Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Colours of War paint - a review

Recently I had the opportunity to paint some of the excellent new Flames of War plastic models from Battlefront. As a part of this job, I thought it would be a good chance to try out the new range of paints that Battlefront are selling under their 'Colours of War' range.

The models that I was painting included British, American and German miniatures so there was a good range of colours to try out from pale sand to dark green to panzer yellow. The series of pictures and notes below are from the German section of the painting and are just the guns that I had at that moment.

The two pics above are of the painting queue. A couple of 88mm guns, a battery of 105mm artillery pieces, a quartet of PaK40s and a small platoon of Shermans.

The 88s are undercoated. I used my normal cheap rattlecan black primer spray from Bunnings. I use British paints Flat Black as it does give a very good flat finish and for only NZ$10.

So, the paints. Here is the Colours of War 'Panther Yellow' with the other two paints that I would use for painting German equipment from the Vallejo range, Middlestone and Green Ochre. Firstly, the colour consitency of the CoW paints is very good. When matching them against what I think is the classic German yellow, it does look the part. The same goes for the 'Sherman Drab' - it has, IMHO, the right blend of green, grey and yellow to the colour that matches what a well used Sherman would look like. For the Pantehr yellow, the Middelstone is too green and the Green Ochre is too yellow (oddly!).

The paint consistency itself is a problem though. The paint seems to have a very gloopy feel to it, much like kids art paint. Adding water to thin it down only disperses the paint into smaller gloops. When doing this though, the colour still stays the same which is great. I found that the paint bottles need to be shaken far more that what any other brand of paint needs to really mix up the paint and flow agent. Awkwardly, the bullet shaped bottles are fully molded so unlike the Vallejo eye dropper style where you can remove the eye dropper and pop in an agitator to aid with the mixing, you cant remove the head of the CoW bottle to artificially mix the paint.

This all leads to a scenario where to cover the black undercoat you have to put on several thin coats of the colour. And by several, I'm talking about five plus a wash plus another coat or two to even it out!

Below are step by step shots of the 88s getting their main colour added. Forgive the photos!

First coat. With Vallejo or GW paint, normally I'd not need a second coat but obviously here this is nowhere good enough.

Second coat. Still not great.

Third coat. Yay. Looking better.

Fourth frikken coat. At this point I was ready to gouge my eyes out, but have a nearly solid colour.

Adding the 'Rommel Shade'
 The washes that are in the CoW range are ok. They flow quite well and take water as a thinning agent perfectly well too. The only thing that I question is whether any of the shades I used were different to each other! The colour for Rommel Shade and Bradley Shade seems almost the same.

Wash dried and to clean up and add more colour I did two layers of the Panther Yellow.

And lastly with an edge highlight of Dry Dust. The photo is ok, but due to the aforementioned eye gouging, I was having issues getting the camera to work.
So not the greatest experience with these paints. I'm pretty sure that if I need to keep using these paints for any commission work, I'd both invest in getting a nail polish bottle shaker and look at doing an initial coat of Vallejo colour to get over the black undercoat. The actual colours of the range are excellent, but as they are so thin and require so much care to get right, using them as the base coat creates a lot more work.

Because I paint a lot of miniatures from a range of companies, I've amassed quite the collection of paint from various suppliers. I prefer to use a mix of Vallejo and Citadel/GW paints as their ranges are good and the consistency of their paint is always of top quality. Would I elect to use CoW paints normally? Probably not.

Below are some shots of the other guns.