Sunday, March 10, 2019

Wargames Foundry paint test

I was excited to try out these new Foundry paints this weekend, but I had a bit of a dilemma...

With my lead pile inaccessible in the basement, I had to scrounge around the painting room to find a quick model to paint up. I wanted something unique, and not part of any warband or army, so I went with a random Reaper Bones model that had been sitting on the side of the paint table for a while. I got him all primed up and ready to go, and was planning on using the new Foundry paints exclusively on him and trying out the "Foundry Paint System" (somehow they think they have copyrighted the idea of doing a 3 layer technique over a black undercoat).

First step was to glue him to a base and prime him - I went with my tried and true Liquitex Black Gesso. I love this stuff. It has a nice tooth to it and dries flat, and it shrinks a bit as it dries so rarely covers up any detail on a model even when you put it on pretty thick.

A few of my friends recently have asked me which black primer I use, so here is a pic! I always keep a spare bottle on hand, because it's one of the few paints that I actually go through and have to replenish.

Anyway, back to the experiment. I picked the "Bright Green" triad to work on the skin tone. I layered on the "shade" color over the undercoat...

...and was less than impressed. I'm not sure why I expected anything different - I know from 30 years of painting that bright colors rarely go on well over a black undercoat! But I was hoping for the "Foundry Paint System" to work its magic. And I have seen some paints that actually cover great (GW Foundation, Vallejo Extra Opaque) over black.

I wasn't completely surprised, though, because I had tested a few brush strokes over a swatch of black primer as soon as I got the paints. I thought a real miniature might bring out the magic.... But anyway, I slogged on. Here is Kermit after one coat:

I then did the middle coat, straight up "Bright Green." There was a decent green coat on the model after this, but I had to cover pretty much all of the area I had already painted with the shade coat, so not exactly how it's supposed to be done... Here he is at that point.

Then it all really went to hell after I put on the final highlight, "Bright Green Light." This was a chalky light green, not bright at all but almost like they just added white paint to the mix. Again, anyone who's been painting a while knows not to add white to highlight a bright green paint!!! AAARGGHH!!! But I went on with it anyway to see how it would look. Call it the triumph of hope over experience?

Here is Mr. Chalky:

At this point I was ready to line these paints up and use them for target practice. But I stayed calm. I tried out one of the red triads on a WIP model that was off to the side of my desk (a 15mm skeleton).

Do you like the nice shiny look of the one on the left? That one was painted with Foundry paints... Sheesh...

Man, this has to be the worst paint purchase I have ever made. After letting the frog dry for a while I put on a coat of GW Biel Tan Green shade, which made it look much better but completely negated my Foundry paint experiment. Oh well! The ultimate irony in all this is that I painted the other two Frog warriors (from the Reaper Bones Kickstarter) using the "Foundry Method" way before I owned any Foundry paint, and they came out much better.

I will keep trying these out and looking for good to say! I can't accept the fact that I could have spent this much money on paints that add so little value to my collection. The whole point is supposed to be that you use their triads without having to think about it... but so far I think they haven't done a great job of splitting up the tones into triads (for the ones I've tested, usually two are too close together and one is way off). If you look at the Bright Green triad, the first two are very close - and almost seems like the middle tone could be the shade tone!

Who knows... maybe it's "user error" here? Am I doing something wrong? After looking at the Foundry web site for so many years and seeing their beautifully painted models, and reading Steve Dallimore's painting guides, I can't imagine that this is really the paint they were using.

Well... I can't say that I'm happy with this paint so far. Maybe the WW2 set, or the Napoleonic colors, or the expert fleshtones, will be different... I hope! But for now it seems like I'm going to have to empty out my paint shelf again because these do not deserve top shelf status!

I will probably go back to using either the Reapers or Vallejos... both great paints. Maybe Vallejo since I'm in a layering mood! Here are some of my favorite colors.

The best silver paint! Vallejo Model Air Steel:

One of the best reds to coat over black undercoat! Vallejo Extra Opaque Heavy Red:

(Mechrite red was awesome, but no longer available).

My favorite dark brown! Vallejo Model Color SS Camo Black Brown:

I have been using this bottle for so long and it's almost empty... which is rare because I have so many different paints that I almost never "finish" any of bottles! But the paint gods must have smiled on me and given me some small (tiny) dose of good luck, to make up for the Wargames Foundry disaster: I found that I actually have a fresh bottle in the Panzer Aces set, that I didn't even realize was there ;)

I have to start going by this Chinese Fortune that I got in a cookie a long time ago... I should stick to the paints that I already know I love!

Does anyone want to buy a set of Foundry paints by the way?

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Wyrdstone markers & new stuff...

So I got something done over the past couple weeks, which is quite an accomplishment because my entire painting/gaming room is in disarray! I'm having work done on my basement (the home of the lead pile) so there are piles of stuff everywhere.

I painted some more of the floors of my prepainted gothic ruins... they are great terrain pieces "as-is," but on a tabletop of gray cobblestones the whole table came across as a bit too gray. I painted up some of the floor tiles and liked the look, so knocked out a couple more recently:

I dug through my closet (the auxiliary lead pile) and found these glow-in-the-dark decorative rocks that I bought at a craft store around Halloween some time in the past, and decided to use them to make some new Wyrdstone markers after being inspired by my buddy Bill's. I wanted to use stuff that I had on hand instead of ordering the little green crystals from GreenStuffWorld, because I know when I place an order there I am going to end up spending hundreds of dollars, and I already have spent way too much in the first couple months of this year! More on that later...

So: I dug out some textured wallpaper patterns (I have have many rolls of these that I've accumulated over the years), a 25mm hole punch, some washers, and my glowing rocks to come up with these!

They definitely glow, which seems cool to me even though I rarely play Mordheim in the dark! haha

You would think that maybe since my room is busting at the gills I might stop buying stuff, and that would be a logical assumption, but the lead pile has a will of it's own and it's primary desire is to grow constantly. 

First up, I received a few large packages from orders placed last year - my HATE Kickstarter arrived, and my Black Friday order from Table Top World.

Hate is loaded with cool models for Chaos type warbands! They are definitely some biggies though. 

Not even sure what I'll use them for... I AM sure I'll never actually play this game 😄

But my buddy Wil loves to play various "chaos-y" armies/warbands in any game we play, and the game came with a load of cool markers (some of the coolest wound markers I've ever seen - impaled skulls!) too, so I jumped in. It was going to be a Kickstarter exclusive so I succumbed to the pressure!

I got some of the terrain too; these trees are pretty cool and will fit right in with some of my flocked trees and GW spooky trees. Got to get them painted up before the Sylvania Mordheim campaign this summer!

My TabletopWorld order came too... I have been collecting this stuff for years and have not painted any of it yet! It really is awesomely detailed stuff though... some day I'll get to it...

I love it when this box comes... it's like Christmas a few months late. And digging through all the newspaper to find the models is like an Easter egg hunt. Christmas and Easter all in one!

On top of getting cool terrain, I get to catch up on all the latest news in Croatia:

I really have to paint some of these!!! Hopefully after my basement is done I'll be able to at least lay everything out and see what I've got instead of having it all packed up in boxes. I'm sure I could fill at least a 4x4 table with a fully detailed town of these by now, I've been collecting them for several years. 

On top of receiving some things I ordered a while back, I've also been busy shopping too! Yikes...

I am just a victim of sales this year so far it seems. I try not to spend money... but then Battlefront had a sale where all of their Late War stuff was 25-70% off because they are revamping the line. I've been really interested in getting into WW2 gaming so I would be almost irresponsible to NOT takew advantage of this opportunity, right? There goes a ton of money. 

Now I've got troops for Germans, Brits/Canadians/Poles, and Americans now for multiple campaigns between D-Day and Market Garden in 15mm. I've never been as interested in Early War stuff or other theatres...

But then again, Osprey Publishing also had a big sale! All of their books were anywhere from 10 to 50% off, and I can't dig into a new period without doing the proper research, right? I've actually already been collecting books on Market Garden for years (and have even read a few of them, haha...). But I took this chance to buy a bunch of stuff on Normandy and the battles between June and September. 

This is bad enough, but what REALLY put my wallet over the edge, and makes me fear the day that my wife checks the credit card bill, was Wargames Foundry....

They had an annual sale (which is not unusual), but this year they actually included their paint line in the sale. 

This has not happened in almost 10 years. I have had my eye on their paints for probably 20 years, but being an imported item that is not carried by any US stockists, AND only being sold in sets of 3, made it a tough proposition. 

I've collected many other paint sets over the intervening years, after starting out with craft paints, and then moving on to GW and Vallejo. I painted with craft paints all through high school and college and then bought my first "real" hobby paints when I got my first job. 

Vallejo was great, but instead of being the final paint set on my shelf, it only began my obsession with collecting hobby paints!

I don't think any sane person could argue that I actually need the amount of paint that I have purchased... I have full sets of:

Vallejo Model Color
Vallejo Game Color
Vallejo Model Air
Vallejo Game Air
Vallejo Panzer Aces
Vallejo High Density
Privateer Press P3
Reaper Master Series
Reaper HD paints
Reaper Bones paints
Scale 75 Scalecolor
Scale 75 Fantasy Color
Scale 75 Warfront

Along with a large assortment of random GW paints, craft paints, and other brands.

It is a bit gluttonous actually. I can never use all this paint in three lifetimes. I can't even keep it all out on my desk, there is not enough room for it, so most of it stays packed up in cases under the desk or in a closet most of the time. I have one "go to" paint set that I keep out at any given time; for the past few years it's been Reaper Master Series with a collection of washes by GW and Army Painter. 

But the Wargames Foundry "Paint System" has been my "white whale." I have always assumed it would be the holy grail of painting, and would satisfy all of my needs, and be the last paint set I would ever need!
So I held off on buying it... until now. It was 25% off in February so I took the leap. I ordered the entire line. What a debacle. 
First, I had to contact the EPA to talk about the purchase because they would not import the package unless I signed some type of sworn affidavit that they did not violate the terms of the Toxic Substance Control Act. After signing my TSCA Affidavit, I was back on track...
I watched the FedEx tracking daily, and the day it arrived I could hardly contain myself. I emptied off my entire paint desk and made room for the new guests of honor...

(I'm not sure what the "Sea Elf Bargain" was, but I guess they thought I was some type of sea elf based on my address? Does no one on this side of the Atlantic ever buy these paints?).

What a disappointment so far. I have not even painted a full model with these yet, but what I can tell is this -

1. The labels are not glued on very well, and the bottles are only labeled from the top. So as I've tested each bottle, I've had to re-glue the label on top. 

2. The coverage over a black primer does not seem to be anything to write home about ( this was, far and away, the NUMBER ONE thing I was hoping for from this set - coverage). 

3. The bottles came packed nicely, but that did not prevent one of them from leaking all over the place

I am trying to hold off on a final judgement of these until I actually paint a few full models with them, but so far, I can say it's been a huge disappointment and waste of money. Buying these was not cheap, and I could have gotten a LOT of models, terrain, or other paint with that money! Not that there's really any other paint I need... I think I own every line I can think of at this point! 

Although I did hear that they just expanded the line of Vallejo Model Air colors... and Reaper came out with a couple of limited box sets of 6 colors each in their range as well (Dungeon Dwellers and Monster Colors)... hmmm.....

Ironically, one of my favorite sets of paint is actually a line of CRAFT paint!!! There was a brand called Palmer Prism years ago, and they were one of the first sets of paint that I ever bought. This was around 30 years ago, and some of the bottles that I have from back then are still good. Coverage was great. The color range was not obscene, but adequate. And I loved them!

I convinced myself that I needed "real" hobby paints though, and have bought a ton of paints since then. But a year or two ago I heard they they were no longer making Palmer Prism paints! 

I could not let this line of paints go into extinction without buying a fresh set - so I hunted down an art supply store in California who still had at least one of each color and ordered the full line. 

Here are a some Palmer paints, old and "new" bottles:

Don't get too excited about buying them though... they're extinct ;)

I think my other favorite paints were the GW Foundation Paints... why do I have a love for things that no longer exist!!?? Oh well, at least I stocked up on the Palmers before they went the way of the dodo. I hear people speak longingly of the old Polly-S line of acrylics too, but I guess I'll never know about those...