Scent of a Gamer

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Explanations are needed

Army Painter’s Speed Paints range entered the hobby recently with a host of glowing previews talking about how speedy the product is, and how much better it is than other options, typically the comparison is with games Workshop’s Contrast range.

I linked to some tutorials myself after watching them and finding the process interesting. However there was some critical information missing from all these videos.

I became aware of this thanks to a video shared by Azazel. The word of the day is reactivation.

You can’t paint over Speed Paints with other acrylic paints without the original layer reactivating and mixing with the new coat. Bad news for anyone who has ever painted part of the model, and then undercoated after deciding to change to a new colour. That won’t work, as Bogenwald discovered while using the paints. Bad news for anyone not worrying about painting within the lines, too.

Apparently the solution is to spray a coat of varnish on the model after each an every separate colour is laid down – and left to dry for a day! You need to spray, since some people are reporting reactivation being caused by a brush on varnish too.

It appears Speed Paints have just two problems – they aren’t useful for speed, and they aren’t very good as paints.

There has been a deafening silence from other channels who have previously boosted the product. I would certainly appreciate hearing back from some of these channels on their experiences since the preview videos.

It seems possible to miss seeing an issue like this if you are quickly painting some models for a preview… unless you painted outside the lines, attempted to lay down highlights, or changed your mind on a colour scheme and tried to re-undercoat with white.

Spikey Bits has gone straight into phase 2 of the corporate gaslighting playbook, arguing that the real problem is the people who think the problem is a problem.

Apparently we are all painting wrong and ‘everybody’ knows to lay down a coat of varnish on each and every colour – after letting your paint dry for 24 hours – before coming back to the model again. I note this claim never comes with links to multiple YouTube tutorials finding this process being used, and good luck to anyone trying to find them.

In the future someone will doubtless use the reactivation feature to use Speed Paints in an interesting way. If your idea of using speed paints is as a speedy way of painting miniatures, there are other brands out there which will actually work for this purpose.

19 comments on “Explanations are needed

  1. 6mmwargames
    March 1, 2022

    Jesus what a clu$terfu&k! They’d be great for one colour models like plaguebearers but otherwise my painting is too sloppy to use the.

    Also I wonder what happens if you use brush-on varnish? it sounds like you could take the paint off again.

    Liked by 5 people

    • 6mmwargames
      March 1, 2022

      I meant “too sloppy to use these.”

      Liked by 3 people

    • davekay
      March 1, 2022

      Same – I would never be able to use these paints due to the impossibility of cleaning up between colours.

      Like

  2. Guru PIG
    March 1, 2022

    Speed paints that require 24 hours between coats……….hmmm! My old Humbrol enamels that haven’t seen the light of day for decades were quicker!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Azazel
    March 1, 2022

    Spiky Bits is the worst kind of Anti-GW-based GW “fan”site. There’s plenty to take GW to task for, but they just take the contrary road every time.

    AllSeeingSkink over on Dakka wrote up an excellent example illustrating how the reactivation is the big issue many of us have pointed out – I think worth quoting here:

    “But anyone who has experience with contrasts will realise that the “speed paint” technique is one where you don’t always try and paint within the lines. Say you want to paint the 3D wing emblem on your Space Marine’s shoulder pad a different colour to the rest of the pad, you don’t spend ages carefully painting around it so as to not get paint on it, you just paint over the emblem and then repaint it because if you spend too much time carefully working your way around it you’re more likely to make a mess of the contrast and it’s more time consuming.

    Then you have usages like wanting to give it a 2nd coat to make it darker / more vibrant, using multiple layers of different colours to create more visual interest, or coming back with washes to darken the crevices more.

    The “it’s ONLY intended to be a topcoat” thing doesn’t fly with me, whether you’re painting within the intended “speed” parameter or you’re using it for more advanced techniques, you want to be able to paint over it, and if you can’t do that without an extra coat of varnish it’s a pretty significant drawback.”

    Liked by 4 people

    • davekay
      March 1, 2022

      I don’t recall the last time I visited Spiky Bits but their take seemed… impressively unintelligent. If your argument has to involve pretending that everyone has always varnished over separate colours as part of their speed painting process then you don’t have much of an argument.

      I like the quote you’ve shared, it goes through a lot of the practical things you just can’t do with speed paints, like adding a second coat to darken a colour.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Tavendale
      March 3, 2022

      Came here to pretty much say this about Spiky Bits. It’s just awful. BoLS is slightly better, but not by much. They both just feed the worst impulses of the worst parts of our wee community.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. andyskingsofwar
    March 2, 2022

    Glad you posted this. I was considering purchasing these but it seems that they would be eminently unsuitable for what I want them for. Thanks for saving my cash

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Tavendale
    March 3, 2022

    I love Contrast paints. My attitude to painting is to produce something that looks pretty and which I can finish in a reasonable time. Contrast is great for that and I painted a Sons of Behemat army in a month and a Maggotkin army in 3 weeks. I’m now trying to power through and finish my Troggoth army in March (day 1, I finished up the last of my Rockguts!). Contrast has been a total godsend for this.

    I’m looking forward to trying the speedpaints myself. I think that I will likely run into the same issues as described, but with what I am using contrast for, I do have big areas that are *just* contrast paint. Speedpaint might be suitable for this. I’m not someone who came to this range looking to replace or supplant contrast, but rather to expand and complement that range. I hope I’ll find some use for the Speedpaints I’ve ordered.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Azazel
      March 3, 2022

      They do look good in terms of coverage, so if you (say) painted an entire troll blue with it and then varnished before doing anything else, then it’d probably be fine, I would guess.
      I wasn’t looking to replace Contrast either – same as you I wanted to supplement them, and even potentially use some interchangably as I do a few of my Citadel and Vallejo paints.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Tavendale
        March 3, 2022

        I find it funny that you picked blue trolls. I am right now updating my gloomspite gallery page with pics of my blue trolls :p

        Liked by 2 people

    • davekay
      March 3, 2022

      Let us know how they go, I’m sure there is a use for Speed Paints but I don’t think it’s the Contrast replacement they are being marketed as.

      Like

      • Tavendale
        March 4, 2022

        Eh, actually, ended up cancelling preorder after watching another video demonstration.

        Liked by 2 people

      • davekay
        March 4, 2022

        I definitely won’t be ordering any either. Whatever the use for these is, fast painting can’t be one of them unless you are someone who can paint quickly without ever going outside the area you are painting.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Tavendale
        March 4, 2022

        I was intent on still buying, but I watched another video as I was working on my Troggboss. On him and my Dankhold, there are all of these growths on the skin. My approach is to put contrast over all the skin and growths and pick the details back out with white. I’m sitting there are realising how this just wouldn’t work with speedpaints. So I cancelled for store credit (by choice: keeps it in the hobby budget!) And now I am tempted to use it on savage orcs.

        Liked by 2 people

      • davekay
        March 4, 2022

        I take a similar approach to contrast and areas of skin or cloth with some details on top. Paint over, then come back with white and pick out the rest.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Azazel
        March 4, 2022

        It seems like they’re good for “paint the whole model blue/red/etc” then to varnish and then do the rest (and hope the varnish hit all the nooks and crannies!) Like a slightly pastel (due to the transparency over white) basecoat with some shading built in.

        Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on March 1, 2022 by in Industry, Miniatures, Painting & Modelling and tagged , , , .
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