RedGrass Games Studio XL Lite Wet Palette

The RedGrass Games wet palette train keeps chugging along with a new carriage in tow – albeit, a rather large one that comes looming over the hobby horizon. Putting the L in XL, the Studio XL Lite wet palette is another relatively new addition to RedGrass Games’ wet palette library – read on to see if it finds a place amongst its hallowed shelves, and perhaps yours too.

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RedGrass Games Studio XL Lite Wet Palette Review – Summary

RedGrass Games have the absolute knack for wet palettes. The Studio XL Lite not only excels in the standard expectations of a wet palette – in that it keeps your paints damp and fresh for days on end – but also offers a chance for experienced painters to exercise versatile painting practices with its sheer size.

On the other hand, its sheer size demands quite a large presence on your hobby space, and perhaps this is what may determine if this is the right palette for you. Irrespective of that, the Studio XL Lite continues to prove that RedGrass Games have the formula for wet palettes tried and tested to the nth degree.

RedGrass Games Studio XL Lite Wet Palette Review – Introduction

If you’ve been an avid follower of FauxHammer.com for a little while, you may have read our previous coverage of RedGrass Games’ wet palettes, like the Everlasting Wet Palette 2 and the most recent Painter Lite. Today, we are here to complete the triumvirate with another of RedGrass’ newest offering, the Studio XL Lite, kindly provided by RedGrass Games for review.

RedGrass Games Studio XL Lite Wet Palette Review – Unboxing

Let’s just dive straight in and start off with the first thing you’ll see about the palette – the box.

Wet palette studio XL lite box

Is there much more to say than it is a very professional and attractive looking bit of packaging? The Painter Lite comes in a well-compacted plastic sleeve in contrast, but here the box is not superfluous at all and reflects the true size of the palette.

Wet palette studio XL lite box back

We’ll move onto the back, which has a bit more to say (literally). Like the Painter Lite, the instructions on how to set the palette up are incorporated with the packaging, rather than being a separate insert inside the box. Personally, I applaud this development – the less tat I’m left with, the better. There’s also a QR code you can scan that will show you how to set up the palette too if you’re that way inclined. The instructions are concise and clear to read without unnecessary jargon, as all good instructions ought to be.

Now rip that baby open and see what tumbles out.

Wet palette studio XL lite contents

The contents are as follows;

  • The wet palette
  • The elastic strap
  • 2 hydration foam pads
  • 50 sheets of hydration paper

It’s all the bells and whistles that you should expect from any wet palette. Anything else is usually complimentary, but a bit extra. We’ll quickly examine each item in turn.

Die Palette

‘The Palette’s the Thing!’ Shakespeare would probably say if he were a hobbyist (maybe, perhaps, surely). And a thing it is.

Wet palette studio XL lite

It’s a big white rectangle, which I’m also positive is exactly how the wordsmith himself would describe it. But then again, wet palettes generally are rectangular in shape – and have little need or reason to deviate. At the end of the day, if it keeps my paints soggy, then there’s no need to fix what isn’t broke.

The size, however, is the one thing we should discuss. It is a monster of a block – look what it’s done to my hobby space (if one can call less than half of a dining room table that!).

Wet palette studio XL lite hobby space

No joke, this is actually what I have to work with. This doubles as my ‘office space’ too – as in my most important work is conducted here (so I keep telling myself). There are sardine cans out there in the world that have more breathing room than this.

My spatial poverty aside, for some hobbyists out there this may be a stinging reality. Not everyone can have a dedicated hobby room for many reasons, and so those who don’t have to make do. The Studio XL Lite really doesn’t work for me purely for this reason – it consumes a large chunk of space that the smaller Painter Lite occupies perfectly. Of course, my hobby station is not reflective of everyone else’s, but I imagine there are others who will read this and see a similar problem with their set-up.

The Studio XL Lite is 20x30cm (7.9″ x 11.8″ for those who don’t believe in the metric system), and that is quite a beefy size. Let’s compare it to the Painter Lite, released at the same time.

Wet palette studio XL lite comparison
Sprich nie wieder mit mir oder meinem Sohn.

It is quite the lengthy beast. Despite this complaint of mine, the size has purpose – it’s for those looking for a massive painting area to play around in. If that person is you, then you’re in luck – if you have a large painting station, that is.

Wet palette studio XL lite open

Having a larger palette equals a larger surface area to experiment with your paints – and keep them for longer. This can be especially handy if you are mixing paints and want to keep the exact shade you’ve blended rather than having to recreate the exact hue a second time in your next session. You’ll also have the space to create longer trails of glazes and mixes if you wish to practice wet blending on a larger scale. You’ll also be able to save on hydration sheets as well, as naturally you’ll be switching new ones less as you won’t run out of space so quickly.

Wet palette studio XL lite strap

Before we move on, I’ll highlight one thing. The elastic strap does what it needs to do pretty well – and it doesn’t even feel necessary, as the palette’s TPE seal is so efficient that opening the palette can sometimes feel like a battle, having to pry your fingernails under the tiny gaps. This may sound like a criticism, but it does exactly what its designed to do – keep your precious paints away from the elements. I can also take it out of the house in confidence knowing that the liquid and paint won’t stream out when the palette tips and moves about – though I personally wouldn’t recommend trying to regardless, your paints may still go awol inside the palette!

The Hydration Sheets

While your palette will be tight in the streets, it will also be hydrated in the sheets.

Wet palette studio XL lite hydration paper

Horrible jokes aside, no wet palette package is complete without the sheets needed to actually mix your paints on. You are provided with 50 with the Studio XL Lite, which is more than enough and will keep you sustained for a good while.

The Hydration Foam Pads

Wet palette studio XL lite hydration foam 2

The Studio XL Lite provides you with two hydration foam pads, which is really all you need starting out – one foam pad ought to last a long time, provided due care is given to them – which can simply amount to wringing them dry when not slated for use for a little while.

And yes, they are nice and soft to the touch. This softness, when wet, ensures the longevity of your paints on the hydration sheets, and throughout the testing phase of this product, this has rung true. It’s also mould resistant, and in the weeks since using it, there’s no funny damp smell coming from it – not even Papa Nurgle could sneak in and bless it. The Grey Knights better take some notes.

RedGrass Games Studio XL Lite Wet Palette Review – Using the Wet Palette

After a thorough dissection, it’s time to put it all together.

Konfiguration

It’s time to refer back to the box, where the instructions are very well presented. If you’re looking at this review, high chances are you are no novice to the world of wet palettes, but on the off-chance that this is your first time, we’ll quickly guide you through the simple process.

To no one’s surprise, the first step is to open the palette and place the foam pad inside.

Wet palette studio XL lite set-up 1

Once you’ve passed this Herculean task, run the palette under a tap until the foam is dripping wet to the touch. The water level should not rise above the foam pad, so tip out the excess. You’ll also know it’s too much when there is water left in the corners – the foam pad should absorb enough water for the palette to work, so there is no need for leftover water.

Wet palette studio XL lite set-up 2

The final step is to apply the hydration sheet. Just lay it down carefully, and with your hand, iron out any air pockets or wrinkles in the sheet. This will also work to push aside any excess water, should there be any. It should be noted that you don’t want both sides of the sheet to be wet, just the underside.

Wet palette studio XL lite set-up 3

That’s really all it takes. You’ll know it’s ready when the sheet is damp but not soggy.

Gemälde

Now this is the part where you shout ‘It’s Paintin’ time!’ and paint all over the place. I mean, the Studio XL Lite provides the space, so why not?

However, I will not be painting all over the place. There are many models I could have chosen to do – like continue a half-finished Lord Kroak, or finally make a start on that C’Tan Shard of the Void Dragon I’ve been wanting to paint like Dr. Manhattan.

Instead, I had a burning itch to do the gaudy yet classic Noise Marine.

Wet palette chaos noise marine test 01
I think they ought to call this scheme ‘Whitesnake’.

Of all the things to paint, why this tiny slightly over-expensive miniature? Because an 8 foot-tall guitar-shredding evil spaceman who frolicks with actual devils (unlike what the Satanic Panic-ers would want you to believe in the 80s) is just too cool to pass up. And I was also struck a bolt of inspiration.

Ever heard of the Norwegian black metal scene? If you ever want to see people play pretend at some real grimdark, it’s worth a look. Regardless, the musicians sported some real interesting colour schemes; black and white corpse paint. It’s something so daringly simple yet effective looking that I wanted to replicate it with the Noise Marine and have a little frostbitten northern darkness of my own.

Just a quick note, I will be using Games Workshop’s range of Citadel paints for the model.

Having the model primed in Geisterknochen, the first colour I need to lay down is Abaddon Black. I didn’t drip feed the paint onto the palette, I slathered it on like a true follower of chaos ought to.

Wet palette studio XL lite test 01

Black will be primary colour for the model, so it made sense to have a fair amount of it on the palette. The paint spread quite well and evenly, and remained wet and free to use for the duration of the whole evening. Furthermore, due to the geometric lines and striping I wanted to use in my colour scheme (on the helmet), it really helped to have a surface where I can experiment with a fine brush to get a sharp point to apply those thin lines.

By the end of my painting session, this was my progress thus far.

Wet palette chaos noise marine test 02

Despite the relatively simplistic colour choices, the black versus the ‘white’ (Geisterknochen is more of a creamy hue than a white, but the spray makes it lighter, resembling more of a white than the paint pot does) creates a striking contrast and works for the Noise Marine. You can see on the helmet where I needed a fine brush in order to recreate the sharp face paint (as inspired by this killer whale looking guy, Abbath). The Studio XL Lite allowed me to achieve a smooth application that was consistent all over the model, especially with flat surfaces like armour panels where any inconsistent coats are usually very noticeable.

After another thin coat, it was time to call it a night and come back another night to continue. Two nights later, I open the palette and this is what awaits me.

Wet palette studio XL lite test 02

It looks like a non-descript blob of ink, but at least you know I used a lot of Abaddon Black. And after two days, it was still wet – one of the brush strokes above the blob was me proving it was still useable. It didn’t even need reactivation with water – though I did refill the palette with a small helping of water, to ensure the foam pad was fully hydrated again.

The next step was to do the silver trim and fill out the details, like the guitar. Zandri Dust was used as a base for the guitar. Leadbelcher was used for the armour trim, guitar strings and other detailing like spikes, piercings and a bracelet. Incubi Dunkelheit became the base for the guitar. Mechanicus Standard Grau was used to touch up some minor details like those weird pipes and tubes you usually see on Chaos models. The contrast Skeleton Horde was perfect for all the bone details on the Noise Marine, like the skulls and claws on the backpack.

Finally, but most importantly of all, there was the Space Marine helmet that the Noise Marine is using as a tactical rock. Now, if you wish to flex on your Astartes-playing mates/ opponents or send a message, you may be tempted to paint said helmet in the colour of their chosen chapter. Such a temptation is too good for me to pass up, so I went with Dark Angels Green. Couldn’t possibly tell you warum, of course.

With another session, it was time to pack up for the evening and return another day. That other day turned into a week. One might think that a bunch of acrylic-based paints aren’t going to last a week, and that wouldn’t be an unreasonable thought.

The Studio XL Lite clears its throat and raises you this.

Wet palette studio XL lite test 03

The camera catches the sheen and glimmer of these paints because they are still wet as the day I shut the lid on them – only the Dark Angels Green and Skeleton Horde dried out, as they are contrast paints that are more akin to ink or washes, so that is to be expected.

However, the Leadbelcher being intact was a surprise – being a metallic paint, it is more watery than a base paint, and so I expected it to be long gone. Fortunately, this was not the case as I needed to do some touch-ups on the trim.

Das Zandri Dust was also still good to use, though the pigment had separated a little – nothing a little water couldn’t fix.

After a final stab at the Noise Marine, I was feeling done with the model. This is what the Studio XL Lite looked like when I was done.

Wet palette studio XL lite test 04

It’s a right mess, but it shows how much space one single model demanded – and it’s not even a medium-sized one. That said, due to the enormity of space that the Studio XL Lite offered, I was being very liberal with it. This is approximately a third of the wet palette’s space used.

Despite my complaint earlier that the Studio XL Lite is too big, its size has also been advantageous. Had I tackled a much larger model, like a centrepiece type, the space would have been necessary.

The grimdark Noise Marine is done, and here he is in all his trve kvlt glory.

Wet palette chaos noise marine test 03

After applying some Astrogranit texture paint to the base, I was pretty happy with the final paintjob. I did go back and apply Nulnöl to the silver trim, and then edge highlight with Stormhost Silber just to make those areas pop a bit more. I even gave him some black lipstick with a incredibly fine brush tip, and thanks to the Studio XL Lite, I was able to get a very controlled amount onto the brush.

All in all, this was a successful test with the Studio XL Lite.

Will RedGrass Games Studio XL Lite Improve my Hobby?

I want to say yes, but this is entirely dependent on what exactly your painting needs are.

If you’re new to wet palettes and never used one before, I would instead direct you to their smaller offering – the Painter Lite. There are no differences other than the size, which may be more manageable for a beginner starting out.

If you’re an experienced painter looking to branch out and need a large canvas, then this will serve you well. If hobby space is not an issue for you, then the Studio XL Lite will not be either.

As a wet palette, the Studio XL Lite functions exactly as intended – and like RedGrass Games’ usual fare, it will be a reliable tool you’ll come back to for years to come. Even after a couple of weeks of use (and not emptying out), the Studio Lite XL does not reek of that awful moist smell you might expect. The anti-fungal treatment is showing to be incredibly effective. Nurgle, be gone.

If this ticks all of your boxes, then yes, it will improve your hobby. But like in my review of the Painter Lite, the Studio XL Lite does not offer anything revolutionary for the wet palette world – rather, it bills itself as a consistently reliable product that doesn’t need to change the world.

RedGrass Games Studio XL Lite Wet Palette Review – Price and Availability

The Studio XL Lite wet palette released last year in 2022, and is readily available at RedGrass Games for GBP £39.99/ USD $49.99/ EUR 44.99. You can also purchase it at Amazon for those exact prices too.

Now that can be a bit of a set-back at £40/ $50 – and this is why I can’t recommend it to beginners, as the Painter Lite comes at a more affordable price bracket of £22.99 GBP/ €24.99 EUR/ $29.99 USD and provides a greater stepping stone into the world of painting.

That said, for the serious pro painter, this price may not faze you at all if you need all that extra space for your swish blends, mixes and other techniques. If you are not constricted by budget, by all means this is an excellent wet palette to add to your repertoire.

RedGrass Games Studio XL Lite Wet Palette Review – Final Thoughts

VorteileNachteile
Made for experienced painters in mind
Large size ideal for complex painting techniques
Plenty of room for experimentation and practice
Paints remain usable and wet for at least a week
Airtight and watertight
Anti-fungal treatment works
Instructions clear and accessible
Too big if working with limited space
Teuer
Not likely to revolutionise the wet
palette formula




RedGrass Games deserve any praise they get for their wet palettes – they are ultimately well-made and they know exactly what needs they have to fulfil. They must keep paints preserved and damp for long periods of time, whilst fighting back against the effects of damp and oxygen. On this front, the Studio XL Lite excels.

What makes the Studio XL Lite different from the current crop of palettes, whether that be in their own product line or outside of it, is its sheer size – inviting the painter to play on a such a stretched canvas. Aiming at experienced painters can have its pitfalls too – does that mean the beginner or amateur painter is locked out of having one of their own?

At the end of the day, when there are cheaper options that are just as good on the market aimed at you, like their own Painter Lite, this is a judgement that can only be made purely by you, the hobbyist. Whatever you decide, the Studio XL Lite is an excellent choice, especially if you’re looking to finally enter that ‘Armies on Parade’ contest you’ve always wanted to and need the extra space to batch paint a load of units, or if that centrepiece model is calling your name.

Either way, the Studio XL Lite won’t disappoint.

Wenn du FauxHammer.com unterstützen möchtest, klicke auf diesen Link und bestelle deine Hobbyartikel bei Element Games für Großbritannien und Europa. Verwende den Code “FAUX2768” an der Kasse, für doppelte Belohnungspunkte.

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