A few days ago it was my birthday. Yes, I am now older, wiser, and arguably more handsome (at least one of those is true), and like all people who refuse to grow up I had several gaming related things on my wish list. Over the next week or so you can expect articles about Chemistry Fluxx and The Dresden Files Co-operative Card Game amongst a few others – but for now let’s talk paint.
Just over a year ago, I moved house. During the move I lost all of my paints. I have no idea where they are now, and so decided it was about time to replace them – so, when my folks asked me if I needed them to get me anything for my new job I’m starting in January, I told them the Army Painter Warpaints Mega Set from Army Painter would be ideal. I’m not sure they fell for it, but I still got the paints [insert grin emoji here].
In the past I have always been a Citadel paints kind of guy. The GW paints are, arguably, superior to any other on the market – however, they are expensive. The Army Painter Warpaints Mega Set (which sounds like the wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man from Family Guy, so I’m just going to shorten it to APWMS) offered something Citadel wouldn’t be able to, and that was the opportunity to get 50 paints for a fairly decent price. Since I am not just painting Warhammer, but also minis from Flashpoint, Blood Rage, Descent and Scythe, the variety of paints seemed a good way to start.
Since this is a review of paints, rather than a game, I’m going to break away from the standard review format to just talk about it from an overall perspective before going through the good and bad.
An Overview of the Army Painter Warpaints Mega Set
The Army Painter Warpaints Mega Set is a big box of 50 paints designed for wargaming miniatures. These cover a wide array of colours, including a series of metallic paints, two effect paints (rust and blood), and five shades. These all have colour coded tops, making it especially easy to pick them apart from one another with ease. The set also comes with one brush (which is perfect for undercoating) and a laminated guide on how to mix the paint for various effects.
Each paint comes in a pipette bottle, which both makes the paint easier to mix, but harder to reserve. These are stored neatly within the box, which contains six trays to contain the paints in. These are, oddly enough, in absolutely no order upon opening the box, and so I needed to fully unpack the box before packing it back up again.
All in all though, the presentation is good and the booklet was a nice touch. It gives some interesting ideas on finishing models and how to get certain combinations to work. Unfortunately, nothing in there on how to paint the Pink Horrors of Tzeentch I currently have on the go, but what could I really expect?
All in all, a very nicely presented box, with a lot on the inside.
APWMB: The Good
The real strength of the Army Painter Warpaints Mega Box comes from the sheer variety of colours there are. From standard GW style paints like Necrotic Flesh, to more exotic washes and rust finishes, there is a lot within the box to ensure enough variety to suit any number of painting projects. This was exactly what was needed as I am going to be painting everything from firemen to zombies over the next few months.
The ability to have washes and specialist finishes, as well as a few metallic paints, within the box is great as it means the box contains everything you may need when starting off painting. I haven’t painted in two years, so it was nice seeing the kind of things this box allows for me to try out on miniatures.
Some of the paint, some of the colours, are brilliant in tone as well. Warlock Purple, which is a shocking pink, and Lava Orange, which is near fluorescent, are two such colours that just make you appreciate the amount this box gives you to play with.
All in all, the box is a positive experience (that feels like a weird thing to say when talking about a box of paint), offering far more than it realistically needs to. The guide and the brush are just the cherry on top of a beautifully painted box of goodies. They don’t use the Citadel base/layer/shade system, but I’m not sure that is a bad thing. Instead this box gives way to some nice trial and error with different colours.
There are only two negative points I would say about this box of paintiness (yes, shh, that is a word). The first is that the paints really do need to be shaken up. When brand new and out the box, the paints have had a while to separate and so every colour needs to be shaken a lot. I would even recommend squeezing out some of the oil at the start to thicken the paint up a bit. Newly opened bottles shake about as well as a block of cement in a plastic bottle, so it is also worth squeezing out a couple of drops first. This will ensure better coverage, of which some shades do struggle – demonic yellow, matt black and dragon red are colours I have noticed so far, which is a shame when you look at what I’ve been trying to paint.
Yep, painting firemen for Flashpoint has not been easy.
The other point is kind of related to the first, which is the pipette bottles. Where these have received a lot of positive press around the wargame blog community, I personally find them irritating. The reason for this is two fold, with the first being very simple. You can’t control the amount of paint you use and need a pallet, rather than just dipping a brush like you can do with the traditional paint pot. This leads onto the second point however, which is that with a standard pot you can just stick a brush in and stir when it separates, for this you need to shake which is less efficient and less effective. That being said, I am currently looking at a nail varnish pot shaker on Amazon that may solve that problem nicely.
To conclude, the Army Painter Warpaints Mega Box is a great starter kit for anyone looking at either getting into miniature painting or looking to replenish a collection. There is a lot of good within the box, with a wide variety of colours being one of the main reasons to get it at a very reasonable price (it works out at around one pound thirty five pence per paint). Yes, there are a few downsides which are frustrating; however, as the paints get used and as you get used to them as a painter, those problems should iron themselves out.
Naturally, Army Painter are only one company on the market, with other big names being Citadel and Vallejo within the wargame world. I know a few wargamers read this blog, so I would be interested to hear what paints you use and if you have any solutions to the aforementioned problems above? Let me know in the comments below, or feel free to drop me an email through the contact page.