Andrea Color Paint Review
Andrea Color by Andrea Miniatures is the latest paint set going under the brush at Fauxhammer HQ. Who are Andrea Miniatures? What are their paints like?
Read on, dear reader. Read on.
Andrea Color Paint Review – Summary
Produced by Andrea Miniatures, the Andrea Color range is a line of acrylic paints specifically designed for painting models and miniatures. The range is somewhat modest in scope, featuring some 57 individual colours with no frills descriptors like “Flat Black” and “Yellow Ochre.”
As befits their names, the paints themselves are largely more natural, earthy colours and tones than most miniature painters are probably accustomed to; “Turquiose” is about as vibrant as the range gets.
Mercifully, the paints come in the ever popular eye drop-style bottles, topped with distinctive red caps for easy identification if you – like me – are often looking for paints through a sea of nigh-on identical bottles.
The paints themselves are very matte and very thick. Thicc. Explode-all-over-your-palette-if-you-don’t-clear-the-damn-neck-of-the-bottle thicc. They are the most matte paints I’ve come across thus far by a considerable margin. Some of the paints are so matte that they can make things look weirdly… felty during certain stages of painting.
And, as we all know, with great density comes great coverage. That can be a double-edged sword as it makes the paints great for laying down basecoats but can be problematic for layering and blending.
Andrea Color Paint Review – Andrea Miniatures
Andrea Miniatures are known primiarly for their range of historical miniatures and models. Hence the emphasis on natural colours and tones within the Andrea Color paint range.
Originally founded by the Andrea Brothers in Spain in 1983, the Madrid-based company now offers just about every service to the miniature painting world; from models and paints, to commissions and courses. Their company website even boasts a selection of rather prestigious clients amongst those who have commissioned work with Andrea, including – but not limited to – Disney, Marvel and Lucasfilm.
Impressive as all that sounds, it’s time for a confession.
I had never heard of Andrea Color until Bosshammer sent me their paints to review.
Since becoming acquianted with Andrea, I have spotted their paints of the desks of a number of notable Spanish miniature painters, which makes me think that the company has been more focused on the continental European market. I certainly haven’t been into a brick and mortar store in the UK that stocks them yet.
Andrea Color Paint Review – Packaging
For this review, Andrea sent us a collection of their boxed paint sets. In no particular order, we were sent the Fantasy Paint Set, the Green Camo Paint set, the Inks Set, the Flesh Tones Set, the White Set, and the Brown set.
So, whilst I wasn’t able to sample the entirety of the Acrylic Colours range, I got a pretty good idea of how the Andrea Color paints perform from this sample size.
If you’ve ever bought a paint set you’ll find no surprises here. To use the White Paint Set as an example, the paints came in an oblong cardboard box with an image of a model painted using the paints printed on the front.
The box contained 6 different shades of white in the trademark red-capped Andrea Color dropper bottles; 1 Base, 3 different highlight colours, and 2 different shadow colours. A leaflet outlining a tutorial also comes in the box, but it honestly isn’t all that helpful.
Andrea Color Paint Review – Brush Painting
My cunning plan for this review was initially to paint up a single model using a variety of the paints I was provided with. For this, I chose my Stormcast Eternals Xandra Azurebolt model.
When we review a paint range at Fauxhammer, we normally allocate a few months for the author of the review to work with the paints. There are a couple of reasons for this. First of all, it takes time to familiarise yourself with new paints. When there are a lot of new paints, that time naturally scales up. Secondly, we all have day jobs, families and varies other commitments to navigate.
Again, paint reviews take time. More than other reviews do.
So, why am I telling you this?
Something that I did not expect to happen when I started experimenting with the Andrea Color paints… happened.
My cunning plan to try at as many as possible of the paints on a single miniature went ahead. She turned out alright but is far from my best work. Andrea paints are generally quite dense. They are excellent for laying down solid blocks of colour, they’re very matte, but I had difficulty in using them to blend and glaze because of their density.
The density of these paints means that they’re also very thick – especially the whites. It’s a good idea to use a pin or a piece of clean wire to clear the nozzle before you decant anything on to a palette. Definitely don’t keep squeezing them to try and force the paint out. Only a complete idiot would do something like that.
They are really, really good for basecoats. So good, that many of them are paints that I reach for on a regular basis now.
Emerald Green is the most matte paint I have used so far. It’s almost maddening how matte this paint is – you have to see it in person to really appreciate it. I’m using the word matte so much now that it barely makes sense… just as I can barely comprehend how matte Emerald Green is.
It’s a beautiful shade of green that takes layers and glazes exceptionally well and also mixes very nicely. Much of the green armour on the Darren Latham’s Lord of Blights Masterclass model that I have been working on was painting use Emerald Green mixed with other paints since I didn’t have all the Citadel Greens that Darren used. I also used it as the basis for the teal feathers on my Shrike Talon model.
Dark Green is very strong and dark and provides excellent coverage. I’ve used it extensively in the Loyalist Death Guard army commission I’ve been working on, both brush-on and through my airbrush.
If you paint historical models at all, the Peat Dot Camouflage Paint set (which includes this paint) is probably worth while picking up. I dare say that collectors of Dark Angles could probably find a use for this paint, too.
White Paint Set
These are some of the best white acrylics on the market right now.
I used these to paint the cloth of my Shrike Talon model, building up layers of mottling to make the material look old and dirty. Whilst these paints are dense, they’re also very smooth and don’t cause any of the streaking and clumping that a lot of other acrylic whites are problematic for. Gotrek’s trousers were painted using the white paint set in a traditional layered and blended style.
As with all the Andrea paints I’ve used the whites also mix very well, making them excellent for lightening and desaturating other colours for layering.
Andrea Color Paint Review – Airbrushing
As they are not designed to be used with an airbrush, a bit of work is required to help Andrea Color paints get to a point where they can pass through said airbrush without any hitches.
That being said, with a bit of thinner, flow improver and water, I was able to get even the dense whites to go through my airbrush without much hassle. Because of the coverage they offer, they’re probably not the best paints for those who like to sketch in a greyscale preshade when airbrushing.
Again, excellent for laying down basecoats, not so great if you want to get a thin, subtle layer.
Andrea Color Paint Review – Price and Availability
I’ve been able to find one vendor in the UK that stocks Andrea Color. Andrea themselves do sell the range via their online store so it may also be worth checking there. The Andrea store does state that they ship internationally so that’s probably your best bet if you’re desperate to get some of these paints and you’re outside the EU/UK.
Retailing at £2.60 (2.60 EUR/$3.95 USD), Andrea paints are amongst the most reasonably priced on the market. It’s just a shame that given their scarcity that many will have to risk higher shipping rates and customs charges to get them.
Will Andrea Color Paint Improve my Hobby?
That’s a tough one to answer.
That it took me a bit of time to wrap my head around them would suggest to me that Andrea Color paints are not for beginners. A wee hobby summer child looking to take their first steps beyond the bounds of the Citadel range, you might want to wait a bit before giving these a try.
If you’re a bit more experienced and you’re looking for some new tools to add to your painting arsenal, these paints may be worth a look.
Just in the market for some white paints that aren’t awful? You really can’t go wrong with the White Paint Set.
Andrea Color Paint Review – Final Thoughts
|– Excellent coverage|
– Some of the most matte paints available
– Lovely natural tones
– Great value
|– Bottles clog quite often|
– Not readily available
– Range is somewhat limited
The biggest problem with the Andrea Color range is really down to availability. You really can’t go wrong with paint of such a consistent quality at £2.60 (2.60 EUR/$3.95 USD) a bottle.
My feeling is that Andrea is more invested in the historical modellers market, which would explain why the brand isn’t the most visible to sci-fi and fantasy modellers and wargamers. This would also account for the paint range itself being limited to more natural colours.
Outside of distribution problems, it really is hard to fault the range. Whilst not the best paints for blending and glazing, for their price you’ll be hard pushed to find a better acryclic paint for basecoating and blockin in colour.