When I got into this hobby, painting was secondary to gaming and something that just had to be done, but as time has moved on, it has become one of the aspects I love the most. I am certainly not a pro painter, but surely not being the best at something, should not diminish the joy of doing it.
Getting a good and even base color down can be tricky for most of us, especially when dealing with “difficult” colors like red and yellow which require both patience and a decent high pigmented paint.
I hate painting yellow and red with a passion and I was pretty excited to test out a range of Reapers Master Series HD (High Density) paints, hoping they could be both time savers and frustration easing.
Moving on from yellow, we have a few orange and blue colors, and finally a selection of brown and grays. I think the selection of colors is pretty fantastic and I think you would be hard pressed to find any obvious omissions, except two very strange shortcomings;
The range contains no white or black HD paint, which seem rather strange all things considered.
While the range of colors is great, it would all be for naught if the primary selling point, coverage, was lacking. Silly naming aside, the High Density paints from Reaper, really does what they say on the tin and provides very nice and even coverage, even with yellow and red.The paint is thinner than the base paint from Citadel, so little or no thinning is required and even when thinned, they still provide great coverage, in only a few coats.
Because of the high amount of pigments, I didn't find them very suitable for blending work. You could use them for that but the amount of thinning required would be quite high, at which point you would be better of using the HD paints for base colors. However, the regular Reapers Master Series paints allow for the more delicate blending work (which, admittedly, they are great for).
One problem I did find with the paints though, is that they dry with a very matte finish and lacks a certain “pop”, which I have come to expect from miniature paints. The matte look might be great for people painting historical or more realistic miniatures, but I don't paint sci-fi and fantasy miniatures, just to have them look as muted and matte as a danish winter. The problem can be solved easily, just use the HD Paints as a foundation for either washes or other paints, in which case you get some extremely deep and vibrant colors.
The paints comes in ½ oz(about 15 ml for the rest of us) and ticks in at about $3.29 or your regional equivalent, which brings me to the greatest problem with the HD paints and reaper paints in general, availability. If you live in Europe, you will be hard pressed to find a complete range of Reaper paints. They simply don't have a presence here, which is a damn shame the quality considered. There are some web shops carrying Reaper paints, and even some with the entire HD line of paints, but I have found no shop carrying the entire line of Reaper paints, which can complicate matters, when trying to find some of the more exotic shades. Of course, you can order straight from Reaper and they will deliver in a pretty speedy manner, the added toll and taxes makes that option unattractive.
Minor quirks aside, I would not hesitate slapping a big “Approved by Peter” sticker on the Reaper HD paint series. A broad range of colors with great coverage and dropper bottles, makes for an enjoyable time but if you live in Europe, the hassle of getting the paints, might be prohibitive and I would certainly think twice before basing an army around a potentially hard to get color. Come on Reaper send some love to Europe!
While we Europeans wait for some love from Reaper, I will recommend Kinggames.com and miniature-heroes.co.uk as the go to places to get the paints. They don't carry the entire range, but are very forthcoming. Just to be clear, Talkwargaming is in no way affiliated with those sites.
By Peter Lyberth