Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Coat D'Arms - Experiences?

One of my local game shops, Static, has dropped Games Workshop products in the past few months - revisions to the trading agreements made it increasingly pointless, especially when there's a perfectly serviceable GW round the corner. 

The GW paints did a fair wee trade, though, so they replaced them with the Coat D'Arms paints.  I've long wanted to try some of these out but could never quite justify the hassle and postage: now I can finally pick some up in the flesh.  So my question do you guys is: Do you have any experience with Coat D'Arms paints?

For those interested, some history on Coat D'Arms paints, because they aren't exactly a new company - rather, if you painted GW stuff back in the 80s and early 90s, you probably used them without knowing it.  :-)

Some old GW paints, with oldest to the left: the old round pots, the first hex pots, then the screw tops, then the flip lids.

Games Workshop didn't originally make their own paints in house.  Instead, they sub-contracted production to a French company who just put a different label on the side of the pots.  This allowed GW to utilise the experience of an existing paint company, but still have a custom line of paints in store. 

Certainly, GW's colour names have a lot of geek cred: the otherwise poor-colour-grasp male chums who mock me for using words like "teal", "heliotrope" and "burgundy" will fully accept the difference between Goblin Green, Snot Green and Dark Angels Green.  Also, some of the names are quite evocative - you probably have an idea of what Blood Red, Snakebite Leather, Rotting Flesh and Regal Blue look like even without consulting an old GW Colour Chart.

This was my first every paint set - the Advanced Heroquest paint set.  Duplicate heroes, eight plastic skeletons and a mish-mash of other old Warhammer plastics along with the core colours.  I still remember sitting down with my Dad: he did a surprisingly good job on the Warrior as I recall. 

However, GW eventually decided to take paint production in-house.  GW paints remain one of their better sellers with people who otherwise eschew their product - the price rises haven't been quite as painful there as the figures, plus anyone whose painted over the years recognises words like Skull White, Warlock Purple and Blazing Orange and feels an odd kinship with them.  GW have changed paint names and formulations over the years but they still seem fairly well regarded, albeit their paint pots aren't always in great estimation.

Not all colours have survived over the years, though.  My original pink shade for the Emperors Children, Tentacle Pink, went out of production for a bit.  Emperors Children in the new scheme is a close match but not perfect, and some colours have it worse: Titillating Pink was a bright colour lost to the ages and my metallic purple paint Amethyst has been out of production for years.

Gone but not forgotten.  <sniff>
Now I must say, in my best Jeremy Clarkson voice, ".....until now".

....Also not actually gone, apparently.

Coat D'Arms comes from the same paint company, with a full range that includes duplicates for many old GW colours.  I got two at the weekend: Jade Green and Amethyst Purple.  There's a few colours renamed for legal reasons - Angel Red rather than Blood Angel Red, Magic Metal rather than Tin Bitz, etc - but the formulation is apparently pretty much identical including the larger quantity size for a smaller price that acts as a time machine back to the 90s.

Yet to try the new colours out but I've definitely got to do a comparison between the old and current Amethyst to see how they hold up.

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