Help support TMP

"I hate GW/Citadel paints" Topic

35 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

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Link

Featured Ruleset

Featured Showcase Article

Little Yellow Clamps

Need some low-pressure clamps?

Featured Workbench Article

Can These Minis Be Saved? Episode III

The Spacefarers are covered with some kind of lead disease!

Featured Profile Article

Magnets: N52 Versus N42

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian wants to know if you can tell the difference between weaker and stronger magnets with 3mm aircraft.

1,298 hits since 3 Jan 2021
©1994-2021 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2021 8:40 p.m. PST

First off, they are very nice paints, and that's the problem.
They cost about $4.50 USD, or more for a tiny "pot".
And that pot is fiendishly designed for the express purpose of wasting paint. What is the purpose of that damn lip on the lid? To allow you to take paint directly from it? That just exposes the "pot" to more air, so it can dry out. Paint also sticks to the reverse side of the lip, and you can never get that paint.
It also interferes with taking paint from the sides of the pot.
The lid never seats properly.
I would guess that fully 50% of the paint is wasted by the intentional design. So, you're really paying twice the $4.50 USD for that paint.

I'm now painting Hessians. I'm hurrying to use up the Kantor Blue before the pot becomes completely hard. It's a very good color for Hessians, or even Continentals. But, is it worth it?

By the way, there is no way to recover that paint. You can't de-polymerize something that has become a dark blue hockey puck.

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2021 8:50 p.m. PST

Immediately transfer it to a better container upon purchase.

Problem solved.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2021 8:59 p.m. PST

Why should I?
I don't keep containers on hand to accommodate rip-off product.
Plus, it won't all pour out. More wasted paint.

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2021 9:13 p.m. PST

Why should I?

To save the expensive paint you are complaining about from drying up.

I don't keep containers on hand to accommodate rip-off product.

Plan ahead.

Plus, it won't all pour out. More wasted paint

According to what you said half of it dries out. Unless you have an epic fail pouring it into another container, you'd come out ahead.

Striker03 Jan 2021 9:45 p.m. PST

Find a near match with a different brand. Or take a swatch to the hardware store and have them mix some up.

bandit86 Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2021 9:50 p.m. PST

These go on nicely and are suppose to work well. I have only used mine on the GW washes. Worth a try

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2021 9:54 p.m. PST

The Vallejo style dropper bottles are cheap and easily available, seal well, and have a small footprint. I use them all the time to rebottle paunts or mix custom colors.

KeepYourPowderDry04 Jan 2021 1:34 a.m. PST

Bandit those look like an interesting solution, seem pretty expensive though. Not a fan of Citadel pot lids either, but for different reasons.I tend to use the basing paint the most, and the lids don't stay up, even when you push the little bit up through the lid hinge. I've now taken to pulling the lid off, and cutting the hinge and retaining ring off.So the lid just pulls off.

Twilight Samurai Supporting Member of TMP04 Jan 2021 2:54 a.m. PST

My advice would be to continue to rail against the injustices of the world, preferably howling it at the sky from your front doorstep shaking one or both fists simultaneously.

Otherwise no one will listen and no one will care.

Make them care…

…or at least think about calling the Police.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP04 Jan 2021 3:49 a.m. PST

My typing doesn't frighten the neighbors. But my singing along with Waylon Jennings on YouTube certainly does.

rustymusket04 Jan 2021 3:59 a.m. PST

It is good seeing John's threads again. Always entertaining. Thank you!

Dagwood04 Jan 2021 4:13 a.m. PST

The last two generations of GW paint pots have been useless, but I have a few Citadel paints from the 70s that are still viable, so they could do it at one time …

mildbill04 Jan 2021 4:13 a.m. PST

I agree with John, so I must be older and saltier than I thought. I just dont buy GW paint.

Extrabio1947 Supporting Member of TMP04 Jan 2021 4:43 a.m. PST

For awhile, GW paints had the life span of a sick fruit fly. The second you popped the top, the paint started drying out, often becoming a hard lump in about a month.

Planned obsolescence?

McWong7304 Jan 2021 5:54 a.m. PST

I've recently started using a wet pallette (home made), and that has really transformed my attitude towards GW paints. I also have been frustrated at how quickly they, and pretty much all hobby acrylic paints, dry out. Wet pallettes are one of those surprises you can still get after after 35 years of hobbying.


Cuprum204 Jan 2021 6:36 a.m. PST

This is a great solution, McWong73. I made my own wet pallets for myself a long time ago – about ten years ago. And I forgot what dried paint is. I have Citadel paints that I have been using for these ten years (I don't paint very much) and they are in excellent condition.
But I did it a little differently – I cut out a plate of cellular polycarbonate and laid it on the bottom of the container. I pour some water into the container and in a closed container you always have a very high humidity.
Do not forget to remove paper labels from the bottles – otherwise you will have a lot of high-quality mold and a bad smell)))


Big Red Supporting Member of TMP04 Jan 2021 8:11 a.m. PST

Water your paints as you would water your plants. Keeps both alive.

Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP04 Jan 2021 8:27 a.m. PST

I also have been frustrated at how quickly they, and pretty much all hobby acrylic paints, dry out.

I don't understand this. I have plenty of acrylic paint that is decades old and still going strong. One just has to remember to add moisture ( water and/or acrylic thinner) on a regular basis, and seal them tight when not in use.

I just had to retire a 30-year old bottle of Polly S Panzer Grey, not because it dried out, but because I literally used it all up. Best bottle of paint ever.

skipper John Supporting Member of TMP04 Jan 2021 8:58 a.m. PST

I use the craft paints. And at 50 cents a pop for 2 full ounces, I really don't give a "HOOT" if I leave the cap off all night long! Hehe!

Grelber04 Jan 2021 9:24 a.m. PST

Wasn't it noted wargamer Dylan Thomas who said, "Rage, rage against the dying of the paint."
I almost never buy GW paint.


Swampy Terrain04 Jan 2021 12:06 p.m. PST

Sing a little ditty to this. One of several YouTube videos on GW paint transferring.
YouTube link

I realize it doesn't solve the bottle problem, but hey, you can't have it all.

Todd63604 Jan 2021 12:18 p.m. PST

Buy craft paint for $1.00 USD

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP04 Jan 2021 1:07 p.m. PST

Thank you Swampy. Helpful as usual.

McWong7304 Jan 2021 1:42 p.m. PST

I'll check that out cuprum, cheers

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP04 Jan 2021 4:07 p.m. PST

We are truly in an Age of Enlightenment when it only takes a little more than twelve minutes to explain the rocket science of transferring an ounce of hobby paint from one container to another.

Watching this reminded me of Phil Hartman's SNL Anal Retentive Chef character.


Personal logo Gonsalvo Supporting Member of TMP04 Jan 2021 7:41 p.m. PST

I use 90% craft paints (NOT usually Michael's brand, though; many have very low pigment concentrations). They almost never dry out; I have many bottles that I have had for over 20 years… so long that the plastic of the lids is literally disintegrating from oxidation over time! Even with that, the paint is still OK.

$4.50 USD for 20 mL of paint? Not in my lifetime. There are 3785+ mL in a US gallon. That works out to $851 USD/gallon of paint.

CeruLucifus04 Jan 2021 9:13 p.m. PST

I gave up on hobby paints completely and switched to artist acrylic paints.

The specific line I use is Liquitex Soft Body Acrylics, but there are other quality lines of artist acrylics. These are:
- super-saturated with pigment (the real artist paints, not the student version).
- thick to emulate tube oil paints for canvas portrait painters so they don't separate and don't have to be mixed. Add acrylic thinner* to whatever thinness suits your application. (Not thinned at all is perfect for drybrushing.)
- the label says how opaque and lightfast the color is.
- based on standard artist color palettes, so every new bottle is the same color as the last one.
- made from premium pigments, without compromise – you can tell because different colors are different prices.
- there is a huge variety of pastes, mediums, texture gels that can be mixed with the paint to the exact same color, and support literature on how to do this.
– 5 times as much paint per bottle (2oz/59ml versus 12ml for Citadel).
- 2-4 times as expensive per bottle depending on pigment. So cost is actually less per ounce of paint.
- the paint goes farther since it is thick and you thin it for many applications.
- the bottles stay sealed.
- sold at art stores like Michaels and Dick Blick which have frequent discount coupons.
- fewer variety of colors so you can actually get the full range then stop. Apply basic color theory and you can blend as many extra brown and green shades as you want.

*- Acrylic thinner is Liquitex Matte Medium mixed 1:1 with wet water, which is filtered water with a few drops of dishwasher rinse aid per cup. Or you can use Liquitex Airbrush Medium which is ready mixed.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2021 7:34 a.m. PST

We are truly in an Age of Enlightenment when it only takes a little more than twelve minutes to explain the rocket science of transferring an ounce of hobby paint from one container to another.

Which is totally beside the point. Why should I have to do that to conserve hideously expensive paint???
The whole exercise is a tacit admission that GW/Citadel sells an expensive product in a purposely designed defective "pot".

Blackhorse MP05 Jan 2021 9:56 a.m. PST

Skipper John and Todd636…where are you getting craft paints for .50 or even a $1 USD? And what brands are they?

I use a number of craft paints, usually Americana, Folkart or Ceramcoat, which seem to be among the higher quality craft paints and I get them from Hobby Lobby, Michael's or occasionally Joann Fabrics but generally they seem to be in the $1.50 USD-$2.00 range, unless on sale. Now that is still a great deal, but I like that idea of getting good paints for $1 USD or less.

McWong7305 Jan 2021 2:23 p.m. PST

Got to agree on the pots 100%.

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2021 5:20 p.m. PST

Which is totally beside the point. Why should I have to do that to conserve hideously expensive paint???

Then don't and watch your precious investment dry up before your eyes. You made the decision to buy it so you get to do with it what you please, including wasting it. Good news – you can always buy more.

By the way, there is no way to recover that paint.

This is just not true. A solid solution for this exists as pointed out by others and supported by YouTube videos.

Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP06 Jan 2021 6:45 a.m. PST

I have to admit that this thread is quite timely for me, having recently purchased my first pot of GW paint ( because it's a close match to another color I use). And I was wondering about the unique features of the pot, and whether they have any practical use. From the above I gather they don't, which confirms my experience. Thanks, guys!

Personal logo Cormac Mac Art Supporting Member of TMP06 Jan 2021 7:40 p.m. PST

GW paint pots have been terrible, and over-priced from the beginning.

Pocho Azul21 Jan 2021 9:59 a.m. PST

I recently triaged a bunch of my brother's long neglected paints, to see what was recoverable(after 5 years or so of collecting dust). Hardly any GW colors survived, maybe one in 10.

The second worst survival rate was probably Howard Hughes, maybe half were OK. P3 colors were mostly OK (roughly 80%?) except for a few that had not been properly closed, which may be a design issue with their plastic jars.

Almost every paint in a dropper-style bottle was fine, including one Vallejo that was missing the cap. Most paints in any kind of glass jar was fine, including an ancient jar of "Jade" green from The Armory.

For what it's worth, metal colors seemed to be somewhat susceptible than ordinary colors to congealing into an unrecoverable lump, even when the jar wasn't actually dried out.

Baranovich03 Feb 2021 5:27 p.m. PST

Add a stainless steel ball bearing to every pot and periodically add a few drops of distilled water/alcohol 50/50 mix every so often. I also put a piece of masking tape around the lip of the pot when I'm not using a color.

I have the Citadel mega-paint set from 2012 and eight years later haven't lost a single pot to drying out.

Yeah, it's quite a bit of babysitting for a product that shouldn't be required at all if GW cared to put them in proper pots.

But like you said, GW paints work great but are expensive and I didn't want to have to buy multiple replacements if they dried out.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.