Thursday, 4 July 2019

A rambling and non-exhaustive experiment with Contrast

I'm going to be setting some time aside to try and actually get some blogging done. I find running this blog really rewarding to do, but the problem is that it becomes too much of a chore when I start falling behind. In theory if I can catch up on things, it should keep the flow of motivation going. That's the idea anyway.

I've actually been up to a fair amount of hobby recently, but to be honest the main project on my painting table atm isn't even my own models. I managed to bring a friend into 40k in the latter half of last year through the Conquest magazine subscription, but he really doesn't have much time to paint anything due to family commitments. So I offered to step in and get some stuff done for him.

 I will admit to a couple of ulterior motives here. Firstly, it's an excellent excuse to have an experiment with the Contrast paint range. It's also a cheeky way to bump up my painting points!

Regardless of my other reasons though, helping a mate get his army painted was my main reason for doing this. Being able to play with two fully painted armies on our gaming nights is really nice thought. Plus it lets me paint something completely different to what I normally work on. I've been feeling the early signs of burnout on my painting recently, so hopefully a chance of pace and style will help me with that.

Anyway, onto the models.

I started with the basics. Poxwalkers are being used in GW stores to demonstrate the new paint range, so I figured was a solid place to start:

These were already half done before Contrast was even announced, using the traditional 'base, wash, highlight' method. It was such a laborious process though that it was taking forever, even for such a basic paint job. With Contrast, all it took was quick blitz with Militarum Green, Gulliman Flesh and Magos purple and I was able to finish them up in a matter of hours. I followed those with a few quick drybrushes, picked out a few details like the boils and guts, then just added a bit of Blood for the Blood God and I think they look pretty good. They're certainly not going to be winning any painting awards, but they're a decent tabletop standard.

Tbh this kind of thing is what I see as the main use I'll be getting out of the new range. I'll probably end up using them to skip the boring and tedious stages in a paint job, but then going over them and finishing them off with more traditional methods. It'll be used to speed up what I was doing already, instead of replacing it.

Next I decided to see what it could do on Marine armour, so I decided to apply Militarum Green over the Waywatcher Green base colour I'd been building up on one of his Plague Marines:

I think you'll agree that it looks pretty effective! Considering the Waywatcher 'preshade' I'd applied, it wasn't really any quicker than my previous method, but it gets a far more consistent result than I was getting with the Colea Greenshade layer I was going to add next.

Here's the whole squad:

The armour, skin and mutations were all picked out in various contrast paints, whilst the gold was done using more traditional methods. They're obviously still a work in progress, but the ability to add awkward colours easily means that I'm actually feeling motivated to push forward with them, rather than seeing those stages as something to be dreaded.

Next I decided to give it a try over existing washes. This was what I was most excited to attempt, as I do a lot of painting with washes over a simple white base coat, so I was interested to see how I could improve on that method:

The shell on Slimex's snail was just Magos Purple over a couple of layers of Druchii Violet, As you can see it's made a really solid and vibrant result. It seems to have just enhanced the colour rather than overpowering it. I might still go over it with a bit of a drybrush, but I'd be happy just to leave it at that stage tbh. I'm probably going to paint the rest of the model using non-Contrast techniques tbh.

So all in all, I'd say Contrast is definitely a useful tool in my painting kit. I don't think I'd ever paint a model just using Contrast as many people are doing, but it's certainly going to improve what I'm already doing.

One thing I definitely want to try next is using it over metallic basecoats to see how that goes. I've seen a lot of people produce some excellent results doing that, so I've got high hopes. That will have to wait though. I've got way too many projects on the go atm to veer off into that particular rabbit hole right now.

That's all for today. It wasn't the most comprehensive of posts, more just some random musings and experimentation. Hopefully I'll find the time to post again soon. Like I said earlier, I want to try and get a regular posting schedule up and running. Fingers crossed that I succeed!


  1. Those look awesome! Glad the contrast paints are working out for you.

    1. Thanks :) They're certainly fun to experiment with.

      It's quite liberating to not have worry about messing around with particularly awkward or annoying colours when I'm painting.