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Ancient Greeks in Speedypaints

For many people the relatively new 'contrast/speedypaints' are something strange and possibly wrong in some way. For those of us who made the jump from Humbrol enamels to acrylics there seems to be something weird going on with a paint which promises good enough tabletop results but at speed! I am both of the Humbrol apocalypse generation and a pro painter who mainly uses an airbrush but decided that this was a technology I needed a look at.

I started in about 6 months ago investing in both speedpaint 2.0 and Vallejo xpress and straight up I really enjoy using these paints. There is something really pleasing about the way they flow and learning to paint over white rather than black has been an interesting experience. I have evolved my own methods and while I am not yet confident to swap over these methods to my commercial work I am more than happy to use them for my own minis.

The first problem to be overcome for me was the fact that the colours in the bottles do not look like the colour on the minis when applied. I assume the formulation is the culprit creating a sort of darkish colour that gives little away. Added to this was the fact that the names are ridiculous, what on earth is forest sprite or highland blue meant to convey? At first I used a home made colour chart and painted a little bit on the base of the bottle over white but frankly this was hopeless. Then recently I found the stl on cults for these caps by illusionfx3dprints and it was game changing as i could now see at a glance what the actual colour would look like.

For this quick demo I used some of the 28mm Hoplites for my Ancient Greek Legiones Antiquitatas army. These are Stls by 3dBreed and are on the chunky side but all the better for this demonstration. They were primed black then oversprayed white in the Slapchop method and drybrushed with white by Liquitex. This is probably the lengthiest part of the process when you do quite a few at a time as I tend to do.

First colours on were the new Speedpaint metallics, a gold and a coppery bronze which I mixed together happily for the one coat result below. I then popped on the Vallejo Xpress dwarf skin though tbh could be any darkish flesh. I very much like the new metals and have ordered more.

Next up was the linen cuirass and pteruges/skirts for which I used Vallejo Bony Bags or bag of bones or some such daft name. I thinned it slightly with medium and It makes a nice base as below

Continuing to block in the colours I used 3 nice vibrant colours for cloaks for a bit of oomph. For commercial work I always use the airbrush for cloaks but this was quicker and while not as good was faster and for my personal use good enough.

Wood and leather were the next colours. I have used citadel something dunes for wood up until now but it has started to get a bit claggy as you can see here probably due to the stupid pots so this will be the last time and that is going in the bin. The leather was a speedpaint called 'noble skin' which is a cool dark brown bearing no resemblance to nobility whatsoever. Genuinely cannot believe somebody got paid for thinking up these useless names.

Up to this point everything is speedypaint and very nice too but even I require a bit more quality. This is mainly due to the ruleset I play which needs only 9 hoplites for a unit of 3 bases rather than the endless hordes some rulesets require. If I had to paint more than a dozen I would stop here after the speedypaint stage.

Now I move back to normal vallejo modelcolors for tarting up. Firstly flesh was cleaned up as you can see on the faces of the guys below compared to those above. I use slightly thinned flesh colours so as to blend in better with the existing paintwork elsewhere than the face.

The leatherwork was edge highlighted and had a few lighter patches added whilst the shoulder bits of the cuirass were painted and the pteruges edge highlighted in ivory. There was minimal highlighting on the metalwork other than the sword which had some shading and edging.

I haven't yet painted anything on the flag as this will take too much time. I will probably pop a decal on there. Is this good enough for me? Yes it is. If I had infinite time I would do more on the cloaks but as a value judgement between making them 5% better and getting something else painted in the limited time I have to paint my own stuff whilst commission painting that just isnt going to happen!

Bases were usual pva/sharp sand painted with wilkos cheapo paint.

Hopefully this might encourage some people to start using speedypaints. I don't use contrast paints though i believe they are just as good if a tad more expensive - i just dont like the pots. Both Speedpaints 2.0 and Vallejo Xpress are really nice and with the new metallics speedpaints are a good choice with a massive range.


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