Tuesday, 26 May 2015


As I sit at my desk I gaze across roughly 125 pots of various paints. The vast majority are Vallejo with an honourable second for Games Workshop. 3 lonely bottles of Foundry Spearshaft triad sit quietly at the back somehow outshone by the vibrant purple of the single candidate from Cotes d'Arms. The industrial presence of Humbrol varnish and black undercoat complete the set. It's an impressive array but I found myself wondering how many I actually use?

I found myself base layering some ECW trousers with VMC brown violet yesterday.It's not what the name implies and has a sort dirty green finish to it. I looked around for a main colour and picked up the Panzer Aces dark mud which looked like it too had a dirty green finish to it.Now, it wasn't an exact match but close enough to make no difference. I guess that a purist would have seen the variation but I couldn't. I then looked across the 10 or so variations of yellow ochre that I have of which I only really use yellow ochre. I don't have a bottle of Deck Tan which seems to be the latest ochre of choice but if I get it I'm willing to bet its not a million miles away from something in the first 10.

Take a look at chocolate brown, burnt ochre and leather brown. All suspiciously similar. Yet I can remember working myself into a frenzy when I didn't have a bottle of off white because white apparently wsn't quite right. Black red. That's burnt cadmium red isn't it? Or shadow flesh. The only truly independent colour I could find was gunmetal blue which is unusable for anything in this universe anyway.

So how many colours do you actually need? Presumably black, white, red, yellow, blue and silver would be sufficient for the true minimalist but the mixing would be a pain, wouldn't it? But 125? I think not.

Flames of War have just brought out their new range of colours and have helpfully prduced a chart which tells what old colours they are equivalent to. It seems strange - is my old pot of german cam orange ochre so wrong that I should buy some Panzer yellow or whatever they are calling it? Especially when it comes in a bottle that looks, well, unusual...

Am I being marketed to here?