Monday, June 11, 2007

Review: Foundation Series Paints

Before I invest whole hog in new paint lines, I like to check out a few of the paint line’s colors. I do this to this to see if the new paint is going to be worth investing in. Well I spent a cozy evening with two colors in the Foundation Paint Series by Games Workshop and here are my thoughts.

Because I play Dark Angels I decided to pick up Mechrite Red and Orchide Shade. The main thrust of my experiment was to see exactly the type of coverage I could expect, paint thickness, and to test the rumored drying speed

Wow! The descriptions in the “White Dwarf” were not kidding. This stuff can cover black like no other’s business. I didn’t paint the stuff directly on the model from the paint pot. I transferred paint to my palette, and then thinned it with my “gunk” mixture. (Gunk is a mixture of water, flow improver, and slow dry additives. For more info on “gunk” go here.) This thinned mixture went on well. The nice part about the thinned paint is that it took fewer coats to obtain coverage.

Normally it takes 6 to 8 coats of almost any color to obtain coverage over a black primer coat. With the Foundation Series Paints it took two thin coats to obtain coverage. (I would like to emphasize that when I said thin I meant it. I thinned the paint 1 part paint, to 1 part gunk mix, and 1 part water.) When it comes to coverage this paint does the trick.

Paint Thickness
This paint is about as thick as standard GW paint. If you use a lot of GW paint you will understand the maxim of the Heavy Metal Team: Always thin your paint. The Heavy Metal Team has this maxim because GW paints tend to be a little thicker than the Vallejo or the Reaper Master Series paints. An experienced painter will thin any paint that they use to some degree.

If a painter doesn’t thin the Foundation Series Paints the results they will obtain are atrocious. The best way to describe it is leaving a paint pot open for an hour and then painting from that pot without thinning the paint at all. If the painter paints over details they may as well start over because this paint will appear to fill details in like putty. I think that this effect is also heightened by this paint’s opacity

Drying Speed
Straight out of the pot this paint dries almost as fast as rubbing alcohol. This has some advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that is if you are trying to turn out a fully painted army as fast as you can then this paint is the way to go. Foundation Series Paints are perfect for assembly line painting. This is because by the time you reach the end of your assembly line the first model will be dry and ready for the next color.

This fast drying can be a disadvantage. When it is thinned with anything, it is terribly difficult to blend, and needs to be manipulated almost as soon as it is painted. During my session an example of this was experienced while painting an arm. I started at the shoulder and moved my way towards the hand. By the time I had finished the hand the shoulder was already dry. This occurred in the space of less than a minute.

Overall Opinion
Using the Movie Critics star system, I will rate this with paint brushes in lieu of stars. So out of five paint brushes I give this 2 1/2 paint brushes.

I’m giving it this rating because Foundation Paints are a great tool for the intermediate to advanced painter. It allows these painters to paint a nice saturated base color from which to work up from. The experience I had with the paint was that it was great for laying down my base color tones. It worked well for painting red over black, and for painting an eve shade of green. I wasn’t inclined to use it any further than that. As soon as I had the base color I was looking for I immediately switched over to my GW and Reaper Master Series paints because of the vibrancy, flow, and workability of these colors.

I would recommend giving them a try. Try them in a color that you use often and are familiar with. I would not recommend sinking $45 on them unless you are absolutely sure you know you will want and use them.


GM Roper on June 29, 2007 at 4:46 PM said...

Mike, cool site, I read the entirety of this post, I'm surprised that thined paint covers better than out of the container, as that would be counter-intuitive. Water color based? At any rate, well designed and good looking blog.


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