Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Let's talk about paint bottles

I was going through my paints yesterday evening(I have over 400+bottles of Vallejo,Foundry GW etc.) and confirmed my long standing suspicion of the quality of the GW bottles as progressively worse for the most part except their foundation paints. I must have threw away about 30 bottles of paint in which many were never used as they were all dried up! Needless to say I was less then pleased as I did pay for them at some point after all.
Nowadays, I use Vallejo more often as my paint of choice as well as Foundry, but I also do still use GW paints as well and this is why I'm doing a little rant on them. I know they often have complaints heaped on them, but they usually deserve it with their prices on their products and paint bottle quality.
This has prompted me to talk about the quality of the paint bottles I have and give an opinion on them.I'm not talking too much about the paints themselves, but will add some comments on it, however the focus will be the bottles. I as always welcome all other thoughts on this and will modify the post when things are brought up I didn't think of. :-)

The above first generation GW in the soft plastic bottles and lids. The pigment is a bit too thin and getting the tops off is a bit of a pain and not user friendly. Also, if you didn't watch out you could knock over the bottle and watch your paint run, but on the plus side the paint will last for years and years. Most of these bottles I've had since the early to mid 90's! Since I'll gladly give up user friendly for my paints not drying up these get a  thumbs up.

Second Generation GW paints in a slightly harder bottle and soft lid. Same analysis as the first generation and so a thumbs up overall.

Third Generation GW paints and probably the worst ever over all . Ok, here they did improve the pigmentation, but that's it folks. The top was a royal pain to open after excess paint would eventually dry it shut. The paint in the bottle dried up soon after opening and eventually would dry up even if you didn't open the bottle! Being messy and knocking them over also something to deal with. Frustration and loss of money on this.These type of bottles made you think GW bottled them in these just so you would have to continue buying more on a regular basis. Two very big thumbs down!

Forth Generation GW paints.Not much better then the third.Only better because the lid doesn't dry shut, but even that's not much better, because it drips down onto the lid when you open it ruining what little seal you do get from these bottles. So, almost a carbon copy of the 3rd generation giving it a two big thumbs down.

These GW Foundation bottles are a big improvement over the others with very nice pigmentation and user friendly. They went back to the soft bottle and lid which no doubt has prolonged the shelf life of these quite a bit, but for some reason still not as long as the original bottles, but diffidently a substantial improvement.. Why they don't put the standard colours into these bottles as well is anybody's guess.Still need to be careful not to knock them over. These do rate a nice thumbs up though.


These Armoury paints are nice with good pigmentation and quite a bit of paint for your money which is a real bonus. However, the bottle isn't very nice. The lid can be a real bastard to open when the paint dries around the rim and the glass bottle can give you an ugly accident if it breaks making you nervous when using and storing. Easy to knock over do to being too long and tall which is not good. Because of the bottle it gets a thumbs down. I haven't purchased paints from them in quite awhile and so they may have changed the bottles since then.

Ral Partha makes a very nice paint with good pigmentation, a healthy amount of paint for your money and the bottles are in a nice soft plastic. The problem is the lid in that when it dries these can be super hard to open and will give you a few choice words when trying to open it. Also, like many must be careful not to knock over. Still, overall a thumbs up.

Tamiya paints are a real pain in the behind and I wouldn't use them if for not the fact that they can give some really awesome results on some things. These paints really are for modellers and not wargamers as they are very unfriendly paints. Some of the positive in these paints is the excellent shelf life,plenty of paint for money and some super realistic results be can achieved with these, and is resistant to being knocked over due to a wide base. Now for the negative........they smell terrible, dry quickly out of the bottle and the lid can be a pain to open when paint dries on the seal , in addition the glass bottle can be nasty if it breaks. Also, your brushes must be thoroughly cleaned after using these paints or they will be destroyed.  Based on the bottle and the difficulty in using the paints  it  receives an over all thumbs down. Basically, I use these for very specific things and that's it.

Howard Hues paints have nice pigmentation and have some great colours for the American Civil War period. Wide base gives resistance to being knocked over as well. The problem is the lid can be difficult to open when the paint dries on the rim. They also switched from glass to plastic which I like as it reduces breakage. These deserve a thumbs up.

These are some really super paints with outstanding shelf life and superb pigmentation(at least the older releases). One of the few times I don't mind paying a lot of money for the paint.One bottle will stretch a very long time making any investment well worth it.The lid can be a bit inconvenient,but only a very little and soft bottle and top is super convenient in terms of prolonging the paint,storage and virtually shatter proof.Do need to mind being knocked over though. I use this paint a great deal and is only rivalled by the next entry coming.Two very,very big thumbs up!

Vallejo paints are in my opinion the best on the market and the brand I use progressively more and more where I can see it may become my exclusive choice of paints.The pigmentation is nothing less then superb and gives an unrivalled tonal quality. The bottle comes in the best type which is a soft plastic making it almost accident proof and offers outstanding shelf life .Another fantastic feature of these paints is the nozzle on it which allows for controlled amount of paints used and best of all the paint in the bottle is exposed to very little air when the lid is off extending the paints life even longer. Also,another huge plus for these is knocking over these babies is no sweat as the paint stays in the bottle thanks to the nozzle. I prefer the nozzle, but Vallejo also made it so you can remove the nozzles if you so desire which is thinking of all painters taste. This makes the bottle the best on the market as well. If I had to say anything negative is that once the paint is out of the bottle it tends to dry quickly and so keeping the paints on semi damp surface is needed, but this is more then off set by all the positive factors.Two thumbs way up and I mean way up folks!