Great Paints You Might Not Have Tried: Citadel Edition

A little while back, we took a look at some of the paint ranges we carry here in the store and highlighted some great colors from other manufacturers you might want to try if you’re used to only using Games Workshop’s Citadel range. It was especially relevant at the time since we had been unable to restock our Citadel racks due to the shutdown – but since that particular problem has been gone for a bit, we thought you might also like to hear our resident paint expert Chris’s thoughts on our Citadel paints in the same way we’ve already seen for other brands we have.

Citadel Paints


Thanks to the popularity of Warhammer, these are perhaps the most common brand of miniatures paint you’ll encounter. On top of their ubiquity, they’re also good quality paint with a really wide range of colors and options, too. Last year saw the addition of the new Contrast paints (along with a few new colors in the traditional range, too) which have proven to be a useful new tool – they’re especially good for flesh and other organic surfaces and can make finishing those areas very speedy.

GW is unusual in the way it divides its core paint range into Base and Layer colors, a distinction that no other paint range makes. The idea is to guide painters on which shades are good for specific tasks, making the painting process more intuitive. Personally, I’m a bit lukewarm on the idea, since it’s kind of an artificial divide and means that Layer paints, in particular, are formulated with weaker coverage out of the bottle – an OK trait when you are indeed using them for layering, but making them less useful for other painting tasks and limiting what they can do a bit. That said, there are still plenty of great paints from both Base and Layer selections that deserve space in your collection.

Finally, Citadel also includes a solid assortment of specialized effect paints and auxiliary products to complete your miniatures. These include textured basing paints and some cool crackle effects, handy additives like Lamian Medium to adjust the properties of your paint, and weathering and blood effects as part of their Technical range. Taken all together, you could happily paint all sorts of miniatures for ages without needing to take a step outside GW’s pool of paint options (even if I still think it would be a shame to limit yourself like that!)

Chris’s Picks:


I’m a little resentful that GW charges a premium just for this one color, but it’s just so good that I still pay it. When I was thinking up this list, this was the first paint that leapt into my mind. A fantastic rich gold with excellent coverage and just the right level of brightness to work well on its own or as a base for lighter metallic tones. A staple of my toolbox and it’s a paint I wouldn’t want to be without.


When painting light-colored skin, Cadian Fleshtone hits the sweet spot for a good base color. It’s not too light or dark and has decent coverage for a Layer paint. With a wash over it, you can use the same paint over top as a basic highlight for a nice-looking caucasian skintone, or continue highlighting up through Citadel’s lighter flesh-colored Layer paints for fancier results.


This is great desert yellow/tan Base color. It’s also available in a spray can so it’s an excellent starting point for any project with lots of natural tones and is light enough that most bright colors will look good over top of it as well. I’m also a fan of using it for smaller areas of leather, hide, or naturally colored fabric. It looks equally good on tanks, robots, cowboys, and D&D barbarians.


With a name like that, you know it’s going to be an interesting paint! This isn’t a traditional color but rather a special effect paint from the Technical range. Apply it in short streaks across the edges of weapons or flick and splatter little droplets from the brush for a fantastic flesh blood look. Remember to apply this as a very last step after spraying your model with varnish, since much of the effect of this paint comes from the shiny, candy finish which you’ll lose if you spray over it afterward.


Those are my picks for some of the Stand Outs from the Citadel Paint Range, what gems are your favorites?


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