What’s in a Bottle: WarColours Review

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Published on: May 8, 2016

As a reviewer of hobbying and modeling supplies we at Models Workshop get to hear about a lot of different products from all over the world, some seem great until you get them in your hands and the disappointment hit. Others seem like just another product until you get to use them and they blow your mind with how awesome they truly are. At any time you can click any of the Hyperlinks that say WarColour and go to their site.

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WarColours is a brand that I heard about through my friend Jay Adan (www.jayadan.com), a fellow painter and reviewers of things miniature and nerdy. He talked about how he liked their naming scheme and how well they paint flowed as well as their price and how inexpensive they are. This intrigued me and at the time they had a promo for Christmas runway any order over €15 received free shipping. Their basic set is €21.90 (approximately $25) for 14 bottles of paint so I grabbed one and a couple bottles of metallics and waited. Warcolours are made in Cyprus by a guy named Neo, so it took about two weeks to come in the mail. Now keep in mind I ordered this at Christmas which made the delivery even more impressive.

Keep reading, at the bottom is a Models Workshop exclusive discount code! Expired

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When they finally came in I tore into them like a kid on Christmas (tis the season). First impression, they are plain. They are 15ml dropper bottles with a clear label slapped on them. As you can see on the picture it has the stylish skull logo, the name of the paint, how opaque the paint is and some website information. To me this is nice, very minimalistic. These paints just scream small batch micro brew to me (for my beer drinking friends), a hidden treat that you find and can’t wait to share with your friends.
What are WarColours? Well this is what they claim on their website:

High quality hybrid acrylic paints.
Offer a smooth matte finish.
Non-toxic, water-based hobby paints that are designed for use on plastic, metal, and resin miniatures.
Each dropper bottle is fitted with a child-proof top and contains 15ml of paint.
Brush and airbrush compatible.

Features:

– colours do not separate
– perfect consistency
– smooth paint, no lumping
– brush and airbrush compatible
– child-proof cap
– dropper bottles minimize contamination and drying out risk
– inter-mixable with other brands

Now to me when I first saw this I was thinking those were some big claims by a company that I have never heard of. After getting my initial batch of 14 in from their basic set in (for ~$25, available here) and used them for a couple of weeks this is what I discovered (expanded upon below).

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The Good

  • They have a wide selection of colors
    • 92 Main Colors
    • 26 Metallic Colors
    • 20 Transparent Colors
    • 2 Glaze Colors
    • 4 Fluorescent Colors
    • 9 1988 Nostalgia Colors (in 20ml Bottle)
  • Available in 15ml and 250ml size
  • The naming scheme is amazing.
  • Cheapest hobby paint on the market
  • Usable straight out of the bottle with no thinning
  • Childproof Cap
  • Smooth as silk going on
  • Had no issues mixing their colors with Vallejo, Citadel, and Reaper
  • They have been very consistent with the paint consistency across all colors, including metallics
  • 26 metallic colors!
  • Paint Opacity marked on the bottle
  • Discount on larger orders
  • Reward Program

The Bad:

  • Some of the paints do separate a little, less then other paint brands though. This is mainly a problem with the Metallics paints, as can be expected
  • There is a learning curve
  • you will have to put more then one coat of paints, three or four for some of the more transparent colors
  • the bottles are a bit hard and can be difficult to squeeze

Things I would like to see:

  • A size between 15ml and 250ml
  • Option for a their line in the Nostalgia bottles
  • Expanded Fluorescent Colors
  • Expanded Glaze Line

Simply put they are no nonsense paints. 

Jay Adan of www.jayadan.com:

I can’t think of any higher praise than to say that Warcolours has changed the way I paint for the better. Even so, they do take some getting used to.

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Cost.  WarColours are amazing and are the cheapest specialized hobby paints on the market per ML. The bottles come in two sizes, 15 and 250ml (note: all prices are approximate since WarColours is in Euros and I converted it to the USD) . When I say they are inexpensive, without discount the 15ml is ~12.4¢ per bottle for non-metallic, to put out into perspective Games Workshop is 35.4¢ per ML while Vallejo is 23.4¢. They are also available on 250ml bottle which brings the cost per ml to 6.6¢. Now if you purchase their metallic or fluorescent paints just jumps to ~16.5¢ for 15ml and ~8.5¢ for the 250ml. Also while ordering, the bottle get cheaper the more you order, at 5 bottle and 10 bottles you get a small discount per bottle that you order. WarColours also has a reward program where you earn points for everything you order and can exchange this for bottle of paint, or just towards an order. It’s not huge, roughly 2.5% but adding that one top of everything you get, it’s awesome that it is even there!

Shipping. The shipping does take about 2 weeks to get in but the cost is very affordable at a flat ~$4.65 until you get to €75.00 which is the threshold for free shipping. I’ve ordered 5 packages and never had an issue with them getting here in any way.

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Name. Anyone who has grown up using the other hobby paints have gotten used to names like Goblin Testicle Green (made up) and Drow Nipple Pink (not made up) which is cute but can honestly be a pain when trying to remember what color you used as well as figuring what colors you will want to use when going up or down in color in a range. Reaper solved this a bit with their triads and Citadel with their new paint by number idea of painting but second to the cost, the thing I love the most (maybe even more then the cost) is the fact that WarColours uses a no nonsense naming scheme. In the main line you have 92 colors, two of those are white and black. The remaining 90 are divided up into 18 color slices. These slices are simply named Blue, Red, Blue Grey, Brown, Cool Grey, Warm Grey, Emerald, Flesh, Green, Marine, Ochre, Olive, Orange, Pink, Purple, Turquoise, Violet, and  Yellow. Standard color names that you do not have to guess what tone they are going to be. Each one of these slices have 5 transitions, starting at 1 for the lightest of colors and moving up to 5 for the darkest for most (flesh is slightly different from what I can see). They are named with their slice followed by the number, as an example Blue 1, Blue 2, Red 3, Red 4, etc. The purest color is the 3rd, as an example Blue 3 would be what we consider a plain blue, while Blue 1, and Blue 2 would be lighter and Blue 4 and Blue 5 would get darker.
Lyn Stahl of www.metalheadminis.com:

-As a parent, I like that the paints have child proof caps and they are non toxic.
-The bottles are made from a harder plastic than some might be used to. However, there is a soft spot in random parts of the middle of the bottle which will help when squeezing the paint out.
-I like the color choices. I also like that there are 5 steps of colors (similar to the Reaper paint triad concept, just more expanded) which is great for layering. Also saves you from mixing paints whether you are newer to the hobby or an experienced painter that likes to be saved from extra work.
-The paints apply smooth and depending on what you are trying to do, does not require much additional thinning.
-I also like that it is labeled on the side “transparent” or “opaque”.
-The paints thin down well to a glaze.

Using Them

Before writing this I wanted to use the paint some, that why I received them in January and this is coming out in April.

Brush. WarColours claim for consistency is true. All of the colors I have used Have had the same base consistency. They are a thinner paint and are not one coat paints, they do take two to three coats to have a nice even base with most colors, some of the more opaque color might require four or more layers. To me this is not a bad thing. Since I thin my paints heavily. With these I do not have to. I can go straight from bottle to pallet or wet-pallet and start painting. Some of the colors are a little more transparent than others but those are usually marked on the webpage and on the bottle themselves. One thing I noticed is the first coat on large flat areas with these paints look horrible, very streaky/blotchy. But once you add the second coat, it all blends nicely.

Airbrushing. I know WarColours do not go through a .15mm nozzle really well without thinning, but this is to be expected. When running through a larger nozzle they where fine and required little to no thinning. They airbrushed on nice and smooth, very similar to Createx paints when applied. This is something I like. The paint is a little thinner then standard paint and  a bit thicker then airbrush paint but this allows you to use one paint for both instead of having to get two different lines like Vallejo have theirs set up.

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Packaging. At first glance the packaging on the WarColour paints appears to be a standard dropper bottles, but the bottles, lids, and nozzle are all different. The standard bottle is 15ml in size and made out of a semi rigid plastic, instead of the softer plastic bottles of Vallejo and Reaper. They are difficult to squeeze, this is a boon and bane. People with finger issues may find these difficult to use, but you also don’t typically over squeeze. The lids are child proof, anyone who has small ones know how good of a feature this is to have. The last thing I noticed is the nozzle shape is different than the other dropper bottles I have used on the market. Inside it has an hourglass shape.
Tim Martin of Build Paint Play, LLC

I was so impressed by these paints that I decided to build a custom rack specifically for holding them!
Suggestions. One thing I do like is WarColours seems to always expand their line. Since December I have seen them introduce at least 8 different colors of paint and a few new products. Some things I would love to see is an option for you to buy your their paints in the flip-top nostalgia bottle. This would make them the first company that I know of that has the option of both a flip-top and dropper bottle with the same paint. Also I love how you can buy their paints in 250ml for those huge projects, but the ability to buy a bottle of paint in something like 100ml bottle as an in-between from the 15ml and 250ml would also be nice, it should put it in at about $10 which is a nice price for those of use who would want to get these of our most used paints. Lastly the expansion of their florescent line of paint as well as their glazes would be nice, though this is something I am sure is already on the books, just needing time to get the paints right.

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In conclusion. Warcolour paints are great and I highly recommend them. Of the 144 total colors in this line I am only missing out on 37 to having all of them. These are quickly becoming my go to paints in my studio. The price is amazing, the ability to use them in both airbrush and with a brush with no real change is a nice boon, the bottle are ok, a little on the stiff side but easily overcome. My biggest complaint is the ink easily rubs off the labels and some would really do better being printed in white ink, but that is a specialized printer and quite expensive. If you are looking for paints these are some that you should seriously look into getting.

Order WarColours and use code: MODEL10 and receive 10% off your order!

Code good until May 11th 2016! So hurry and order today! If you order 10+ bottles with this code, it’ll only cost you about $1.64 a bottle!

If you do buy WarColours, if you can use this link, I’d thank you bunches.

Models Workshop would like to thank Jay Adan, Lyn Stahl, and Tim Martin for a quote on these paints. Please visit them at their websites as well as catch their content here as well!

Come Listen to our Podcast!

Models Workshop After Hours Ep 35 Funny Painting and Modeling Stories and a trip to Adepticon

Models Workshop After Hours Ep 34 Airbrushing part 2: the Airbrush

Models Workshop After Hours Ep 33 Airbrushing part 1: the Compressor

 
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