby about three years ago after toying with it briefly in about 2004, but GW’s paints have never really served me wrong, and I’ve only ever had problems with paint clogging the lid/spillages due to my own fault, like knocking over open shade bottle accidentally. I have recently tried out some Formula P3 and Vallejo washes/inks, however, and they’re pretty good.

        • I use the P3 acrylic medium to thin my paint rather than water. Otherwise, I use all GW.

          • Statham

            I mostly use the P3/Vallejo stuff for armour and stuff like rust, admittedly. GW’s method for rust – Typhus Corrosion and Ryza Rust – is pretty good, but Vallejo’s rust colours are nice if you just want to suggest the idea of it, or it’s just beginning to form through armour plating. But yeah, mostly GW paints here, too. I painted my first Primarch with their colours, no airbrushing.

      • finbikkifin

        Wargames Foundry do an excellent line of paints (in good pots! just not droppers) that are organised into base/main/highlight triads. £8 for a set of three pots, but they’re 20ml pots, so you get a lot of paint for your money. Most of their collection is aimed more towards historicals, so there aren’t as many “fantasy” colours in there, but there’s plenty of choice.

        They’re a godsend if you’re terrible at judging colours for highlighting/shading.

        They do big sets at a bit of a discount, but the brighter oranges and pinks and such are tucked away in what they call “the big list,” not on the main page, which is annoying.

        It’s a bit off the usual GW style, but their Moss triad is a really nice way to paint orc skin.

        tl;dr: You may want to research the term “triad” if you’re looking into other paint ranges, as it’s what other manufacturers call the whole combo thing.

    • Mikillangelo

      Oh, man. I don’t even want to think about how much money I have lost due to paint spilling or drying up in those GW pots. I finally made the switch to dropper bottles (Vallejo) and am crazy happy about it. I still buy GW washes and specialty paints, though. Those are amazing.

      Crazy thing is that the really old Citadel pots were great. Just last month, I used a paint from a 15-year-old pot. Worked like a charm. They don’t make ’em like they used to. Yeah, I just said that. Now, excuse me while I chase some kids off of my lawn.

    • Emprah

      Actually I hate nothing more than dropper bottles. They are utter dung if you don’t need a huuuuge amount of paint waisted. With Gw you can just paint from the pot and don’t loose half of the paint on the palette.

      You just have to use them up in a year or two. Not let them sit on the shelf for 10 years. WHich is a dumb thing to do anyway.

      • An_Enemy

        You really don’t. Once you’ve used dropper bottles and a wet palette for a while you get a feel for how much paint and thinner you need for a certain stage.

      • Statham

        I think it depends on the type of paint. I’ve had some GW paints for going on three years and have only had to buy new ones because they’ve ran out, whereas others – typically blues or metal paints – have separated off and are totally unmixable again.

      • V10_Rob

        “…just paint from the pot and don’t loose half of the paint on the palette.”

        What manner of sorcery do you use to prevent the pots from drying out and going to waste?

        • Severius_Tolluck

          I just tend to have a small bit of metal sprue in each pot to help shake it, also a little spit or dab of water on the brush before i dip the paint will do wonders. However there are some colors, red, yellows, and whites that I have bought already ruined in the pot before breaking the seal q_q

  • Carl Tuttle

    If this topic interests you, you may also want to hear more coverage of it here:

    • SilentPony

      It really does. I’ll give it a listen!

  • Shiwan8

    These things need something people can use to skip to the parts they want to hear. 30 mins of other things before the actual paint stuff. Also the recording volume need to be way higher.

    Other than that it’s great.

  • Major_OverKILL

    Does anyone remember Ral Partha Paints? I really wish I could find them…or even make my own…they were that good. I would do a Tom Cruise “mission impossible” break-in to score some fresh Ral D&D paints. If the main ingredient was baby reindeer blood I’d fly to the North Pole and juice rudolph…his friends all the elves too. Just give me back that dang Ral Partha D&D paint! If GW sells plastic crack…Ral Partha D&D was the pipe.

  • An article about paint without any photos. Why do you guys so often only link podcasts instead of writing a proper article? I mean, someone could have written down the most important parts of the discussion and leave the podcast for those willed to listen to it for 1.5 hours! Omg, it’s really 1.5h? I just checked the timeline… boy, I wouldn’t even know where to get so much time to waste…

    • Emprah

      Writing is hard work dude, brah.

    • Statham

      90 minutes? That you could easily listen to while painting a kit? The horror!

      • Well, it’s probably 80 minutes trash-talk and 4 minutes of really important informations. Is it?

  • Lord Solar Mac

    I bought the giant paint case thing from GW close to 5 years ago and has lasted surprisingly. It’s the on with something like 80 paints, brushes, etc…I was dreading using it after it sat so long, but just shaking the bottles for a few minutes. And good as new. Who would have thought? The bottles, however, are kinda dumpy….just don’t like how the caps don’t really stay up.

    • Severius_Tolluck

      bought the same one when foundation paints first came out, many were unusable day one. However, that being siad, half of it is still serving me fine to this day.

  • Jeff Daniels

    The very first Citadel paints were fantastic, and the bottles were so airtight that the paint could (and does) last for decades.

    I still have a bottle of “Smelly Primer” that I bought in ’95. I use it to touch up any spots that get missed when I use spray on primer. And I still have three pots of paint from the original Monster paint set: “Bilious Green”, “Imperial Purple”, and “Red Gore”. These are usable, but finally beginning to dry out. I remember buying that set in ’87!

    Before that I used to use the old Ral Partha “Partha Paints”, which were fantastic. The were roughly the same size as the recent Citadel hexagonal paint pots, but they had a screw-top lid, so they wouldn’t dry out. I painted my first Citadel miniatures with these, because Citadel wasn’t making paint yet.

    And before that, I used the official Floquil “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons” paints. These were designed for the Grenadier miniature line. They came in little glass pots with tin lids. I recall them working well. The primer was a dark red colour, instead of the standard white, black, or grey.

    And even before that, I used the old Testors enamel paints. They were terrible, and I didn’t use them for long. Nail polish would have been more effective.

    Back then I’d buy all my paint in Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on ’em. Give me five bees for a quarter, you’d say.

    Now where were we? Oh yeah: the important thing was that enamel paints are terrible, and the very first Citadel paints were fantastic.

    • euansmith

      Now, if only the “official” content on BoLS was that informative. An onion, you say?

    • Severius_Tolluck

      oh I could kill for Beaten copper, and bilous green again! Along with all the pinks and purples! They just dont mix the same shades now, and they were tough to duplicate. Shame even some newer colors are gone like hawk turquoise.