26 August 2012

Army Painter "Warpaints Inks" review & comparison

Like many others I came to rely upon the now out of production GW Citadel Washes for my painting. Washes like Devlan Mud, Badab Black and Ogryn Flesh were paints that I used for pretty much every model I painted to some extent.

Horrified that the Citadel Washes were scrapped in favor of a new line of products (that are not the same in terms of thickness and viscosity), I was fortunate enough to buy 6 pots of Devlan Mud from various stores here in southern Sweden. And while those pots will mast me at least a year I also started to look around for replacements of my other Citadel Washes that are running low.

The new GW washes are not really the same in tone or viscosity as I already mentioned, they are good for a bunch of stuff but I wanted the shade and performance of the old one's. After much searching I started to find numerous reports on the new "Warpaints" from Army Painter over at Warlord Games. Everyone seem to be making their own line of paints these days. I bought a small batch for testing: Dark Tone, Strong Tone and Soft Tone.

These were said to be almost identical to some of the old GW Citadel Washes. Here are my test results demonstrated on 3 miniatures undercoated in a bone white color and brushed with 2 thing layers of each manufacturer's wash.
Dark Tone vs Badab Black = 100% Match

Strong Tone vs Devlan Mud = 100 Match

Soft Tone vs Ogryn Flesh = Poor match, the warm red finish of the Ogryn Flesh does not match the yellow finish of the Soft Tone.

Soft Tone vs Gryphonne Sepia = 85% match, very close but not as flawless as the first two Tones/Washes. Still I guess if you need something to mimic Gryphonne Sepia the Soft Tone is adequate.

The Viscosity between both products is fairly similar, the Warpaints Inks though a bit more fluid are a lot closer in quality, tone and viscosity to the old GW Citadel Washes than the the new GW washes are to the old GW Citadel Washes. And the Warpaints Inks have the same matt finish once they are 100% dry.

And you get more product, in each bottle than you get from GW. 16ml vs 12ml, with a screw cap and a drop bottle which increase the lifespan of your paints considerably. So I really recommend these.


  1. Thanks for that review. Based on your info, I just ordered some Army Painter because my Devlin Mud is just about out.

  2. I just ordered four pots of Devlan Mud from ebay... I'll have to pick up a bottle of this stuff! Thanks for the review!

  3. I wonder if they are actually inks, obviously they are selling them as inks thanks to the labeling. The issue with using an ink as opposed to a wash made from paint is that inks have the potential to re-activate when additional layers of color are painted on. I'll have to pick up a bottle and experiment.

  4. Thanks for posting your comparison findings. I had considered Vallejo, but will instead buy Army Painter brand.

  5. like you I stocked up on the old washes before the new (cheaper to produce no doubt) crapper washes were released. Will have to try the army paint washes to see if there the right replacement product for me. Cheers.

  6. Glad you guys found this post informative. And hopefully this will be the solution for those in desperate need of "Devlan Mud" and the like.

    @Kris, I have painted over these "inks" and didn't see them re-activate from the moisture of additional layers once they had dried. They are called inks, but they in fact pretty much what GW labeled "Washes" in their old now OOP range of products (as opposed to the real inks GW had prior to that).

  7. I make my washes. using 1pt Future Floor polish, 4 parts water, and about 5 part future mix to 4-5 part Vallejo paints. I've been told inks work well too.

    Making the wash lets you make custom colors, which is nice. I've used light washes on dark colors, as well as darks on light.

    this is a jumbled, and sort of difficult to read link, but gives sources for the floor polish around the world, and talks about using it on plane canopies.
    I've dipped some 40K canopies in it, and it works super nice.

  8. Great post. Thank you. My Devlan mud is just about done so this was very useful.

  9. Great stuff! I recently bought a bottle of each to experiment with. You just saved me the experimenting and I can get straight to the painting!

  10. I have been sharing this link with folks who are looking to replace Devlan. Latest was on TMP.
    Anatoli, will you possibly do a similar test using Vallejo?

    1. Thomas, I have tried out a couple of Vallejo’s washes but found them to be of extremely poor quality and nothing like the old Citadel Washes - unfortunately. They are more akin to thinned down regular paint. I was really disappointed by them when I bought a few bottles a couple months ago (didn't make any review as I threw them away).

  11. Thanks for sharing. I have to get me some army painter stuff now...

  12. Thanks pal, really useful info!


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