Army Painter Speedpaint Mega Set 2.0 Review

Looking to get your miniatures painted pronto for the tabletop? Army Painter are here with a solution, improving on their previous Speedpaints with a new formula and massive box set of 50 paints to get you started. But is it worth it? Read our Army Painter Speedpaint Mega Set 2.0 Review to find out if these are the paints for you.

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Army Painter Speedpaint Mega Set 2.0 Review – Summary

The Army Painter Speedpaint Mega Set 2.0 provide many great paints and some promising results – and in our experience, these paints did not reactivate, contrary to all the controversy online. The paints provide consistent coverage, an all-in-one shade and basecoat and are very pleasing to the eye, allowing you to churn out some battle ready miniatures in an afternoon without much fuss.

However, there is still room for improvement on the formula – we found that covering up mistakes and doing touch ups were difficult, as previous layers refused to be recovered. The dropper bottles were also a mixed bag – in that, some of them in our copy were unstable and erupted, whilst the rest were an absolute joy to work with. Hopefully, the latter point was a fluke and not reflective of the product in its entirety – because otherwise, this would be a great box set for beginners and veterans alike looking to get an army on the table as quick as possible.

Army Painter Speedpaint Mega Set 2.0 Review – Introduction

This isn’t The Army Painter’s first rodeo – they’ve been around the block for a while. We at Fauxhammer have reviewed some of their products before, like their Warpaint set a couple years back. They’re well established, but they’ve recently made some waves with their Speedpaint range – the idea being that they are the ‘true one-coat solution’. A very bold assertion, especially in a market where Games Workshop say something similar with their Contrast Paint range. Just recently, they have released their second wave of Speedpaints – a 2.0, if you will – introducing 45 new colours into their range, with 5 re-formulated paints returning. Also, 3 of those paints are metallics too, and a resin-based medium is included.

Before we properly begin, we’d like to thank The Army Painter for sending us this set for review.

Army Painter Speedpaint Mega Set 2.0 Review – Contents

For regular readers, you may feel like we’ve skipped something – and that something would be the unboxing section. I did not receive the box itself, so we’ll have to use a bit of the theatre of the mind here to imagine a box, like so.

AP speedpaints mega set 2.0 box

Unfortunately, this meant I also did not receive the free paintbrush and painting guide leaflet – but I am sure we can persist without.

In the box, this is what you’d normally get;

AP speedpaints mega set 2.0
  • 50x Paints
    • 45 new colours
    • 3 metallics (Talos Bronze, Hoplite Gold and Broadsword Silver)
  • 4 Paints from the original range (Ork Flesh, Magic Blue, Grim Black and Slaughter Red)
  • 1 Basecoat brush
  • 1 Painting guide

The amount of paints can look a bit overwhelming, but this number covers a vast range of the colour spectrum, and to have them all in one will become a boon quite quickly.

The Paints

Now, let’s just dive in right in to what everybody wants to know about – the paints themselves. Instead of listing every single paint included, I’ll let this diagram The Army Painter kindly provides on their site to showcase the new range in this box.

AP speedpaints mega set 2.0 colour chart

As you can see, this is a diverse array of shades and variations on every primary colour, though there is one notable omission – white. I found this strange, as though white as a paint can be hard to formulate, it is still one of the most important colours in a painter’s wheel.

For the sake of the review, I tested one of each of the primary colours and metallics rather than all 50 at once. But that’s still a lot of paint to test – and however will I showcase such an amount?

The answer came in the form of an endless multitude of 3D printed busts. Busts of Ross, Mr. Fauxhammer himself.

AP speedpaints mega set 2.0 test fauxhammer heads
I’ve got a lovely bunch of Ross heads, here they are standing on their own…

Why do these exist? Who knows. But I have given them a higher purpose, as guinea pigs for these speedpaints.

After piling up the heads like my name was Genghis Khan, it was time to slap some paint on them. For full disclosure, Army Painter recommends use of their primer sprays for the speedpaints. However, one of my LFGS came up a little short on my order for the Matt White primer, and so I had to resort to using to what I have available – Citadel Wraithbone primer. That said, it became a prime opportunity to test out whether these speedpaints work with other company primers too (spoiler alert – the speedpaints worked just fine with the Citadel spray).

I used a Citadel shade brush to apply the paint – as, like Contrast paints, they are very watery, and so I felt this brush would apply the paint the easiest. And the paint applied like a charm – it acted like a wash or ink, so you want to be quite liberal in your initial application and then use the brush-tip to prevent pooling over flat surfaces and to control how it settles in the recesses.

AP speedpaints mega set 2.0 paint test

Each bottle also has two mixing balls in them, to help separate the paint and is satisfying to hear them clink when you shake them.

Now, there is a bit of an elephant in the room I am going to address, and I hope this was just a fluke in the product I received rather than something more widespread. I will preface by saying this was my first time using paints that came in dropper bottles, and 90% of the bottles worked a dream and carefully and considerately dropped a few tiny dollops of paints, allowing you to control the amount you use much more efficiently than a pot would. However, the fifth bottle along ended up like this.

AP speedpaints mega set 2.0 spillage 1

This pot of Bright Red became a crime scene (ironic, considering one of the paints is called Murder Scene) and honestly looked like something out of Macbeth. So, what happened was that this paint wouldn’t even dribble out of the nozzle – and I checked that it was pierced, and it was. I gave it a gentle squeeze, where it immediately erupted and stained my wet palette forever with a sea of crimson.

I cleaned up and moved on, assuming this was an error either on my part or with this particular bottle. I try out Beowulf Blue next, and the same thing happens again. Then down the line with Ork Skin and Hoplite Gold. This was rather frustrating, as one could imagine, and I couldn’t truly discern what the problem. Initially, I thought the problem was with me – maybe you weren’t meant to squeeze the bottles, as gentle as I may have been. But, honestly, it could have been a build-up of pressure in my bottles, and some of them had dried paint under the rim inside the bottle. Observe.

AP speedpaints mega set 2.0 spillage 3

Again, I hope this was just an issue with the set I received rather than something more widespread – but something to be mindful of if getting a set for yourself. Have a paper clip handy if you need to pierce the nozzle, just in case it is blocked up in there.

The Primary Colours

Out of the 50, I tested 25 different paints (3 of them metallics) to give a full breadth and demonstration of the range of colours provided by the Mega Set. Each Ross head was painted in a single colour to test the effectiveness of each paint.

Honestly, there was not a dud in the experiment whatsoever. Each paint was applied in the same way with the same brush, same primer and same model surface – and all yielded crisp results. The claim that the paints are all-in-one hold up, as basecoat and shade appear to combine and give the same level of depth that two coats of regular paint would take to achieve. The most miniscule of details was preserved on the test piece, such as the tiny beard hairs on the Ross heads and accentuated brightly and cleanly. This was even the case on the darker pigments, like Grim Black.

The paint I was most impressed by was Ashen Stone, which would be perfect for painting weathered statues and stone buildings. The paint has settled well into the recesses and folds, really giving it that element-worn appearance.

AP speedpaints mega set 2.0 ashen stone
Ashen Stone

Another paint I was surprised by was Maize Yellow, as yellow paints are notorious for their blotchy coverage and inability to convey the colour correctly. Maize Yellow does well in this regard – the coverage is excellent and there are no blemishes or imperfections, as far as my eye can see.

Maize Yellow

The skin tones also turned out well. You get 4 in the set (of which I assume are skin tones judging by their names) so I tested Peachy Flesh and Noble Skin to cover both lighter and darker skin tones respectively. Once dried, Noble Skin did a fantastic job representing black skin – though on the other hand, Peachy Flesh felt a bit off from real Caucasian skin and looked a bit more orange to my naked eye. I imagine you’d need to experiment with mixing paints in order to get a realistic skin tone, or to get into the different hues we humans come in – but it’s not a bad start at all.

AP speedpaint mega set 2.0 peachy flesh
Peachy Flesh
AP speedpaints mega set 2.0 noble skin
Noble Skin

Finally, I decided to test out all the green/ green adjacent paints in the set to see how Army Painter do when it comes to varying shades of the same colour. Here, we have from teal to a very dark camouflage green.

Again, the Army Painter Speedpaint range represents each different variation very satisfyingly and gives you a lot of options for, let’s say, orks and goblins, or forest rangers or army men or flora.

The Metallic Colours

Included in the set are 3 metallics – Hoplite Gold, Broadsword Silver and Talos Bronze. These are just your basic metallics, but they all provide a clean finish.

AP speedpaints mega set 2.0 metallic paints

Hoplite Gold is easily the best of the triumvirate – it really does live up to its name, resembling the same golden hue we associate with ancient Greek warriors. It isn’t a bright gold like Aztec gold pieces, but it’s a more realistic worn down gold that’s perfect for painting armour or busts.

AP speedpaints mega set 2.0 hoplite gold

Broadsword Silver, for me, was the less impressive of the three. As you can see, there is some detail obscured – but that’s more because I laid down the primer a bit thick. Irrespective of that, it’s a dull silver that would work for swords and weapons, but has come out looking a bit glittery. That said, this would be great for bringing the Shockmaster back to life.

AP speedpaints mega set 2.0 broadsword silver

Talos Bronze is more reddish and brings out the coppery side of bronze, and glitters a bit as well. Still, the finish has come out well and represents the colour greatly, though it could be darker if you wanted to make this Ross bust into a bronze bust.

AP speedpaints mega set 2.0 talos bronze

All the paints are watery, but the metallics are even more so, so make sure to be more liberal than usual to bring out the sheen.

Army Painter Speedpaint Mega Set 2.0 Review – Testing

More testing, I hear you say? This time, we’re gonna paint a whole miniature rather than half of one in a single colour. For this test, I will paint an Eternal Dynasty ONI from the One Page Rules range. It’s a 3D printed miniature made of resin, so we’ll see how the Speedpaints fare on this one.

AP speedpaint mega set 2.0 test eternal dynasty ONI 01

…and fared well, they did. Let me walk through what I used for this miniature.

I started with Poppy Red for the armour panels and helmet – the reason being that red Samurai armour is very striking and formed the inspiration for this paint scheme. The next I used was Grim Black for all the dark details, like the inner machinery-workings and the kama skirt. Hoplite Gold was then used for the ornate details, like the shield, the dragon chest piece, sword pommel and helmet accents. Broadsword Silver was applied to the sword, tubes, jetpack and pistons. Finally, Talos Bronze topped it all off on some other metallic detailing and the sword hilt.

AP speedpaint mega set 2.0 test eternal dynasty ONI 02

4 colours in total comprised this model and it was done in an evening, even despite my usual slow and steady pace.

Now, I am marvelled by how crisp and clean the final finish looks, especially on the flat surfaces like the armour panels. For a night’s work, this paint has brought this grey bit of resin to life. The all-in-one claim works here, as the Poppy Red provides shading in the recesses and where I’ve allowed it to pool on the lower armour panels to give the impression of a shadow. The only caveat here is that the all-in-one coat doesn’t account for highlighting – not something I was wanting to do on a Sunday night, so was happily satisfied with this result, even if it turned out looking more Power Ranger than Samurai warrior.

AP speedpaint mega set 2.0 test eternal dynasty ONI 03

However, there is room for critique here. I was a bit sloppy on my first try, and has little splashes and specks of red here and there. Being a perfectionist, I knew I had to instantly iron these out, and so slapped on silver and black to erase these errors. However, due to the watery nature of the paints, this just wasn’t happening properly – I had to wait until the paints were entirely dry before I could try again. I managed to re-apply the black over some gold accents, but a second silver coat could not blot out this little splodge of red. There are quite a few of these instances all over the model, luckily not noticeable from afar, but disappointing none the same because I know they’re there. And I can’t erase them with these paints.

AP speedpaint mega set 2.0 test eternal dynasty ONI 04

Re-applying the black on the eyes behind the red mask was also very tricky, and didn’t entirely work, as I ended up getting black on the red mask too. I then applied gold to the accents on the mask to cover up the black, and this didn’t fix the problem either. I’ll have to come back to this later – as inky paints and shades require a longer time to dry than acrylics.

AP speedpaints mega set 2.0 test eternal dynasty ONI 05

Most importantly to note, is that in my experience, the paints did not reactivate. Army Painter Speedpaints have caused a stir online due to reports of the paint reactivating – to which Army Painter responded by suggesting that painters could varnish their models before applying another layer. For me and others, this isn’t always possible and requires the purchase of more product – so I understand it is a flawed solution. However, I did not have this problem, so hopefully this means this issue has been addressed across the board, but it’s hard to say at this time. The issue that persisted for me was the inability to clean up my painting mistakes immediately, and having to wait a while for it to dry first. This defeats the idea of speedpainting a little bit, in my view.

All in all, I consider this a successful test, and the paint job on the ONI miniature looks amazing. Almost makes all the exploding paint worth it!

Will Army Painter Speedpaint Mega Set 2.0 Improve my Hobby?

It really depends what you’re looking to do as a painter. If you want slap some paint in a rush to get to the tournament because you want those 10 sweet victory points for having a painted army, then yes, they will. If you’re more considered and careful with your painting and want to have a scratch at that Golden Demon, then this may not be the best choice for you – simply for the issues I’ve highlighted with correcting mistakes and blemishes. But I think novices and hardened veterans alike can have fun with these paints, just have some tissue ready.

Army Painter Speedpaint Mega Set 2.0 Review – Price and Availability

It’s time to draw your breaths and balance books. The Army Painter Speedpaint Mega Set 2.0 will set you back €179.00 EUR/ £156.16 GBP/ $199.00 USD from their official store. Their store is based in Denmark, so if you’re outside of Europe, there’s also shipping to account for. You can also peruse Amazon and find it there for £159.00 GBP for you Brits in the audience.

Now, now matter your region, that is a hefty price to pay. I agree to be honest – but this is a massive bundle set, and at the moment, those new colours aren’t available separately to buy (save for Slaughter Red, Grim Black, Magic Blue and Ork Flesh). Each pot would cost €3.99 EUR each, so at that value, the 50 paints should cost you €199.50 EUR where you buy them individually. So while still expensive, this is still a discount box. But at this price, you may have ask if this is really for people starting out in the hobby, as the price is not beginner friendly. It could work for, say, those who have accumulated a pile of shame and just want to reduce it quickly.

Alternatively, Army Painter offer cheaper Speedpaint bundles starting at €39.99 EUR, so beginners won’t be locked out of the range by price.

Army Painter Speedpaint Mega Set 2.0 Review – Final Thoughts

ProsCons
Final finish very smooth and crisp looking
Paints miniatures very quickly with pleasing results
Two-in-one coat (shade and base)
Huge range of colours
Dropper bottles
Suitable for beginners and veterans
Excellent metallics
45 new paints for the range
Hard to clean up errors and blemishes
Can take a while to dry
No white paint
Can get messy
Very expensive
May explode

The Army Painter Speedpaint Mega Set 2.0 is a conflicting one to rate. On the one hand, the paints were great when applied to the miniature and worked as intended, and the result was very satisfying. On the other, some went off like the dropsite at Istvaan III. The reactivation issue, whilst not encountered here, has been reported for others. And my perfectionist way of ninja did not like that it wasn’t easy to clean up errant brush strokes. And then there’s also the fact that they cost more than a Warhammer 40k new edition launch box.

However, the Mega Set 2.0 will prove valuable to those who can afford it and want to either experiment with their painting experience or just want to get some models bished, bashed and boshed. It’s a shame my rating will have to be marred by the exploding dropper bottles, but had it not been for that, these would have been very easy to recommend.

If you’re looking to start out with Army Painter Speedpaints, I’d instead recommend starting small and getting a few bottles to try out before venturing out and getting a massive box set like this. See how it goes for you, and whether it’s something you’ll invest in. Ultimately, the paints will leave your models looking sharp and ready for battle very quickly.

AP speedpaints mega set 2.0 fauxhammer throne
Ross for the Ross Throne!

Click this link & buy your hobby stuff from Element Games for the UK & Europe to support FauxHammer.com – Use Code “FAUX2768” at the checkout for double reward points.

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Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Army Painter Speedpaint Mega Set 2.0
Author Rating
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Product Name
Army Painter Speedpaint Mega Set 2.0
Price
GBP £159.99
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Available in Stock

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