Any skilled miniature painter will tell you that you can get by with a dozen or so colors and just mix what you need from them. This approach will certainly save you a great deal of money. Although I’m all for saving money, I just don’t trust that I’d have the ability to master paint mixing to a point where I’d be satisfied with the result. Therefore, after a great deal of thought, I decided to purchase the entire line of Reaper paints.
The Reaper Master Series Paint (MSP) line consists of 216 paints that run $3.29 per bottle. They also offer two paint sets that together include all 216 colors for $329.99 each. Each set includes a very nice carry case as well. But $660 for paint is a LOT of money!
They don’t stock these sets. Instead, when you place an order, they order from Reaper and then when it arrives, they stick a new mailing label on it and send it to you. Naturally, that takes a little longer but the discount is well worth the wait.
If I were just painting a few miniatures, all this paint would be massive over-kill. I currently have over 200 minis to paint and plan to get more. Still, I probably could have gotten by with far less. But I plan to do more than paint minis.
Later this year, I hope to get started making Hirst models. For those not familiar with Hirst Arts, they sell molds that you use to create your own terrain and dungeon dressing. These pieces will require considerably more paint than miniatures. That’s what made me decide to go with the full set.
Now that I have my paint, I’m nearly ready to get started. I still have to clean the miniatures and prime them (and order the cleaning supplies, primer, and brushes). Also, I want to make a paint holder to hold all the paints in a more accessible manner. Unfortunately, I still don’t have an acceptable place to do the painting where my “helpers” won’t be jumping up on the table and stepping in the paint pallets. I have an idea but it’s rather extreme so I’ll keep thinking while working on the remaining preparations.
It should be noted that there are many other brands of paint out there and some are considerably cheaper. How-to-paint-miniatures.com recommends Apple Barrel paints (found at many local craft stores) which reportedly sell for $0.50 to $1.00.
It probably would have been smarter to go that route, but Reaper makes paints specifically for painting minis. I have to assume they are better somehow. Also, I know that Reaper paints come in easy to use bottles but some acrylic paints come in tubes that I would expect to be less convenient. Once I become somewhat skilled at painting with Reaper paints, I will probably expand out into other brands to see what the differences are. As a beginner, I just feel more comfortable with Reaper.