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"Favorite Paint" Topic

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968 hits since 3 Apr 2017
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TGerritsen03 Apr 2017 9:21 a.m. PST

Who's your favorite paint manufacturer for miniatures? And why do you like them? Why should we go and get them?

I've used Citadel, Vallejo, Howard Hues, Army Painter, P3, Battlefront and couple of old bits and bobs and have had varying experiences. I'm wondering who people swear by (or at).

I don't do airbrush (at least not yet), so my question is limited to what you use with good old brushes.

Random Die Roll Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2017 9:29 a.m. PST

Army Painter

Roderick Robertson Fezian03 Apr 2017 9:32 a.m. PST

Craft paints – Americana, Apple Barrel, Palmer, Ceramacoat, DecoArt, etc.

Usually under a buck for 2 oz. at Michaels or similar stores.

durecell03 Apr 2017 9:33 a.m. PST

I like to use multiple brands. I have several different Vallejo lines, Citadel, Army Painter and Coat d'Arms.

John Treadaway03 Apr 2017 9:39 a.m. PST

Lots of different types but mostly Army Painter and some Tamiya and occasionally some GW for specialist colours (mostly ones they no longer make…).

John T

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2017 9:44 a.m. PST

2nd Craft paints Americana, Apple Barrel, Palmer, Ceramacoat, DecoArt, etc.

Garand03 Apr 2017 9:49 a.m. PST

I tend to use a lot of GW paints, simply because they are available. I have been slowly converting my collection to Vallejo Game Color. I also use the regular Vallejo paints for more "military" type painting. I also use a bit of Testors Acryl & Tamiya when airbrushing, and Testors Acryl Flat Black is pretty awesome… Finally I use Testors Gold in either the little square bottle or in the rattle can if I need a good strong gold color.


Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2017 10:41 a.m. PST

I'm really enjoying Foundry triads. I've also added a fair amount of P3s and Reaper too. I love the craft paints as well – especially for buildings or for covering larger surfaces like horse flesh.

GW's – I'm not replacing as they dry up. Good paints when they are new.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2017 10:43 a.m. PST

I use 3 main brands for all projects:

LifeColor Acrylic.
Vallejo Acrylic.
Testors Model Master Enamel.

MajorB03 Apr 2017 11:24 a.m. PST

Coat d'Arms

Rich Bliss03 Apr 2017 11:29 a.m. PST

Liquitex heavy body acrylics. The ability to completely control viscosity is key for me.

KSmyth03 Apr 2017 11:42 a.m. PST

Testor's Model Master acrylics
A variety of craft paints.

John Leahy03 Apr 2017 11:46 a.m. PST

Vallejo, Howard Hues and Americana and a few other craft paints.

T Corret Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2017 12:12 p.m. PST

I still use ancient Humbrol tins and artist oils from the dark ages.

dampfpanzerwagon Fezian03 Apr 2017 12:39 p.m. PST

I like using GW Metallic paints, not the current range but the Black Flip-top lid ones.

I have some early Warzone paints which I will be very disappointed to use up, but if I could have only one range (Acrylics) they would be Vallejo Game Color.


wrgmr103 Apr 2017 12:52 p.m. PST

Liquitex, Vallejo, Americana, Delta Ceramcoat

shirleylyn Inactive Member03 Apr 2017 1:58 p.m. PST

Coat d' Arms.

Tho I did quite like the paints Musket Miniatures made. Wish someone would bring them back out…

Tacitus03 Apr 2017 2:07 p.m. PST

Vallejo, Army Painter, Reaper, and GW. I prefer dropper bottles, but GW makes some really beautiful colors, including the new(ish) Retribution Armor (a shiny bronze/gold that goes on perfectly).

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member03 Apr 2017 4:19 p.m. PST

I like my old stocks (not yet quite extinct) of paints that are mainly no longer being made, such as Armoury, Ral Partha, Polly S. And Reaper paints in the little bottles, not eyedroppers. I really dislike eyedropper bottles and even worse are things like Citadel and Forumula P3, cheapie plastic containers where the lid hinges break or the paint dries out prematurely.

I'll buy and use some things in dropper bottles when I feel I must (Reaper and Vallejo make too many useful colors to boycott them entirely) but I'll never stop disliking them or complaining about them.

I'm phasing in more and more craft paints; many makes available, and some colors I can only get from certain manufacturers, but Delta Ceramcoat has been the most reliable and wide-ranging of these ranges and seems to have the highest pigment content. The price is right and the large bottles last a long time and are easy to handle.

shirleylyn Inactive Member03 Apr 2017 4:38 p.m. PST

My husband still has about 30 of the glass bottled POLLY S paints.

He loves them.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member03 Apr 2017 5:01 p.m. PST

I wish someone had bought the Polly S company and kept those paints in production!! Tremendous paints. I still use many military colors and their D&D Fantasy range. But my supply of spares is dwindling.

Zagloba03 Apr 2017 7:00 p.m. PST

I found a couple unopened Polly S in the back of a drawer, can't bring myself to use them.

IIRC Testors bought them, brought out the military and railroad colors, then reitred them again.

Chuckaroobob03 Apr 2017 10:24 p.m. PST

I still have and use a bunch of olde PollyS. I've decided when I hit the lottery I'll put them back in production.

Personal logo Wolfshanza Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2017 10:57 p.m. PST

Used to use Polly S until they went away (still have a couple). Went to Reaper until they went with those stoopid little bottles (PHBbbtt) use craft paints, now.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member03 Apr 2017 11:40 p.m. PST

If that's true about Testors, then I wonder if Polly S was not making money? OR was Testors merely buying out the competition so's to eliminate it? Either way, we consumers lost.

The Polly S ranges were produced by Floquil, was it? Are they also defunct?

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member03 Apr 2017 11:47 p.m. PST

Hmm. Wikipedia tells me that Testors bought Floquil and Pactra both! (I remember Pactra as once being the chief rival to Testors in hobby shop displays; and generally a lousy paint to work with.) They figured out how to run a business, I guess.

Also that Humbrol, after some reverses, are still in business, altho' I haven't seen any Humbrols in shops here for some time. Maybe the model railroad store stocks them still, but that's over an hour's drive from me. I still have a good stock of certain Humbrols but rarely reach for them anymore, just too hard to mess with those lids and then try to mix up old paint. I look for alternatives instead.

Gone Fishing04 Apr 2017 6:46 a.m. PST

I love the idea of using craft paints, but have always had issues with coverage. Maybe I've just bought the wrong brands/colours.

My paints are a mixture of GW, P3 and Reaper. I dearly wish Polly S was available again!

attilathepun4704 Apr 2017 11:10 a.m. PST


The Toy Soldier Company sells Humbrol paints by mail order. However, they no longer seem to have any of the uniform colors specific to the horse and musket era. There are lots of different greys, browns, blues, some metallics--and, obviously, black and white. For some reason I'm not having any luck copying and pasting their URL, so the website address is:

I still consider Humbrol enamel paints as unsurpassed for durability and reliable coverage with one coat. Back in the day, their range of colors for specifically military and naval modelling and miniatures work was incredible. They also have a very long shelf life, as long as one is careful in closing the tins. I cannot say the same for some of the acrylic brands.

John Leahy04 Apr 2017 11:45 a.m. PST

Ral Partha is selling some of the Partha paints again. They were for sale at Cincycon.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member04 Apr 2017 12:53 p.m. PST

Are these Ral Partha paints sold under the IWM label? I have a few of these from a few years ago -- didn't know if they were still being made or sold. IWM didn't produce all the original color range either.

Humbrols worked well for me in some ways, but I have a hard time mixing them up now to achieve the right viscosity, and it's hard for me to do washes with enamel paints. Altho' I think I've washed acrylics over Humbrols sometimes. That's a shame if the military colors aren't available.

Personal logo Waco Joe Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2017 2:29 p.m. PST

I picked up a load of Derivan paints a few years back and love them. Sadly no longer available from what I can find. I supplement them with craft paint and some vintage Valejos that are still liquid.

Zagloba04 Apr 2017 3:16 p.m. PST

I actually bought my first tins of Humbrol recently at one of the local Hobbytowns. They started carrying them maybe a year ago, so it's not just left over stock from somewhere.

Personal logo Ooh Rah Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2017 4:37 p.m. PST

I've used Vallejo, Ceramcoat, and Americana. Probably my lack of painting skill, but I can't tell the difference on finished miniatures. So, I've opted to use Ceramcoat and Americana since they are far cheaper and more easily available.

Tiberius04 Apr 2017 6:35 p.m. PST

Derivan Minis no longer in production
Matisse Flow and Fluid range (artist tube paint)

Back in the 1970s and early 1980s testor enamel paints

Jeigheff Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2017 7:38 p.m. PST

I have come to like Reaper. It's available locally, has a great range of colors and dries flat. The paints usually have good coverage.

In the past, the eye-dropper bottles of Reaper and Vallejo frustrated me. But I learned that they can be opened and stirred if the paint isn't mixed at the right consistency. A local painter puts small ball bearings in his paint bottles in order to get the paint stirred right. I've tried this technique myself and it usually works okay. And if the ball bearings don't work, then the end of your paint brush does!

I also like some craft paints like Americana, Ceramcoat, etc. My only complaint is their coverage is sometimes poor. If you like working with more transparent vs. more opaque paints, this might suit you well. Otherwise, maybe not so much.

I too miss Polly S.

Warcolours Painting Studio Fezian05 Apr 2017 1:55 a.m. PST

Vallejo for Historicals
Ammo and Vallejo for vehicles
Warcolours for fantasy
Army Painter for acrylic shaders

ordinarybass Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2017 7:30 a.m. PST

I'm a craft paint guy. I've tried them all and in general I've found that Delta Ceramcoat has the smoothest application with the best pigmentation, to the point where it's almost as nice as miniatures-specific-branded paints. If I can't' find a color I need in Ceramcoat I'll use other craft paints though. Nothing about my tabletop-level, brush-dipped paintjobs requires anything more refined.

Of course some folks get amazing results with just craft paint. A buddy of mine paints fantastically and uses almost nothing but Americana craft paints.

Rogzombie Fezian26 Jul 2017 9:19 a.m. PST

I'm right now about 90% Vallejo and a wide variety of other stuff. I want to change how I paint and how it looks so I am trying new things such as the Citadel paint system, Army painter dips and washes. Too many things right now, I need to find a way to narrow it down.

One thing I want to get away from cheap giterdone paints and find some that are more interesting and more room for experimentation.

von Winterfeldt24 Aug 2017 2:47 a.m. PST

Coat d'Armes, Foundry

generally I am disappointed with seperation of Valljeo and other droper bottle brands.

Why should I shake bottles like mad or use activators?

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