Last updated on February 1st, 2022 at 07:04 pm
Every miniature painter, no matter how great or small, needs to make sure they have a good set of no-nonsense acrylic paints in their hobby arsenal. Today, we take a look at Green Stuff World’s Basic Acrylics set to see how they hold up.
Green Stuff World Basic Paint Set Review – Summary
Green Stuff World’s Basic Paint Set is exactly what it says it in on the box: a basic set of relatively basic paints. Whilst they’ll win no awards nor blow any minds with this selection of vibrant, vivid, and oftentimes frustratingly varied, set of paints, the colours in this box form an excellent baseline arsenal for any aspiring painter.
**Please note that this review was edited in February 2022 following its original publication in December 2021; a new section has been added at the bottom of the review, following a further airbrush test**
Green Stuff World Basic Paint Set Review – Introduction
Green Stuff World throw their hat into an already crowded ring with their Basic Paint Set. Aimed at providing a solid baseline set of decent colours for any miniature painter to build from, Green Stuff World’s Basic Paint Set offers an alternative collection of colours for people either just getting into the hobby or looking to shake up their painting setup.
We’ve covered a number of Green Stuff World products in the past across our various platforms. I was recently left feeling fairly content with their Rust and Dust Liquid Pigments, and FauxHammer himself has previously made merry with their excellent textures rollers over on YouTube.
For us, Green Stuff World are a brand synonymous with providing decent, safe, and marketable products. Whilst their range may not rip up the rulebook or rewrite the hobby, their paints, tools, and other goods are of the sort that leave purchasers feeling satisfied. Sure, they may not blow minds, but so far I’m yet to find a Green Stuff World product that doesn’t do exactly what it says it will and leave me feeling like I got my money’s worth.
And, a the end of the day, there’s no much more you can really ask for, is there?
As such, I’m quite interested to see what GSW’s Basic Paint Set brings to the table.
Green Stuff World Basic Paint Set Review – Contents
Thee Green Stuff World Paint Set comes with eight acrylic paints.
- Cyber Yellow
- Hellfire Red
- Summersea Blue
- Hunter Green
- Sun-bleached Bone
- Bestial Brown
- Lollipop Magenta
- Elven Flesh
That’s one of just about every basic colour you could ever possibly need.
Green Stuff World Basic Paint Set Review – Testing
If the last year or so has taught me anything, it’s that there can be an incredible amount of variation between paints within the same range – no, even within the same subsection of a range.
Take, for example, Citadel’s Layer range. Put two paints – let’s say Stormhost Silver and Auric Armour Gold – and compare them. Stormhost Silver is easily one of the best silver-white paints out there. It’s smooth, easy to control, flows off the brush like a dream, and looks absolutely awesome.
Auric Armour Gold, however, has to be one of, if not the, worst metallic paint I’ve ever used. Akin to golden glittery water, trying to build up a satisfying layer of colour with Auric Armour gold is like trying to herd a million microscopic cats across the surface of your miniatue. It’s gloopy, it’s clumpy, and there are about a thousand better products out there.
This is true for lots of paints across many ranges. Take Scale75’s Metal ‘n’ Alchemy sets: their Black Metal and Thrash Metal colours are phenomenal, but their Speed Metal doesn’t quite lift the candle to the others in its box (though don’t get me wrong, Scale75’s metallic paints are incredible across the board).
But what has this got to do with Green Stuff World’s Basic Acrylics set, you ask?
Well, I don’t think I’ve ever seen quite so much variation in a single box of acrylics.
**Please note that, following an outreach from Green Stuff World, a further airbrush test was carried out with a different set of paints by both FauxHammer himself and Rob. You can find the outcome of this test at the very bottom of this article**
One thing you must be so wary of when airbrushing with the Green Stuff World Basic Paints Set is consistency. Consistency is always key with airbrushing, but in a set where there is a huge amount of variation in consistency from paint to paint, you need to really be on it when applying any thinner to your mix.
I put a couple of the paints in the box through an airbrush to see how they would perform. I chose the Summersea Blue and Cyber Yellow, as I had a suspicion that one would dramatically outperform the other.
I wasn’t wrong.
This is following one coat of airbrushing. Both paints had very similar levels of thinner applied to them to get them down to a decent consistency.
But still. It couldn’t have gone much worse for the yellow.
(Apologies for the bit of muck on his forehead!)
It’s, perhaps, a bit of an unfair test. Yellow paints are notoriously bad when it comes to consistency, but part of me quietly hoped that by putting the paint through an airbrush might solve any problems. But I couldn’t have been more wrong.
But the Cyber Yellow paint looked fine in the airbrush chamber. It appeared to be the right consistency, but how wrong was I.
It’s horrendous. I used a very small amount of thinner in the airbrush and it looks like that. You’d think I’d tipped painty water over him.
I waited for the Cyber Yellow to dry before deciding to have another go. This time I loaded the chamber with 10-1 paint to thinner to see if there was any improvement.
The results were no better.
This is all very confusing.
Cyber Yellow is awful through an airbrush – and the thing is, as the testing in the next section will show, there are three other paints in the Basic Paints set that are of similar consistency to Cyber Yellow. They aren’t as bad, but I’d be extremely hesitant to put any of them through an airbrush (Hellfire Red, Lollipop Magenta and Sun-bleached Bone). It reacts extremely poorly with thinner and has absolutely dire coverage.
In spite of me not getting the consistency quite right (I’m fairly new to airbrushing and wasn’t actually using the airbrush I’m used to – BossHammer kindly provided me with a couple of cheap ones for the purpose of testing paints with, and the one I usually use suddenly stopped working yesterday), Summersea Blue went on fairly well, so I’m loathe to write off the entire set for airbrushing. It’s a little thick in places and speckly in others, but this is on me. With a dash more thinner this would’ve been absolutely fine and would’ve given a good, even all-over colour.
Following the testing you’ll find in the section below, this leads me to believe that Hunter Green, Bestial Brown and Elven Flesh would likely perform similarly. The other paints, however, I’d steer well clear of when it comes to airbrushing.
**As stated at the top of this section, please be aware that a further airbrushing test was carried out with a new set of paints at Green Stuff World’s request. You can find the outcome of this test at the very bottom of this article**
Basecoating and Layering
In order to see how these paints performed when basecoating, I decided to do something a little different and see how they behaved on the surface of a miniature. I chose one figure – a humble Space Marine – and used all the same colours on him. This is a great way to easily compare and contrast paints with each other.
Here’s said Space Marine after one single coat of each of the paints in the Green Stuff World acrylic box.
So, here’s what’s been painted where: our poor Space Marine’s lower right leg has been painted with Cyber Yellow. His left leg has been painted with Hellfire Red. The upper parts of his legs have been painted with Sun-bleached Bone. His torso has been painted with Lollipop Magenta. His right arm is Hunter Green. His left arm is Summersea Blue. His backpack is Bestial Brown. Finally, his head is Elven Flesh.
The good: Bestial Brown goes on really nicely and it’s a gorgeous colour. An easy replacement for Mournfang brown, should any Citadel fanatics be so inclined. After just one watered-down coat, it’s already looking like it’s only going to need one more coat to get a good, opaque basecoat. To my surprise, Elven Flesh is much the same, though it’s a little thicker than a lot of similar shades straight out of the bottle. My experiences with pale-skinned flesh-coloured paints is that they often require a lot of thin, careful coats to build up a satisfying layer, but Green Stuff World’s Elven Flesh looks set to be done in two coats.
The mediocre: Hellfire Red was a little bit more watery than I would have liked it to be. Compared to similar Citadel paints (Mephiston red springs to mind) it doesn’t have even close to the same coverage. It’s much more like Vallejo’s reds, which I found required a fair bit of patience to work with when I reviewed them. Hunter Green was also a little thinner than I was expecting, but not quite so prominently. Summersea Blue is a nice colour that goes on well with just a single coat, but it’s still a little thinner than I was expecting. In all, the red, blue and green are fine.
The bad: Cyber Yellow looks and behaves absolutely dreadfully – but, then again, it’s a yellow paint. Such is to be expected when dealing with yellows. But Sun-Bleached bone is horrible. After one coat, there are huge patches of primer showing through the coat and the paint comes out of the tube like water, even after a really good shake. This really surprised me, as a die-hard user of Citadel colours for bone paints. I’ve never had an issue like this with Zandri Dust or Morghast Bone, and even when using Ushabti Bone or Screaming Skull in larger layers, I wouldn’t expect to have such a coverage after just one coat. Lollipop Magenta told a similar story, applying more like pinkish water than actual paint.
But, ultimately, none of us expected these to be perfect with the first coat, so let’s go again:
Before we continue, I should point out that between coats one and two, the Green Stuff World Basic Paint Set spent a night on a wet palette. When I opened the palette up the following morning, I was surprised to see that the paints looked to have survived the night with no real issues. However, when I tried to use them, I found that they had absorbed so much water that their consistency was totally wrong and I had to start again.
The paints continued to behave as one would expect. Bestial Brown went on fairly well – if anything, perhaps a little too thickly (but that’s my error) – as did Summersea Blue, Hunter green and Elven Flesh. After two coats, all four of the paints were almost there, having achieved a decent level of opacity. Still, I think I’d be inclined to do one final thin coat of each or a few last-minute touch-ups in some places, just to make sure.
Hellfire Red continued to disappoint. Whilst the coverage wasn’t the worst in the pack, I had hoped that two thin coats might have built up slightly more of a strong base layer than it did.
Lollipop Magenta, Cyber Yellow, Sun-bleached Bone, however, were beginning to frustrate. After two coats, Lollipop Magenta looked almost no different to how it had looked after one, whilst Cyber Yellow and Sun-bleached Bone continued to provide extremely dissatisfactory coverage on the areas I was using them. By the end of coat two, I was seriously struggling to build up a reasonable all-over coat with boat paints, as each was going onto the figure so unevenly.
But, if battling with basecoating with these paints has shown me anything, it’s that layering is where the Green Stuff World Basic Paint Set finally begins to come into its own.
The only issue is, though, is that the paints in the set are very dark. You’re unlikely to find many instances where a you’re using a dark pink, a dark blue,
Green Stuff World Basic Paint Set Review – Price and Availability
Gren Stuff World’s Basic Paint Set is available from their website. They are currently advertised at €20.19, which is about £17/$23USD without shipping or additional costs.
GSW are a great company that produce some awesome products, so if you’re interested in buying this set, make sure you check out the rest of their range.
Green Stuff World Basic Paint Set Review – Final Thoughts
|Nice selection of colours|
Elven Flesh is surprisingly good
Reasonable alternative basic paint set
|A huge amount of variation in opacity, thickness and texture from paint to paint|
Half the paints are reasonably good, half the paints are fairly poor
Some of the paints are very difficult to work with
Be very careful when airbrushing
Reviewing paint is quite difficult. Everyone paints differently, uses their own array of techniques, and expects slightly different things from a range of paints. This makes providing an objective review of a set of paints hard, as there are just as many people who will like a set of paints as there are who will not.
With that in mind, Green Stuff World’s Basic Paint Set is just that: a basic paint set.
It doesn’t do anything fancy, and it’s not going to revolutionise the world of paint. It will, however, do exactly why you want it to, which is provide a reasonable, mediocre, and safe set of basic acrylic colours for your hobby arsenal.
But I don’t love these.
The drastic differences in consistency and behaviour across the paints in the set came as something of a surprise. Whilst you expect to see variations within the behaviour of paint within a range, you don’t necessarily expect to see such a wild difference in consistency and control within a set of eight paints. But, at the same time, you don’t often have a range of paints quite as different in colour as those in GSW’s Basic Paint Set.
All the same, those wild differences in consistency and behaviour make using the paints in this set quite difficult. Whilst some are far better than others, the split between good and bad in the set divides the paints pretty much straight down the middle, with Hunter Green, Summersea Blue, Elven Flesh and bestial brown representing the “goods”, and Cyber Yellow, Hellfire Red, Sun-bleached Bone and Lollipop Magenta falling far short.
This split between good and bad is not not wholly unexpected. Much like Vallejo, GSW’s red misbehaves, and like just about every other paint brand ever, their yellow is fairly terrible. But their magenta and bone-white are a sore disappointment – in fact, on closer inspection, I think the magenta might be just as bad (if not worse) than the yellow.
But it isn’t all bad. The blue, green and brown are good, and the Elven Flesh paint has surprisingly good coverage when compared to similar paints available.
Still, both my three test Space Marines and I are very glad FauxHammer himself wrote an excellent stripping paint from miniatures guide.
** UPDATE – 01/02/2022 **
As you’ll have no-doubt seen throughout this article, we carried out a further airbrushing test.
A few weeks after we released this article, the folks Green Stuff World got in contact with us about this review. They were concerned that the paints that were airbrushed in this review – particularly the Cyber Yellow – were not performing as they had done in their recent experience.
After a little investigating, it looks as if the paints that we used for this review were actually made as part of a batch that used an older paint recipe that GSW has since altered. They very kindly sent us some more recent boxes (as it turns out the one we reviewed had done the rounds a bit and sat on a shelf awaiting our attention for a little while) and asked us if we would be able to test these paints through an airbrush once more and see if we got different results.
Of course, we did.
Both FauxHammer himself and I are happy to report that this time around, we got significantly better results putting the paints through an airbrush.
On the basis of that, we’re happy to stand corrected on the airbrushing matter, and we’re also happy to edit our overall star rating of these paints that we gave in this review.