Scale75 NMM Gold and Copper Paint Set Review

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Scale75 Scalecolor MM Gold and Copper Review - Featured

Non-metallic metal (or NMM as it is abbreviated) is one of those bedazzling techniques that leaves hobbyists worldwide green with envy at their peers’ creations, and pushing themselves harder and harder in their hobby in order to one day be able to master the advanced technique. It’s a method that requires care, attention to detail, and a wide array of often hand-picked paints for each perfect shade or blend. Luckily for those of us who are learning, though, Scale75 had taken a bit of the legwork out of the process and created a number of NMM-specific paint sets, with what they believe are just the right colours for the job.

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Scale75 NMM Gold and Copper Paint Set Review – Summary

NMM (or non-metallic metal, to give it is full name) is a daunting technique that can often seem out of reach and completely unobtainable to many painters. However, Scale75’s gold and copper NMM Paint Set is a wonder of painting. Whilst it has all the basic colours you need in order to make a good start on your journey towards mastering the advanced technique, its clever design and perfect selection of colours take a huge amount of the stress and worry out of the painting process. This is a truly awesome paint set.

Scale75 NMM Gold and Copper Paint Set Review – Introduction

I’ve been falling in love with Scake 75’s paints ever since I reviewed their Metal ‘n’ Alchemy range a few months back.

Synonymous with quality, Scale75’s paints are super fine, super smooth, and super pleasing to use on your figures.

NMM, or non-metallic metal, to give it its real name, is a technique used by very skilled painters to create the effect of metallic texture on the surface of a model without using any metallic paints. It’s a very advance skill that takes an enormous amount of practice to even begin to grasp the basic concepts of, and even longer to successfully master.

And now I have to learn to do it in the space of one review.

What could possibly go wrong…?

Scale75 NMM Gold and Copper Paint Set Review – Contents

The Scale75 NMM Paint Set we have before us today – the gold and copper set, to be specific – comes with all the colours a painter will need to create a realistic non-metallic metal texture on a figure

The paints in the set are as follows:

  • White Sands
  • Tenere Yellow
  • Sahara Yellow
  • Gobi Brown
  • Dubai Brown
  • Kalahari Orange
  • Adriadic Blue
  • Eclipse Grey

The box also comes with a small, very basic (and often very poorly-translated) step-by-step guide on how to use the paints in such a way to build up a basic NMM texture.

Scale75 Scalecolor MM Gold and Copper Review - Instructions

You can use this to shape your decisions should – like me – you be utterly clueless as to how to proceed.

Scale75 NMM Gold and Copper Paint Set Review – Testing

We’d usually test paints to a fairly specific formula: airbrushing, drybrushing, basecoating and layering. However, because painting NMM is a totally different ball game to how one might usually paint, and is much more focussed on layering and blending paints to create a realistic texture, we’re going to scrap that format for this review.

As I have done with previous Scale75 reviews, I’m going to use the guide to try and get the most out of these paints. Because I have absolutely no idea how to paint NMM (whilst I understand the theory, the actual practice behinds it), I’m going to try to follow it rigorously this time. I’ve never painted NMM before – never even considered it something I could do – so I’m very much relying on the guide to show me the way.

So, because I’m following the guide that comes with this box, we’re going to go through each step one at a time, see how clear the guide is to follow, and see where we end up.

Okay?

Okay.

Nope.

I fell at more or less the first hurdle.

I decided to paint Neve Blacktalon, a figure I received as part of the Mortal Realms subscription. As all Warhammer fans will know, Stormcast Eternals usually have a very rich, deep golden colour to their armour. I wanted to try and ensure my Neve still retained this bright, vivid gold in whatever NMM texture I managed to paint.

However, when it came to the guide, I was barely even into the first step before I decided to change things up. Usually, I’d paint the gold of my Stormcast Eternals with Retributor Armour and Reikland Fleshshade, then highlight it carefully with Scale75’s Elven Gold and highlight it with Citrine Alchemy and/or something like Stormhost Silver. The NMM gold that the guide will direct you to paint is quite a muted, pale gold – about as far from a Stormcast Eternal’s gold as you can get.

So, as the first step, the guide suggests first applying a 50/50 mix of Tenere Yellow and Gobi Brown to all golden areas – which I did. However, I wasn’t happy with the Gobi Brown/Tenere Yellow mix suggested. I felt the colour was too sandy, and pallid, so I decided to change the mix up a little by instead using Sahara Yellow and Gobi Brown, and making it more like a 75/25 mix to ensure those yellow areas were a really rich yellow.

After beginning to apply some Sahara Yellow to the figure to begin highlighting those areas directly beneath the imagined light source, as is step two of the guide, I decided there was still a bit too much of a leap between the previous mix and this new shade, so I added a little more Sahara Yellow to the original 75/25 Sahara Yellow/Gobi Brown mix to make a mid-tone between the two.

I then completely ignored the guide altogether and started applying Dubai Brown – the darkest colour in the box aside from the grey/black – to some of the most shadowed areas. There was no need for me to do this at this stage – and the guide actually doesn’t mention using Dubai Brown at all – but I wanted to get a better idea of the colour I wanted to get from. Usually, on a “normal” Stormcast Eternal, I apply an all-over wash of Reikland Fleshshade to their armour to get these dark patches, but as that wasn’t an option today, I felt I had to do something else.

At this point, I realised that not only had I not followed the guide more or less at all, I had got so caught up in painting that I also hadn’t taken any pictures to show how far I’d got.

Scale75 Gold NMM Paint Set Review Neave Blacktalon 3 (2)

The paint is thin and almost sandy or dusty in its texture, which surprised me a little. Still, they are a delight to paint with and are just the right consistency to enable painters to build up gradual layers of colour on a figure – perfect for this type of painting.

All the paints in this box will also require an extremely good shake to get them mixed (ever spray-primed with a can of metallic paint? Yeah, well shake it like that, but times ten).

Next, the guide directs you to use Tenere Yellow – and I’m pleased to say I actually did this! Tenere Yellow is the first shade which I used to start picking out proper highlights/light reflections on the figure. Again, though, ignoring the guide a little, I did do a few layers of Tenere Yellow/Sahara Yellow in a few places to ensure there was a smoother transition between the colours. I also started work on some of the other on-armour areas on the figure.

Here’s how I got on:

Scale75 Gold NMM Paint Set Review Neave Blacktalon 2 (2)

These have to be some of the best yellow acrylic paints I’ve ever used. Though they’re thin, they have good, even coverage and and easy to control on the surface of your figure.

With the addition of Tenere Yellow to the figure, the NMM feels like it properly begins. No longer is the figure just yellow and brown, there’s a definite colour shift going on. I also had a go at doing some very basic silver NMM of Neave’s weapons using a couple of grey paints (Mechanicus Standard grey, Dawnstone, and Administratum Grey). I’m nowhere near as happy with the result as I am with the gold at this stage; perhaps it was a little arrogant of me to assume I’d be able to go straight from Scale75’s flawlessly designed NMM-specific paints to fudging some NMM with some Citadel paints.

Anyway, the final steps in the guide are twofold: adding White Sands as the most high of highlights, and offsetting it with Eclipse Grey in those darker areas. I think this was the only step in the guide I didn’t completely ignore, and the White Sands paint is so fine and goes on so htinly that there was no need for a transitional shade between it and Tenere Yellow. As such, I was able to begin picking out those brightest (and, subsequently, darkest) areas straight away.

Here’s how things ended up looking with the figure finished and based:

Scale75 Gold NMM Paint Set Review Neave Blacktalon 1 (3)

You know what, this ain’t bad.

Just a reminder, this is my first time ever even attempting to paint NMM. I have to admit, though, I felt like the Scale75 paint set did a great deal of the heavy lifting for me. Knowing I had a full spectrum of yellow and brown paints at my side that I literally could not go wrong with took a great deal of stress out of the equation and made painting this figure a real delight.

I’m a little awestruck, actually. I really can’t overstate just how good these Scale75 paints are – especially for first-timers like me. Sure, pros are going to have their own hand-picked recipes spanning all sorts of paints and ranges, but as far as a grab-and-go box of paints goes, these really are absolutely spot on.

Scale75 NMM Gold and Copper Paint Set Review – Price and Availability

You can get the co[pper and gold NMM set straight from Scale75’s webstore. At €20.66 (about £17.50/$27 USD) for eight high-quality, ultra-pigmented paints, this is a great value set and will be a real boon to your painting.

Even if you decide you don’t want to paint NMM, the yellows in this kit are really great on their own.

Scale75 NMM Gold and Copper Paint Set Review – Final Thoughts

ProsCons
Paints are a delight to use
Some of the best yellow paints out there
All the colours you need to start painting NMM are in the box
Very easy pick-up-and-go set, makes NMM more accessible to more painters
Guide has good, clear pictures to guide you on your way…
Colours in the set are specific to gold and copper NMM. Not a huge amount of scope for transference into other schemes.
…Which is good, because the guide itself is horrendously translated

NMM is, as a technique, often seen as unattainable by many hobbyists. It is a style of painting that is the recipient of adoration and envy in equal measure. Seen by many as too advanced, too complex, too confusing and far too time-consuming for the run-of-the-mill painter who just wants to get some colour on their figures, many budding hobbyists will shirk from the challenge for fear of not really knowing where to begin.

But this set answers that question. Begin here.

By every painting god great and small, I mean it: begin here!

Scale75’s NMM set is quite excellent. With but a few carefully-picked and well-designed paints, all the stress and confusion of taking your first few steps into painting NMM are gone. Even though the guide is horrendously translated and very poorly written, the paints themselves are the perfect shades and work together so intuitively that it takes a great deal of the work out of the process.

So well-selected are the colours that you could easily build a basic NMM texture using only the paints in this set as they come out of the bottle, with no need for mixing or anything else. When you do begin to blend between colours, the true magic of this set becomes apparent. The paints mix like a dream, and their thin, well-pigmented textures lend themselves to being applied in fine, even layers upon which painters can continue to carefully build upon.

I’ve reviewed quite a few Scale75 paint sets recently, the vast majority of which have been truly phenomenal. But this set takes it to another level. The design, the thought, and the care that has gone into selecting these paints places it on another level altogether. It opens up the world of advanced painting to an audience of people who have up to this point only been able to imagine painting NMM in their wildest dreams.

This is, quite possibly, one of the best paint sets on the market right now. I’ve never painted NMM before this view – I, like many, never thought I could and had no idea how to begin – and whilst my heavy-handed example is nowhere near the mastery shown by some painters, it is nevertheless a very large step in the right direction. This is, in a huge part, due to the thought that has gone into this truly astounding paint set.

I’d recommend any intermediate-level painter with a desire to one day have a go at NMM gives this set a go. And hey, if you do decide not to pursue NMM after buying this set, at the very least you’ll have some excellent yellow paints (not words often said together) for your painting arsenal.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to buy the steel set.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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Author

  • Rob has spent most of the last 15 years playing World of Warcraft and writing stories set in made-up worlds. At some point, he also managed to get a Master's degree by writing about Medieval zombies.

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About VoltorRWH 114 Articles
Rob has spent most of the last 15 years playing World of Warcraft and writing stories set in made-up worlds. At some point, he also managed to get a Master's degree by writing about Medieval zombies.

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