Monday, March 24, 2014

Trying the new Metal and Alchemy Steel Series paints from Scale75

The death of the old Citadel range was a very sad moment in the history of miniature painting. We had to say goodbye to our beloved Blood Red, Goblin Green, Skull White, and many more. Those names would always live in our collective memory. It was really sad, yes, but not the end of the world, since there are many other paint companies that produce colours as good as Citadel's. The new range promised a broader range of colours with new names. Not bad, of course, but the quality of the paints finally was not as high. The problem was especially severe when talking about metallic paints, the subject of today's post.

Oh, the good old Citadel Metallics... snif...

The old Citadel Metallic paints are basic on my painting table. I tried some of the new Citadel range but they are not as good as them. I also tried other companies (Vallejo in their different ranges), but they didn't come close to being as good as Citadel. Because of this, I started to keep my metallic Citadel pots as little treasures. Something similar happened with the old inks, so it was worth cherishing them. I knew that at some point some company would create some good replacement, something worth of my attention. The same thing Andrea did with the inks, someone would do with metallics, that's what I thought.

Well, that day has finally come. Scale75 released not very long ago a very interesting set of metallic paints, and they called it Metal N' Alchemy Steel Series.

The new set of silver metallic paints from Scale75

I really liked their NMM sets, so I was very curious. The day they released them, I went to Alfonso Giraldes' demonstration on the new paints and they seemed really cool.

Alfonso Giraldes and Roberto Sánchez, in the presentation of the new paints in Goblintrader, Madrid

Everything he said sounded absolutely wonderful, but I wanted to try it for myself. So I got one set and took it home. It was time to try them on some minis!

Remember the Ellyrian Reavers? Well, most of the metallic work was already started with old Citadel paints, but not all. So I decided to try the new Scale75 on some parts, and then compare results. The following photos are extracted from a future WIP article of the Reavers, which will be published very soon! ;)

So, let's see how they work on the armours that the horses have on their heads. I wanted them painted in a very polished silver elven armour. So, first a simple basecoat of a dark silver metal, in this case Dark Metal from the new set of Scale75.

I start highlighthing progressively with lighter metallic paints. First, Heavy Metal (Scale75) and then Speed Metal (Scale75). [DAMN, those are cool names, indeed! And there is one Thrash Metal too, I'm loving it!!!]. What I notice is that they blend surprisingly well, very clean and fast.

The lightest spots are done with White Alchemy (Scale75). This colour is very similar to the Metallic Medium from Vallejo Model Color that I used in the past for this purposes, but again, this one just blends better. The texture is not so much of a thick paste as before, this one feels like regular matte colours, easier to work with.

Now it's time for the blue elven look of the metals, shading down with glazes of turquoise, and to follow these Scale75 paint tests, I'm using Adriatic Blue, part of another of their paint sets (NMM Gold I believe).

And further with Abyssal Blue (from NMM Silver paint set, again Scale75).

It's important to have a clear outline of the elements so that everything is clean, I go over the recesses with dark inks (Green, Blue inks, from Andrea this time).

Let's see another shot of the finished head, it's difficult to photograph metals on work in progress articles!

Result with Steel Series from Scale75

And now, let's compare it with a head I painted previously, with the old Citadel metallic paints (Boltgun Metal, Mithril Silver), using Metallic Medium (Vallejo Model Color) for final lightspots and shadowing with Hawk Turquoise (old Citadel) and Dark Sea Blue (Vallejo Model Color).

Result with the old Citadel metallic paints

As you can see the difference is pretty evident. The grain of the old Citadel metallic paints is way thicker, so the result is not as smooth. From using them both, I felt that it was way faster to obtain a better result with Scale75 thanks to the thinness of the grain, which favours easier and faster blending between metallics, also ending in a cleaner and more polished finish. And I used brush! Normally to get that kind of smoothness with Citadel I had to use airbrush, but with Scale75 I could get similar results without turning to the airbrush. I was inmensely surprised to see the results. Finally good metallic paint to replace the old Citadel range!!!

Other things that I noticed when using the set is that they mix very well with regular matte colours, to get a metallic look but without losing the metal shiny aspect. I've tried this with other paints and it's nowhere near as good. Also, I find that there is no problem in using the same water pot to clean my brush for both regular and metallic colors. The pigments tend to go to the bottom of the pot instead of float, and they are so thin that they don't show if they mix with regular paint. No more purpurin look! :D

To continue with the good news, Scale75 has just released the Metal and Alchemy Golden metallic set. If they are as good as these ones... I need to get one of those too!


MrLee said...

Very nice little review mate! Just got back from the workshop with John in liverpool where I had a chance to use them as well. Have to agree with you that they are top notch indeed! And if you think they go on nicely with brush, then try with airbrush! Even better! Now to pick up a set for myself!

Thor said...

After saw the metallic grain on your works and compared with the scale of the mini, this paint set will be one of my to buy list, definitely. Thanks for sharing this article :)

Unknown said...

I can't wait to paint a mini again after we are done with our DVD sets! And we got the full Scale 75 color set waiting for a massive review ;)

Black Dagger said...

Good to know, im nearly out of the old citadel metalics and im not getting much out of the new ones, some are ok i guess. thanks for the review.

Unknown said...

I was wondering if you are painting on them, if they are same kind of slippery as Citadel or not?

Rafael García Marín said...

No, they don't feel as slippery. It's pretty much like working with normal matte colours. Amazing in my opinion.

Swordmaster said...

Thanks for a great review, Volomir! It adds perfectly to what you said about metallic and non-metallic colours combined.

I was wondering if you had a chance to test their metallic and non-metallic gold sets too. If yes, I hope you will find some time to write a review about them as well!


Rafael García Marín said...

Hi Swordmaster,

I have both NMM sets are they are also great, though I'd say these new metallics are even greater. I could do without the NMM sets but not without this one! Perfect substitute to my old metallics!

I will post reviews on them too, as well as the Gold metallics if I have to chance to get one.


Anonymous said...

What do you think of these compared to Andrea metallics?

Rafael García Marín said...

In my opinion these are much better, their great virtue is having a pigment thinner than any other pigment I have ever seen in other metallic paints.

Unknown said...

God, I need to buy them as well, the outcome looks very great and smooth. If they work like non metallics colours - I can't even dream about something like that...Need to try that.

Thanks Rafael, much appreciated your opinion on this. It really looks great.

Azazel said...

Very nice review - thank you. I have been investigating these paints recently, and your review is very helpful. Now I need to find where to buy in Australia, or someone good to import from!