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 Post subject: Citadel Air Mini review/Initial thoughts:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:03 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:36 pm
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Slightly late to the party Games Workshop has joined the future with a range of airbrush-ready paints. The 52 paints have been selected from favourites in their existing range, and have been adapted for ease of use with an airbrush. Normally a companies’ airbrush ready range is similar to their pre-existing paints with two key differences:

1.) Finer pigments, and more of them.
2.) Pre-thinned

In relation to number one, modern paint ranges should be doing this anyway! However it is particularly important, especially for those obsessed with fine nozzle airbrushes, that your pigments are nice and fine to help them flow through your brush. You also want plenty of them to ensure good coverage.

Number two is typically useless in my opinion, as I end up adding thinner to whatever paints I use in my airbrush regardless of them being pre-thinned. On the plus side it does help avoid separation.


Initial thoughts:
When unshaken the Citadel Air range looks far more consistent compared to normal GW paints and there is generally less separation apart from the metallics, which in my opinion are where the range falls down a little. The pigments do seem to be finer and this was particularly noticeable with Mephiston Red, of which the CA version was a pleasure to use through the airbrush and felt more potent colour-wise. Yet with both of them thinned appropriately (see below) I didn’t feel it was any smoother through the airbrush, there was just less time fussing with mixing, no bad thing! Tip drying needs a special mention, this is no Tamiya, and it is unavoidable when using Citadel Air, a tiny drop of glaze medium in your paint will reduce it though.

These paints still need thinning:
As stated above these paints are definitely not airbrush-ready out of the bottle. For a smooth result I ended up with a ratio of about 1:3 or 1:4 thinner to paint. This is admittedly very different from the 1:1 that I use with Citadel Base, or 3:4 with Citadel Layer. Yet the ‘neat’ paint splatter on my test box shows nicely that the paint is not suitable for undiluted use.

Brush Painting:
To return to point one, the hallmarks of a good airbrush range should be the same as a “normal” modern range, by which I mean non-technical paints and exempting glazes/washes/inks etc. Citadel Air is brilliant for brush painting as a result of this. Tricky freehand and general ease of use will be improved. However it is worth noting that some of the CA range does feel overly pre-thinned, and may be a little lacking in lustre when used from a brush.

Inconsistent Consistency:
One of, if not the only, downside of airbrush paint ranges is that you cannot remove thinner from the paint. This is a key reason as to why you still have to pick and choose paints from a number of manufacturers. There is presently no range on the market that consistently gets thinning or pigments spot-on across their selection! Citadel Air is no different. Some paints have a higher pigment count and are perfectly thinned, others aren’t and feel too thin, lacking in pigments, or are just a bit odd (Leadbelcher).


Citadel Air is occasionally superb and occasionally underwhelming, and is thus like any other modern paint range! As with Vallejo, Army Painter, and the current Citadel range, you need to pick and choose your colours depending on application. The old Dark Angels Green used to be one of my favourite colours because despite its terrible coverage it had a really deep colour, which made it perfect for using over pre-shading on Necron Vehicles. It is never right to label a paint ‘good/bad’ for this reason. It may not work for its intended use, but that is not always what it turns out to be best for.

Of the colours I tested there were two clear standouts:
Tau Light Ocre - which instantly made me want to do a Tau army.
Mephiston Red - which just got redder!
I have the feeling that any traditional-scheme Tau painters are going to be over the moon, as the tan, beige, and browns are incredible. As a painter who loves the rich browns of the current GW range it should be no surprise that this has continued into their airbrush range. Moot Green was a pleasant surprise as it came from the brush smoothly and turned out very strong given how light the colour is.
Metallics are the real wobbler for me as both Relictor Gold and Leadbelcher are not as strong as their rivals. Gun Metal from Army Painter covered better than the new Leadbelcher, and the former is not airbrush paint! This was the most disappointing discovery in testing a selection of the range, as I was expecting more Retributor Armour equivalents. Retributor Armour is by far and away the best conventional non-alcohol based gold paint I have used, and covers beautifully through an airbrush or with a normal brush. It also has the added bonus of being an amazing gold glaze when left to settle. The colours in the airbrush range were great; the coverage just wasn’t quite what I was expecting, the silvers paling in comparison with competitor's offerings – Vallejo Game Air for example.

That’s it! Grab a few or grab the lot, test them out and let me know your thoughts!

If you have any questions please feel free to post them in on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter


(Via Matt)


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