Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Lars Porsenna

Why dropper bottles?

Recommended Posts

I was painting up some stuff earlier today using my Vallejos, and it really strikes me: what is the fad with dropper bottles? I know Reaper MSPs use it, but I can't really see the advantages of them, especially when compared to the inconvenience. IIRC Vallejo marketed them as being "cleaner" and more precise. And also (per the website) prevents spills (this I can see) and prevents paint drying (more on that later).

 

However, a regular bottle of paint with a high quality cap is just as good: make the jars wide and spillage is less an issue. I typically load up an old watercolor mop brush with paint to transfer to a pallette anyway, so the dropper action doesn't really help (also the bristles of this brush are fairly well splayed, so they act like a tea whisk when making washes, etc.). Also the dropper nozzle sometimes gets clogged, forcing me to poke it with a needle or even a drill bit to get paint going again! Drying in the bottle has yet to be a major issue for me (with the exception of a few old citadels in the screw cap bottles, and a bottle of buffing Testors Metallizer, which apparently was too thin for the cap to contain!).

 

So really, what is the attraction?

 

Damon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was painting up some stuff earlier today using my Vallejos, and it really strikes me: what is the fad with dropper bottles? I know Reaper MSPs use it, but I can't really see the advantages of them, especially when compared to the inconvenience. IIRC Vallejo marketed them as being "cleaner" and more precise. And also (per the website) prevents spills (this I can see) and prevents paint drying (more on that later).

 

However, a regular bottle of paint with a high quality cap is just as good: make the jars wide and spillage is less an issue. I typically load up an old watercolor mop brush with paint to transfer to a pallette anyway, so the dropper action doesn't really help (also the bristles of this brush are fairly well splayed, so they act like a tea whisk when making washes, etc.). Also the dropper nozzle sometimes gets clogged, forcing me to poke it with a needle or even a drill bit to get paint going again! Drying in the bottle has yet to be a major issue for me (with the exception of a few old citadels in the screw cap bottles, and a bottle of buffing Testors Metallizer, which apparently was too thin for the cap to contain!).

 

So really, what is the attraction?

 

Damon.

 

 

Less waste from dried paint arounf the threads of the lid. Even GW's flip tops are wasteful, as I used to peel off a coagulated ring of paint every couple of weeks. The dropper is also designed to minimize contamination by reducing the chances of other paints, dog hair, dust, filings, etc getting in there. It's also handy for squeezing small dots of color for mixing...which I rarely do anyway. Overall, I like them...but that's me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm so sick of my GW paint pots. You have to have brushes, tooth picks, or something specific just to get the dang paint from the pot to the palette. Tooth picks suck for that because you barely get any paint out and some is wasted as it sticks to the tooth pick itself. Paint brushes work nice but now you are using brushes just for that and having to clean out yet more brushes which means changing your water more often. Can't pour out of them; what a mess that is. I tried a little glass eye dropper; pointless as it just clogs up and a bunch of paint gets wasted inside the tube and then you have to clean out the dropper tube. I really never found a good way to get the paint out besides using brushes and that's a waste of time. Now add in all of the advantages of dropper bottles listed above.

 

Are there really any advantages to using a pot?

 

It's advantageous to GW. More paint is wasted = you buy more often. Easier to spill which results in wasted paint = you buy more often. I've lost many bottles of paint due to drying out and not because the lid was left off; just sitting in my paint box with the caps on = buying paint more often. Sounds like it's great for GW! =P It's a shame really because I like their paint but just because of their pots I'm not going to buy them any more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The advantage is in formulas. It is much easier for people to share their formulas (e.g. 3 drops of Color X, 1 drop of Color Y) if everyone is using the same 'drop'.

Also for thinning ratios. Most painters, when teaching people how to paint, will say "thin your basecoat 1 drop paint to 1 drop water", or "layer with paint thinned 1 drop pant to 3 drops water". Dropper bottles allow you to always measure the drops the same, instead of measuring things in less precise 'brush loads'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having painted using everything from Testors Enamels(yuk), Polly-S acryilics, all the iterations of GW paint, Armory, Derivan, both lines of Vallejo and now MSP and ProPaint I really don't see a problem with either container...dropper or regular. I never had any issue with open bottle with twist off lids as I always coat the threads of the lid right after I get it with vaseline. I have actually spent more time unclogging dropper bottles than risking carpel tunnel from trying to open a stuck twist-off lid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Having painted using everything from Testors Enamels(yuk), Polly-S acryilics, all the iterations of GW paint, Armory, Derivan, both lines of Vallejo and now MSP and ProPaint I really don't see a problem with either container...dropper or regular. I never had any issue with open bottle with twist off lids as I always coat the threads of the lid right after I get it with vaseline. I have actually spent more time unclogging dropper bottles than risking carpel tunnel from trying to open a stuck twist-off lid.

 

For me I'd be wasting that time cleaning more brushes and changing water more often instead of fighting with pot lids.

 

Also using brushes to get paint from pots you are yet again wasting more paint because you never get it all out of the brush on to the palette and it just gets washed out in your water.

 

Really.... what are some clear advantages of pots? Using vaseline on the threads is a nice tip but that is merely prevent a drawback; it's not really an advantage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One advantage to jars over dropper bottles is that if/when pigment settles out (often occurance with Vallejos, and frequently happens to MSPs as well), its easier to stick a brush end in the jar and stir rather than sit there and shake for 2 or 3 minutes until the pigment is mixed. Also when airbrushing its a WHOLE LOT EASIER to transfer and thin paint for aibrushing (something I did just this week). Finaly, WRT formulas, its just as easy to say 'one part color x, 2 parts color y' so I don't necessarily see that as an advantage...

 

Damon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with using parts for a ratio. It's nicer to use that because it scales up. Parts could be drops, fluid oz, whatever you want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wasn't really stating that there was an advantage to pots over dropper bottles. To me its apples and oranges...I use both and don't really have a preference. I simply stated that I have spent more time clearing clogged droppers than struggling with pot lids. Would I transfer the paints from pots to droppers...no...but I wouldn't transfer from droppers to pots either. And as far as wasting paint when drawing from a pot to pallet...show me anyone that uses all the paint on a pallet when painting a mini whether it be from a dropper or taken from a pot with a brush...:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I wasn't really stating that there was an advantage to pots over dropper bottles. To me its apples and oranges...I use both and don't really have a preference. I simply stated that I have spent more time clearing clogged droppers than struggling with pot lids. Would I transfer the paints from pots to droppers...no...but I wouldn't transfer from droppers to pots either. And as far as wasting paint when drawing from a pot to pallet...show me anyone that uses all the paint on a pallet when painting a mini whether it be from a dropper or taken from a pot with a brush...:)

 

True, and that paint is wasted as well. Wasted paint is wasted paint no matter where it's wasted at.

 

It's really amazing how much we do get out of such little paint. Especially after all of the other products get added; they really do go a long ways.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer GW pots as I hate unclogging the dropper bottles.I also like being able to add things to my paint right in the pot which you can't do with droppers.I have also had more problems with RMS paints being bad than any other brand of paints.

 

Reaper does win hands down though in the most gorgeous colors contest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am thinking of buying sets of the reaper MSPs (Dropper Bottles) How long does it take for the paint to set up/settle in the base of the droppers? Is that a major problem for reaper or just for Vallejos?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its more of a problem with the Vallejos than the Reaper Master Series. Personally I haven't had any problems with my RMS paints. I do think Reaper got a bad rap during the winter when paint go stuck on trucks during shipping and froze and I'm not aware of any bad batches since they change the base.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have more problems with RMS paints becoming pastelike in the bottle, requiring me to add water to thin them out so they flow through the dropper tip. VMC that hasn't been used in a few days requires shaking as do a lot of paints so I just automatically shake each bottle 20-30 sec. Agitators in the bottles help.

 

Unlike pots I have never had paint in a dropper bottle dry out or form skins. Old RPP were prone to forming a skin around the entire interior of the pot. That was enough reason for me to switch to dropper bottles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really liked the *idea* of dropped bottles; it seemed like it would be neater and easier to get consistent ratios when mixing. Also take up slightly less table space.

 

However, I've had lots of trouble with clogged droppers, which is pretty annoying.

 

As far as paint drying out in the bottles, I've had it happen with every brand of paint I've got, dropper or no. Some were old enough that it was justified, some...not so much. I haven't noticed any trends by brand. Then again, I've also got some really old bottles of Citadel paint (white flip tops...probably ten years old or more) that are still good, even though the bottle top is cracked and doesn't quite close right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...