By now everyone should know Games Workshop is about to release a revamp release of its paint line; doubling the number of paints previously offered. In addition, new categories of paints are also including to help novice to expert painters get models done faster and with better results. Currently the Internet is awash with hate as people are faced with learning or altering old techniques they had grown accustomed to with the old paints. Similar to the complaints about washes when they replaced inks. Even I had some trepidations when it came to the new paints not because I am afraid of change, but I didn’t know how long it would take to learn the new paints.

The big question though was whether the new Washes now call Shades would be better or worse.

So once I heard that my local GW store had the new paints I quickly ran down to experiment. Lucky for me my local store manager is an expert painter (art major) so he was able to explain how the new paints worked.

Before I jump into my impressions about the new paints I want to say that I am average painter. I don’t use specialized techniques I am table top ready painter. This doesn’t mean three colors and done, I do like depth and unique paint schemes. My jobs look really good a foot away, but once you look closer you can see where more work can be done. I like to get large number of models done as fast as I can while at the same time still looking good. So with that in mind let us talk about the new paints.

Base (Foundations) Paints: These new paints do a great job at covering your model without the flaky and pastiness of the old Foundation paints. The crowning jewel of this range is Ceramite White, Averland Sunset (Yellow), and Jokaero Orange. These three paints will revolutionize the time it takes to paint certain armies. Their only drawback is you still us multiple coats to gain the proper effect, but gone are the mixing and building techniques used to get these colors. In addition, there are the metallic Base paints which seem to cover models effectively in one go– unlike the brighter base colors. That is the real bonus with using base metallics over say Boltgun Metal the bases go on smooth with few metal flakes and a more consistent application.

Layer (Standard) Paint: This makes up the bulk of the new paint range: there are some major advantages to these new paints, with one major flaw. With the increase number comes greater flexibility. As an example, personally I only use GW paints and Vallejo Paints, but only the Vallejo Triads (three color packs that base, layer, highlight) because it is a no brain way to paint your model. By doubling their layer range GW has now filled in enough gaps to compete with Vallejo paints without spamming so many colors. Where Vallejo range can seem overwhelming GW range isn’t and the Layer range really is focus on the core colors for games workshop models. GW provides a free pamphlet that clearly shows colors in groups especially easy for building from dark to lighter tones. Another advantage with the expanded range is fewer tricks are necessary to make great looking models. You will mix less and instead of using three to four blue combinations you can accomplish the same thing in two blue colors from the range. The Layer paints do have a different consistency from the old paints making them more vibrant, but the trade-off is coverage. The Layer paints are not a one and done coverage option like many of the old points. You will have to make sure your model is fully coated before moving on to the next paint and they take longer time dry. For painters like me where speed is more important than detail this is a major draw back. If you don’t mind taking your time the Layer paints are great because the range of color and “pop” of the colors is far better than the old range.

Shade (Washes) Paint: This is where the paint drama begins,Shades are the replacement for washes. Having played with them I can report that the only people who should complain about them are those folks that basically dipped models in the them to cover up the lazy paint jobs beneath. The Shades are the bridge between washes and inks we been waiting for. The pooling on Shade paints is fantastic, they don’t stick like the washes do and go to the crevices in the proper amounts.They seem to dry a little faster than washes can be used with others paints much easier. So far the Shade paints don’t seem to have any useless (Baal Red anyone) colors in the line, they also don’t seem to overlap with any of the Layer paint colors which is important to adding depth to your standard colors. As for Devlin Mud… Earthshade Shade seems to do the trick well enough, I am more concerned on how the shades interact with metallic paints more than anything, sadly I did not get a chance to test.

Dry Paint: This is one of the new categories of paints for GW. They are primarily used for dry brushing. For expert painters this is a step that is always skipped over, but for a speed painter like me it is valuable tool. These new Dry paints are great, they dry brush raised edges amazingly and they can used with other Dry paints creating high quality effects fast without being Golden Deamon winner. As well, unlike using other paint where you had to dry brush almost all the paint away on your paint palette you can now lightly dab in the Drypaint pot and go to work. These paints will extend the life of the dry brush you use. Dry paints are also primed for experimentation.

Glaze Paints: Glaze paints are specialized versions of shades that are used to fix drybrushing and highlight problems as well it can create “glow” effects. Glaze paints only come in four colors targeting most popular colors people want often want brighter. I only used the Waywatcher Green and it seemed to create a glossy slime effect on the model I worked with. I don’t seem myself using these the glazes much unless I am really not happy with the dark pigments of some shading.

Textures Paints: These paints are just fun. They have a lot of grit which is great for basing. You combo this line with the Dry line and you can get terrain and your bases done in record time. The only draw back is mastering the grit found in these paints. I found myself frustrated by trying to get the right coverage in one place while not getting in another place. I hope it was just my inexperience.

Technical Paints: These specific paints were not available at my local show so I really cannot speak to them, but if you know how mediums work from other paint lines I am sure you can figure out that one. The only question me and the store manager had was,”What happens when you airbrush ‘Imperial Primer’ ? ”

Having played with the new paints for a few hours I quickly got use to them. I do understand this is going to be hard for many painters to adjust especially for us in mid project. The new Layer paints especially are going to take a little getting use to. I suggest for anyone (even with the conversion chart) to stock up on the old paints if you need to finish some jobs, they won’t be a 1-for-1 equivalent. The pots have not changed dramatically, but a few improvements have been made to avoid drying out and loose caps. There is enough here for veteran paints to play with and at the same time novice painters will pick up painting easy. That is by far the best aspect of these paints: ease of use. A trained monkey can master simple steps and the pots themselves tell you what what kind of paint you are using. You can also put in as much time and effort as you want; if you want a three layer blue scheme you can do that or you can have good results just using one coat of the Layer paint.

Converting over will take time and as long as your patient I think you will be happy with the results. Next week I will go more in-depth as I follow step by step the tutorial and paint myself some new Dark Angels!