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Initial Contrast Experiments (from us all)

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#1
N1SB

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At the time of this writing, Contrast paints were still in the open beta phase, with the range just entering pre-orders, but a few of us on B&C got to try it ahead of time, thanks to Warhammer Stores preparing trials for us.

 

 

+++ BACKGROUND +++

 

 

Initially I started a thread as my own N1SB Labs report (because that format forces me to think more objectively) from my own early Contrast testing at my Warhammer Store.  I shared my initial results that night, but did not add conclusions or recommendations, because something about the experience was bothering me.

 

What bothered me wasn't this new range, I definitely like Contrast paints and LOVE certain ones, as another tool in my toolbox.

 

What bothered me was GW's viral marketing, giving it to just Golden Demon YouTuber tutorial painters, who are a tiny segment.

 

NOTHING against those guys, our own Atia and Valrak are among their number and I learn a great deal from them, and it's just nice GW's asking their opinions.  The problem is...what about tournament players?  Or your average Joe Laspack trying to clear his backlog?  With the speedpainting benefits of Contrast, they're probably more interested in this than anyone else.

 

So I've repurposed this thread for B&C brothers wishing to post their own findings and feelings about Contrast.  It's not about "our truths" (I actually hate that term, that just promotes hugbox groupthink, which tbh can be a problem), but just to address things more inline with our needs and interests.

 

 

+++ MY OWN EXPERIENCES +++

 

 

I've prepared some free sample miniatures my Warhammer Store kindly gave me.  Some are fantasy Stormcast, but I'm just using them as test subjects for Chapter colours:

 

gallery_57329_13636_101045.jpg

 

I actually did a yin-yang basecoat of black, then a little white from the top to simulate lighting, using a Japanese brand (Mr. Hobby, a very fine and dry spray I've grown fond of).  This is a trick I learned (a Brother on B&C graciously taught me the actual term for this style of basecoating, but I sadly forgot, it was a posh term*).

 

* Addendum - thx to Brothers Kage and Arkhanist below, the term is Zenithal

 

Over the course of the afternoon, about a dozen Warhammer Store (ir)regulars stopped by specifically to try this out.  It was a bit of a game of musical chairs at the painting table, but as a result, we actually gathered a lot of different perspectives on Contrast.  Really appreciated the their input.

 

Although some miniatures were fantasy Stormcast, I used them to test Loyalist Chapter colours, which were:

 

gallery_57329_13636_9456.jpg

 

From left to right:

 

Raptors - Militarum Green

Soritas/Black Templar - Black Templar, Flesh Tearer Red robe

Imperial Fists - Iyanden Yellow

Ultramarine Crimson Fist - Ultramarine Blue 

 

I adored the Flesh Tearer Red, I found Iyanden Yellow did not work on large surfaces, but was great on small surfaces like if you used it for JUST the chest aquila symbol, it's perfect for that.  Ultramarine Blue is actually not great for Ultramarines, but I think it's outstanding for Crimson Fists.

 

Time to paint, less than 5 minutes per colour here, because they were basically the main colour for each mini.  Contrast is really easy to control, it's like heavy water that has enough water tension to not be drippy.  Like I didn't have any problem avoiding dripping on the bases, it wasn't even an issue.  I actually planned to re-spray the bases anticipating there would be spillover.

 

It should come as no surprise that the basecoat definitely showed through, as suspected.  Example, was prominent with these 2 minis from the back:

 

gallery_57329_13636_76198.jpg

 

gallery_57329_13636_116407.jpg

 

Flesh Tearer Red is really outstanding with the Zenithal basecoat.  It turns it into this luxurious burgundy.  It's what stood out among the crowd.

 

gallery_57329_13636_76049.jpg

 

Both of these are Apothecary White, but on the left the basecoat was that Wraithbone.  Notice it's very warm by comparison.  Contrast definitely creates contrast, but the basecoat really does show the "colour temperature".  Yeah, basecoats have always been the fundamental of miniature painting, but generally GW paints are so thick it doesn't matter as much as here with Contrast, where it really shows through.

 

Note the white Primaris's chest aquila is the same Iyanden Yellow that I used to represent the Imperial Fist colour, but looks much nicer on a small surface.

 

The primary aspect of Contrast is that it's really a shortcut to painting, 1 Thick Coat replicates the 3 steps of painting/washing/drybrushing, but as with all shortcuts, there is a possible shortcoming:

 

gallery_57329_13636_49533.jpg

 

That shortcoming is it can be quite splotchy...but I also think it can be a weathered rain-stained look.  That'd be really good to show a battle-worn Leman Russ tank.  Here's what that colour looks like in a pot:

 

gallery_57329_13636_54904.jpg

 

Contrast paints are emulsions.  I know almost all paints separate slightly if left sitting for a long time, but notice how different the colours are.  It's like turquoise at the bottom, seriously give them a good shake before using.

 

Another observation is how Contrast paints almost always look way darker in the pot.  This is Iyanden Yellow:

 

gallery_57329_13636_70786.jpg

 

That miniature shows what that shade looks like on the model, after the paints start separating.  I've seen videos, they got everything set up nicely, few actually show what the inside of the pot looks like.  On a miniature, that yellow looks yellow.  In the pot, it looks like a small serving of curry.

 

 

+++ NO CONCLUSIONS YET +++

 

 

I want to avoid making ANY conclusions because it's too early.  In fact, what bothered me was GW forced key influencers to give their immediate conclusions so they've got soundbites and viral marketing materials.  I'm writing this point out as a reminder to everyone, give this topic time.


Edited by N1SB, 09 June 2019 - 01:47 PM.

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#2
Brother Chaplain Kage

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Zenithal priming is the posh term I think you're looking for. Curious to see how your tests come out!


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#3
Arkhanist

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Looking forward to see the results! I'm a fan of inks/glazing over a zenithal highlighted black->white primer already, just not very good at it because I don't normally have enough time or patience to get a quality finish as it normally needs multiple controlled application thin layers. So I'm hoping contrast will work similarly, but need a lot less coats and be easier to apply due to its more paint-like consistency. Kinda bet my ETL vow on it, particularly with black templar, so hope it works!

 

One thing you can do to have smoother gradients with zenithal priming (particularly with spray cans) is to add a grey step; so prime black, zenithal highlight with grey, then zenithal with a lighter coat of white directly on the top, so you don't get the 'speckle' effect so much on the lower areas (such as the stormcast cloth). You can even do it with two grey steps, a dark and light one, as GW demo in this 'monochrome' army video.

 


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#4
N1SB

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I will do the female Stormcast in the black Contrast for you, relevant to both Black Templars and Sisters of Battle

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#5
N1SB

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Thanks for setting me straight, Brothers, amended original post with your input and photos from today.

 

And on that note, it was a really fun experience, a bunch of Warhammer Store (ir)regulars gathering to try out new paints, comparing notes in the form of speedpainted miniatures, trying to figure this out like a puzzle, then even more difficult, trying to explain it to the next friend coming into the shop.


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#6
PowerHungryMonkey

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Wow, thanks for putting this up. I was thinking the way to go for me would be the new Contrast range and you've shown me I was right to think that. I was tossing up between Blood Angels and Flesh Tearer and that robe you did has TOTALLY sold me on Flesh Tearer. The Black Templar is good too. Do you know how the black would turn out with a second coat? I wonder if it would darken up the whole model more or just fill in the cavities too much.

 

Thanks again, I now have a way forward with my Iron Hands biggrin.png


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#7
Kua

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One thing you can do to have smoother gradients with zenithal priming (particularly with spray cans) is to add a grey step; so prime black, zenithal highlight with grey, then zenithal with a lighter coat of white directly on the top, so you don't get the 'speckle' effect so much on the lower areas (such as the stormcast cloth). You can even do it with two grey steps, a dark and light one, as GW demo in this 'monochrome' army video.

 

 

lol, either I am to much used to seeing two-step zenital basecoat on unpainted models as… basecoat, basically, or what WG is showing in the video does look unpainted. ^^

 

Concerning Black Templar Contrast, I was testing the colours yesterday and I’d advice against it in most cases and for the dark grey Contrast instead.

(I’d post my own test results, but I’d rather not hijack N1SB’s thread.)


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#8
N1SB

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Before I forget, great work on your conversions.

 

Let me show you the Blood Angels Contrast and Flesh Tearers Contrast, with notes:

 

gallery_57329_13636_32423.jpg

 

Important notes - the left figure was something our Warhammer Store (the older brother of the 500th Store in Hong Kong) prepared, and was basecoated with the normal white, painted by my friend who's a true Techpriest, a system admin.  Mine on the right was using the Zenithal basecoating, so it was a little bit more grey to begin with, which definitely showed.  Then it might be our different painting techniques or just the colour of the paint, but the splotchiness shows up more in the Blood Angel Contrast...but it might work to its advantage, makes it look more flowing.

 

I hear ya about Black Templar, regarding 2 coats of Black Templar, here's what I know.  Another friend did 2.5 to 3 coats, and the reason being was something I found important to Contrast paints...he could not resist the urge to paint it with 2 Thin Coats instead of 1 Thick Coat.  So he did 1 thin coat, then another coat, then another coat...and by that time it looked like pure Abaddon Black, he might've well primed the whole thing in black.  So I think a 2nd coat of Black Templar will just take the whole model down a brightness level, rather than adding depth.

 

EDIT - Brother Monkey, just a reminder please...but it's a minor issue for you.  Contrast gets a bit splotchy on large flat surfaces, like on Primaris.  However, you've converted your Truescale miniatures so much, there's a lot more detail on their power armour.  Just something to note please when painting normal marines.


Edited by N1SB, 09 June 2019 - 07:30 PM.

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#9
N1SB

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(I’d post my own test results, but I’d rather not hijack N1SB’s thread.)

 

 

Please go ahead (but thank you for the kind courtesy you extend to me and our Brothers)!  I'm happy to change the subject to the thread to all Contrast experiments by actual B&C members.  I think it's really important because I found my experiences with painters other than Golden Demon winners and YouTubers to be very different.


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#10
Sabadin

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If we're opening this up I'll add my pics and experience. The marine on the right is a grey seer base and the left one is a wraithbone base.

gallery_48561_7422_916324.jpg

gallery_48561_7422_539431.jpg

As pointed out above by N1SB the base makes quite a difference in the final result. You'll also notice a difference in the amount of pooling/splotches on the pauldron and helmet test of the left marine. This was done after being given the advice of applying it like woodstain instead of paint, it makes a noticeable difference and I'll test it out after launch on an old 2nd ed predator to see if that technique solves the pooling and brushstroke issues seen on YouTube with vehicles so far.
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#11
Kua

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Alright, if you don’t mind. ^^ You can call the thread whatever you like, ofc.

I spent yesterday evening in a GW store with some of the paints. Unfortunately the Contrast Medium was not included, but instead I got to grab a more interesting test model than some starter box content.

It was still considered a test model, but there was in incentive to try to get with it somewhere instead of just regarding it as a surface to put paint on.

 

IMG_4795.JPG.b042e3f24486ba8f1ca6dcf66ccIMG_4794.JPG.7aa6e3f6d2b9a527bfec5283d2e

IMG_4796.JPG.1f7e98c8e8f969016a513a7d17bIMG_4797.JPG.cdbb4fc7c9fc2e0f22cb20b99e1

 

It’s neither clean not finished, ofc., but I tried different techniques on places where they would make sense.

The model is almost entirely painted with Contrast, except the head (that became dark and ugly and I just slapped some white on it).

 

Result no. 1 is, that Contrast is really good for wet blending if you are quick. It dries pretty fast, so there is little time for being accurate, but on the other hand it allows you not to. I recommend starting with the lighter tone and adding the darker one (for the lower regions) in the second step, instead of vice versa, judging by its flowing and mixing properties.

Almost every surface of the model has at least 2 different Contrast colours on it, blended one into the other.

 

Result no. 2 is that contrast on metallics works really well. We probably already knew it from youtube, but I can confirm it now.

Here I used a very much thinned down (a friend had some Vallejo Flow Improver I could use instead of the medium) Black Templar Black to add this tiny last bit of depth in an additional step in the end. I think this additional step with a thinned darker Contrast (or maybe just a wash, didn’t try) is something you’ll be often using after the lighter Contrast colours.

As it is, I consider the white Contrast not useful, but maybe one can make it work this way, too.

This was result no. 3, btw.

 

Result no. 4 would be the dabbing (if I’m not mistaken about the correct English term) you can see on the lord’s coat. It was done with Contrast, too, but with partly different colours. Since the difference between Contrast and a half-dried wash is it’s oily flowing properties, you can make some use of it this way.

Ofc, unlike oil, it will still dry almost instantly, but look smoother with dabbing than normal Layer colours.

 

Result no. 5 is that with a dissolver (e.g. spirit) you can solve contrast before the underlying coat of colour, but it is not as easily removed with a brush, but turns into a glaze instead. You can still mostly remove it, ofc., but you keep a changed colour tone.

 

Result no. 6 is that the new contrast basecoat (Grey Seer and the other one) in their bottle variants are useless liquids that you should never buy, and if you already did throw away and save some nerves.

 

So far my results yesterday.


Edited by Kua, 09 June 2019 - 02:41 PM.

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#12
Suspira Mortis

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I appreciate that these are early days, so I'd understand if these questions can't be answered. Will Wraithbone be a good base for a Pallid Wych Flesh off-white? Likewise, will Grey Seer be a good base for Ulthuan Grey as an off-white?



#13
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@Kua : any idea how it react on thinners that are not GW? Or retarders?

Curious how far you can push the paint.

#14
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@Kua : any idea how it react on thinners that are not GW? Or retarders?

 

As I said, I had some Vallejo flow improver there, using as thinner for this purpose, and it kind of worked. I can’t compare to Contrast Medium because I couldn’t try it.

But water is really bad in combination with contrast, you do need some thinner.



#15
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That’s what I thought but GW keeps showing in videos the use water.

Also very hard for me to get my head around the one thick coat considering the pooling.

But I guess they are trying to keep it as accessible as possible.

#16
Sabadin

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Honestly, the general feel is that the marketing for contrast is targeted to those whose only painting experience is knowing which end of the brush you put paint on, and little more than that. It feels like they're really leaving the rest in the hands of local hobby groups and online influencers.
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#17
AgentOrange

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Not mine, but from Instagram this was painted using controlled application of the contrast paints.

oxoidanxcb331.png

https://www.instagra...id=i1yrcm35w0vh
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#18
N1SB

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Honestly, the general feel is that the marketing for contrast is targeted to those whose only painting experience is knowing which end of the brush you put paint on, and little more than that. It feels like they're really leaving the rest in the hands of local hobby groups and online influencers.

 

If that's how it's coming off as...then I actually agree with the strategy, because I think the biggest beneficiaries of Contrast are new painters:

 

Also very hard for me to get my head around the one thick coat considering the pooling.

But I guess they are trying to keep it as accessible as possible.

 

When my friends and I were painting at the Warhammer Store, someone mentioned the learning curve with Contrast.

 

I thought the bigger issue was the unlearning curve.  We were fighting our muscle memory, like thinning the paint down as one would do with GW paints particularly.

 

But if I was a totally new painter, and my whole idea of painting was dipping the whole brush into a pot of paint and just sloshing it onto a miniature, that'd actually be totally ideal.  That's actually what is intuitive, what a customer would expect, that a paint was designed by its producer to go straight onto the model.  Contrast seems to work better that way.


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#19
Bryan Blaire

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From what I can tell by people's examples, Contrast will not only require some practice, but it also appears that they don't quite work well for Primaris Marines' (haven't seen much in the way of classic Marines done using it) armor panels, though the smaller ones turn out better, but even the hip tassets seem to cause the paint some issues. Also, some of the colors definitely seem better suited to the Contrast and it isn't all the bright ones, or all the dark ones. The black seems to be more blotchy than the dark grey from the examples I've seen, while the dark red seems to be less blotchy than the lighter red. The yellows seem to work well, but the dark blues and dark greens seem to come out more blotchy than the lighter blues and greens, and the white seems to dry more on the blotchy side than not.

Hopefully once people really get to experimenting and practicing with them, we'll be able to see what tweaks are needed to get each color going well, but right now the most impressive uses I've seen with Contrast have been the blends people have done with the medium and a color, fading it into the Wraithbone primer/base color.

I'm looking at getting started on my Gate Hewers VII Legion "Anothr Brick in the Wall" Successor Chapter, but aside from maybe the Aquilas, I don't think Contrast is going to change much of anything on how I paint Marines. Tyranids and Orks likely to have much different results, maybe even Eldar, but Contrast just doesn't seem to offer much for Marines.

AgentOrange, not sure I believe that is only an application of Contrast paints, because there are brighter spots forming from cells 5-9, which we've actually been told doesn't happen with Contrast. You can work light to dark (essentially darkening bright colors), but you can't really form brighter spots with Contrast paints alone.
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#20
AgentOrange

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From what I can tell by people's examples, Contrast will not only require some practice, but it also appears that they don't quite work well for Primaris Marines' (haven't seen much in the way of classic Marines done using it) armor panels, though the smaller ones turn out better, but even the hip tassets seem to cause the paint some issues. Also, some of the colors definitely seem better suited to the Contrast and it isn't all the bright ones, or all the dark ones. The black seems to be more blotchy than the dark grey from the examples I've seen, while the dark red seems to be less blotchy than the lighter red. The yellows seem to work well, but the dark blues and dark greens seem to come out more blotchy than the lighter blues and greens, and the white seems to dry more on the blotchy side than not.

Hopefully once people really get to experimenting and practicing with them, we'll be able to see what tweaks are needed to get each color going well, but right now the most impressive uses I've seen with Contrast have been the blends people have done with the medium and a color, fading it into the Wraithbone primer/base color.

I'm looking at getting started on my Gate Hewers VII Legion "Anothr Brick in the Wall" Successor Chapter, but aside from maybe the Aquilas, I don't think Contrast is going to change much of anything on how I paint Marines. Tyranids and Orks likely to have much different results, maybe even Eldar, but Contrast just doesn't seem to offer much for Marines.

AgentOrange, not sure I believe that is only an application of Contrast paints, because there are brighter spots forming from cells 5-9, which we've actually been told doesn't happen with Contrast. You can work light to dark (essentially darkening bright colors), but you can't really form brighter spots with Contrast paints alone.


If you actually read the link the highlights at the end are wraithbone and then spotting with pure white, but it's almost entirely contrast with the colors named on each step.

#21
Bryan Blaire

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If you actually read the link the highlights at the end are wraithbone and then spotting with pure white, but it's almost entirely contrast with the colors named on each step.

:tu:

Appreciate that you clarified per the part in bold of your quote, as opposed to

this was painted using controlled application of the contrast paints.

since it's not solely Contrast and therefore not the whole story, which can be a little misleading to people only seeing your statement here. Cool technique though - basically Contrast requires a reverse process from how GW has shown models painted in the past (midtone, then dark to light - looks like now it's brightest to darkest). Like NS1B said - there's going to be an unlearning curve. I'll be interested to see some of the B&C's Fraeters experiments with NMM in this way to match the thread's premise.

Personally I like being exact about what a tool can actually do, since I wouldn't recommend trying to shape the edges of shelving with a trim router when a table mounted one will give you the full results, either.

Contrast will be great for some techniques, but won't produce them in the absence of other paints/painting skills.
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#22
N1SB

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Really good points here, thanks for raising these.

 

From what I can tell by people's examples, Contrast will not only require some practice, but it also appears that they don't quite work well for Primaris Marines' (haven't seen much in the way of classic Marines done using it) armor panels, though the smaller ones turn out better, but even the hip tassets seem to cause the paint some issues. Also, some of the colors definitely seem better suited to the Contrast and it isn't all the bright ones, or all the dark ones. The black seems to be more blotchy than the dark grey from the examples I've seen, while the dark red seems to be less blotchy than the lighter red. The yellows seem to work well, but the dark blues and dark greens seem to come out more blotchy than the lighter blues and greens, and the white seems to dry more on the blotchy side than not.

Hopefully once people really get to experimenting and practicing with them, we'll be able to see what tweaks are needed to get each color going well, but right now the most impressive uses I've seen with Contrast have been the blends people have done with the medium and a color, fading it into the Wraithbone primer/base color.

 

Thanks for raising Power Armour, I should've commented on this here, seeing it's B&C and all.  While I was painting, I noticed this too, to be the point of I was thinking of the Marks of Power Armour.  Primaris, as well as Mk VI and VII on traditional Marines, probably will have to deal with more of the splotchiness issue (I saw it on the Raptor, but I was anticipating it a bit.  Mk III, though, what with all their rims and bolts, will probably fair much better, and I was thinking of my Horus Heresy Iron Hands.  What is nearly optimal for Contrast imho based on my experiences thus far, is Soritas Power Armour; they have a lot more detail and Sisters are more lithe, so they don't have the same issues with large surfaces.  It's a significant enough issue that it's influencing my decision to make Sisters of Battle as my next army (over an all-Primaris army, I was 50/50 on those 2 choices before Contrast).

 

IMPORTANT EDIT - after seeing other B&C samples and working on my miniatures more, I retract this point.  I think Contrast is perfectly fine on Primaris.  In the same way each Contrast paint has slightly different consistency, so you gotta manage how thick a coat of a particular colour you put on (just like how we thin different colours of traditional paint because they're all different as well), I think you just factor in the type of model you paint as well (also kinda true with traditional paints, tbh).

 

Regarding which Contrast paints are more likely to splotch, I definitely agree there are differences between specific Contrast paints.  Each is a cocktail of different paints and maybe some go together better than others.  It's like the substance of the different pigments in each Contrast type, some separate out more smoothly than others.


Edited by N1SB, 14 June 2019 - 11:53 AM.

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#23
Arkhanist

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From the science of paint article, some are pigment suspensions and others are dyes. The thing tying them together is the contrast medium with the new flow properties so it both stains surfaces but pulls back from edges and pools in crevices, but there's definitely going to be more work needed with some of them than others due to the intensity of the different pigments/dyes.

 

Clearly, to get the most out of it you need not only to do traditional steps like edge highlighting, but also vary how its applied, and how thickly, depending upon the specific paint and the effect you're after. It's also a new style of painting, it's all about starting from near white and working down with translucent paint, and that's not what we're used to at all, unless you're a regular at glazing with inks over white which is what it bears the most resemblence to.

 

It also means the pre-coat is far more important than currently; while you use black or white to fit the coverage of your colours, now it will entirely change the tone and finish of the colours. And zenithal priming or pre-shading I think will be a useful step to improve results.

 

This is what's achievable over a zenithal highlight of wraithbone over black, with some light edge highlighting and a matte varnish coat - if you're already a multiple golden demon winner. What's most intriguing is that he said the contrast paints are single layer application, and it took him about 30 minutes, excluding drying times. Obviously I'm not going to be that quick, or that precise, but that's what intrigues me personally most - not skipping the need to highlight and pre-shade, but speeding things up without sacrificing quality. I definitely plan to try and replicate the gun, though hopefully a little darker with a darker pre-coat.

 

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Richard Grey: So I've been playing about with the new Contrast Paints from Games Workshop and I wanted to see if I could get something done for gaming really quickly. I started by priming black and then a zenithal highlight of Wraithbone The marine you can see here is just one coat of Blood Angel Red for the base armour, one coat of Iyanden Yellow for the eagle and one coat of Black Templar for the gun. The gun glow was Aethermatic Blue. I think the blue could have done with a white base colour to be more effective. I added some very quick highlights by hand using Evil Sunz Scarlet, Wild Rider Red and Lugganth Orange, and I painted in the eyes with Moot Green and Yriel Yellow. The gun had some very quick upper edge highlights of Daemonette Hide. I then gave the whole model a coat of matte varnish. Total paint time was around 30 minutes not including waiting for it to dry. You could very easily knock out a 10 man squad of these in a day.


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#24
Bjorn Firewalker

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The Hellblaster is well-painted, Arkhanist.

Edited by Bjorn Firewalker, 09 June 2019 - 11:01 PM.

Wolf Scout- Catachan barking toad eggs+ Thousand Sons Marine= Fun! (Wolves of Catachan)
Sisters of Battle+ Fenrisian Beer- Inhibitions- Sanity= Trouble! (Order of the Blazing Heart Rocket Punch Pimp Magnet She-Wolf)

 

Reasons to use the Steel Crusaders ('Codex: Space Marines' supplement): Because you think giving Sternguard Veterans a heavy bolter wtih special issue HEAVY BOLTER ammunition is ALMOST as much fun as shoehorning an Earthshaker cannon into a Land Raider.

 

Reasons to use the Iron-hearted Angels ('Codex: Blood Angels' supplement): Because you think the Librarian Dreadnought needs Furious Charge AND It Will Not Die to beat down a Chaos-worshiping punk and his Defiler, while a Stormraven needs a Vanquisher cannon to beat down this punk's Heldrake.


#25
MegaVolt87

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I only had time to use the greens on saturday late afternoon. My impression is some definitely have different coverage properties when used, even at two coats. 


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My Iron Warriors Project   Guns for the guns god!, Bullets for the Brass throne!






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