Help support TMP

"Reaper Master Series Paints - First Impressions" Topic

10 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Painting Message Board

7,440 hits since 29 Dec 2004
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

cubeblue Inactive Member29 Dec 2004 12:18 p.m. PST

I recently received my first batch of Reaper Master Series paints and gave them a try last night. The following are my first impressions. I've only used a few of the colors so far, so I'm not sure if my results are consistant throughout the entire line or not.

Each bottle holds half an ounce of paint. The bottles retail for 2.99 each, but the average price I've seen from online retailers is around 2.50. The bottles are very similar to Vallejo bottles, but slightly shorter. The cap on the Master Series paints screws to a tight fit against the bottle's dispensing top. This prevents the paint from spilling out into the top of the cap (which happens often with my Vallejo Game Colors without modifying the cap). The bottles come with agitators inside already which make the paints mix better when shaken. I've not seen the actual agitator, but I can feel it and I've heard it's the trademark Reaper metal skull.

The agitator can occasionally block the flow of the paint. I found myself tilting the top of the bottle up to let the agitator slide back before dispensing drops of paint on my pallette. The bottle says to shake well, but in my experience thus far they don't require nearly as much shaking as Vallejo paints.

The paint coverage doesn't seem to be as strong as Vallejo Game Color, Games Workshop, Derivan MiNiS, or even the Reaper Pro-Paints, but this seems most likely to be by design. The paint dries slower and seems to have a
translucent characteristic. These traits allow easier wet blending, glazing, and highlighting. On the other hand, they take a few more layers to block in solid colors completely. With a name like 'Master Series' this is something I am not surprised by. They seem to be better suited for more advanced painting techniques than they are for simple base coating.

The pigment is very fine and distributed well within the binding medium. The colors mix surprisingly easily. I was able to mix a bright red and a dark blue quickly without clumps and stripes of unmixed color at the edge of my mixed puddle.

The paints out of the bottle seem to be about as viscous as Vallejo Game Colors or Games Workshop, but they don't cover quite the same as mentioned previously. The consistancy of the paint feels a bit like well thinned oil paint in that it can be 'pushed' around and manipulated easily by the brush. They do take to thinning very well though. There was no evidence of graininess after excessive thinning.

The paints dry with a bit of a glossy sheen, about like Vallejo Game Colors. This of course is easily fixed with a matte varnish.

The Master Series paint is definitely a totally different formula from the original Reaper Pro-Paints (the latter of which I do not like).

The Reaper Master Series metals are so far the best acrylic metals I've seen out of Games Workshop, Vallejo Game Colors, and Derivan MiNiS. I was blown away by the consistancy and fineness of the metal grains. They apply easily, just like non-metallic paints, and they dry to a really nice finish. I've only tried a few of the metals so I'm not sure if they all have this characteristic, but I was really impressed.

The three color system is nice, and thankfully the colors can be purchased individually. The colors are different enough from each other in each set and look much better than the base coat simply mixed with some white or black.

My findings, along with other paints are summarized below for comparison:

Reaper Master Series Paints
1/2 ounce dropper bottle for $2.50
($5.00 per ounce)
Characteristics: slower dry time, mixes well, thins well, great metals, slightly glossy finish, poor color coverage, agitator included in bottle, cap seals properly without allowing paint leak into the cap, requires moderate shaking.

Derivan MiNiS Paints
2 ounce dropper bottle for $4.00, metals for $5.25
($2.00 per ounce, $2.67 per ounce metals)
Characteristics: mixes well, flat matte finish, thins well, good coverage, no need to remove a cap (twist up top), requires little if any shaking, good metals.

Games Workshop / Citadel Paints
12ml flip-top paint pot for $2.50
($7.50 per ounce)
Characteristics: good coverage, mixes ok, thins well, satin finish, requires stirring.

Vallejo Game Color Paints
17ml dropper bottle for $2.50
(~$5.00 per ounce)
Characteristics: great coverage, mixes poorly, thins well, slightly glossy finish, cap does not always seal perfectly (allows paint to leak into cap), requires a _lot_ of shaking.

jizbrand Inactive Member29 Dec 2004 12:37 p.m. PST

Excellent and informative review. Thanks for taking the time to provide that information.

mweaver Inactive Member29 Dec 2004 3:11 p.m. PST

Thanks, cubeblue. We have been debating buying some. Sounds like maybe some of the metals, for sure.

ajbartman Inactive Member29 Dec 2004 4:32 p.m. PST

How do they compare to Adikolor? I have been using Vallejo and Reaper Pro. Overall, I am liking Adikolor. Will probably continue to mix brands as needed.

JLA10529 Dec 2004 10:38 p.m. PST

Thanks for the review! I've been eyeing them for a little while now...

ioannis30 Dec 2004 2:02 a.m. PST

Thanks for sharing! I have tested them as well and the only I could add is that they thicken a bit fast on my pallete. Faster than Vallejo Model Color and Foundry Paints.


cubeblue Inactive Member30 Dec 2004 4:06 a.m. PST

I've not used Adikolor yet, I'd always heard Adikolor was pretty similar to Vallejo Game Color but maybe that's not right?

jinxd13 Inactive Member30 Dec 2004 7:12 a.m. PST

Great review, and very glad you threw in a little about some of the other lines as well.

Cosmotiger Inactive Member30 Dec 2004 9:58 a.m. PST

FWIW, my very limited experience with the Reaper Master paints has been exactly the same. I like the 3-color system, and will probably pick up some more for certain combinations that I use a lot, but can't get with Vallejo paints without mixing.

cubeblue Inactive Member30 Dec 2004 9:18 p.m. PST

Sorry folks, on checking the labels of my bottles today, I found I sure did a poor job with the ml to oz. conversions.

The Derivan MiNiS bottles hold 36ml (a little more than one ounce). So they are roughly $3.30 per ounce (and $4.38 per ounce metals)

GW's paints are actually $6.50 per ounce.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.