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Reaper Paints - how do they compare to others?

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So I am getting back into painting miniatures after a long, long hiatus. In preparation for this I have been going through my paints and seeing what, if any, are still good. I used Games Workshop paints almost exclusively back then and really loved the quality, price and ease of clean up. These are all from the early to mid 90s and still seem in good shape. My question is - how does Reaper Paints compare? I'm getting the Kickstarter Bones miniatures sets and saw they have some good deals on 24 paints of what look to be pretty useful colours. I just want to know if any of the 'old timers' here have any experience with the 'classic' GW paints and the newer Reaper ones. Are the Reaper ones as good? Better? A lot better? Thanks in advance to anyone who can help a guy out!

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Like all paint topics there is a lot of opinion here. I hate the new GW paints with a passion. I use Reaper a lot but I use Vallejo and Army Painter paints too.

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Like all paint topics there is a lot of opinion here. I hate the new GW paints with a passion. I use Reaper a lot but I use Vallejo and Army Painter paints too.

 

I totally agree with you about the modern GW paints - I bought a single bottle a few weeks ago to see what they were like nowadays and it was awful - watery crap that stinks to high heaven! It is what prompted me to find my old GW paints in the basement though!

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I can't tell you how they compare to GW paints since I skipped right over them to Reaper's MSPs. They were the first paints I tried after a long hiatus, and they impressed me from the start. They are designed for layering and hold together well when diluted, but I've used them for dry brushing, and they seem okay for that. They don't require any additives to work properly, but contain some flow improver, which some people like and some don't. They also adhere very well to primer if that matters to you. It is not generally a big deal for me since I try not to touch a work in progress.

 

That said, GW paints could be just as good, but I've had no reason to find out. Personally, I prefer dropper bottles, partly because the bottles keep the paints fresh and sealed, sometimes too sealed -- the notorious clogs are easy to fix, but impossible to avoid. If you like the old GW paints, you might try Coat d'Arms. I've read they are like the earlier type of GW paint with the same classic colors.

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I use:

 

GW metallics and washes.

Vallejo military colors and odd colors like pastel purples and flat yellows, plus Vallejo Game Color inks and matte medium.

P3 blues and browns.

Reaper triads for monster skin like Drow and hobgoblin flesh, and various different skin tones.

Reds/oranges and blacks interchangeably between GW and P3, though I think P3 handle grays better.

I use various Army Painter colored primers, and I am fond of basecoating with Liquitex spray acrylic whenever possible.

 

That's me. I fiddle around until I find what mixes best and gives best coverage. I love that there are many brands available. I love experimenting.

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I love, love, LOVE the old Reaper Pro Paint. Master Series Paints are an acceptable stand-in, but I'd saw off and trade limbs (even useful ones) to have the old Pro Paint line back.

 

But anyway, I have good news! The old citadels? Still around! They're called Coat D'arms now. I bought a full set as soon as I heard, and they're exactly the same just some new names on certain colours. This is the company that made them for Citadel back in the day before citadel brought it in-house (and turned to garbage). I think they're also the mfg for P3.

 

Now I'll grant that up and buying a complete paint line isn't the norm for most people, but I will say that the main difference between Reaper and Coat D'arms is the same as you used to have between Ral Partha and Citadel, with exactly the same exploitable result. Reaper isn't quite as vibrant with their pigments, so if you use both lines in combination (and they mix well together) it sort of gives you an extra dimension to play with.

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I really like the Reaper paints, but that may be because they suit my style. If you follow the Dallimore / Foundry style of opaque layers from dark to light, they may not work as well for you.

 

I hope that you'll try a few bottles: it's the best way to get a feel for a paint line. Don't buy the mega sets unless you're sure that you like the paints. The set for $18 Kickstarter option is a good value.

 

Ron

 

PS: The dropper bottles will clog every now and again, so keep a safety pin handy.

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I haven't painted in a while, but luckily I use almost everything, so some comments:

 

As has been said Coat d' Arms IS the old Citadel line. IMO that line was good for drybrushing, I would never be without Chainmail, but the flesh tones were garbage IMO.

 

Whatever else you do I suggest trying out MSP's flesh triads.

 

MSP's feel less sticky, tend to sit flatter, tend to turn into a better wash when thinned. The flesh tones are more natural. The paints tend to go on a bit smoother and a bit flatter.

 

Personally I'd go for the MSPs. Also I like Vellejo Model Colour for very flat, matte colours like black undercoats; the MSP HD might be good for that but I haven't tried them.

 

Like buglips, I also liked the Pros.

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As has been said Coat d' Arms IS the old Citadel line. IMO that line was good for drybrushing, I would never be without Chainmail, but the flesh tones were garbage IMO.

 

 

 

I prefer Reaper's Fair Maiden and Caucasian for most of my work, but I will say that Coat D'arms Elf Flesh, Dwarf Flesh, and the flesh colours out of their Military line work pretty decent - either on their own or, best of all, as mixers for reaper fleshtones to help give variation while keeping consistency.

 

Also, I should note that I think most of the colours in Coat d'Arms Military and WW2 lines are new colours never featured in the old citadels.

 

So really, it's like we now have more Good Citadels.

 

 

 

This modern age is full of wonders.

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I have been using the Reaper HD paints extensively and I would actually say that these are closer to the Old Citadel paints. They are a bit thicker coming out of the bottle but flow better than the Old Citadel. They still thin well, maybe not quite as well as the Master Series paints but overall I have really come to like the HDs as and addition to my MSPs.

 

I still have some old citadel paints from the '90s and they are fine paints as well but I definitely prefer both of the Reaper paint lines.

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Wow - thanks for all the responses people! I feel safer ordering some of the Reaper MSP now - and I'll probably have to check out Coat D'Arms as well - what would I do without my Goblin Green and Chainmail?! ;)

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Goblin green is an absolute essential. It's my primary grooming aid, helps keep my skin its nice rich colour. Drives the ladies wild.

 

Back when I was painting and collecting Blood Bowl Orc & Goblin teams (yes - teams plural - think I had 4 full squads at one point) I often had green fingers for days - water soluable my green butt!!

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The only bad thing about Coat D'Arms is the same bad thing old citadel had: inconsistency. I think they mix colours by hand so two bottles of Goblin Green might not be the same.

 

Also, sometimes a bottle is very watery.

 

But that said, I find the color drift a common problem anyway. In my experience, Tamiya is the worst. I've had bottles of Dark Yellow from the same batch that didn't match, and eventually got into the habit of buying them 6-8 at a time and just throwing the lot into a container so they'd all blend.

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