The Army Painter Mega Paint Set review

The Army Painter Mega Paint SetThe Army Painter have, for a long time, been saving wargamers time and effort with their range of colour primers and quick shade dips. Previously only a limited range of brush-on acrylic paints have been available from The Army Painter in the form of their Wargamer Starter Paint Sets.

The release of The Army Painter Mega Paint Set changes things, introducing a fuller range of paints, brush-on inks, and a brush-on matt varnish. The set also comes with a broad selection of brushes.

The Army Painter Mega Paint Set includes:

  • 27 colours
  • 5 metallics
  • 3 Quickshade Inks
  • 1 Matt Varnish
  • Insane Detail brush
  • Detail brush
  • Character brush
  • Regiment brush
  • Small Drybrush
  • Vehicle brush

The boxed set also contains The Army Painter’s 24 page ‘Wargamers Army Painting guide’ which contains a wide range of guides and articles.

The Army Painter Mega Paint Set Review

The Army Painter Mega Paint Set Individual Paint
100% Army Painter Spray Match

At Big Orbit Games, we have been eagerly awaiting the release of a range of brush-on paints from The Army Painter for some time, being big fans of their range of colour spray primers. The Army Painter have taken account of the popularity of their sprays when forming their brush on paint range with an exact match of each of their spray paints represented in their brush-on range. To my mind this represents one of the best reasons to use army painter paints as it makes touching up any over-painted areas a doddle.

On to the paints themselves, The Army Painter have cherry-picked suppliers of each type of paint types, acrylics, metallics & ink washes, this results in a unique range of paints with heavy focus on quality.

  • The acrylics (colours) have a good consistency if well shaken, flowing well and proving a good degree of coverage due to a high concentration of colour pigment. The range of colours available is broad and will meet most hobbyists needs.
  • The inks are not your classic shiny inks, more akin to Games Workshop’s range of washes, these settle into the recesses nicely producing a nice level of graduation.
  • Finally the metallics are produce a convincing metal effect without looking grainy.

All in all the quality of the paints speak for themselves.

On to the brushes, these are comparable in quality to other mainstream hobby brushes, except the small dry brush which, although easy to use due to the 45 degree angle on the bristles does tend to wear quite quickly. One feature of the army painter brushes that I have always found quite useful is the triangular grip, this makes the brush much easier to control, improving painting results.

The Army Painter Mega Paint Set Paints
The Army Painter Mega Paint Box Contents

On to price, I think most of us slightly begrudge spending money on paints and brushes etc, it means less money to spend on models and the £85 RRP of The Army Painter Mega Paint Set seems like quite an investment (although it is only £72.25 – Ed). That said you do get a lot for your money, the brushes alone have an RRP of £21, meaning you get 37 paints, inks & varnishes for the remaining £64, £1.77 each (or £1.51 – Ed), this represents real value for money.

Conclusion

The Army Painter’s Mega Paint Set contains a broad selection of quality paints that has the advantage of working seamlessly with The Army Painter’s range of spray paints.

It comes with a wide enough range of brushes for most wargamers needs.

The Mega Paint Set represents great value for money working out at just £1.77 each, or £1.51 from Big Orbit Games.

The Mega Paint Set scores…

Overall score: 9/10

 

Mantic Dwarfs: An easy painting guide

Mantic Games’ miniatures are affordable and quick to build, making putting a fantasy army together easy. Once you’ve built your units you’ll want to get them painted and ready for the tabletop so Big Orbit games has put together an easy painting guide for Mantic’s new range of Dwarfs.

This guide will demonstrate how to get your rank and file Dwarfs ready for battle in 5 easy steps, most of which just take a minute or two and involve minimal painting skill. This guide is also suitable for painting characters but you may wish to add extra detail during the basecoating stage.

Materials used in this guide:

Dwarf Ironclad Regiment

Army Painter Paint Set with Matt Black Primer

Army Painter Quickshade Dip – Strong Tone

Army Painter Anti-Shine Matt Varnish

Citadel Static Grass

Citadel Modelling Sand

Filla-Glu Clear Superglue

Citadel PVA

Step 1: Undercoat

Mantic Dwarf UndercoatedEasy one this, using the matt black undercoat spray from the paint set, apply a even undercoat using sweeping motions across the model or models. Note: Remember to shake the can for at least a minute.

Step 2: Basecoat

Mantic Dwarf BasecoatedUsing the paints in the Army Painter Paint Set, paint the model using flat colours, i.e. using no shading or highlights. For our dwarf we used gold for the armour, silver for the hammer and chain mail, red for the cloth, brown for the leather, flesh for the face and finally brown, darkened with a small amount of black, for the beard to make it make it stand out more.

The only real detail that was added was the eyes (not terribly well however as they are not my forte).

Step 3: Quickshade Dip

Mantic Dwarf DippedIn this step we aim to get all the effects that would normally be achieved through highlighting and washing in one simple step.

Quickshade dip is a pigmented varnish so in this step you are adding shading and protecting your model at the same time. As this is a varnish it must be used after you have completely finished painting your model.

We are using “Strong Tone” Quickshade dip on our dwarf, “Soft Tone” & “Dark Tone” are also available, strong is the medium tone dip.

When using Quickshade dip you should dip your model using a pair of pliers and shake it off 5-6 times and then leave for 24 hours (this is why this is an easy painting guide rather than a quick painting guide :)).

You can also paint Quickshde on, you will need to be quite liberal with the amount used, also brushes will need to be cleaned thoroughly with washing up liquid when you have finished.

Step 4: Basing & Anti-shine Varnish

Mantic Dwarf Based and Matt VarnishedTo base our dwarf we first painted the base brown and then added some sand to the base using super glue. We finished off by applying PVA to those areas of the base not covered in sand and giving the base a dip in a tub of static grass.

Quickshade dip produces a gloss finish, which most gamers are not too keen on, so to achieve a matt finish we give our model a coat of anti-shine matt varnish. As with the undercoat you should apply a even coat by using sweeping motions across the model or models, once again remembering to shake the can for at least a minute before you start.

The Army Painter Warpaints Starter Paint Set review

The Army Painter Warpaints: Wargamer Starter Paint Set - Black PrimerThe Army Painter has just released two new starter paint sets, each set contains a can of spray primer, 10 bottles of paint and 2 brushes.

The 2 new boxed sets differ in the colour of the spray primer that is included, one comes with a can of white and the other with black, we are reviewing the black version here.

Value

The first thing that you will notice is that these paint sets represent great value for money retailing at just £22.50, to get an idea of what you get for your money we have broken things down a little here.

The spray can is only 150ml but a 400ml can costs £6.99 so we’ve got £2.62 worth here and the 2 brushes would have an RRP of £5.50 if sold separately. The Army painter don’t sell their paints individually at the moment but Games Workshops paints retail at £2.25 each, so 10 paints would be worth £22.50 at this measure, this is not taking into account the fact that each bottle of The Army Painter paints contains 20% more paint than the Games Workshop pots. Based on these assumptions we’ve got £30.62 worth of product here, retailing at just £22.50, it is of course even cheaper at Big Orbit games.

Quality

Army Painter Primer
Not a giant hand but a mini can

The first thing we tested was the primer, this is the usual high quality primer we have come to expect from The Army Painter, it has good coverage and dries very quickly.

Out of this little can we undercoated 1 Vehicle, 5 Heavy Cavalry, 5 Monsterous Creatures & 10 Infantry, we then we ran out of models to undercoat but there was still a small amount paint left at the bottom of the can.

We mentioned that the primer dried quickly, it’s so fast you can actually watch it dry in front of your eyes. Now watching paint dry isn’t the most exciting of pastimes but at least with The Army Painter you’ll only be doing this for about 1 minute even if you’re a bit heavy on the primer.

As for the paints themselves, they appear to have good consistency, with no lumps, it is quite thin (similar to Games Workshops Foundation Paints) which means paints can easily be used straight out of the bottle. Coverage seems good so pigment load may be high, another similarity to Games Workshops Foundation Paints.

So this set score well for value and quality, things are looking promising…

Sound’s good, what’s the catch?

When looking through the different paints in this set we did have concerns about the tones/shades of some of the colours included, particularly the red which seemed a little washed out.

We applied a few of the paints to the base of a vehicle and it seems that the red isn’t so washed out after all, below it is compared to citadels blood red, that said the yellow doesn’t fair quite so well.

This is a potential issue as a colour can be toned down through mixing but richer colours can’t be created this way.

Army Painter Colour Test
The Army Painter compared to Citadel Colour

So there are some small question marks around colour intensity but there is one very significant issue…

…and that is that The Army Painter are not yet selling their paints individually (hopefully this will change in time). This means that if you run out of a colour you cannot replace it without buying a whole new paint set.

This is a big issue and might put off hobbyists that do a lot of painting and may well limit the appeal of this set.

Overall

All in all these are quality paints that represent good value for money but without being able to replace paints on an individual basis it doesn’t represent a practical solution for anyone that is concerned with obtaining consistent colour across a large number of models.

That said these sets provides everything the beginner needs and could represent a good introduction to wargames miniatures painting.

Also, those that are less concerned with the painting aspect of wargaming and just want to get miniatures onto the tabletop as quickly and cheaply as possible may find these sets of interest.

Based on these different needs we’re going to have to provide 2 different ratings:

Master Painters Score

For obsessive painters that want consistent results in the long term: 6/10

Beginners & Gamers Score

For beginners and people that just want to get miniatures on to the tabletop: 9/10