The previous Devlan Mud and Badab Black washes were staples in almost every single painter's tray. Their uses were endless and I'd venture to say that those two washes have helpd more painters improve their work more than any other two colors out there.
So what do you do now that they are gone?
With GW releasing their new paint line recently, they've replaced the old colors with new "shades" and in doing so, the colors are not the exact same. For most of us, it's no big deal, but for those painters who rely on accurate color matching, the change can be problematic to say the least.
The question then becomes, if the new colors aren't the same, what can you do to match the previous colors. And buying as much of the old stuff as you can doesn't count as one day those supplies will be gone. Joel from over at Mordian7th sent me two bottles of Army Painter Ink (Strong Tone and Dark Tone) and told me these would do it. He told me my search for a match to the old washes was done.
Putting the two inks to the test
Since Joel sounded pretty confident and sent me the inks for free, I knew I had to test them out and come up with a honest observation. He's already given them a quick review on his blog, but I wanted to see for myself.
It took me a minute to find something I could use and settled on a skull base from Secret Weapon minis. I figured it was big enough and had plenty of texture I could use to compare the washes with. A quick coat of white for the most contrast and it was off to the races.
I divided the base into four sections and applied each one to a section. Both of the old GW washes and then the Army Painter Inks next to their counterparts.
So what's the verdict?
I'm sold. These are almost exact matches (so close you can't tell) for the previous GW washes. At first I thought the Devlan Mud replacement (Army Painter Strong Tone Ink) was going to be a bit off, but once it dried, it was absolutely spot on. I'd even go so far as to say the Army Painter inks have better flow characteristics than the old washes had. They went over the base nice and smooth without any trouble at all. They had a nice flow into the recessed areas and no pooling in any unwanted areas leaving tide marks. Of course part of that is application, but I was impressed by how smooth they went on.
So if you're still missing the old GW Devlan Mud or Badab Black and you wish you still had some, do yourself a favor an pick up these inks. You will not be disappointed in how well they work.
Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
How I go about getting exact color matches between brands
Converting the old GW paint range to the new one... and other paint lines