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"Playing with Contrast Paints" Topic

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Norrins02 Sep 2019 6:21 a.m. PST

This week, I have been trying out the GW Contrast paints that people either love or hate. Tried them on a mixture of figures – plastic, metal and resin; historical, fantasy and sci-fi.

First up some Frostgrave figures.



Some 'Waylaid by Bandits' figures.


Some Doctor Who figures.


More on the blog –

Drone702 Sep 2019 6:36 a.m. PST

Really interesting thanks! You know, there is something about the look of these painted minis that reminds me of White Dwarf/Citadel in the mid 1980s (I meant this in a good way in case you wonder!).

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2019 7:53 a.m. PST

And you can save yourself some money to spend on mini's,

YouTube link

Ragbones Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2019 8:44 a.m. PST

Norrins, your figures look terrific. I bought some of the new contrast paints but haven't been as happy with my results. They don't look nearly as nice as yours. I'll keep experimenting with the colors I bought but I was surprised how expensive the contrast paints are. I probably won't buy any more and they certainly won't replace my existing craft paints and my preferred method of painting (drybrushing). But it's fun to mix it up and try something new. Who knows, maybe some more puttering around will yield better results on my LEG Deadites. grin Thanks for posting!

skipper John Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2019 9:32 a.m. PST

I think what it is with these contrast paints is that one needs to be somewhat talented in the first place to get a really good result.

And THAT I fear… is what leads to my demise.

Tony S02 Sep 2019 9:45 a.m. PST

So far, I'm not totally sold on contrast paints for my 15mm human figures, but I absolutely love using them for horses! I admit I've never really liked painting horses, but I'm really pleased using contrast paints on them now.

And, as Skipper John points out, perhaps it is a comment on my painting skills more than anything!

Patrick R02 Sep 2019 10:26 a.m. PST

My guess is that Vallejo will sooner or later release their own range of contrast paints.

Martian Root Canal03 Sep 2019 9:07 a.m. PST

Contrast Paints have their place. They are not a 'silver bullet,' but if you don't slop them on and don't expect them to work exactly like staining or washing, they can be huge time savers. You still need to detail and touch up with regular paints, in my experience. They are in between an ink wash and paint. Yes, there are 'homebrews' out there, but if you're trying to consistently hit a color, it's hard to beat what comes out of the pot.

The trick is a light neutral primer, like ivory or light gray (I airbrush my primer and avoid spray primers). I use Contrast to block out large areas of color, then use regular paints to do detail. I've also experimented with different color primer coats and Contrast coats with good success.

dapeters03 Sep 2019 12:33 p.m. PST

It seems to me that their actually harder to use unless you just using one all over or almost all over.

Norrins05 Sep 2019 2:44 a.m. PST

Yes, contrast paints are a time saver. So far I've only tried them on a white primer.


If you take this figure that I painted on Sunday, it uses two contrast paints and one metallic paint to update the details. Took less than 15 minutes to paint!

wmyers05 Sep 2019 8:26 p.m. PST

Tony S: I agree wholeheartedly – the contrast paints are very good for horses!

wmyers05 Sep 2019 8:37 p.m. PST

Norrins, what is the yellow colour you used for the hair?

Is that "Iyanden Yellow" or "Nazdreg Yellow"?

I've never used the yellows, that colour looks pretty cool.

Norrins09 Sep 2019 9:45 a.m. PST

wmyers – It is Iyanden Yellow.

wmyers10 Sep 2019 9:27 p.m. PST

A couple more questions.

1) What colour undercoat did you use? Was it the GW ones for Contrast?

2) The viking type with the two short swords, what colour did you use for his hair and wrist guards?

3) What colour did you use for the flesh of the same figure referred to above?

Norrins23 Sep 2019 9:31 a.m. PST


1) Halfords hite car primer
2) Skeleton Horde
3) Darkoath Flesh

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