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Arydis

Question after brief comparison of MSP Reaper paints to GW

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I recently bought my first MSP Reaper paints by purchasing SEVERAL triads and started to use them in my paints.  First, I love the MSP bottles as I feel a great measure of control in paint volume without having to use a toothpick or brush to pick it out (my method for getting paint out of GW pots).  

 

On the flip-side, I have recently been painting chibi figures and so tend to lean to a highly saturated color palette (the cartoony look. . . go figure).  It seems to me that the Reaper paints in general are not as color saturated as some of the GW paints.  Either that or it is that they have a stronger matte finish compared to a glossier GW finish.  Is this common experience or knowledge?  

 

It could be the particular triads that I selected.  I needed a broader range of skin tones and browns to use so a lot of my triads fleshed out that area of my paint range (GW is sparse in flesh tones).  

Edited by Arydis
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Reaper flesh tones and most of the light browns are matte. I get some glossy in the darker browns. 

 

IMO Reaper has some pretty saturated colors. They even make/made a neons range. So yes, it may just be what you've chosen or have available at your store.  IIRC Citadel  has >100 paint colors, where Reaper has 216 colors plus 3-4 add-on sets. 

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I recently bought my first MSP Reaper paints by purchasing SEVERAL triads and started to use them in my paints.  First, I love the MSP bottles as I feel a great measure of control in paint volume without having to use a toothpick or brush to pick it out (my method for getting paint out of GW pots).  

 

On the flip-side, I have recently been painting chibi figures and so tend to lean to a highly saturated color palette (the cartoony look. . . go figure).  It seems to me that the Reaper paints in general are not as color saturated as some of the GW paints.  Either that or it is that they have a stronger matte finish compared to a glossier GW finish.  Is this common experience or knowledge?  

 

It could be the particular triads that I selected.  I needed a broader range of skin tones and browns to use so a lot of my triads fleshed out that area of my paint range (GW is sparse in flesh tones).  

 

If you want more saturation with Reaper Paints, I highly suggest their HD line. They are very nice, brighter, and more pigmented.

 

Also, ignore the color names for skin tones and whatnot, go with what looks good.

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Thanks for the comments.  I think the HD paints would provide a different perspective for me.  I will check them out some time.  

 

To revisit, I love the additional available tones and colors available in Reaper's line and the bottle system is much better.  

Edited by Arydis
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In my experience, citadel paints aren't more saturated than reaper, but the very popular citadel colors are brighter than the very popular reaper colours. I'd be hard pressed to name an equivalent to "snot green" for example, but I'm on my 3rd bottle of blackened brown. Reaper's definitely do have more of a matte finish though.

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I tried the other day a citadel color called Blood Red, and compared it with a sample reaper bottle that was a very similar red. I stretched the GW paint until 1 :5  (1 paint/5 water), and still seemed vibrant enough. Meanwhile if i put 1:1 in reaper, starts to lose intensity, at 1:5 the reaper red was a very thin layer, the red was still there, but very very diluted. I am still trying to find if there is maybe any disadvantage of Reaper, maybe it has less pigment, i dont know. But GW probably i will use if i need a very intense paint. Reading other posts here, it seems that GW its more evenly compared to the HD reaper line, i am right?

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Reaper's paints are formulated to be matte pretty uniformly across the line. If you use the Reaper brush-on sealer without adding water, it will provide a satin finish. (For a matte finish, add a drop of water to every three drops sealer.) There are something like 300 colours, and there is a mix of saturated vs. less so throughout the line. There are some positively eye searing colours, and some that are much more subdued. 

I have not used any of the most recent formulation of GW paints apart from their washes, so I can't comment on those. Reaper's paints are designed to thin down well for techniques like layering, glazes, and washes.

The most vibrant Reaper paints are the ones with Clear in the title. As that name implies, these are not high coverage paints, they're fairly translucent. This is because they're just pigment and medium. Many pigments are not opaque, so they need to be mixed with white, black, or other more opaque colours to cover in fewer coats. (This is not just Reaper paints, it's true of pigments in general.) So if you paint a red or whatever and it's not quite as saturated or vibrant as you'd like, thin down a little of the appropriate Clear and paint it over.

Reaper's commitment to making non-toxic paint does mean that they cannot use some of the more vibrant but potentially toxic pigments like cadmiums and the like, and this also limits the options for what is used to create the metallic paints. I would be surprised if those kinds of pigments were used in GW paints, but some are used in Vallejo and possibly other brands. 

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Reaper's paints are formulated to be matte pretty uniformly across the line. If you use the Reaper brush-on sealer without adding water, it will provide a satin finish. (For a matte finish, add a drop of water to every three drops sealer.) There are something like 300 colours, and there is a mix of saturated vs. less so throughout the line. There are some positively eye searing colours, and some that are much more subdued. 

 

I have not used any of the most recent formulation of GW paints apart from their washes, so I can't comment on those. Reaper's paints are designed to thin down well for techniques like layering, glazes, and washes.

 

The most vibrant Reaper paints are the ones with Clear in the title. As that name implies, these are not high coverage paints, they're fairly translucent. This is because they're just pigment and medium. Many pigments are not opaque, so they need to be mixed with white, black, or other more opaque colours to cover in fewer coats. (This is not just Reaper paints, it's true of pigments in general.) So if you paint a red or whatever and it's not quite as saturated or vibrant as you'd like, thin down a little of the appropriate Clear and paint it over.

 

Reaper's commitment to making non-toxic paint does mean that they cannot use some of the more vibrant but potentially toxic pigments like cadmiums and the like, and this also limits the options for what is used to create the metallic paints. I would be surprised if those kinds of pigments were used in GW paints, but some are used in Vallejo and possibly other brands. 

 

 

 

 

Hi Wren :) I have your latest painting kit, really helpful . I am asking about the pros and cons of the Reaper - GW lines, as i want to improve as a painter, have been painting some minis and learning all i can in the process, one thing i love to do is to dilute the paint so it is more finely applied, but when i try to dilute Reaper, i find mixing results :( some colors are ok when i go 1:1 or even 1:2, but if i try to do more, they get too watery, and are a little more difficult to handle, also the pigment stretch a lot, so sometimes i need to apply nearly 10 coats of a diluted paint for having a well painted mini,  for example when i painted a Zombie mini (Bones), for the loincloth i diluted an orange 1:4 , i got a paint SO thin, that i barely noticed the pigment. It was there, but was very very subtle. Then i needed  a lot of coats for finishing that part, at the end was amazingly done, thats true, but took a lot of time. Meanwhile if i paint with Citadel 1:5 diluted,  still seems more vibrant and sticks better. 

 

Thats why i am inquiring like crazy, especially as i have a lot of Reaper bottles, mainly want to know more about both lines.

Edited by Dosani

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For the first coat on a Bones figure, do not dilute Reaper paint at all. Reaper paint is pretty much basecoat consistency out of the bottle. (Years old bottles often need a bit of water added, but fresh paint is good basecoat consistency.) Dilute other brands only as much as you need to  The Bones material is a little water repellent, so the paint will bead up if there's too much water in it. Once you have a coat on the figure, you can thin paint for techniques like layering, glazing, washes, etc. and it will behave the same as on a metal or resin figure.

 

It sounds like you are adding water to paint by ratios. What I mean is, you've read or heard somewhere that you need to add 3 drops of water to 1 drop of paint to mix paint to be good for doing layering or whichever technique, or you've read one of the many rants about how people need to thin their paint and you're taking that very seriously.

 

Paint does often need to be thinned to work well for various techniques. However, you can't use a single ratio of water to paint with every type of paint, or more importantly with every colour. You will find it useful to use other methods for judging whether your consistency is correct for what you're trying to do rather than counting drops. In the case of your orange paint example, if you paint some on and you can barely see any difference, go ahead and add more paint back into the mix. Some colours just aren't as powerful as others and don't need much water added to become transparent. (Orange is red and yellow, and those are both very transparent colours that need much less water added to mixes.)

 

Here's a visual guideline I've developed to help people figure it out. (Since I don't paint with milk, I don't find the suggestions for thinning things to the consistency of skim milk or whatever very helpful. ;->) Get a piece of paper with text printed on it. Old newspaper, or something you've printed out.

 

Basecoat

When you run the brush through the paint mix, you want the 'wake' behind the bristles to fill in immediately. If you paint a brushstroke, you don't want to see any bristle marks. Your goal is paint that is thin enough so that you aren't adding any texture to the mini, or filling in small sculpted details. But that's as thin as it needs to be. Your other goal with a basecoat is to cover in as few coats as possible. The more water you add, the more transparent the paint is, and the more coats you need to do. With Reaper paint, you might need one drop of water to four drops of paint, or no water at all if it's fresh and a good consistency out of the bottle.

 

Drybrush, Two Brush Blending/Spit Blending, Wet in Wet

Most people who use these techniques use paint that is a pretty similar consistency to what I described in Basecoat consistency.

 

Layering
You want the paint to have a noticeable colour, but thinned enough that you can see through it. Paint a stripe on the paper with text. You should be able to see a good stripe of colour, but also see some of the text showing through the paint. Different colours will behave differently here. An opaque skin tone paint might need several drops of water. Red, yellow, and many greens are pretty transparent, so they might need just a little bit of water. Dark colours tend to be a little more transparent than colours with a lot of white in them. You'll also need to put in some time to judge different colours. Some just seem to show lines and streaks a lot more than others when you paint, and will need a little more water added to get smooth results.

Washes
You want very liquid, pretty much transparent colour. When you paint a stripe over the paper you should see pale colour, and be able to read pretty much all of the text through the paint. (Although not always with black or dark blue and similar dark colours.) A wash dries lighter than it looks when it's wet. You can also keep a test figure around. Quickly paint the basecoat colour on a section of the figure. When it's dry, mix and test your wash on an actual figure. Let it dry to see if it gives the look you want. Picking out a colour that's dark enough but not too dark is the trick with washes, and it can take some practice. I still test washes for colours I haven't used that way before.

Glazes
You want coloured water pretty much. When you paint it on the paper, you should see a faint strip of colour, and be able to read all the text. It's  better to thin more than you need. You can paint a second coat, add a bit more paint and paint a second coat, or add a bit of a darker colour and paint a second coat. If a glaze is too thick, it covers over previous work that you've done and is impossible to remove once it's started to dry. I've been painting for years and use glazing a lot, and I ALWAYS test my glaze consistency before I put the paint on the miniature.

Those guidelines are for pretty much all brands of paint. But you might find that your Reaper paints need fewer drops of water than your GW paints to meet the tests that I've outlined. Getting in the habit of testing paint mixes on paper or on a spare test figure will help you learn more about your paints and how they work, and is much more effective than trying to follow guidelines about how much water to add. Also observe how your paint acts on the palette and the brush, you'll find other visual cues you can use to judge consistency as you paint more and more.


 

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Thanks Wren! You are right, i am taking the layering quite seriously, its just that beginning in this hobby is a little fuzzy for me , as most of the painting is done via particular guidelines, i mean nobody have any hard facts or basic methods, and they hardly agree. I have been painting carefully for about 3 months now, and only finished a handful of minis, but still , sometimes i feel i need to relearn things, like how to do a proper transition of color for example. Then i try to use my paints, and some really work well diluted, but others, i put 1 drop of paint and they are too watery , that only add to the uncertainty and confusion :( 

 

i was counting the drops mostly for experimenting with the different brands and comparing (Actually i have a notebook where i put the colors and ratios compared between GW and Reaper, so yes, i am a little obsesive with it :)  , but will try your amazing tips. Maybe also the Reaper paint is more watery because need more shaking? I swear i find some paints more diluted than others, but maybe its just a perception. 

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And about techniques, well i need to develop one for myself , as i see most of the painters of all levels do, but mostly i learn a little of some dvds i have of Jeremie Bonamant and also of Jessica Rich, and they have their own criteria. Used to be overwhelmed by the quantity of opinions and methods for painting but now i embrace and love it, as its good to know there is people that use different methods all around, i am itching to learn more :)

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