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What to Know About GW Contrast Paints: One Year Later

contrast largeIt’s hard to believe that it has been a year already, but here’s what you should know about hobbying with Contrast paints- one year later!

When Contrast paints first released from GW, we saw a huge push by them. Stores were buying racks full of paint worth multiple thousands of dollars. Almost every day around this time in 2019, we saw a how-to post on Warhammer Community bringing in talented painters to try out the new paint. Fast-forward to the present, who do we see talking about Contrast today?

Now that the paint has been circulating in the hobby community, here are some personal experiences and what you should know about the usefulness of contrast paints.

What to Know About GW Contrast Paints: One Year Later

contrast paint citadel color colourContrast paints were really hot when they first came out. However, their popularity has seemingly gone down over the past year. Probably because for the most part, people wanted to experiment with how good it was, and perhaps now they are using just a few paints here and there as the need arises.

There are definitely some great uses for Contrast paints. Especially if new hobbyists are scared of picking up a brush and demolishing a model. Contrast is a great way to test the waters of painting for beginners.

Looking at a review from MiniWargaming on YouTube, we can see that Contrast paints work great on organic shapes and minis.

contrast seraphon 2Anything with a bunch of curves and recesses, Contrast will really shine. There is still a technique to applying Contrast paints, as the paint doesn’t seem to eliminate any skill required to using it. However the total time to paint this model was about 40 minutes, which isn’t bad at all right?

Coming from Kris Belleau on YouTube, we’ve seen that Contrasts are also good options to use for wet blending.

contrast wet blendIt’s not as time-consuming as normal wet blending and may not give the exact amount of detail that normal wet blending can capture. However, it is a workable, fast method.

On top of these two examples of using Contrast, for the seasoned painter, they can also be used for some minor detail work on minis. Sitting somewhere between a wash and a regular paint, Contrasts are in their own weight class.

contrast thinnedTo that end, some colors make great detailing options for things like glowing lenses, power swords, Psyker energy on Death Guard models/ Warpflames on Skaven, and filling in recesses on Sylvaneth. We’ve talked about some of the more popular Contrast paint options that everyone may have a use for.

Where Contrast Paints Don’t Shine

Coming from Kris Belleau once again, we’ve got a look at where Contrast paints begin to struggle.
contrast rhino
Because Contrast paints were designed to fill in recesses and pool in the low points of the mini, Contrast really struggles with large, flat surfaces like vehicles. There are not enough varying dimensions for the paint to settle evenly and that’s where those visible brushstrokes come in.

So Where Does Contrast Sit With Hobbyists?

Contrast Paint or Bust! 2 Videos You Have To See To BelieveAfter talking to multiple other hobbyists that are used to using the “regular” painting methods, (i.e Bases, layers, washes, etc). they’ve said that any time they’ve attempted to paint something using Contrast, they’ve felt like they could’ve done better.

For experienced painters, it seems that you can capture more detail using the tried and true method of slowly painting and building up layers with acrylics.

However, if you’re a new player that’s intimidated by words like “edge highlighting”, “pin-washing”, and “wet blending”, then Contrast is a much more cut and dry method of painting. On top of that, if you’re going to an event and have a short amount of time on your hands, you can always sit down and get your list ready with Contrast in a quicker amount of time from the normal painting method.

Albeit, it probably won’t have the same level of detail.

Either way, Contrast still seems like it’s here to stay in some form or another as it is a useful tool for painting!  If you’re curious about what Contrast paints we recommend buying, check out our list of the top 7 you should try!

What do you think about Contrast paints? Have you also painted something in Contrast and gone back over it with regular paints? Are there any Contrast paints you keep around for minor detail work on your minis?

Let us know in the comments of our Facebook Hobby Group, and make sure you enter the latest monthly giveaway for FREE today!

About the Author: Wesley Floyd

Imperial fanboy, tabletop fanatic, King of sprues.
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