Monday, 16 February 2015

Army Painter Review Part 1 - Quickshade and Sprays

Based in Denmark the company is ran by Jonas Faering and Bo M. Penstoft. Both are highly experienced in the gaming world having worked for many years for Games Workshop. Their site explains that they wanted to create a quick way of painting armies so they could spend more time gaming. From this idea the creations they have come up with some fascinating products that I feel can have various applications for the speed and display painters.
The first thing we will concentrate on is their range of primers. Each come in a spray can as you see below and I have been testing the colours Skeleton Bone, Leather Brown and Platemail Metal.
These sprays have been matched to their paint pots, ideal for any touch ups you need.

For the purpose of testing I have covered a figure completely with one colour.
So for the coverage ? Can't be faulted to be honest. Covers very well and even if you get a little thick in places the paint dries very even with little or any loss or detail as you can see below.

Now for the next part of the process and this is where Army Painter has taken a different line to other companies, The Quickshade.
A simple pot of wash designed to cover your figure and create shading without the need for lengthy painting, glazing, thin washes etc etc.
The Quickshade is also a varnish so it will shade and protect your model in one go, bonus.
I am using the Strongtone, followed by an application of Matt Varnish.
To use couldn't be easier - shake the can, dip the figure in, shake off the excess and allow to dry for 24 hours. Simple.
As you can see below, the shading has been instantly brought out, you have definition but you also have a glossy finish. That isn't a problem if you want that, but there is some detail that is lost by the finish and this detail needs re-discovering.
I now applied about 4-5 thin layers of Matt Varnish, allowing a few minutes between each coat and the difference was very noticeable. The gloss went and a perfect Matt finish was created. I also noticed that some of the definition came back and the figure looked so much better.

One Word of Warning !!!
Follow the instructions for the Matt Varnish and learn from my mistake. You find the instructions on the side of the can.
I tend to use a brush on varnish so the spray was relatively new to me, so I liberally applied a coating only to find the smooth paint that was there had gone deformed. Some sort of reaction had seemed to take place as you can see below on the thigh area.

I contacted Jonas at Army Painter for his advice and it was simply down to user error. Applying too much varnish in one go can cause wrinkling. This can be all spray varnishes and not just Army Painter.

My thoughts on the Quickshade and varnish are very positive. The dipping system is something many can use to create instant shading and the Matt Varnish is frankly excellent. There is not the slightest colour deterioration that I could notice.
As someone who paints for display purposes I will find uses for the primer and the Quickshade. 
All figures benefit from setting a base tone, for example, when painting Mordor Orcs I tend to base everything with a dark brown and paint up the colours from there.
When using the Quickshade I would be applying further paint to set my own highlighting and working the blend.
In all excellent and well thought out products that have found a niche in the market and long may that continue.
I hope you find this review useful.


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  3. Oops sorry.
    In an effort to remove a duplicate post I have managed to delete both and can't find how to re-install them !!!
    Please accept my apologies and a lesson learned in never to try that again.

  4. This was the deleted post
    good review Mally, the only thing I'd say is that every Army Painter spray I've used has blocked up, for lack of a better term. I can usually get it to one or maybe two spray sessions before the can is unusable. I follow all the care instructions to the letter but to no avail, in the end I changed to pound store car spray and have not looked back. can't say enough good things about their washes (and metallics) though.

    1. No worries, finally got an all singing and dancing phone so I'm just figuring out how the heck it works and so double post! Lesson learned for us both I think ;)

  5. Great review :)
    I'm not a great fan of the dipping technique. I love so much painting that it feels wrong xD
    But I'm a big fan of some army painter products. Crucium Giger has already said it, but their washes and metallics are really top level in my opinion.

  6. Good review Mally, thanks. I use the Army Painter Washes, prefer them to GW versions