Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Army Painter: Speed Paint - A Review By Kevin K

I first saw this product on FB a few months ago. I am guessing it is their answer to Citadel's Contrast Paints.  Speed Paint seems to be in between regular acrylic paint and washes. Being thicker than a wash the paint will tint a painting area, while at the same time being thin enough, it will gather into the recesses creating some shadows. The whole trick is to use the speed paint over a matte white primer or some other light color. It was even tried over a light metallic with some interesting positive results. 

 When finally released it came as two choices, the Starter pack Comes with 10 paints in dropper bottles, which included a stainless steel mixing ball in the bottle. AP also includes a paint brush. They create their own names for their brushes, so there is no number but to me it looks like a slightly stubby No. 2 brush. But this is what you need. The Speed Paint needs to go on fairly thick.

 Alternatively, you can get the Mega-pack which contains 23 paints (plus Speed Paint Medium). This set gives you a few choices of red, green, blue and brown, rather than just one choice with the starter set.  It also comes with a how-to booklet, the same No. 2 brush and mixing ball. I got the Mega set through Amazon, and that seller included a small container of AP foliage - lichen of 3 different colors.  All of this for $99. A bit more expensive than buying regular paint, but the huge PRO is it's supposed to take care of 3 different paints - base coat, highlight and shadow.  

 Picking out my figure, I didn't want to waste the paint (or my time if things went bad) by painting a large figure. So a 32mm figure was the victim. 

 I missed the first recommendation that the paints should go on a hard palette and not a wet palette. The reason is to keep the paint from soaking thru the paper into the sponge. But as I use parchment paper, and had no bleed thru. 

I wasn't really concerned with historical accuracy of the Viking. I just wanted to see how many colors I could use and what they looked like. 

 I decided to put out one color at a time and came up with my first annoyance: I was surprised how most colors, directly out of the bottle, is VERY dark. It was hard to tell whether that puddle was brown, blue, or green. This is where the hard palette, the type with little cups pays off. 

 All the colors did what they said they were going to do -kept the highlights bright while darkening the shadows. Any excess puddles can be reabsorbed with the paintbrush to avoid "tide marks."  When I painted and didn't like the color, I flooded the area with water and easily wiped the still wet paint away. I dried the area and then put down the new color.

 Each paint bottle has a triad shield image on it. That's not a design but indicates how dark multiple layers will look. The first Con occurred when I didn't allow the first coat to fully dry before adding a second. It is in the how-to that the new coat will reactivate the first one and you will get a mess. You NEED to let each layer dry and will see this on the front of my Viking. It's rather messy in the front.

 You can really see how well the base/ highlight/shadows work on the wooden shield though. In the end, I got carried away and added a little silver here and there to the figure.Regular acrylic paint goes over a dried Speed Paint with no problem

 I think this is a very good product; especially for the modelers who build armor, or aviation (any model with a figure) and don't really want to take the time to learn to paint figures. The only situation where this may not work out for someone is if the modeler is a real stickler for accuracy. The shad of blue you want may not be the shade of blue they have.  But if you think as long as it's close I'm good, then this is for you.  I'm guessing that if and when the line takes off, they will add more colors. But remember you can always add regular paint too.

 Two thumbs up from me. Being this is a B&W newsletter, the color images can be found here: 


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