Today we’re going to take a look at one of the many companies that produce the tools to put together your tiny plastic soldiers for you fantasy and science fiction battlefields. We really, really like The Army Painter. WIth a range of tools, paints, and other scenic elements, The Army Painter provides the full set of equipment you’ll need to take your models from their bare plastic sprues to looking like tabletop heroes in no time.
With a hobby like tabletop wargaming, it’s always important to make sure that you’re getting the best value for your money. The Army Painter is an incredibly economical choice. We all want our models to look the best they can. Army Painter does it at a very reasonable price. Today we’re going to look at their painting system, so grab your paint and brushes, and let’s get decorated.
So the first component that any painter is going to need to get for his models (after they’ve been assembled of course) is a solid primer. Most primers are thin aerosol paints that use extremely fine pigments to create a baseline color for a model. This is important because it creates a reference color that every other paint you’re going to apply keys off of. Rather than your colors working off the blank color void of the bare metal, plastic or resin, they can work from a neutral color that helps them be the best colors they can be. We think it’s always a good idea to give your models the best canvas to apply the colors you want.
Now the fine folks over at The Army Painter have taken this a step further and created a range of color spray primers. The color spray primer is a lot like the house paint you see that’s advertised as a primer and paint combination. It takes all the fine properties of The Army Painter’s spray primers (as long time users of the Matte Black, we love this stuff, it’s one of the best primers we’ve ever used), and combines it with the vibrancy of one of their other colors to create a primer and base coat spray.
From a hobbyist perspective, this can save you a box load of time and energy when you’re getting ready to paint your dudes. By combining the priming and base coating into a single step, you’ve saved yourself time and energy, and can move into the next painting step, just remember to let your guys dry before you start trying to paint on them. With over a dozen Color Spray choices, a black primer, a white primer, and two spray varnishes, The Army Painter should have the color you’re looking for to basecoat the army you’re working on.
Important note 1: When picking your color spray primer, make sure that you pick the color that most of (if not all) your model is covered by. If you’re painting a squad of Ultramarines for Warhammer 40,000 and you opt to color prime them Pure Red so you don’t have to paint their eyes, we think you might have missed the point of the Color Priming process. This is a color that the majority of your model should be painted, and the color priming process helps you accelerate that process while giving you a good foundation for the rest of your painting experience.
The second step of the painting project using the Army Painter’s method is to pick out all the details on your models that are different from the color you primed the model. Then you get to apply some different colors and break out a paint brush or two. Now The Army Painter has a fantastic range of warpaints to help you get your model painted exactly the way you want them. With 42 colors in their base warpaints range, additional shades and washes, and an entire line for the Zombiecide! Game, You shouldn’t have any problems finding the accenting colors you’re looking for.
There are two things that we find key to this paint line. First, the paints that share names with the color primer sprays are actual matches to those colors. Some other companies produce spray primers that don’t have the same finish as their base colors, meaning that you may have to repaint large sections of a model if color gets where it isn’t supposed to be. Not so with the Warpaints range. The other thing we like are the dropper bottles which make sure we get exactly the amount of paint we want to use. Paint isn’t cheap, and maximizing every last drop of it is essential.
So you pick the accents you want, apply with a brush, and you’ve got a fairly basic, standard painting on your model. You could stop here, but we think there’s a better way, Prepare for a dip in the quickshade. To be perfectly honest, Quickshade is the product that brought The Army Painter into our lives. We were screwing around at a game shop in Kansas City and it caught my attention. I was new to painting models, and i liked the idea of a single shade process that all i had to do was dip the model in the shade and let it dry.
The Quickshade has proven time and again to be an invaluable tool in the painter’s kit, and when used as a part of The Army painter method, can provide fantastic results on an army wide scale. First it gives you an army wide consistency in appearance. Everyone’s got the same four or five colors over the same base color. The Quickshade continues the consistency by applying the same shading varnish across every aspect of the model. Just dip the model in the shade and let it work its magic.
|Quickshade, comes in 3 flavors|
The final step of The Army Painter method is to finish up your model’s base. WIth an assortment of flocking material and static grass, you can decorate the base of your models in whatever scenery you want. Arctic Tundra? Hellscape? Finely Manicured Lawn of Death? All of these and more are potential base decorations that you can use to differentiate your models from those of your friends.
|Basing materials galore|
And with these four steps you’ve gone from plain models to a fully painted and based army that’s ready for a table top. We really like The Army Painter’s method of painting an army, especially for first time hobbyists. There are as many painting methods as there are painters in the hobby and eventually everyone finds their own rhythm. However, for a first timer, this method will give you nice looking models with a paint job that you can be proud of.
When you combine the painting with the wild variations in basing and flocking materials, even if you and your friend paint the exact same army the same way, you can still have two very different looking armies on the field. For that, The Army Painter provides ample opportunities and options for the new hobbyist.
That’s our look at The Army Painter’s painting system and we hope this gives you some new ideas and options for painting your plastic and metal miniatures. Next week we’ll try to take a look at the rest of The Army Painter’s product range and get you involved with the other aspects of the hobby.
Be sure to check them out at http://www.thearmypainter.com/ and on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheArmyPainter
Game On, Game Fans