I was perusing an old White Dwarf (WD), well not just any old WD – it was issue 222 from June 98. Rings a bell? Well you may know it as the issue containing the ‘Last Stand at Glazer’s Creek’. Here are few shots for the fans...
After rereading the glorious Praetorian’s final fight I flicked over the page and saw the headline NEW CITIDEL PAINT! I know, ironic right.
Anyway, that got me thinking about paints and paint progression.
I stared out in the hobby using Humbrol enamel paints. They were/are horrible! Thick and gluggy, impossible to paint fine detail with and the need to use 'tuerps' (turpentine) to clean the brushes destroyed them in no time.
So Citidel acrylic (water based) paints were a godsent. The ability to easily dilute them and mix them opened up loads of possibilities. Also, as you can see in the picture above, the idea of shade and highlight paints came about improving things immensely. And then there were inks! Back then that was just plain cheating.
Years latter the foundation paints turned up and inks were replaced with the much improved washes -and that brings us to now.
So the big relevant question is
"Are these new paints going to change everything?",
"Do I need to replace every pot to keep up with how amazing the newly painted miniatures are going to be?"
It is too early to say for sure, but I'm more then confident that the answer will be a BIG FAT NO. Looking at how paints have evolved over time, yes clearly each paint re-release and the introduction of other new mediums have been an improvement. However, better paint will never be a substitute for skill, it will just slightly raise the ceiling on what is possible.
Truthfully I'm willing to accept that I could be a better painter if I worked at it, but I'm happy keeping it a 'no pressure' past time hobby. So for me while I'm glad there are better paints out now, I'm more then happy using my old ones until I need a new pot.
As for my modelling mate (who is much newer to the hobby), he disagrees completely and as a result has given me all his old paints (some of which are brand new pots!). I am totally stoked about this, but it begs the question, "Has my mate just sold into the hype, OR am I overlooking how good these new paints are, just being stuck in the past with an 'I've seen it before' attitude?" What are your thoughts?