The New Citadel Paint Range

I popped into my local GW store today and the manager had a sample of the new paints and some undercoated figures for people to try them out on so I had a go. Bearing in mind that there was only a limited selection of the new paints and I was trying to paint a Chaos Warrior cloak green with what was there (my first choice was red but there only seemed to be one pot of red) and, of course, the fact that I do not paint the way that Games Workshop have designed the paint range, I was actually fairly impressed. I thinned down some Citadel Base: Caliban Green and began to glaze it over the cloak (after teaching the manager how to pre-highlight with a white spray over a black undercoat for me) and blended more layers onto the shadows. Next, in the absence of a sample light green from the Citadel Layer range, I mixed some Citadel Dry: Underhive Ash with the thinned base colour and glazed the highlights using the pushing technique. Then, in the absence of a darker green, I added some Citadel Base: Mephiston Red with a dab of the base colour and enforced the shadows. As I had very much rushed things and the highlight colour wasn’t quite right, I then painted a glaze of Citadel Shade: Biel-Tan Green Green and the Mephiston Red over the whole cloak. I went in there not expecting very much but they are actually very nice paints and stood up well to my unorthodox use of them.

Citadel Base seem to be an equivalent of the old foundation paints. They have a higher pigment content to give them better coverage over black, however, they are smooth enough to stand up to me using them to glaze.

Citadel Layer I didn’t actually use but these seem to be like normal acrylic paint for miniatures and they now have a few more. I was also told that they are the right consistency to use straight out of the pot (depending on how you paint!)

Citadel Shade are essentially inks/washes. They are very smooth and probably the best thing I saw in this range, after only seeing a sample of it.

Citadel Dry are paints which contain a lot of pigment with a very small quantity of acrylic resin. This means, in theory, that they will be dry enough to drybrush with straight out of the pot and require less scrubbing on something else first. I didn’t try this because this isn’t a technique I regularly use (and this article was an after thought, sorry) but they are finely pigmented enough to glaze with.

Citadel Texture seem to be in a similar vain to some textured paints which Vallejo make for scenery but the Citadel ones come in ordinary sized pots, presumably intended for basing and such like. The manager also pointed out that they would be useful for touching up damaged scenery on the fly.

Citadel Glaze are similar to the Vallejo Transparent paints, though thinner and fewer; there are only four in the range. I really like the Transparents but the new Citadel equivalents seem too dilute to me to really be useful and I would always argue that calling something a ‘glaze’ or a ‘wash’ is a bit silly as anything can be diluted and used as either of these.

Citadel Technical, not really as technical as they make it sound, but this is a glaze medium like you can get from Vallejo or Liquitex; ‘Liquid Green Stuff’ is a filler made from an agregate suspended in acrylic resin similar to Vallejo Plastic Putty and this has been in the Citadel range for a couple of months now anyway as a work around for Failcast; a pot of smelly black primer, like I get from Reaper and some gloss varnish. Nothing new or particularly technical here and disappointingly lacking compared to other paint ranges, which variously include flow improver, drying retarder, acrylic thinner, matt medium, gloss medium, metallic medium, matt varnish, satin varnish and probably a few things I’ve forgotten. However, a lot of these do similar jobs and I think most people tend not to use all of them anyway but it’s surprising that the Citadel range now doesn’t include any matt varnish. I personally use thinner with my airbrush, flow improver when I use very fine brushes, metallic medium when I paint TMM or SMM, matt medium with dry pigments and to ensure that matt varnish dries matt and retarder if I absolutely have to but I almost never use glaze medium, despite painting with glazes a lot.

The new range seems to have taken inspiration from Vallejo with a couple of the new additions, which is fair enough as Vallejo Game Colour is a complete copy of the old Citadel range (even down to some of the names like Moon Yellow and Wolf Grey), and Reaper as the new paints have been designed so that you have a Base, Shade and a couple of Layers for each colour, which feels like an extension of the Reaper Master Series Triad system. This has resulted in the paint range being geared heavily towards the Games Workshop beginner painter following the in-store painting methodology which was Foundation, Wash, highlight/drybrush but will now be Base, Shade, Layer/Dry. While there is no harm in this, I have noticed that this has produced a few duplicate or near duplicate colours but with different consistencies.

My biggest bugbear, though, is that they are using near identical pots to the previous paints and these really seem to be designed to make the paint dry out, especially as all of the paints are supposed to be usable out of the pot, so people will just sit there with the pot open while their paint dries out. If you are going to buy these then do yourself a favour and put what you need onto a palette with your brush (be careful not to clog the ferrule or instead use a pre-knackered brush) and close the pot. I think that these paints will be good for the army painter who will get through several pots of the same colour quite quickly and they don’t seem to separate on the palette (my one criticism of Vallejo) and because they are designed for a simple, set process. For me, however, they are useless as I paint one model with one set of colours and then another with another set of colours but I don’t want my paints to dry up before I get round to using that colour again so I only buy paints in dropper bottles, which have the added bonus of being easy to drop into the colour cup of my airbrush. I am a little tempted by the Shades though as these are less likely to dry out and I wouldn’t be airbrushing with them.

Many apologies but there’s no photo of what I painted because my wife phoned me and informed me that I only had an hour before we were going out for dinner with her parents and so I dashed off to finish my shopping and left the Chaos Warrior in the hands of the store manager, telling him that he could finish it for me.

Interestingly Acrylicos Vallejo have just released Premium Color which are polyeurathane (and therefore hard wearing and flexible and so potentially useful for a lot of other applications beyond miniature painting) paints. These look like they are the same consistency as the polyeurethane primers I use and are, therefore, airbrushable in an external mixing airbrush straight out of the bottle but they also have a new thinner for them, which would make them airbrushable with an internal mixing one too.