Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Painting frustration

I've been trying to paint recently.  This is surprising, given the low amount of models I've painted in my years and years of owning miniatures, but still- I'm really trying.

Monday, I take out a Slayer, prime it, and start painting it using a paint I have laying around, Citadel's Orkhide Shade Foundation paint.  I get the first layer on, but realize I'm running low on paint.

"No problem", I think to myself.  I'm at the game store tomorrow night (Tuesday), I'll grab another pot of it, and I'll put the second layer on.

I go to the store, only to discover that GW has changed their paint line (yes, yes, I realize this isn't recent, but I haven't exactly been painting, have I?).  Sure, using a conversion chart I found online, I can find what's an exact match, but it's still a very annoying way to go about things. 

This, plus remembering how annoyed I was about discontinuing Chestnut ink, from the last time I tried my hand at painting, meant I wanted to try something new.

In frustration, I picked up the Vallejo matching color.  It's cheaper, I'll get more use out of it, and I don't know that they've ever discontinued a paint color... but I struggle to use Vallejo paints well.  I'm supposed to mix them 1:1 with water to get a good ratio for layering... but I find that after it's mixed, it tends to slowly separate in the palette well, and I end up constantly using paint that is too thin to actually cover the model, meaning I have to remix the well. 

I feel like painting should be easier than this.  Maybe I need to switch to P3 paints, or something, are maybe I'm just really bad at this whole painting thing, but c'mon, what should I beginner painter do to find a set of paints that are both easy to use, and aren't likely to change names every year?

For now, I'm going to push through with the Vallejo paints.  I'm sure that once I get the hang of them, I'll really find them quite rewarding.  In the meantime, does anyone have any random suggestions for how to use them well?


  1. If you're feeling lazy, then P3 paints work nicely straight out of the pot. I should put them on a palette I know but they work really nicely painting from the little lip in the pot. The price is a bit lower than GW and I like how the paints thin down.

    I don't know that there's a perfect paint line that won't change but I imagine that P3 will hold onto their line for years as it's already named to match their own universe. I gather that part of GW's change was to get new names that could be trademarked and protected.

    I haven't tried Vallejo but with my lazy, out of the pot painting style it's a lot better for me to use P3 paints now. Sorry I can't give advice on the Vallejo stuff but perhaps you could try mixing with less water for now and seeing how that goes.

    My current paint collection is here ( and I'm at about 50% P3 and going more that way as my GW colours run out.

    Hope it helps a bit.


  2. When using water though, are you using tap water or distilled (the latter being the better option)?

    Also, you could consider some of their mediums for mixing. I had some Vallejo with a medium mixed on a wet palette (I'll have to check my supplies to recall what medium, I think I only own one) that I probably could have still painted with months after putting it on the pallet. My wet palette is home made, just a plastic sandwich container (with lid for when its not being used), a sponge, and parchment paper.

  3. I've just been using regular water for now- I understand that tap water does have a chalky substance mixed in, but figured I wasn't a good enough painter to see a difference.

    Nathan, when you use the wet palette, do you have a problem with Vallejo paints separating? I've been mixing them with a flow reducer/paint thinner that was recommended (tap water for my water bucket).

    @Pete: I may try P3 paints. I'm sure they are great quality, but man I hate it when companies drop a paint. GRRR!!!