Using the new GW paints on my Novamarine

This is more of a review of the new GW paints than it is about the Novamarine terminator there. He was the guinea pig for my painting experiment. That being said, here's the new test model compared to the first test one. The new one has been painted with all the new GW paints and the old one was painted with the previous paint line.

They aren't too far apart really. Now I did make some changes to the new one. Mainly the armour went from white to bone and the base went to the dark red/black look instead of the natural stone look.

How I made the transition
For as silly as is sounds, I simply went out and using GW's conversion chart, bought all the replacement colors I would need from my FLGS (Game Vault). Most of them that is. I did make some minor changes I'll talk about in a minute. I ended up buying around 13 paints for this army. The other colors are from other ranges that I will continue to use as I don't think they are getting changed anytime soon.

I have not tried any of the new metallics, drybrushing or textured paints and I have no intention of doing so. I've gone to P3 for my metals after reading from a few folks that the new GW metals aren't as smooth as the previous line and drybrushing is something I can do with any color. As far as textured paint, if I want texture, I'll add it to the color I want instead of trying to make one of those colors work.

The new layers and bases
To be honest, I can't tell the difference without looking at the pot of paint. Not that it really matters to me, I buy colors based on the color and not the range (base, layer, etc.) they come from. The new colors seem to be a bit less opaque and slightly more transparent overall. I'm okay with that too. While it means I have to do two thin coats most of the time instead of one, my blending will be made slightly easier overall.

I will be moving towards using a light grey primer for almost all of my work now. With the new transparency in most of the paints, I find that the light grey helps with getting a smooth finish easier than white or black does. Again, no big deal.
The second part of that is I'm going to work on not being so messy when I paint. I'm going to try and control my brush work a little more so I have less clean-up to do as I go along. If I can keep my paint on the elements I'm working on at the time and avoid those stray marks, I can keep my basecoats nice and smooth.

The new washes shades
I like the new shades. They seem to flow onto the model a bit smoother than the previous ones did. Maybe I just think they do and it's really just the same. I have noticed the colors are a bit brighter though. The new "Devlan Mud" or Agrax Earthshade as it's known is now a bit purer in color. It's not as muddy or muted of a brown as its predecessor was.

The new black (Nuln Oil) is much darker too. It seems to be the equivalent of two passes with the old Badab Black. Again, neither of these issues are earth shattering, just some fine tuning to get used to with the new line. I am making a point though to include some washes from other lines. Like the Soft Body Black I use from Secret Weapon minis. With the new shades filling in for the old GW washes, I still like having other lines with their unique characteristics for specific purposes.

I suspect as I continue to paint and try new things, I'll pick up other washes from other lines as well. What used to be a reliance on just GW washes has opened up to other companies where I think they do it better.

I've dropped the new GW metals
I know, I haven't even given them a try before moving on. If someone out there wants to send me some of the new metals, I'll gladly try them out. Otherwise, I'm not wasting my money after hearing from more than one person they aren't as good. I have yet to hear anyone have a bad thing to say about the P3 paints so I jumped ship just like that.

After painting my new model using the P3 metal (Cold Steel), I have to say I had no issues with it at all. I already use P3 Blighted Gold, so this is just an expansion in that department. I may even try and branch out to other kinds of metals to see what additional effects I can achieve instead of relying on the old standby of "paint it metal and wash it black."

So what's the verdict
All in all, I like the new range. The increase in transparency is not a big hurdle to overcome. I can see how some colors not mathcing up is going to cause some real problems for folks. I really liked the old Charadon Granite and it's new version is a bit lighter. It doesn't give me the same effect I used to use the old color for. I'll need to hunt around for something to replace it.

But that's one color so far. Maybe I'll find another one or two like that. If that's as bad as it is, I'm not going to sweat it. The new color for Mechrite Red (Mephiston Red) didn't give me any issues when it came to painting my Sergeant's helmet. I was worried about that when I was comparing the new and the old colors when I bought them.

I think the folks who are going to have the most trouble are those who have used one color on a model and did not add any washes or highlights over that. It's simply one color on the model. Finding an exact match may prove problematic for those folks in some cases. If you're one of those painters who uses a base color, a wash or two and then a highlight or two... you shouldn't have any real issues making the new colors work for you.

I think the biggest thing will be learning the subtleties of the new paints. Opacity and transparency, a slightly brighter or duller shade of a color... and so on. The new paints are here to stay. I've heard of lots of folks who have attempted to buy up the colors they need form the old range while they still could, but you're not doing yourself any favors. You're only prolonging the inevitable. When it comes to the new paints, do yourself a favor, buy a couple of them (enough to try and reproduce your current color scheme) and practice. I bet you're surprised at how easy it is to do if you keep an open mind and you look for solutions instead of problems.

And finally, a few more beauty shots of the new terminator.

One last note, the model has been weathered with powders and such so you're looking at the new paints with the effects of the weathering over them.

Here's the tutorial on how to paint this quartered scheme.

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
Converting the new GW paint range
The official GW paint conversion chart PDF
Multiple paint range PDF chart
How to get exact paint matches
Secret Weapon Miniatures
P3 Privateer Press Paints

Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!