Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Plastic WIzards and Warcolours Paint Review

"Kali-ma!" Shouted the coven leader as he plunged his ceremonial dagger into the prone captive. The blood began to spurt from the body, but as it did so, the dagger began to pulse in a forbidding green light. It was absorbing the soul of the unfortunate victim. The lich lord would be pleased...

So a two-fer today, as I am giving a brief review of both the new Frostgrave Plastic Wizard sprue and Warcolours paint. I won't go too much into the wizards sprue itself, as you can see those details from the picture bellow. The quality of the models is the usual from Northstar, in other words top notch. The mold lines were minimal and lots of options are present. As you can see from the painted example, the detail is great. I know this is supposed to be a review, but really there is nothing bad to say about it and just rambling about all the great things is boring. Basically, if you like Frostgrave, just go buy it!

For the Warcolour paints, I wanted to go a little more in depth with. If you're not familiar with them, they are a paint company out of Cyprus (although they do sell some non-paint products too). Way back when they launched their metallic paint, they were giving away free bottles if you promised to review them. I quickly signed up, tried it out, and never reviewed them. Oops!

Now, to go on a little tangent, I watch a lot of Vince Venturella's YouTube channel as he is great at teaching techniques in an easy to digest manner (I've also taken one of his classes, which I can vouch was worth it too!). And he really likes the Warcolour line, if you go to his channel you will see that he has several videos on the subject. So I've been wanting to try them out properly.

If you read this blog regularly, you'll notice I use a lot of GW paints, this is because those are readily available in my area. But one of the problems with the GW line (and the Vallejo Line as well) is that their blues aren't very vibrant in tone. So after probing around on the Hobby Hangout Facebook page, someone mentioned that Warcolours' blues were pretty vibrant. So I had my chance to properly try them out!

Warcolours names their paints with a color and a number and, in addition to selling them individually, sells them in nice sets of 5 (just the colors of that shade) or 8 (those colors plus black, white, and a transparent). So I promptly ordered the 8 color blue set. The only real knock I had was some of the color ranges are hard to tell apart; for example distinguishing between Blue 1-5 and Marine 1-5 was not easy for me. But, other than that, the order process was quick and easy, and shipping to the USA was ridiculously cheap. As in, it's cheaper to get them from Cyprus than a domestic package of the same weight and size. Plus it arrived very fast. So far, so good.

One thing I have gathered from Vince's channel is that the Warcolour range is gel-based, which keeps them from drying out very fast. This is where I think it was good that I never got around to reviewing their metallic paint I previously received. In my experiments, Warcolour paints work best with other Warcolour paints. At least so far as taking advantage of the gel base is concerned. If you mix them with GW of Vallejo paints, they pretty much act like traditional paints. So on that note, if you are thinking about trying them out, getting the 8 color set is a good idea as having the black and white is very handy. As a result, I didn't previously appreciate the advantages of the lone Warcolour metallic paint I had.

When I first played around with the blues, I was shocked at how easy it is to wet blend. Wet blending is not something I normally do as I've always had bad luck with it and tend to pull up the previous layer. In fact, I was so amazed at how easy it was that I shot a video to show you. Pardon the color being slightly off, it was shot with my cell phone and with no sound since I had a cold (you really don't want audio of me sniffling!).

As you can see in the video, I applied the base color, in this case Blue 4 and let it dry really good before applying the second coat as the basis for the blends. I found in my experiments that if you try with the first coat, the blending is a little "patchier." After that, I applied Blue 1 to all the high points and feathered over. I repeated with Blue 5 in the recesses and then Black+Blue 5 in the further recesses and Blue 1+White, and later pure White for the highlights. There was a lot of back and forth with this to get the blends smoother, but for what was roughly 8 minutes of work (I had to delete a few portions where the model was out of the frame, leading to a shorter run time) I think they results came out pretty great. 

A couple of other comments regarding the Warcolours, their regular paints make excellent glazes as they don't flood the model as bad as traditional glazes. These are not to be confused with their glaze line, which appear to be more transparent and thinner out of the bottle, but have a more limited color choice. Many of their colors are also pretty transparent, and from what little I've played with them on this, seem to work really, really well in true metallic metal type techniques. I have not, however, figured out how to properly use the "Transparent Blue" that comes with the set. It doesn't appear to be a glaze or a wash, and it is pretty thick, so I'm not really sure how it is intended to be used.

Yeah, this dude really loves hoods!
After I was done with the blues, I used the Warcolours to paint the black, white and gray by mixing an appropriate blue with black and white to achieve the desired tone. For the flesh tones, I mixed Blue 5 in with GW Rakarth Flesh, but as I said above, it behaved more like traditional paints. The metallics and browns were painted with Scale 75 and GW paints, respecitively, but with no special techniques or application.

So there you have, I highly recommend you give Warcolours a shot. They're great and Vince provides much better explanation on his YouTube channel than I can. And while I freely admit that those blends aren't the best I've ever painted, they are the best blends I've ever painted in 8 minutes, and it is only because of these paints. I purposefully left them as seen in the video, albeit with better lighting so you can see what the results of that little time really look like. With some glazing or more precise application, these paints achieve even better results.


  1. Guess how long I was fiddling with my sound on the phone and when I cast it to the TV?

    Great stuff mate.

    1. Lol 😂 you really didn't want sound with the cold I had at the time. Lotsa gross nosesn as I struggled to breathe!

  2. Really interesting, thank you. I have experienced the problem you talk about regarding GW and Vallejo blues; so as I saw your first pic here I was like 'dammit, those blues are gorgeous'. Nice to learn about this!

    1. Glad I could help! You really should try these out.

  3. Very helpful Andrew!
    I really like the mini!

  4. You got some nice contrasts there on the cloak. I’ve got more paints than I know what to do with, but maybe I’ll give these guys a try

    1. I'd recommend trying them out, they're fun to work with. After some glazing, the contrast looks even smoother than what I did on the photo.