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Essential Starter Colors? MSP/MHD


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I'm starting out in the hobby and have been trying to decide on a set of paints to begin with. I initially was going to pick up an assortment of vallejo model color paints but after researching a variety of painting technique videos and tutorials it seems reaper paint would be better suited to the style of painting I want to learn (layering, glazing

 

 

What colors/types of paint would you all recommend if you had to choose only 21-27 bottles? Eventually I'll probably supplement with more colors as I need but for right now I just want to suitable equipped for a variety of models.

 

 

Also, do you think its worth while getting a few of the high-density paints to use for basecoats to begin with and add in a related lighter MSP shade for highlighting and blending? Or should I just get 7-8 of the standard MSP triads to hopefully cover enough ranges to color to start with?

 

 

Thanks for the help!

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I don't know which 21-27 paints I'd recommend, but I can tell you which paints I've been pleased with and which I wish I'd left on the shelf.

 

I started out by painting generic monster minis for a D&D game that's long since vanished. I got a lot of mileage out of a dark green (Pine Green, I think) and the intense-blackened-walnut brown triad. (If I had to cut that down to a single brown, Blackened Brown's probably the best pick.) I also use Blood Red on pretty much everything red I paint; I like the dark reds triad in general, but if you're doing a lot of layering and glazing it's worth shading with a purple, brown, or green. Green Ochre is an excellent base for pretty much anything yellow or tan, and the Twilight Blue triad is about my favourite set of blues ever.

 

Blue Liner and Brown Liner are essential, not just for lining and shading, but also because they mix together into a gorgeous rich black. I have bottles of Pure White, Pure Black, and Cloudy Grey, but I never use them: I find "true" greys and blacks dull and lifeless compared to what I can mix from blues and browns, and the linen-leather-ghost white triad is much more interesting for top-level highlights.

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I made up a few MSP paint lists to help at GenCon to help people choose a basic set of 20, 45, and 90 paints (45 and 90 being the two con "deal" points for a discount).

 

My main 20 list is:

  • 9006 Fire Orange
  • 9008 Sun Yellow
  • 9011 Leaf Green
  • 9017 True Blue
  • 9023 Imperial Purple
  • 9030 Leather Brown
  • 9037 Pure Black
  • 9039 Pure White
  • 9050 Antique Gold
  • 9061 Linen White
  • 9064 Brown Liner
  • 9074 Palomino Gold
  • 9110 Oiled Leather
  • 9135 Carnage Red
  • 9138 Intense Brown
  • 9144 Creamy Ivory
  • 9206 Tarnished Steel
  • 9044 Tanned Skin
  • 9047 Fair Skin
  • 9233 Bright Skin

 

While I don't use Pure Black much, I've included it to allow for mixing of various shades of gray. I usually use Walnut Brown for my black.

 

Ron

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If you can, I suggest you try more than one brand/line when you're starting out. Some FLGSs have sample paints on hand for you to play with, or they may have painting events where you can try out paints. Or you could buy just a bottle or two of each line you're considering.

 

Some brands might be easier to find at your FLGS (often Citadel or Vallejo). I purchase most of mine by mail, so that wasn't much of a concern to me. Note that most acrylics can be intermixed. I think MSPs are overall great paints, but don't limit yourself too much.

 

Off-whites, especially Linen White, are better for highlights than Pure White for me. I use dark brown (e.g. Brown Liner) far more than Pure Black. Try a few of the MSP skin tones, whichever ones you like; every one I've tried has seen some use. Unless you're moving directly to NMM, get at least two metallics, a gold and a silver. If you plan to experiment with mixing or like very bright colors, the Clear Brights are nice to have around, but not essential. The standard colors mix well, too.

 

I haven't tried the HD paints yet. As I understand it, they make laying down a basecoat quicker (one layer versus two or more). If you're going to paint a lot of a certain color for an army or something, they'd save you some time.

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Thanks about all the suggestions about pure blacks whites and browns, off-whites, and blues. I would have assumed pure black would suffice as well as pure white for any grays, mixing, and highlights.

 

If you can, I suggest you try more than one brand/line when you're starting out. Some FLGSs have sample paints on hand for you to play with, or they may have painting events where you can try out paints. Or you could buy just a bottle or two of each line you're considering.

 

Some brands might be easier to find at your FLGS (often Citadel or Vallejo). I purchase most of mine by mail, so that wasn't much of a concern to me. Note that most acrylics can be intermixed. I think MSPs are overall great paints, but don't limit yourself too much.

 

One store does carry reaper near me but only in boxed triads. Since I would like to try reaper as my starter colors set I'd figure I'd order the basics and supplement with other brands found locally which consists of mostly Citadel and Vallejo.

 

I haven't tried the HD paints yet. As I understand it, they make laying down a basecoat quicker (one layer versus two or more). If you're going to paint a lot of a certain color for an army or something, they'd save you some time.

 

I don't have any mass armies planned yet but I was thinking it might be worthwhile to substitute some of the Reaper High Density colors for similar colors in the msp line. Such as:

 

Carnage Red -to- Brilliant Red

Sun Yellow -to- Golden Yellow

Leaf Green -to- Turf Green

True Blue -to- Dragon Blue

Tanned Skin -to- Suntan Flesh

 

Or would a better idea be starting off with just msp first to make mixing easier?

 

I made up a few MSP paint lists to help at GenCon to help people choose a basic set of 20, 45, and 90 paints (45 and 90 being the two con "deal" points for a discount).

 

If you still have what you recommended at 45/90 handy, (assuming you don't have to type it up) I'd love to have another reference point for filling out the line slowly if I do end up using mostly reaper. Maybe it will help assist other novice/new reaper painters browsing the forums decide what paints to look for when starting out as well.

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Hi,

 

You should take a look at a guy on YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/user/AGProductionsInc

 

He has a video for a good selection of starting colours for paints. (They are generic colours and not brand specific)

I think it's

this one or it's follow up that it's on.

 

This guy also does the layering style of painting that you favour, so might get some useful tips.

He uses Vallejo Model Colours, but the techniques are the same

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If you still have what you recommended at 45/90 handy, (assuming you don't have to type it up) I'd love to have another reference point for filling out the line slowly if I do end up using mostly reaper.

 

A PDF version of my list is attached (I hope). The list is what I would recommend for 90, 45, and 20 bottles of MSP for general painting and based on my personal style.

 

As far as MSP vs MSP HD goes: I haven't tried the HD line yet, though I expect that they'll be similar to the ProPaint (the colors certainly are). There were some standout colors in the old Pro Paint line (like Crimson Red and Deadrose Red), so you might want to look there as well.

 

Every paint line has some good paints and some not so good paints. Some paint lines are more suited for one style than others, and it's a good idea to mix and match depending on the shades that you like and the painting style that you prefer. For example, Vallejo Model Colour is particularly good if you are painting historical subjects, but the paints require more shaking (an agitator helps) and some people find them to wear not as well. GW paints are readily available and have some really good metallics, but the range is more limited and the bottle design encourages paint to dry out.

 

You should take a look at a guy on YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/user/AGProductionsInc

I'm not fond of this fellow's work on YouTube. Two or three years ago, he produced a "Reaper vs. Vallejo" video which struck me as a rather inaccurate comparison of the Reaper MSP and Vallejo Model Colour lines. I lost any respect for him because he deleted any non-positive commentary, had certain details backwards (the least of which is viscous does not mean flowing easily), and came across as having a personal bone to grind with Reaper. There's a thread in this forum if you're curious about the discussion concerning that particular video.

 

Ron

RonsPaintLists-2010.pdf

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Fair enough, I've heard from other people that that video is not all that accurate, but to be fair he paints well using layering and Vallejo Model Colour and the video I added does give a basic list of colours to get.

 

You don't have to like him as a person, but in this case his work is what is being judged not him!!

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In my opinion, what colors are "essential" depends almost entirely on what you are painting and your style. Early on my approach was come up with an idea of what I wanted a figure to look like then buy the colors that came closest to that idea so all the paints I purchased got used. The problem with buying paint sets is you are likely to end up with some paints you rarely use because they don't work well with your style or what you are painting. I learned that from experience since I admit I became a bit obsessive about accumulating paint and I now have most Reaper MSP and PP colors along with a fair number of Vallejo but only use about a third of them on a regular basis. Since you're are just starting our, I suggest you check ebay for collections of Reaper paint. A seller named Kruppdora uusually has auctions of new Reaper MSP in collections of 50, 60 and 70 colors. Although you can't pick the colors all three collections have a nice range of colors and the price is much lower than it would be if you purchased the paints individually.

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I started with the fur/armour learn to paint kit, which came with a few useful bottles and some little containers with small servings of the paint needed for the minis. It was a nice way to get a couple useful colours that I didn't need much of (blue, yellow etc)

 

 

I don't think I could name 20 paints but some I'd get..

 

(Not actual names, just descriptions of colours, sorry.)

>Dark Brown

>Medium brown ('leather' colour)

>Black

>White

>Off-white(s)

>Red

>Dark green

>Golden blonde(?) Great for, well, blonde hair! I've also used this colour for a sunny glow effect.

>Silvers I have a few including the metallic black and pearl white, they work well together if you don't like NMM

>Gold (Just one will probably be fine)

>Skin. This depends a lot on what you're painting. Fair and Tanned skins are nice. I like the Dark Elf Skin paints but not for skin.. I just use it as a grey usually.

 

Honestly I wouldn't go buy 20 paints to start with.. the paint can get goopy sitting around unused, you might be better off just starting small and getting what you need on a case-by-case basis. Some things it might be good to pick up right away, but 20 sounds like a lot. :)

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I don't have any mass armies planned yet but I was thinking it might be worthwhile to substitute some of the Reaper High Density colors for similar colors in the msp line. Such as:

 

Carnage Red -to- Brilliant Red

Sun Yellow -to- Golden Yellow

Leaf Green -to- Turf Green

True Blue -to- Dragon Blue

Tanned Skin -to- Suntan Flesh

 

Just so you know, the HD line does not have any colors which are truly equivalent to MSP colors. Regarding the colors you give above, here are my thoughts:

 

Carnage Red is much darker and has a bit of brown to it. Covers great even though it's an MSP. Brilliant Red is very much brighter than Carnage. If you're willing to mix, Brilliant is the more versatile color, because you can darken it yourself with a bit of blue, purple, green, black, brown, etc.

 

Sun Yellow is a bit brighter and lighter than Golden Yellow. Golden Yellow has an orangey hue to it. Golden Yellow would make a good base coat if you were thinking of layering Sun Yellow on top of it. ::):

 

Leaf Green is very similar to Turf Green; if you're going to be using these colors to base coat often (painting woodsy elves or lizardmen?), I would definitely pick up Turf Green. Lovely color, great coverage. One of my favs. ::):

 

True Blue and Dragon Blue are very similar. See comments above re: Leaf vs. Turf.

 

Tanned Skin is much lighter than Suntan Flesh. Suntan Flesh does make a great base coat for Tanned Skin if you are painting someone who's been outside a lot! These colors are very compatible. As far as versatility, I like Tanned Skin a little more because it lightens well adding white or off-white, and makes a good skin shadow when mixed with a bit of Intense Brown or Ruddy Brown (or any good medium-range brown, really).

 

Final word: the HD colors can give you a few more options or they're great if you are doing a lot of painting for armies or D&D/Pathfinder. They do not glaze quite as well as the Core MSP's because of their nature; higher-coverage = you have to work more to get them to a good glaze or layering consistency. If you are looking into quality rather than quantity and are not concerned with speed, then going all Core MSP is not going to hurt you. Yes, it'll take two coats to get a solid base coat, but half the painters on the planet are going to tell you to thin your paint and do several smooth coats for a good base, anyway (the other half of the painters on the planet are going to tell you "it depends"). :;):

 

Hope that helped--in the end, pick colors you think you'll like, that will go on a model you think you'd like to paint, and welcome to the hobby! ::D:

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