Painting by Numbers – Recommended Paints

What is this?

This is the Goon Approved ™ (r) (lol) recommended list of paints. This isn’t a list of all the paints, or even a list of all the paints you should but (after all you can mix almost anything) but a recommendation of paints, possibly their best purpose/use (see Lupe’s guides for details on specifics) and just generally useful paints/combos.

There’s no bias for one particular brand, if a paint is here it’s because someone recommended it, when a similar alternative is known it can be added alongside it too.

Core Paint Set

These are the paint’s that I personally consider essential to cover most needs when it comes to painting. If I could only ever have the below paints I’d still be a happy nerd.

PaintAlternativeMain PurposeComments
Abaddon Black (Citadel)Black 70 950 (Vallejo Model Colour), Black (Vallejo Game Colour)Base coating, shadows etc..Everyone needs black paint.
White 70 951 (Vallejo Model Colour Lightening thingsLikewise everyone needs white.
Mephiston Red (Citadel)Base coating. Medium RedGreat coverage over all primer colours.
Averland Sunset (Citadel)Base coating. MustardGreat coverage over all primer colours
Flash Gitz Yellow (Citadel)Yellow 70 915 (Vallejo Model Colour)Layering (neutral yellow)Apply over Averland Sunset for a neutral yellow, or use as a highlight for Averland Sunset, or an Orange colour.
Macragge Blue (Citadel)Base coating. Medium BlueGreat coverage over all primers, good medium blue to work up or down from
Intermediate Green 72 891 (Vallejo Model Colour)Base coating. Medium GreenThe most neutral of greens, will require a couple of coats over a dark primer.
Mourning Brown (Citadel)Saddle Brown 72 940 (Vallejo Model Colour)Base coating. Medium BrownGreat coverage over all primer colours.

Good base colour for oranges and golds.
Orange Red 72 910 (Vallejo Model Colour)Troll Slayer Orange (Citadel)Layering. Medium Orange, use over brown or red base coat.
Xereus Purple (Citadel)Base coating. Medium PurpleA great colour when working up to pinks, or down to dark purples.
Ulthuan Grey (Citadel)Sky GreyLayering (use for 99% of white things)Better for lightening colours than using a pure white.

Works as a specular highlight on almost any colour if you want something to shine.
Ushabti Bone (Citadel)Pale Sand 70 837 (Vallejo Model Colour)Layering. Beige.Works great as a highlight for light browns.

Mix with medium for a wash that turns white primer into bone.
Retributor Gold (Citadel)Base coating. Neutral Gold.Great Coverage over all primer colours.

Highlights well with silver, and shades well with Agrax.
Nuln Oil (Citadel)ShadeBlack wash, useful for many purposes
Leadbelcher (Citadel)Gun Metal (Vallejo Model Air Metalic)Base coat. Dark MetalGreat coverage over black.

Highlights well with Silver.
Silver 71 063 (Vallejo Model Air Metallic)Stormhost Silver (Citadel)Base coating. Highlighting metalsVMA Silver is super shiny and covers brilliantly.

Brushes on great.

Excellent highlight for Leadbelcher/Gun Metal/Gold.
Agrax Earthsahde (Citadel)ShadeBrown wash, useful for many purposes.
Lahmian Medium (Citadel)Vallejo Glaze MediumPure Acrylic MediumChanges opacity of paint.

Use about 3 parts medium to 1 part paint to make a glaze of any colour.

Thins down washes.

Additional Niceties

The following is a list of my favourite paints, and common recipes I use them in. This list will change over time, so keep checking back.

PaintAlternativeMain PurposeComments/ Other Uses
Thousand Sons Blue (Citadel)Base coating. Lighter Blue/TealGreat starting point for Teal or Turquoise with excellent coverage.

Highlight with Temple Guard Blue and Baharroth Blue, extreme highlight with Ulthuan Grey
Temple Guard Blue (Citadel)Light Turquoise 70 840 (Vallejo Model Color)Layering. Light BlueCerulean blue.

Great first highlight for an Ultramarine blue colour.
Baharroth Blue (Citadel)Edge Highlight. Super Light BlueGreat highlight for Temple Guard Blue.

Mix with Lahmian Medium as a wash over Ulthuan Grey for instant plasma coils.
Drakenhoff Nightshade (Citadel)Shade/WashGreat shade for all blues.

Thins well with Lahmian Medium to lesson the effect.

Works nicely over Leadbelcher and Gunmetals as an alternative to Nuln Oil.

Use in eye sockets after a dot of bone for the eyes, to tone down the eye ball and darken the sockets.
Blue Ink (Scale 75)InkVery strong blue ink, useful for making washes.
Death Guard Green (Citadel)Base coating. Very Pale Green.Mid tone for Death Guard.

Shade's well with Biel Tan Green Wash.

Instant Ork Skin: Death Guard, Biel Tan, 4:1:1 Lahmian Medium, Biel-Tan and Intermediate Green Glaze, highlight Intermediate Green + Yellow.
Biel-Tan Green (Citadel)Shade/WashUse over most greens to get a medium green shadow.

Thin with Lahmian if you want to use over lighter greens