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Any MSP paint colors I should add immediately to the L2PKs collection?

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Hello all and thank you for your help.


I feel like this has probably been covered, but I couldn't find specifically what I'm looking for so please excuse me asking. If there is already a thread you could direct me to that would be excellent as well.


I am going to get into miniature painting and have decided that my best bet to get started would be to go through the Reaper Learn To Paint Kits 1-5. These come with a number of colors already, but I am interested in what (if any) colors people suggest adding to the collection of paint included in the kits. I can list the paints below organized by triad. Colors listen in parenthesis are not included in the collection, but are part of a color triad of an included color. I'm not sure if that's a good way to go or not as I understand the concept of triads and base, shadow, highlight principals, but not the application.


You also get some duplicates which I will list how many. Information from this thread, which I then re-organized and reformatted to make it easier to read and cut out duplicates (IMO) thanks to Ced1106, with a few corrections on names. Over 50 bottles of paint, and 35 unique colors plus the Primer and Sealer. Here's a link to all the current Triads AFAIK might be as of 2009 only, so maybe there are newer ones.


Additives Triad: Reaper Inks I: Lining Triad:
Brush-on Primer x3 Black Ink Blue Liner
Brush-on Sealer (Brown Ink) Brown Liner
(Flow Improver) (Red Ink) (Grey Liner)


Neutral Colors: Off-Whites:
Pure White x3 Linen White x2
Rainy Grey
(Leather White)
Pure Black (Ghost White)

Medium Skin: Rosy Skin:

Tanned Skin x2 Rosy Skin x2

Tanned Shadow (Rosy Shadow)
Tanned Highlight (Rosy Highlight)


Gold Metallics: Silver Metallics: Colored Metallics I:
Antique Gold x2 Honed Steel Pearl White

New Gold Polished Silver (Ruby Red)

(Ancient Bronze) (Shadowed Steel) (Copper Orange)


Ochre Golds: Natural Steel:
Palomino Gold True Silver
(Chestnut Gold) (Blackened Steel)
(Buckskin Pale) (Tarnished Steel)


Yellow: Blood: Bloodthirsty Red:
Sunlight Yellow x2 Blood Red x2 Carnage Red
(Marigold Yellow) (Red Brick) (Bloodstain Red)
(Lemon Yellow) (Deep Red) (Clotted Red)


Burnt Colors: Red Browns: Autumn Browns: Classic Browns:
Ruddy Leather x3 Mahogany Brown Russet Brown Intense Brown
Oiled Leather x4
(Chestnut Brown) (Harvest Brown) Walnut Brown x2
(Burnt Orange) (Rust Brown) (Orange Brown) Blackened Brown


Cool Greens: Warm Greens: Olive Greens:
Grass Green Leaf Green Olive Green
(Forest Green) (Pine Green) (Muddy Olive)
(Jade Green) (Pale Green) (Pale Olive)


Pure Blues: Martial Blues: Ultramarine Blues:

Sapphire Blue x2 Breonne Blue Ultramarine Shadow
(True Blue) Ashen Blue (Ultramarine Blue)
(Sky Blue) (Templar Blue) (Ultramarine Highlight)


From what I can see there is a lot of good colors that people recommend included in the L2PKs. What I'm mostly interested in are the following:

-Autumn themed colors like Red, Yellow, Gold, Brown. I feel like I might be good on brown with what's included and Palomino gold might work great for turning leaves as well? What about a fall red and yellow though? I just love the look of fall and I would really like to get some great fall themed miniature armies going, much similar to this bloodydrakes amazing circle of oboros army.

-Red seems pretty lacking too, maybe the Fire triad to get a nice orange as well? this kind've ties into the Fall theme I want to get going for a tabletop army.


-Yellow. Any suggestions for another nice yellow or will sunlight yellow (which I like the look of a lot) be good enough for all my yellow needs.

-Metallics. Some of my favorite colors are metallic Bronze and Copper, but any suggestions between Ancient Bronze, Coppery Orange, Scorched Metal, Old Bronze, Tarnished Brass? I'm looking for a cleanish looking color like gold, but a bit darker and more reddish/brown. Too many options :)

-Forest greens. I'm quite surprised by the lack of greens, Grass and Leaf sound useful enough, but is there a preference between Forest/Pine green for a darker color or a different suggestion?

-Liners, I don't know much about liners, but I keep hearing people say they are important. Is there a certain color I should get besides the Blue/Brown?


Really anything that you more experienced painters found the L2PKs lacking in or consider a good stepping point once you graduate from the kits. Thanks!

Edited by OMGoblins
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I think the best way to go about it would be to do the kits first and then start deciding what other colors you want to add.

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I've got a thread of my own that was along these same lines. Basically, I started out with the plan of just filling out all of the LTPK triads, but then I asked for advice on top of that for colors which I was missing that would be handy, or colors that could be cut without too much loss. There's some good information in there, but it's mostly under the assumption that I'm not going to be mixing my own colors that often and prefer to use the triads in their highlight/base/shade roles as much as possible.



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That seems to be a sensible approach to take, completing the triads. I might steal that idea for my paints once I get my Kickstarters in.


What I've missed from grabbing the L2PKs as my paint starting selection:

  • A purple
  • An orange
  • A bronze / copper metallic

The reds aren't horribly off shade, and the yellows work OK together as well, but I'd agree that they're the ones that are missing the most shades. I'd also suggest http://www.reapermini.com/forum/index.php?/topic/48995-paint-alternatives/?p=709615'>Pingo's post on the various 'pure' pigments of the Reaper range (basically, the Clear colors) as potentially worth grabbing for your tinting needs.


I'd also admit that the Vallejo Model Color 'Oiled Steel' metallic seems better for what I do than the Reaper Master Series metallics. I've seen other posters agreeing with this and suggesting the Vallejo Model Air Metallics are the best Vallejo metallic paints.

Edited by Laoke

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Thanks for the responses everyone! I definitely didn't find your thread Unruly and it's just what I was looking for!


Thanks for pointing out some more specifics Laoke, that's exactly what I was thinking as well. I will probably add 5-10 colors in addition to the L2PK just to fill in those few missing pieces.

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Yeah. I think once I've got the Kickstarter paints in I'll, in rough order


  • Grab the 8-pack of metallics from the Vallejo Air Model range
  • Grab the 'Clear' colors from the Reaper Master Series Paints range
  • Start filling out the triads I don't have all the complements for focusing on the colors that are single shaded - specifically, orange / purple / yellow. Red and green will follow at a lower priority, and brown will be the last to be rounded out as I have approximately 20 shades of it already.

Once I've got that I should be up to around ~100 shades, have a good selection of colors and should be set to look at what colors to get next. But as I've noted before, I have a tendancy to overplan this stuff : )

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Yea, I've overplanned my paints as well. And, on top of that, I just ordered more paints today that weren't part of the plan. And I ordered them because they're no longer produced by Reaper, were in stock on that particular site, and my brain went "Oh! You've got to get those! You might want them in the future and if they aren't made anymore then you're gonna be screwed if you don't buy them now!" And, of the 14 new paints I bought just today, 3 of them are another brown triad and another 3 are yet another blue triad. So now I'm going to have either 18 different shades of brown(6 triads) and 12 different shades of blue(4 triads), Now I'm starting to think that I'm lacking in other colors, but I've got a second red triad, two off white/beige-ish triads, and another brown triad coming when I get my Kickstarter stuff in.


And then on top of that I plan on filling out at least one purple triad, buying the entire MSP HD line, most of the IMEF paint set from the Kickstarter, and the Heavy Gear Blitz paint set. Oh, and the Legion of Everblight paint set from P3. So I've got a small fortune in paints planned, on top of the small fortune in paints I've already bought.

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Biggest hole that I see are Creamy Ivory and Polished Bone (or whatever the mid tones are from those triads). The first is great for claws and cloth while the second is great for weathered bones and skeletons.


An orange and the red from that triad might be handy. I love Crimson Red from the HD line.


Shield Brown is good for weathered wood.


Fair Skin might be nice for a highlight color for your skin tones.


Brown Liner (which you have) is extremely useful for making quick and dirty magic washes, If you are feeling lazy, you can get the wash triad.



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Brown and blue liner. The clears. HD paints in your frequent basecoat colors.


The (fire?) triad...phoenix red and its partners. Very nice bright oranges and yellows, there.


All the browns. I use sooooo many browns for so many things. You will be glad to have all of what you're holding.

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Oh wow. Can't say I know anything about the colours you should get - I only have a sample colour, just the one - but dat graph. Exactly what I needed. Thank you.

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There are two main questions you need to ask first. 1) What are you going to be painting? Are you going to be painting a lot of ghouls? Orcs? Skeletons? If yes, then you may want to get colors to help with that. There's an undead flesh triad which would be great for ghouls and zombies, etc. A bone triad which would work well for skeletons, etc. You get the idea. 2) How comfortable are you with mixing your own colors? If you don't mind doing a bit of experimentation and mixing, then you can likely make most of the colors that you are missing on your own.


Frankly though, with as much as you'll spend on the LTPKs, I think it makes sense to get those, and go through them first and then see how you feel about the colors that you do have, and what else you want to do with them. Certainly, there are some notable triads/colors that are a bit lacking, but if you have very little intention of painting in those colors, then it doesn't really matter if you don't have them . . . except of course that we are all naturally collectors at heart. :)

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I was thinking of doing this exact type of thread too. Unruly's thread is great

I've definitely been supplementing my LTPKs, but it's been a bit random. I've been lucky with a few sample bottles as well.

I had a few vallejo paints already, one of which is bone, so I haven't bothered with a Reaper bone, but I've found that useful. In the meantime I'd use one of the tanned skin shades.

I have a yellow that I think replicates lemon yellow, and so I have 3 shades of yellow, so I'm not in a hurry to get more.

I have ordered a purple though, and will maybe get an orange, and intend to get a dark green.


I am more comfortable mixing something lighter than mixing a shade (or more) darker. So if anything, I'm getting the darkest shade of a triad first - especially if I'm missing a dark shade of that colour in the first place (e.g. Burgundy Wine , or Peacock or Forest Green). I'd go for a dark green for sure to round things out as well.

Something in the rosy skin triad i think will be useful for some variety (again something I've got from my vallejo stuff) - I use some of the browns for darker skin - but I haven't yet added a lot of variety into my skintones.EDIT: I forgot the rosy skin was part of the LTPKs.


I do some mixing... but not a ton, so how you feel about it should inform your decision

For example I might try mixing a midnight blue with the Burgundy wine to approximate nightshade purple (incidentally, does anyone know if that works?) and so I'd choose the midnight blue over the purple just for more variety to start.
So far, I've only mixed shades of teal, though. How easy it is to mix a colour I want to use would affect whether I want to order it/a triad.

I'm also ordering a paint specifically by request for a mini I'm doing for someone I game with.

Edited by lexomatic
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Hm... Looking at this, I'd probably be best served buying all 5 L2PK, then filling out the triads with a 54-pack. There are 33 colors missing from filling out all the triads, so I could select an additional 17 to give me any colors I thought were lacking, 5 triads and 2 loose colors.


I will probably select two purples, a amethyst and a wine; a bone/fair skin triad, and two additional shades of metallic. Probably these:


Colored Metals:

09124 Adamantium Black

09125 Scorched Metal

09126 Gunmetal Blue


Pewter Trio:

09196 Aged Pewter

09197 Old Bronze

09198 Tarnished Brass


Night Purples:

09022 Nightshade Purple

09023 Imperial Purple

09024 Amethyst Purple


Olive Triad:

09157 Olive Shadow

09158 Olive Drab

09159 Worn Olive


Marine Blues:

09076 Deep Ocean

09077 Marine Teal

09078 Surf Aqua


For the two remaining, I'd probably get another Silver and a spare Coppery orange - I plan to do dragons in both of those colors, so it'll probably be good to have extra. Likewise with the Marine Blues and the Olives; I want to do dragons in both those shades, so I'll just get the triad and be sure to have enough.


All in all, this plan gives me 87 separate colors spread over 29 triads, and 104 total bottles of color (not including primer and sealer), for 317$ - not a huge discount over the 108 paint set, but this way can at least be split into stages, and you also get the brushes and the metal minis, which are probably plenty to compensate. Not bad, IMO; I'll probably start with the first two L2PK after Christmas, and then spring for the 54-set if I get a job...


And of course, I'm also getting 24 of the HD paints with the KS, so I'm not going to get any of those with this. Maybe look into getting those, if you haven't already? That'll bring me to 111 colors... Hooray!

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There are only three colors in that kit that aren't duplicates, though. So I'd just use the other two colors in those triads to replace them... It's a blue, a green, and a brown, too, so they're not colors that I can't substitute for easily between the sets. TBH, it might make more sense to save the 25$ and just order those three colors instead of, say, the Olive or Blue Triad from my above list - especially if I can't easily get the kit #2...

Edited by Aard_Rinn

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