Contrast Paints

There’s been a lot said of Citadel’s relatively new contrast paints. And rightly so. A good job has been done to produce a set of paints that help get our troops on the table quicker. A very obvious workload in the 10mm 1809 world is the masses of white-coated Austrians that need painted. I gave contrast paints a shot at helping out. As regular readers of this journal will know, I am a fan of using a khaki undercoat. However, contrast paints work best with a lighter base-coat. I got hold of a pot of Vallejo grey brush-on Surface Primer (B). I should say from the off, though, that as much as I’m happy to speed up my painting I’m not qualified to advise on speed painting or, indeed, minimal effort. (That’s another way of saying that I take my time.) Citadel’s contrast paints have a wash-like flow, like a thick ink. Using them is like painting with ink. At this small scale, it can be quicker to let the contrast paint do its job over detail but to then use regular acrylic paint to clean up edges. Saying that, flow is not the issue with 10mm miniatures that it might be with larger figures with pooling on flat surfaces.
I started by washing white contrast paint (C) over the base-coat. So far, no different from using an ink wash, such as Vallejo Pale Grey Wash (D). Citadel’s contrast white is a blue-grey wash that produces a cold look. Anyone looking for a warm look might prefer to use Skeleton Horde contrast paint, but this might be a bit too strong a colour. Next, a quick brush of ground colour over the base saves time later. This is something I usually forget to do! We’re now ready to paint the black parts. There’s quite a lot of black on an Austrian line infantryman and black contrast paint does a fine job of picking out the detail of the gaiters, the cartridge pouch and the helmet. It’s not so good at providing an on-the-spot base-coat for the metal of the bayonet, but then, that’s not its job. The bayonet scabbard also needs to be painted black. It’s perhaps easier to paint with regular paint. It has a very small bit of white strap showing at the top, but this can be covered over with black. When painting 10mm 1809ers, I usually have a range of ‘neutrals’ - white, greys, and black - close at hand. These are all very cheap tubes of studio acrylics (A). It’s easy to scoop the paint out and add the odd dab. Very useful for a quick clean up.
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