Game Decor paints

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Okay today’s entry could be considered a review,  but I like to think of it more as a ‘first glance’.

So I’ve been eyeing Game Decor‘s paints ever since their Kickstarter a while back. I paint a lot of terrain and always feel like I could do better of it. Knowing which shades of paint, washes to apply and in what order can take a lot of trial and error. And the learning curve can be steep, especially when trying to simulate a wide variety of surface types. (aged wood, flag stone, mossy stone tile, etc). I’m not the best painter so I’m always looking for ways to improve.

That said, having painted so many buildings, ships and dock pieces over the past year, I feel I’ve gotten the aged wood down pretty good. Well, as I like to say, “Good enough for table top”. My handiwork with a brush isn’t going to win any awards but at the same time they are no display pieces. I build/paint to play and to be honest, I love a piece that looks like it’s undergone the rigors of play and has been used (which is another subject for another day).

While  I’ve gotten pretty proficient at speed-painting dozens of pieces in assembly line fashion, I have been eyeing Game Decor’s paint kits for months.

Each Game Decor kit comes with 3 to 4 bottles of high quality paint; a base coat and then a series of shades that are dry brushed on. They take all the guess work out. For example the Aged Wood kit comes with these three colors.

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Which, as it turns out — is pretty close to the colors I’ve been using to paint my ships the past few months. The only difference is I’ve been using those really cheap craft paints from Michaels.  The kits are priced very reasonably. About ten bucks. Which, all that more than I’ve been paying for the ‘cheap’ stuff a Michaels (well, depending on the timing. prices can very from $2 bucks a bottle to $3). Anyway, I’ve always wanted to give these kits a try — just never pushed that purchase button for whatever reason.

So, when the owner of Game Decor, John Klingbeil contacted me recently about trading some paint for some of my resin pieces I jumped all over it.  And, to make a long story short, my swag arrived yesterday. This is what I got. The kits for Aged Wood, Field Stone, Egyptian Stone and Cavern Stone.

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I was sort of anxious to give the Aged Wood a spin so I pulled out one of my resin cart casts to serve as a test subject. Here it is with the base Coat (A) applied. Still very wet AND looking like a piece of chocolate candy. One thing I noticed right off was just how easy this stuff went on. The base coats (from what I understand) are all very watery/thin and brush on with one coat and really get not he detail quite nicely (this piece has deep knot holes and wood grain). I was a little worried that might also mean coverage suffer. Not the case. Coverage was amazing.

The toughest part for me when painting with the ‘cheap stuff’ is the fact I have to dab and dab and dab to work the paint into the recesses with my base coat. That and the fact coverage isn’t always so great – requiring 2nd or 3rd coats. So color me impressed (no pun intended). Base coat went on in nothing flat.

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After drying for a few hours I came back and applied the next shade (B — although in my case the bottle was erroneously labeled a “C”). So far so good. I noticed Part B was much thicker than the base coat and very easy to dry brush with.  I should point out I was using a wider flat brush whereas I should have probably selected a narrower bush to get into the recesses/corners more evenly.

 

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Finally I applied Part C – which was VERY thick. In fact at first I thought perhaps the bottle had dried up. Turns out it was just me not squeezing hard enough. The tutorial video on the website indicated I should go very sparingly with this highlight shade which I did. And here is the finished cart (ignore the oxen – they aren’t painted yet).

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The one in front (with the stack of hay) is the Game Decor paint up. The cart in back – one of the carts I painted with the “cheap” craft paint. Admittedly they look very similar but I DO prefer the Game Decor paint up. My cheap camera doesn’t pick it up but the colors are richer. More importantly, the paints went in easier and there was much less going back to touch up and evening things out. i.e. similar results with less work.

Going forward I’ll probably switch to Game Decor for most of my needs. I want to play with them on some other pieces (I have 3 ships for the Port of Chaos to paint up) and then I’ll post a full review with better pics.

 

 

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