Likely, by the time this piece hits the internet, Game Workshop’s latest miniature painting innovation will not have hit the shelves yet and is still weeks away (or at least pretty close to it): the Contrast line of products.
While they have been teasing them for a while (word came down earlier this spring about a painting product that would speed up and simplify the process of painting large numbers of minis, and a number of people predicted it was going to be a Citadel-branded airbrush), the full nature of the actual product was only confirmed at WarhammerFest over this past Mother’s Day weekend.
While, obviously, I haven’t yet had the pleasure of trying out the product myself (more’s the pity), as things stand as I’m writing this, the Contrast line was heralded on the Warhammer Community site thusly: “Contrast is a new type of paint designed to make awesome results accessible to anyone, fast. With Contrast, you’ll have everything you get from a Base and Shade, but in a single application and a single coat.”
While the rest of the copy on the site goes into more specifics about the theory and application of Contrast (there will be 34 colors offered initially, including a “Space Wolves Grey” which excites me to no end), that’s the big gist of the announcement: A product that promises to speed up the process of painting a large number of miniatures with impressive results.
I mean, who doesn’t want that? I’ve got a full army of Space Wolves largely still on sprue and I need a shortcut to get them done, because I don’t want another months-long batch-painting extravaganza like I had with my Death Guard. And GW, over the last few years, has done a lot for those of us looking for faster ways of churning out armies: rattle can primer/base colors, wash-over-primer techniques, more and more varied technical paints, and so on. And those products work great, at least the ones I’ve tried.
However, as with any product advertised by a big corporation as a time-saving panacea for the harried and harassed, I’m a little skeptical. Which is probably healthy. Now, I don’t think GW is trying to sell us snake oil, of course – almost universally, with only a couple of exceptions, I’ve found GW products to live up to my expectations, if not to exceed them – but just like a Burger King Whopper always looks better in the commercial than in your hand, I’m going to reserve judgment on Contrast until I’ve actually got it and brushed it on.
Because, realistically, a product like this will only go one of two ways: It will be as revolutionary as they say, and give birth to a whole new world of gamers who are getting their minis out of the boxes and onto the tables. OR, it will be merely OK, and lack the kind of elements that gamers really wished for.
For me, I hope it turns out to be a tremendous success and will help me get my Sons of Russ into battle faster than I even imagined.
Only time will tell.
About the author;
Peter Kuebeck is a writer, gamer and award-winning mini-painter living in the Midwest. He wages a constant battle against the ever-growing tide of unpainted minis in his basement, and occasionally GMs role-playing game sessions with friends. Catch his hobby shenanigans on Twitter at @popculturecube