Tried out some of the new GW Contrast paints today. These are basically a heavily pigmented, translucent, slightly “thicker” (probably a bit of gel medium) wash. The idea being that over a light primer/basecoat, the pigment will gravitate to low points and away from the high points–giving you shadows, highlights, and colour in one step.
I don’t use aerosol primers (expensive, too dependent on humidity being just right, and not practical when you can’t use them in our long winter), so mainly what I wanted to test was how they would work out without using the specific GW primers/undercoat (which GW is more than happy to inform you that you MUST HAVE), with a variety of undercoats.
Here are the results of my experimentation today (all primer was airbrushed):
Guilliman Flesh over zenithal Badger Stynylrez Black and Stynylrez White primers.
Pretty happy with this. Took less than 10 minutes total to slap the wash on the flesh areas. I normally use five paint/wash layers to paint skin, so this is good trade-off for speed and quality.
Skeleton Horde over a Stynylrez Black primer and an undercoat of the GW Wraithbone base paint (cut 50/50 with Vallejo Airbrush Thinner and airbrushed).
Again, this is pretty solid, especially for a couple minutes of effort. Will certainly do the rest of this Shadespire Warband’s skelly bits the same.
Black Templar (shoulderpad), Flesh Tearers Red (leg), Gore-Grunta Fur (holster), and Gryph-Hound Orange (helmet), all over a Stynylrez White primer.
The orange was the most effective here, hands down, and the brown holster looks fine, too. This test setup was the one I was most curious about, as it didn’t involve any GW undercoats and only one coat of Stynylrez primer.
Flesh Tearers Red over a Stynylrez Black primer and an undercoat of the GW Grey Seer base paint (cut 50/50 with Vallejo Airbrush Thinner and airbrushed).
I think this looks really good. Very impressed for less than a minute of painting time.
Space Wolf Grey over a Stynylrez Black primer. An undercoat of the GW Grey Seer base paint in the first picture and Wraithbone in the second (both cut 50/50 with Vallejo Airbrush Thinner and airbrushed).
In the second picture, the leg facing forward is two coats of Black Templar diluted at 50/50 with the Contrast medium.
These are not so impressive. 😦
I honestly can’t see using these for Space Marines, or anything else that has large panels. Too difficult to get the coverage without it going splotchy and/or looking over-saturated.
Crying shame, as that Flesh Tearer Red looks great on that SM backpack and would be a perfect colour match for the Exorcists I want to keep painting for 40K and Kill Team.
I will continue to use an airbrush for marine armour.
However, Contrast paints appear to be a real time-saver* for anything with rough detail like fur, hair, etc. and anything “organic” like flesh and bone (as in the pics above). I do plan to use them to speed up getting my Shadespire warbands done, for sure. That orange over white makes me think I can get some GSC done faster, too.
*Drying time is a huge factor, though. These really are best for assembly line painting of rank and file, where –hopefully– the first one is dry when you get to the last one. I was seeing 30-40 minutes on straight out of the pot, and slightly longer when diluted with the medium.