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:
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:
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:
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.
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:
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:
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:
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.