02 December 2012

Games Workshop "Base" paints review

The "Base" colors from Games Workshop are the new range that took over after the complete overhaul of the Games Workshop range of paints which included the excellent Foundation paint and the Citadel Washes.

The new range from GW includes glazes, drybrushing paints, texture paints and other stuff - but what interested me the most was the replacement for the Foundation paints. I had come to rely heavily on the foundation paints as their ability to cover black basecoat was superior to anything else I had in my paint collection. I often mixed the foundation paints with regular Vallejo paints to create shades and new colors as well.

Now, when I started painting the Dreadfleet stuff I soon realized I would need something to cover those large brightly colored areas such as the sails and didn't have anything for that job. I went and bought a couple of pots  thinking I had bought something worth the money.

But the Base colors are nowhere near the old Foundation paints formula in terms of ability to cover a surface in one or two thin layers. The Base colors are frankly speaking regular paint on par with what you would expect to get when you buy a bottle of paint from Vallejo or a pot from Formula P3. Seriously, what the hell...

To be more specific, the new Base colors are roughly half as good at covering a surface with one layer as the old Foundation paints were, so you can forget basecoating dark surfaces with these paints quickly and efficiently. I've still ended up using these crappy paints for my Dreadfleet project, but I'm not happy with their performance and would have been better of with something from Vallejo (which would also have been cheaper). The Base colors are not even good for drybrushing as they are too runny whereas the Foundation paints easily produced a very dry almost powdery drybrush result if you wanted to and were so thick very little paint was wasted.

A total dud, so my advice is to stay clear of these paints. Sadly the same probably goes for the new washes, though I have only had limited experience with them I can tell they don’t behave like the old Citadel Washes. I would instead advice going with the Warpaint “Inks”.

With the disappearance of Foundation paints and Citadel Washes there really is nothing left worth the money. Better washes and paints can be found from the competition at lower prices and increased amount of content per bottle/pot.


  1. I liked the Base paints for the most part. I agree the Foundations was a better range, but I have had little issues with the new colors.

  2. I really thought the Base colors were supposed to replace the Foundation paints.

  3. Damn, the foundation paints and washes were excellent! They didn't need changing at all. I still have 3 bottles of Devlan Mud that Ive watered down to varying shades as they have gotten low, do the new washes still have the really matt finish or do they gloss like the old old citadel inks?

    Really let down by this news, I used to make a special order from GW just for these paints, they were actually worth the high price value. Time to go vallejo all the way.

  4. The new washes behave completely different from the old OOP one's. They are not as thick and the viscosity is different. They tend to pool when applied...

    I made a review of the Warpaints "Inks" from Warlord Games a while back - their Strong Shade is a very good Devlan Mud substitute.


  5. I have only used the Ceremite White from the new base range and (for the first time ever I think!) I have to disagree with you. I find that it covers dark undercoats beautifully and usually in a single layer. Of course, my painting is nowhere as effective, awesome and complicated as yours so maybe thats why!

    On the other hand, the old washes were much superior. As were the Inks they replaced in turn, but for different uses.

  6. Paul don't sell your painting short! But what you say is very interesting to hear, I too bought the ceramite white because I wanted an "off white" color to use for basecoats but have had very little success with mine. It takes several layers to get a good smooth cover :-/

    I will experiment more next time I have a painting session (I undercoat all my stuff with Chaos black primer) and count how many layers I actually need to get a 100% cover on black undercoat.

  7. Painting white is a sod. But the best way Ive found if your doing a really large area on black is to heavily dry brush it with your white. Over and Over, it dosnt take as long as it sounds because you dont have to wait for paint to dry in-between layers, then give it one final thin coat of white as you normally would. I used to use this method on white space marines and its got some of the crispest looking white you can hope to get.

    On areas you cant drybrush a layer of mid tone grey first helps wonders. Not that you guys need tips, anatolis stuff is outstanding.

  8. I paint all my white stuff in one of two ways http://anatolisgameroom.blogspot.se/2010/09/painting-white-tutorial.html

    Either start with grey or brown basecoat depending on how "milky" or "pure" I want the white to be.

  9. Can't say I'm surprised I've never known games workshop improve a product they have a knack of cocking up a good thing whenever they can. Since they changed i've switched over to Vallejo and warpaints.

  10. I just wish I could easily get Foundry paints singly here... I bought their 'paint set' several years ago before I migrated from UK to NZ, and am just now running out of a couple of the more heavily used darker shades...
    What I cant stand about the GW paints is the new pots they come in with the crappy lids, they don't stay open enough to get your brush in, and if you crank the lid back the paint dribbles down the back of the pots... absolutely bloody useless!

  11. Looks like no more reasons left to get GW paints. Like others here I used Devlan and a Base paint or two. I found the base colours great for 15mm urban terrain.
    Shame really.


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