To hell with the status quo!
Despite the fact that my paint collection has been slowly getting more and more Vallejo pots in it as I move towards more historical projects, I still use many Games Workshop/Citiadel paints for my reds, browns/leather, and flesh to name a few. In recent years GW has added the very useful Foundation paint line (My fav, Charadon Granite), and new Washes (Especially Devlan Mud and Badab Black) that became favorites of many miniature gamers once they discovered the magic those pots held.
"Sir, request more Graveyard Earth and Desert Yellow ASAP!!!"
I admit I am firmly in the "If it ain't broke don't fix it" crowd, so when GW announced back in March that they were launching a whole new paint line April 7th and eying my half finished Imperial Guard Mordian army sitting there, I reacted as any half sane hobbyist would. I drove over to the nearest game shop and spent like $60+ on discontinued paints.
Unfortunately the three things I wasn't able to pick up that night was the three paints and washes mentioned above. I'm still looking for a replacement for Charadon Granite, but partial salvation came in the form a short e-mail from a friend:
"The Army Painter washes are a pretty exact/damned close match to the old GW washes:
Dark Tone = Badab Black
Strong Tone = Devlan Mud
Soft Tone = Gryphonne Sepia"
Like any gaming hobbyist worth his/her salt I can manage to evolve and learn new things. Just like when GW switched paint companies in the '90s (Privateer Press now uses the old one.) and I lost my beloved Chestnut, Flesh, and Armour Washes. I'm sure GW's greatly expanded paint range has tons of potential and many improvements, but I mostly lament the loss of many iconic names such as Boltgun Metal, Goblin Green, and Snakebite Leather whose naming rights were lost in this latest switch. At least the old names gave even the casual gamer a clue what color was inside, but many of the new ones have me totally confused. I'll remain open to using the new range as my friends and other bloggers try out stuff and report back, but I think I'll personally continue my push into the Vallejo line.
It's easy to hate on Games Workshop, and although I'm not a fan of everything they do, I try to keep that type of stuff off my blog and focus on enjoying the hobby in a positive light. I saw the writing on the wall 3+ years ago when I read about various paint companies submitting bids to produce new paint line that included 145 products for GW. That has now come true, and like any business in a niche market like miniature gaming you have to evolve and improve in order to succeed much less survive, and GW has done both. I will say while change can be frustrating, like going through 8 editions of Warhammer or 6 of 40k, I can also understand that change drives much the business for companies like GW whose target market does not include 40+ year olds like me.
Not many local gamers do the blog thing, but many do share their hobby projects and thoughts on Google+. So I'd like to pass along a quick and dirty series of reviews of the Army Painter washes from my friend Eric that I thought was really helpful.
The Replacement Killers
Inks & Washes - From my experience so far, Dark Tone is closer to Badab black than Nuln Oil. Rumours I heard was that Nuln Oil does not cut in water- not true. It cuts just fine.
Nuln Oil is actually blacker than Badab and Dark tone.
Nuln Oil slides very well into recesses and lines. Dark tone needs a little water in that department.
I think Dark tone covers large areas like vehicle plates the way Badab black does. This is were Nuln Oil gets a little splotchy and needs some help from water.
I'm going to miss Badab Black as it covers the smoothest but I think Nuln Oil and Dark tone will do just fine to picking up the reins.
Dark Tone, Nuln Oil, and Badab Black.
So My next step with my ork metals is the Devlan Mud. I also tried Agrax Earthshade and Strong Tone from Army painter.
The good news I have is that Strong tone is just about the same as Devlan Mud. The only difference is that Mud spreads easier. The Strong Tone needs just a teeney bit of water to loosen it up.
Agrax Earhshade is not the same. It's very watery and just like Nuln Oil it slides easily in recesses but is splotchy over large flat areas. The colour is not close either. It has a greater bit of a red-orange tint to it. So although not close to Devlan Mud, it still will have its place with paints for it's own colour.
Agrax Earthshade, Strong Tone, and Devlan Mud.
Gryphonne Sepia. The third of my favorite washes. It's yellow brown just makes everything real. The others I tried were Seraphim Sepia and Soft Tone from Army Painter.
Here I found differences in all three. Seraphim has the same consistency which is good as it spreads like Gryphonne. Seraphim however is more red than yellow. Not a big deal at all- like Agrax Earthshade, it has it's own flavour.
Soft tone is no where near the same as Gryphonne and Seraphim. The colour is a darker brown with less yellow- kind of a weaker version of Strong Tone. It's spreads just fine. It will have a place in my washes.
Soft Tone, Gryphonne Sepia, and Seraphim Sepia.
Overall the GW washes seem to have their place. They don't replace what we used to love but they will make new armies come to life with their own style. The Army Painter tones are your best bet for the Badab and Devlan replacements.
Obviously my thoughts are only opinion, have a good weekend everyone.
Thanks again Eric for the run down and letting me pass it along on my blog. I finally got the chance to pick up Army Painter Strong Tone and Dark Tone from the shop last night, so I'm excited to try them out myself. I also wanted to pass along that the Army Painter washes are $3.29 for 0.6 fl oz compared to the current GW washes that are $3.70 for 0.4 fl oz.