Friday, 1 April 2016

[Review] Warcolours acrylic paints

Last year I've decided to replenish me in acryilc paints.
I was used to paint with Vallejo colors (Prince August) but I bough my bottles 10 years ago and even if I must recognize that this range has an impressive durability (they were lying in my cellar during my long break from the hobby and most of them are still in good condition), the time was come to change them for brand new ones.
As I like trying new products, I was hesitating between Scale 75, Andrea and Reaper. Searching advices on some forum, I've found a topic on CMON from a guy from Cyprus who was talking about producing an home made acrylic range. He was looking for painters to test it.
I haven't partecipated myself to the beta but the feedbacks were goods considering they were coming from confirmed artists painters.
So when the producer annonced that his shop was online, I gave a look.

What we find about Warcolours paints on their site?

They are unique high quality paints. Great colors, coverage and durability. No-nonsense product. A real person behind customer service. And last but not least: affordable prices thanks to the "no middle man" policy.

Concerning the quality of the paints, I'm going to review it below on the article.
Concerning the last 2 points I can say right now that it's absolutly true:

Prices and customer service: vote 5/5

_ The customer service is excellent, there is "real guy" behind Warcolours and he's very reactive to answer you. Good point.
_ Affordable prices? Are you kinding? they're not affordable, they are absurdly cheap!!

Prices for 15ml of acryilic by brand (Prices from official webshop) :
_ Gamesworshop Citadel = 4,12€ (3,3€ for 12ml)
_ Vallejo Model color = 2,11€ (2,4€ for 17ml)
_ Scale75 Scale colors= 2,33€ (2,65€ for 17 ml)
_ Andrea Color = 2,20€ ( 2,5€ for 17ml)
_ Privateer press P3 = 2,66€ (3,2€ for 18ml)
_ Reaper = 2,33€ (2,8€ for 18ml)

Warcolours = 1,70€
Yep, 20% cheaper than the cheaper brand on market (Vallejo) and 60% lower than Citadel colors!
And the price is even lower if you buy paint set, 21,9€ for 14 bottles (1,56€ each) or even better with bottle of 250ml for 14,9€.... 0,90€ for 15ml. Believe it or not.
And no, there is not absurb delivery fees to compensate the prices, with 3,95€ you have a standard delivery in 5 days (at least in europe), I 've tested myself on 2 differents orders, from Cypra to Italy in four days.

Color range: 4/5

Ok, concerning the basic range of colors we are still far from the Vallejo's range but we're talking a new brand and home made products. When I've ordered for the first time, the range was limited but meanwhile Warcolours has added new products original for the market  like transparent colors, glazes, fluorescent, large range of metalic, powder.

My opinion is that the range still miss of original colors specifically out of the primary and secondary colors. No khaki or variety of white for example. It's even more true than the opacity varies from reference to an other. It means that some colors are available only in translucide or semi opaque version. My vote should be 3/5 for the basic color range, I put 4/5 for the original products available in the shop (like metalics and transparent paints).

Format: 5/5

The bottle of paint contains 15ml. It less than most of the other brands but as the price is not a problem, no big deal.
Dropper format, for my concern is a must. It's most confortable to use with a palette and it's the garanty that your bottle is perfectly hermetic. I don't know for you guys, but my Citadel colors have never reached more than 6 months before drying.
The producer has done the good choice to name its range with very clear description (White, black, red, brown, olive, green, blue, marine..) with numbers, 1 for the clearer to 5 for the darker. Very user friendly.
There is also a symbol to indicate the grade of opacity of the color. Useful considering the different range of opacities of the brand.

Some nice features to note:
_ Child proof cap. Even if this paint shouldn't be toxic, as father I'm quite happy that my 2 years old daughter cannot repaint my home with my colors.
_ Ball agitator included. I don't know if Warcolours still integrate it in their bottle but all my paint ordered last year have it.
Only critic: the PET plastic used for the bottle is a little bit too hard making sometimes difficult to drop the paint on the palette.

Paints quality: 4/5
Let's review the Warcolours features indicated on the webshop:

- colours do not separateI confirm, no separation of the colours excepting for the metalic range but it's a normal feature of the metalic pigment you find with any brand. 10 seconds of shaking with the agitator ball integrated and it's done.

- perfect consistencyFor my concern, it's THE feature of the brand. The paint is perfectly thin even without shaking the bottle. In fact, for a base layer, I use the paint directly from the bottle without dilution. Same feature for the metallic range which is great because usually the metallic paints are thicker and often the dilution process creates separation of the pigments and lost of reflection.

- smooth paint, no lumpingSame point than above, it's like painting with cream.

- brush and airbrush compatibleOf course it's compatible with brush. I cannot review the airbrush feature because I don't use it but the consistency of the paint seems perfect for this use.

- child-proof capCheck.

- dropper bottles minimise contamination and drying out riskCheck. I've notice also than the thin consistency avoid to plug the dropper as often as with other brand.

- intermixable with other brandsI confirmed also this feature. I've tested with Vallejo, Citadel and some artistic acrylic in tube without trouble.

Ok, everything seems perfect but I need to be honest and highlight some features of the brand. I prefer to say "feature" instead of "defect" because actually it's quite a matter of personal preference.
I could resume the point like this:

You can make a thick paint thinner.
You cannot make a thin paint thicker.

The consistency of Warcolours paint is a great feature but it's a also a limit. Let says than it doesn't give you much freedom. Don't misunderstand me, if you're a hobby painter used to paint with thin layer this paint will make you easier 90% of your job. Unfortunatly, if you like to think about of the box and experiment new techniques playing with thick consistency, you cannot do it with this brand.
It's clearly a paint though for a specific type of painter.
I give you a simple example: Drybrush. It's possible with warcolours but it's most complicated than an other brand because your brush tends to be wet due to the creamy consistency of the paint.

An other limit of the brand is the opacity. Not that the coverage isn't good but the paint is clearly made to paint with several thin layer. So if you're a wargamer who want to quickly paint your army and used to paint with one good single layer, Warcolours is probably not the most proper brand for you.
Edit (19/05/16): Note that Warcolours will launch in July 2016 a new line "one coat" with high opacity specially made for this purpose.

So that why I vote 4/5, because today the feature of the range is a quality but also a limit. I don't think you can cover all the techniques and need just with this brand.

For my concern, Warcolours has the best ratio quality/price on the market. The price is so good that it should be a pity not to try it.
Ok it's  a paint of niche clearly produced for the joy of the miniature painter most than for the gamers. Maybe for now the brand is still too young to propose a complete range able to cover all your need but in complement of some other brands, it's a great deal particularly considering their original products.
I'm quite confident than our Cyprus producers will continue to enlarge their range and improve their offers.  Personnaly I'm very happy to see some news on the market and I'll continue to keep a look on their offers.

Warcolours webshop

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