Miniature paints come with ridiculous names, none more ridiculous than Citadel Paints, which are manufactured by Games Workshop (the guys who make Warhammer).
Anyone who has ever looked at paint swatches at Home Depot can tell you that paint manufacturers have to get creative when trying to come up with twenty different ways to say “white.” But while house paint companies go with things like “Vanilla,” “Cotton,” and “Linen,” gaming companies tend to go with things like “Pallid Flesh,” “Bone White” and “German White Tank Crew,” (yup, that’s real). It’s understandable. It appeals to their market demographic of wargamers and uh, necromancers?
Citadel Paints take this to a non-sensical extreme. They give their paints such stupid names you need a chart to tell what they are. Jokaero Orange is not even the weirdest one. Not by a long shot. Here are a few others:
- Warp Lightning
- Screaming Bell
- Waaagh! Flesh
You can probably guess that Wraithbone is a bone-white, and Leadbelcher is a metallic lead colour, but would you have imagined that Warp Lightning is green, Screaming Bell is bronze, and Waaagh! Flesh is a dark blue-green?
Something that Citadel does do well, however, are their different "types" of paint. It's a paint system designed to streamline your process by customizing the paint consistency and colour schemes for each step. Their "Base" line are used to put down an even basecoat with one coat. "Shades" are designed to flow over other paints into recesses to create darker-toned shadows and lowlights. "Layer" paints can be painted over other paints and each other to build up highlights. They've got "Technical" paints to create specific effects (like blood and vomit... no, really), and "Dry Compound" built especially for dry brushing. It's all very helpful and useful, and is why Games Workshop makes like a bajillion different types of paint.
"Contrast" paint is a special type of paint, first developed by Citadel but now available in slightly different versions from other companies (Army Painter has Speedpaint and Vallejo just released Xpress Color). Basically, contrast paint contains different weights of pigments, so that the heavier, darker colours ink into the recesses, leaving the lighter, brighter colours on the raised surfaces. It basically allows you to do all your layers in one coat of paint!
It's certainly not magic, and it has some drawbacks (Speedpaint has this annoying tendency to "re-activate" and get wet again when you paint over it), but once you learn the tricks, it does make painting those large armies of figures must faster, and it does make mediocre painters (who's got two thumbs?) a little more presentable.