New GW Paints: Some first impressions

Nuln Oil (Shade), Ceramite White (Base), and Astrogranite (Texture)

So I bought three of the new GW paints earlier this week to give them a go – I know there’s been tons of reviews on the ‘net already, but here are my personal impressions anyway:

Unwashed (like most guardsmen...)

First up, the new shades, replacing the washes. Above is my Cadian Guardsman scheme, which I used to finish off with a overall black wash to tone down everything and provide instant shading. So, here’s what the old Badab Black wash looks like:

Old Badab Black Wash

And the new replacement, Nuln Oil:

New Nuln Oil Shade

Side by side, there’s not much difference between the two – old Badab Back on the left and new Nuln Oil on the right:

Not much in it

I think the new shade doesn’t quite “pool” as much as the old wash did, which means that the recesses aren’t quite as dark and the raised bits aren’t quite as light as with the Badab Black Wash. This is a bit more evident on the brown pouches:

Back to back?

Realistically however, I can’t see much difference so – apart from colour changes and a wider range – the new shades are essentially the same as the old washes. Which is a good thing, considering that the old washes were one of the best things GW have come out with in recent years.

Onto the bases – I bought Ceramite White to test, because white’s probably the hardest colour to paint over black and since I undercoat everything in black…

Quite good!

I did a quick basecoat of these Dystopian Wars tiny fliers over a black undercoat using the Ceramite White, and it does cover quite well – I’ve only done one light-ish coat on these (excuse the black bits in the recesses – the white “basecoat” is more a replacement for a heavy white drybrush as per the way I paint my Antarcticans). You’ll still need two coats to get a nice even job of white over black, but that’s still much better than the old Skull White! The new bases seem to be equal to the old foundation paints (again, aside from exact colour matches), which is again a good thing since the foundations were great.

Some people are complaining the new bases don’t cover quite as well as the old foundations, but I found the foundations really needed two coats before to get a smooth finish so I don’t think much has changed – but then again I haven’t tried the other base colours yet which might have different issues.

Finally, the texture:


I gave this one a go on the 60mm bases which I use for my Valhallan heavy weapons teams – I’ve already got my heavy weapons guys based on 25mm or 40mm bases (since under the old rules they were separate models), and I just plonk two guys on a single 60mm base for gameplay (since I didn’t want to rebase everything). So, I decided to give the Astrogranite texture paint a go – it’s close in colour to the old Codex Grey (my old basing colour), and the texture in theory keeps the bases from being deadly flat without being so rough I can’t put the guys on top of it.

I gave these bases a single coat, and as you can see from the above, it kind of works, but I used up about a quarter to a third of a pot on these three bases alone, and that’s spreading it out quite a bit. The texture of the bases (these are wooden lasercut ones) comes through a bit with only one coat as well. I like the texture, but you have to use way too much of the paint for it to be really cost-effective. It’s easy and quick sure, but I’ll stick to PVA and sand on my regular bases thanks.

However, the place where I can see the texture paints shining is in weathering – get one of the browns and slap a tiny bit on a model for dirt or mud, this grey works for dust and grit, the white one might work for snow if you’re careful, and the greens… maybe if you’re in a jungle. And the plants got all mushed up. Or something, I guess. Still – these aren’t a bad thing, just they’re pretty expensive for basing, which is what they’re being marketed for.


The shades and bases are (still?) great. The texture is good, but situational, and expensive. I haven’t tried any of the layers yet, or the dry(brush) paints, but reportedly the layers have issues with the shades not being very different and them not covering as well as the old paints. The drys are apparently quite good but come in a limited range of colours.

2 thoughts on “New GW Paints: Some first impressions

  1. Pingback: New GW Paints (again): Textures and Drybrush | Luke's Short Gaming Blog

  2. Pingback: In Progress: Painting Infinity with new GW paints | Luke's Short Gaming Blog

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