Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Fun with Contrast Paints

So it has been quite a few months now since GW released the new Contrast Line of paints. And I have been playing around wiht them for a little while now. So here are some of my experiments. I find they are great on certain types of models, namely most historical models, skaven, genestealer cults, and other models with a ton of texture. I've had less luck with them on things that lack any texture. I've also found them great for weathering and through an airbrush.

But first, if you haven't watched it and want an actual review of Contrast paints as well as a lot of good tips and tricks, immediately go watch Vince Venturella's Ultimate Guide to Contrast Paints. It is way more useful than anything you will see here. 

The first picture is of some gribblies for Rangers of Shadow Deep. Two Reaper Bones worms and a demon thing from Kromlech. These were one of the first models I tried and they came out okay. In these cases, the contrast paints were applied straight from the pot and required a quick dry brushing over to actually get any contrast.

After learning my lessons on those models, I gave some others a try. This ECW Pikeman is from 1st Corp. With this guy, I tried a zenithal prime, using Badger African Flesh Tone and Vallejo Bone. The bright red jacket was Blood Angels Red with a bit of bone mixed in for the highlights. This is a tip I got from Vince's video and I pretty much used it on all of the rest of the models. It's still really fast due to the slower drying time of the Contrast paints, you get a little bit of wet blending that goes on. The trousers were a mix of Basilicanum Grey mixed with Apothecary White and highlighted in the same manner. The stockings were just Apothecary White. I am pretty sure the leather spots were a mix of Cygor Brown and Aggaros Dunes, although they might have just been heavily thinned Cygor Brown. The flesh was Guilliman Flesh and the cuffs and collar were Aggaros Dunes. Finally, the steel was based in Iron Breaker and washed with thinned Black Templar. 

In fact, assume, unless I say otherwise, all contrast paints are thinned at least 50% with medium and they have highlights by mixing in the base color.

I painted the Victrix Greeks at the same time as the Pikeman and they were primed the same. This time though, the flesh is Darkoath Flesh. Their Linen armor was done with Aggaros Dunes for the brownish one and Apothecary White for the greyer one. The skirts are just Flesh Tearer Red, Basilicanum Grey, and Orc Flesh Green.I did paint the bronze, spear shafts, and armor trim with traditional paints for them.

These Foundry Pirates were some of the most fun to paint as I got to try out a lot of different colors. The blues are all Ultramarine Blue, and I used both fleshes for these, the Richer looking of the two getting Guilliman Flesh while the rougher one received Darkoath. The Yellow trim is all Iyaden Yellow with Nadgreg Yellow applied in the cracks. The Butcher's shirt was a mix of another mix of Basilicanum Grey and Apothecary White. Those two mix really, really well. His apron was the most fun to do. First I sponged on various browns and red-browns, then applied a layer of Aggaros Dunes to unify the stains. Then a quick highlight with pure Rakarth Flesh gave me the finish I wanted.

The Skaven was pretty much painted according to this method:

And finally, some of the Triumph of Death skeletons were painted with a mix of Basilicanum Grey, Apothecary White, and Darkoath Flesh over Celestra Grey.

Overall, I think these are great paints and each of the models here was painted very, very quickly. While I won't be painting any golden demon winners this way, I may actually get to complete an army or two!


  1. I'm having a lot of fun with them as well. They have cut my painting time in half as well.

    1. Yeah, it's crazy how much faster I can paint with them. On Sunday, I painted three models, one after another and not simultaneously, during a WFRP game. They're great stuff!

  2. I used my first one on the Lemmy mini's trousers I posted up a couple weeks ago. Applied a blue (Can't remember the name) over a pale Vallejo sky blue colour and it gave a nice enough "washed jeans" effect for my liking. I have 4 other Contrast paints to try out once I get my hobby area set up and anticipate them being used in a far more extensive fashion on my GSC project.

    Love what you've done with yours mate. The extra highlights and so forth really add that little bit extra where the Contrast paints lack.

    1. Thanks! They're a helluva lot of fun once you get the hang of them.

  3. Interesting results, thanks for the tips!