Hey, painters! I’m in a bit of a dilemma and could really use your advice. I’ve been thinking about getting into the miniature painting hobby, but I can’t decide between the Gamemaster Character Paint Set and the Reaper Miniatures Learn to Paint Kit. My main goal is to explore this hobby and determine whether it’s something I enjoy and want to continue investing my time and money in.

  • Gormadt
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    38 months ago

    I personally went with the Reaper Miniature Learn to Paint Kit, but I didn’t use much of it except the paints for awhile.

    I learned more from Goobertown Hobbies on YouTube. His vids are great.

  • LoribornM
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    8 months ago

    I would actually recommend something else entirely! For beginners, one of the best types of paints to ease into the hobby is a type of paint known as a “contrast” or “speed paint”. There are a number of brands that have paints like these. The paints are a bit thinner than normal paint, and pool into recesses of the model, creating a natural gradient of shade on the model that simulate highlights and shadow. Citadel is Games Workshop’s brand of paints, and they’re quite well regarded, but otherwise fairly expensive. For beginners, I’d recommend Army Painter, as they just released a new line of “speed paints” (their contrast paint equivalent) called “2.0” and my personal experience with the line has been very good for the price.

    https://www.thearmypainter.com/shop/us/wp8059p

    I’d recommend giving at least one Citadel contrast paint a try, just to experience it, but I’d definitely avoid the Reaper stuff as it tends to be very low quality and overpriced for what you get.

    You can grab a few miniatures on eBay fairly cheaply, but if you want, I have some models I can send your way free of charge as well, if you’d like something to test your painting skills on, as the Army Painter sets don’t include miniatures by default.

    Reaper miniatures are a bit rough, and don’t lend themselves to beginners due to the age of the sculpts.

    • @bommeldingOP
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      18 months ago

      Thanks for the advice! I’ll look into those speed paints. Found a lot of information on youtube about those paints and they seem to give great results. Thanks for offering figures but i assume you don’t life in The Netherlands so sending figures would be a pain 😅

    • @Homo_Stupidus
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      18 months ago

      How is the quality of Army Painter over Citadel? I’m in the same boat as OP and just starting out learning to paint. I know it’s more expensive, but I’m leaning towards getting one of the Citadel starter packs. I’m also thinking a handle would be really nice, but I’m unsure.

      • LoribornM
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        8 months ago

        I’d still say Citadel’s contrast paint has a slight edge over Army Painter, even their 2.0 formulation. That said, I actually don’t know if I’d say I would recommend Citadel’s contrast instead of AP2.0 for newcomers, for a couple of big reasons:

        1. Cost - Army Painter is about half the cost. That means twice the amount of paint for the same price, and that means more colours to choose from. For a lot of beginners, the quality of the paint isn’t the limiting factor, it’s the colour choices. You quickly realize that if you want to paint a variety of different minis, you need a variety of colours, and that adds up pretty fast if you stick with just Citadel.

        2. Settling - Contrast is notoriously quick to settle on the bottom of the pot. With some colours it’s bad enough that I have to use a stick to stir up the bottom of the pot. If you’re painting infrequently as a newcomer, you’ll likely experience this every time you paint. No matter what paint you use, you should probably shake your paints, but in the case of Citadel contrast paints, sometimes it’s multiple minutes and still no homogenization. Blender balls help, but those are yet another cost barrier to entry, as Army Painter includes those for free inside their paints.

        3. Flow - For experienced painters, the flow properties of Citadel contrast is nice, as it allows for wet blending. It’s a criticism of AP2.0 that they dry relatively quickly. For newcomers who won’t be doing wet blending, this is a benefit you pay for with Citadel’s higher price, but don’t get to take advantage of. Like buying the highest end graphics card just to play Minecraft, for instance.

        4. Pot vs Dropper - This is a subjective thing, but having used both pots like Citadel’s, and droppers like Army Painters (for use with palettes), I find the latter to be much easier to use. Citadel pots sometimes don’t stay open, close while you’re using the paint, and because their “paint lip” can only hold a small amount of paint, you have to refill the lip frequently or dip directly into the pot. You can pour paint out onto a palette, but there is a reason the “spilling nuln oil all over your desk is a right of passage” meme is a thing.

        5. Consistency - Citadel contrast colours vary tremendously in their flow properties. Some colours are very watery and thin, and flow like water, and others are thick and viscous and dry slowly. Some contrast significantly into a kind of hue gradient, others contrast straight to black, others contrast barely at all. It’s a learning curve for sure, but Army Painter’s speed paints are generally all more consistent with one another and have a much more consistent result. The skill ceiling is lower, and the effects you can get are much less pronounced, and thus AP2.0 paints do tend to give a certain “look” that you can’t change much, but as a beginner, this is probably preferable.

        As for the painting handles, YMMV. I own one, but as other hobbyists will tell you, the handle does restrict the base, which you do usually paint. It’s also kind of expensive. Personally, while I have one, I end up sticking to just grabbing a dowel from the hobby store, or any other handle shaped thing, and sticking a bit of blue tack (sticky tack, teacher’s tack) on the end and plop the mini that way. You could also use a metal rod and put magnets on the base of your minis as is common, but that’s a bit of a higher barrier to entry.

        Really, I think your best bet is to buy a basic D&D set of minis, as they’re accessible and cheap, and you usually get two or three, and then buy a few individual colours from either company to test how you individually like them. You can always use both, for example, and I find that I still really like to use Citadel’s “Skeleton Horde” for all my skeletons, but use AP2.0 for most other things.

        Just make sure if you do test out individual paints, that you’re getting the AP2.0 formulation specifically, as I’m not sure how widely available the new version is.

        • @atoll
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          18 months ago

          I agree, Blutac on a wooden block is all you need for a handle

  • @[email protected]
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    18 months ago

    Personally I like the Vallejo model color starter set, the colors are very consistent and I didn’t feel like there were any big gaps while learning with it. But if you want to skip a lot of the learning and just gets models to the table I’d recommend some of the various speed painting options e.g. contrast paints, speed paints, express color etc. But if you want to learn to paint as a hobby I think the Vallejo starter set is a great set of traditional mini paints.

  • @Shialac
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    8 months ago

    tbh my recommendation would be to grab the Vallejo Game Color Starter Set and get a cheapish synthetic brush form a local arts store

    • @bommeldingOP
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      18 months ago

      I’ll look into the set. Do you have a recommendation for some cheap minature set, cause the other sets come with some (and a tutorial).

      • @Shialac
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        28 months ago

        It kinda depends on what you want. My first tip would be to look around your appartment, maybe you have some old miniatures or even toys lying around, or a board game that comes with miniatures.

        There are somewhat cheap miniatures bundles on sites like Amazon, depends on what kind of minis you want. Maybe you have a Warhammer Store close to you, they usually have a Free Miniature every Month to test out paint schemes etc. (very often you can even try out their paints there, so you wouldnt even have to buy those for now)

        Maybe you have a Tabletop/Pen&Paper Store or club nearby, there is probably people there with some leftover Minis they would be glad to gift someone new to the hobby, especially if someone has a 3D printer