Contrast painting 6mm Black Brunswickers – a test

I’m anti- contrast paint. Why?

  • it’s Games Workshop. Games Workshop is the devil.
  • it’s expensive. Because it’s Games Workshop
  • it’s a fastpaint method promoted by Games Workshop. GW fastpainting can’t be good. Ever.

However I’m lured by the devil. Post-prejudice, Contrast Paint is excellent if you know when and how to use it and if you like the lighter ‘pastel’ effect. It’s a matter of taste. Check this Tale of Painters’ blog.

Yes, the stuff was hyped and overrated as ‘beginner’s paint’ and I hate to be labeled as a beginner. But use it as a coloured wash / expert ink method, in addition to your standard painting techniques and the results are fine. For 28mm, I succesfully used red contrast paint over a yellow or orange undercoat, and dark blue contrast paint over a sky blue primer.

Yellow undercoat, red contrast paint

Contrast Painting is good for large blocks with carves and lines, not really for small dots or details. A ‘second primer’; brighter than a dark wash.

6mm Contrast Painting

For 6mm Napoleonics, my standard painting technique is a light grey undercoat, followed by a Nuln Oil wash and then the usual bright whites, blues, reds and metals. A black primer is too dark IMHO, a white primer too light, and in my experience a wash after the colouring dulled the colours so much that I had to re-highlight the 6mm figures.

I had never used Contrast Paints so far for 6mm. In general I doubt that CP would work for this scale, because 6mm-painting consists of a lot of quick small ‘dotting’ in separated colours, while the diluted CP’s flow and mix.

Brunswickers are different. Single black colour. Standard black wash leaves to much grey undercoat with a brownish tinge, so I used Contrast ‘Black Templar’ instead of Nuln Oil. Check the colour difference below.

Identical grey undercoat. Left was painted with Contrast Paint, right with Nuln Oil wash

Backpacks etc were perfect after one coat.

BTW primer colour matters. Below a 10mm SF project, Black Templar contrast paint on a white undercoat.

Dropzone Commander commando troops after 1 coat. ‘Wraith Bone’ off white primer, Black Templar contrast paint, very grey effect. Needed a second CP coat to get the right coal black night commando look.

Final result

That one coat on grey primer did the trick. I added the few colours, and the job was done. I only ‘highlighted’ the shako tops (with dark grey).

figures: all Baccus 6mm

Verdict: Black Contrast Paint was an excellent product for this project. Maybe other (mainly) single-coloured armies (white Austrians?) might do equally well with this approach.

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