Switching Paints? GW Citadel or Reaper MSP HD?

I have been mulling over the idea of switching up my paints from Citadel to Reaper Master Series Paints HD over the past week. I blame Ioannis and Gareson for starting this itch. Is it a case of the grass being greener... or does a change really need to be made?

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I currently use Games Workshops Citadel Paints for my limited palette brushwork. I have white, black and 14 other paints and inks to work with and I like what I have been able to do with them. However, there are problems!

  • The containers are horrible. The paint gathers at the rim, leaks around the hinges and gets on my fingers and crusts on the edges. I transfer paint directly from the pot to my palette with minimum fuss so this shouldn't become a big mess, but it does.
  • The reds and yellows could have better coverage.
  • Over time the colors thicken, probably due to the lids not sealing due to the above container design.
  • There is some estimation when I do my mixing... it isn't "add two drops of this and 3 drops of that" because I have to draw out the color from the pot with a brush.
  • They are expensive compared to other's lines.
I have heard wonderful things about Reaper Miniatures' MSP HD line of paints. The coverage is supposed to be great due to the rich pigmentation. Because they are in dropper containers I would assume that they are thinner than the somewhat goopy GW paint and that they wouldn't dry out as quickly. I have also read that each dropper has a little bead agitator in it which is great! The dropper would also allow me to better refine my color mixes. Finally, I can get a bottle of paint for under $3 which is almost half as much as GW. Because I don't use that many paints it wouldn't take that much money for me to make the switch. I wouldn't do it right in the middle of a unit, but maybe when I am done?

So, I am looking for some feedback. Have any of you tried out these paints? Please let me know in in the comments below. Thanks!

Comments

  1. I have used the Reaper HD paints quite extensively over the past year or so. Both the reds and yellows have excellent coverage. They are definitely a thinner coming out of the bottle than GW but not as thin as the Master Series, although they work quite well when combined with the Master Series. So I end up use both types but the HDs have become my go to colors when I start working on a miniature.

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    1. Kris - Thanks for your thoughts on these paints. You have definitely pushed me toward purchasing them! I am leaning toward the HDs exclusively if I can. - Jeff

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  2. Oh, this is timely!

    I've been a Vallejo painter for years but I've really loved the skin tones in the Foundry skin triad I bought. That had me thinking about the very expensive Foundry triad paints (in paint pots which I dislike for the same reasons as you've mentioned above). Someone steered me to Reaper and I grabbed Reaper triads in yellow blue, green and tans. My first pass, I found the Master Series to be excellent. I think I'm going to expand awith Reaper, and having them organized on triads is a big saving over mixing my own.

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    1. Monty - I also have Vallejo paints... and Foundry and GW and Tamiya (for spray) and a few Americana bottles as well. It seems like I am starting to open my own hobby shop!

      I'm glad to hear that you have had good luck with the Reapers. As I have researched these paints I don't know that I have found anyone saying anything bad about them. I appreciate your sharing your experience with the Reaper paints - Jeff

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  3. You already know my thoughts on this. One thing you can do, if you feel silly shelling out a lot of money for once for a bunch of new paint, is to just order 3-4 bottles to replace your least favorite GW paints every time you order miniatures online(assuming you do this somewhat regularly). Before you know it, you'll have a shelf full of superior Reaper or Vallejo stuff. Also, recently I am loving Vallejo Model Air paints for painting with a brush. I know you are an airbrush guy...and I must tell you that right out of the dropper most of the Vallejo Model Air paints are perfectly thinned for brush work!(and you can use them on your PSC stuff through your airbrush of course).

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    1. Gareson - Yes... you are partially responsible for this potential purchase. Ha ha! If I do it, I'll jump in and get the Reaper 12 bottles or so. I'll keep the GW metals and an ink or two. I'll just have to sort out which colors to get to get properly mixing.

      That interesting about using Vallejo Model Air paints for brushing. I haven't heard of doing that before.

      I'm pretty over the moon with my Tamiya for spraying right now. It would be tough to turn me to another brand. - Jeff

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  4. Oh, and I meant to to mention, Monty(who posted above me) is a better painter than I...so if you don't believe me take his word for it :-) I love seeing the stuff that both you and he post on your respective blogs(especially since right now my main focuses are both SAGA and World War II!). Cheers.

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    1. I'll have to check out his blog to look at his painting. Thanks for the tip!

      It's interesting. I don't know what rock I have been living under, but I had not heard of SAGA until a few days ago. Now it is everywhere! Well... it seems to be everywhere. Well... maybe I have just starting noticing it now. Ha ha! I've read some good things about the system. - Jeff

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  5. Another vote from me for Reaper paints. I have been using one of their flesh triads and have been very pleased with the results. Most of my other paints are Vallejo but I also like some of the P3 stuff & Coat D'Arms (be even better if they were in dropper bottles).

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    1. Jacksarge - I have heard good things about the P3 line as well. The only hesitation I have about them is their longevity in the market. I believe that Privateer Press is a smaller company when compared to GW and Reaper. I have some concerns about them being around a few years from now. I think that Reaper has been around for longer, and they seem to be doing well right now (did you see their "Bones" Kickstarter... my goodness!).

      I hate purchasing something and then having said item discontinued or updated... which is another reason that GW bothers me! - Jeff

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  6. I too would like to cast a vote for the Reaper paints. I buy their triads, especially their skin tone mixes and their hair color mixes, and generally have good results.

    Sometimes the highlight is a bit too bright, the bottles are not always labeled as to which is the shadow, main color and highlight, and sometimes the dropper lids get stopped up, but those are the only problems I have discovered.

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    1. Rob = Thanks for the input. I'll keep a T pin nearby to clear the clogs! I think that I am going to make the switch as soon as I finish up on my Swiss regiment. It will be a good reward.

      Now I just have to sort out which starting colors I am going to get... hmmm. - Jeff

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