As I mentioned in my last post, I've recently been trying out the Scale75 paint range and boy are they good! In fact I've been so taken with them I have purchased almost the entire range.
Since I've been asked a few times recently what it is about the range that I like so much, I figured I'd put together a bit of a quick overview of my experiences. I intend to expand this out with a proper review of the three main ranges - colour, metallics and inks - with more pics of the colours, their uses and colour swatches, but for now this post will hopefully provide a quick view on a few of the main observations I've had so far.
First things first, the Scale75 range is an acrylic miniature paint range developed by the Spanish company famed for large scale miniatures and their recent Frontiers of War range.
The colour range has a good volume of colours in a nice mix of both vibrant and subtle tones. There are 63 paints in the main colour range and these can be purchased either in sets of 8 paints in groupings such as reds, blues, browns and leathers etc, or in one handy mega set. I purchased mine in the smaller sets as the mega set wasn't available at the time, but if you want the whole range at best price, I'd recommend the mega set (available in the UK from Model Display Products).
The first thing worth noting about the Scale75 range is they dry very matt - almost chalky. This might sound like a bad thing, but its really not - in fact, its one of the things I really like about the range. By drying so matt, it creates a much wider range of possible finishes, helping build depth and contrast between matt and satin. I've included a couple of examples of a WIP GW Ogryn below so you can see what I mean:
The flesh tones in particular are very nice and a perfect example of where the matt finish can work really well. Again, very WIP pictures below, at this point I've spent about 45 minutes total on the face, so plenty still to do but you can see how well they blend and how the matt finish gives quite a realistic look to the skin even at this stage for the scale.
One final thing I'd like to note on the colour range are the tones available. There are some amazing vibrant tones, particularly in the blue, red and green ranges, that really pop - perfect for dress uniforms, heraldry and the like. For some examples, check the blues in the picture of a selection of the colour range I included at the top of the post.
The inks from the Scale75 Inktensity range are the perfect compliment to the colour range. While the colours dry very matt, by contrast the inks dry very satin and shiny. Not quite as much as the old GW inks (the ones before the wash range), but more shiny than the more recent GW washes.
As with the colour range, the inks come in a good range of tones, from yellow to black. The only notable absence in my opinion is a true green ink - though this could be mixed using the yellow and blue tones easily enough. I'm already a big fan of the two brown tones and the violet - all very nice and extremely useful.
I mentioned before that the inks are the perfect compliment to the colour range - not only because they can help generate further vibrant tones (the yellow in particular is good for this), but because they can also help create a more satin finish without altering the tone too much.
I haven't really had a chance to use this set to its fullest yet, so expect more in a future, fuller review post.
The real clincher for my decision to buy the Scale75 range was my experience with the metallics sets for silvers and golds. These are without doubt the best acrylic metallic paints I have used to date. My current acrylic paint collection includes GW (from early 90's onwards), P3, Coat D'Arms and Vallejo and the Scale75 metallics top all of these.
Why are they so good you ask? Well, as with the rest of the range, the pigment in the paint is super fine, meaning that the finish from these colours is super smooth and with a good coverage.
The metallics range also includes some nice, more unusual metallic tones, including blues, greens and pinks. I'm already a big fan of the black metal and bright silver colours (with some cool names such as "speed metal" and "thrash metal" - very 80's!). In particular, I really like the very bright white metal and white gold colours - great for super bright highlights where previously you would have required Vallejo Metallic Medium for a similar effect.
I used the metallics on my Abaddon figure and found them absolutely brilliant - particularly for getting the nice smooth gradients on the sword (all done with brush). They mix well with the colour range too, helping achieve a more matt metallic finish where needed for TMM in an NMM style.
Value for Money
At around £19.40 per set of 8 (about £2.30 per pot) or £160 for the 63 colour mega set (about £2.50 per pot - but it also comes with the metal holder tray which retails at 25 euros on it's own), the Scale75 range is a little more pricey than Vallejo and a little cheaper than GW. But for the quality, I would definitely say they are value for money.
Where to buy? (UK)
At the moment, it's only possible (as far as I'm aware) to buy the paint sets (8 pot or 63 pot mega sets) in the UK at this time. However, Scale75 have recently started to sell individual pots on their website.
I bought my selection of sets from El Greco Miniatures as they had a sale on at the time, meaning I got them for about £18.30 per set, but they retail at £19.40 in most places in the UK (including MDP who carry the mega set).
A couple of final points to note about the range:
- As the pigment is very fine, it seems to separate from the carrying fluid if left to sit for a prolonged period without shaking (around a few days), so you need to make sure to give them a good shake to ensure they are properly mixed before using. I'd recommend getting some 2-4mm stainless steel ball bearings (eBay is your friend here) to put in the pots to help with mixing.
- The bottles are dropper bottles of the Vallejo style many will be familiar with. This obviously means you will need to drop them onto a palette to use. I have had no issues with them on my wet palette, with the paint still usable over a number of days later.
- The nozzle of the dropper on the bottles comes with a thin seal of plastic over the tip that needs pierced before use. This is handy as it allows you to give them a really good shake to mix binder and pigment before first use without any spilling out into the lid. I used a needle sculpting tool to pierce.
Feel free to share your own thoughts, or ask any questions in the comments below.