Games Workshop Contrast Paints: Part 3 – Part of a toolbox?

In Part 2 of our look at GW Contrast Paints, we looked at using them on the WizKids PrePrimed Models, and for this one, we are going to be looking at using them to supplement a more traditional painting style.

For Part 3, we decided to pivot on to painting some Marvel: Crisis Protocol, for those people who are not aware, Atomic Mass Games is a new company and Crisis Protocol is their first game, I for one was really excited when it was announced and jumped at the chance to paint the Demo Set for Sentry Box.

The figures are nice and chunky, with a slightly larger scale then Games Workshops Heroic 28mm scale, so I figured these would be a good testbed for what I wanted to try.


The Avengers all assembled

My plans were to see what stages I could replace from my normal painting routine with Contrast Paints whilst trying to avoid the look that can be associated with Contrast Paints.


The Cabal are ready to take down the Avengers in the Crisis Protocol Starter Set

I also wanted to try some cheating techniques to see if they would be able to give me the effects I was looking for with less effort, stuff like Object Source Lighting (OSL) worked really well, whilst I was not happy with the Non-Metalic Metals results so that needs more practice.

Standouts from the Starter Set were Red Skull, as the OSL worked exactly how I hoped and I think gives a nice effect that was fairly easy to do. (let me know in the comments if you want short articles looking at how to do these little cheats)

But without waffling too much let us get to the meat of the article!

I wanted to track a stage by stage painting of one of the models and explore how it felt on a larger scale, and as I had it sitting around on my shelf of shame, the Incredible Hulk was an easy choice.


Don’t leave me on the shelf any longer, that will make me angry…

I suppose you sort of get a two for one article here as you also get a review of the Hulk miniature as well, so buckle up and let’s get going.


What do you mean you are not cleaning up these gaps deliberately, I think I preferred it in the box…

The new 3d sculpting software that companies use nowadays always impresses me with the stuff that hey can put out, but let’s be honest, the slicing that they do for some of the sprues is ridiculous, and whilst it is not the worst there were a couple of choices I think could have been sliced better, the hair is the big culprit for me on this model, but I am confident the lazy painting technique I want to employ will hide everything so let’s just ignore it.


Kris, seriously, the mold lines, what are you doing to me…

I was brave and decided to go with the Wraitbone Contrast Primer as I thought the slightly more yellow tone would accentuate the greens that I was going for, but in honest, I doubt it made much of a difference with the amount of contrast I am about to slap on to him.


1 thick coat, I sware to all that is holy, this blasphemy can’t be allowed to continue.

I felt like I was applying the paint with a trowel, rather than a medium layer brush, but hey ho, it’s not like it’s going to come to life and smash me.
My main goal here is to skip the basecoat and Shade part that I would normally use and just do one coat of Contrast instead, unlike in previous articles where there as going to be very little applied after the contrast, I was not as concerned with a smooth look over the flat surfaces as I was with ensuring that I had a solid foundation of deep green in the recesses and a slight transition to the raised areas.


Just for completion’s sake, I blasted some Contrast Purple on the Sweat Pants and some Black on the Hair, I could have left them as the undercoat but I like trying to progress the model somewhat evenly so that I can keep a consistent vision of the progress in my head…

The next step was to do some layering on the flesh to start building highlights on top of, this was somewhere in the middle of a stage 1 highlight and a normal base coat, the focus was on cleaning up the edges of the muscle tone and ensuring we had a smoother finish to work from, there is a chance that taking more time with the first contrast layer, and finding the perfect balance of Contrast Medium to the Green could have made this step irrelevant, but as I wanted to make sure the model didn’t end up looking washed out (which can happen with contrast if you are careful with it) I was happy with the results and excited to move on to the highlighting.



I do not believe you did 3 stages of highlighting only to blast me with a pure yellow drybrush at the end, I thought we were friends…

I worked my way up with progressive highlights making sure to pull the brush in the direction the muscle fibers should follow until I was happy with the look, I then did the thing I was most worried about in this plan.

I used a huge scenery brush and some yellow paint to dust the entire model in an extremely light drybrush.

My reasoning for this is a little weird, but hear me out.

I planned on doing a green wash over the model to tie my highlights together but wanted to make sure that the model still had some pop, and I didn’t want to have to go back and re-highlight parts of the model as its a time sink and can lead to an endless cycle if you are a perfectionist, instead of doing this ensured I had a super light area that the shade would struggle to overpower whilst not really changing anything else.


You know what, maybe you are not that bad of a person…

The green worked out how I wanted it to and then it was on to finishing up the sweatpants, face, and base.

The same idea was used with the purple, but a little bit more extreme, I went with some really aggressive highlights as I had a plan to try an off pink Contrast wash to “fix” them


Hulk Smash!

The hair was a series of highlights from black up to almost white with a trip through Incubi Darkness (which is a really cool colour that I can never decide if its a greeny grey or a grey-green…) once that was all done, I added a green wash to that.

The base was just a series of washes to make it look dirty, where I tried to keep an off green palet to tie it to the model but that’s it really, there is not much more to say.

Do I think the Contrast Paint made it easier or quicker? Not really, but it sure got me to the fun parts faster!

Normally, especially when batch painting a Squad of models, I find the Base Coat and first Shade to be really tedious, and this technique combined both of those steps into one. so I felt like I was highlighting and “finishing” the model sooner than I would have otherwise, and whilst this is 100% psychological as a benefit, for me that is more than half the battle!

I am 3 articles into this series now, and I feel confidant in saying that I have a mostly positive outlook on the Contrast Paint Range, for the next article I will be looking at something I would never have tried without the Contrast Paints as I know I would not have had the time or patience for the army.

Painting some Infinity models in an off white colour scheme…

– Kris

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