Let's Talk Citadel Paints
Citadel Paint is most closely associated with painting Warhammer. It is like the Apple brand of the painting world, where it is well known and one of the more expensive paint options that is out there in our hobby. The Citadel brand has a variety of starter set paint boxes; some that come with minis, others with tools and some boxes just give you one type of their paint. The terminology for Citadel varies from other brands. The purpose of this article is to help those looking at Citadel brand paints to find what you you need at your store based on your painting needs. Citadel has an app for your tech devises that goes over advice, techniques and color schemes for their brand so if you are looking for Citadel specific information there are lots of resources to help you find what you need. I am going to go over the different types of Citadel paint in the order that I would paint with them. Please note that even though the Citadel brand is most commonly used and the names of the paint are Warhammer based, you can use these paints for other brand ttrpg minis and terrain as well.
One more thing before I go into the different types- Citadel paints play well with other citadel paints. They don't always like to work well with all other paint brands. If you are using multiple paint brands (like I usually do) be sure to test their compatibility before painting your minis. I personally use the Citadel primer paints but there are some paints that I cannot use on top of them.
- Citadel Spray- Under coat
This is your spray primer for your miniature, and even though they use undercoat as the term while talking about this layer it is the primer. Most times you will still cover this layer in base coat. Citadel has black, grey and white which are the three colors that I go to but the big difference is Citadel recommends that the undercoat color you use matches the most promenade color that your army will be to help with the blending. The undercoat also changes the brightness factor of the paints that go on top based on the color you pick for the primer spray
2. Base Coat
This type of Citadel paint is thicker and good for base coats. It is intended to cover most of your mini. I tend to add a drop or two of water in my paint pallet with the base coat just to make sure it paints on smoother. This type of paint is not meant to be used for detail work.
3. Layer Paints
This is the slightly thinner paint compared to the Citadel Base Coat paints. This paint is meant to add more color on top of the base. In a pinch this type of paint could be used as a base coat (you may need 2 layers).
This is a super duper dry paint. I actually really approve of the dry brush specific Citadel paint. It comes in a variety of colors and the paint works well for dry brushing as it is mostly dry. I wish there was a wider range of colors to pick from but there are a lot of neutral colors and a few colors to pick from for the dry brush type. I feel that I waste less paint with this type of dry brush paint compared to dry brushing other brand's regular paint.
The "3 in 1" paint of Citadel. This is similar to the Army Painters "speed paint" brand. The contrast paint is very wet and gives a base coat, shade and highlight in one paint pot. I have the best results with contrast on light colored primed mini (the company recommends their Grey Seer, Wraithbone or White Scare undercoat sprays) for contrast to work the best. This Citadel display racks at the stores do well at showing the range of colors that each contrast paint should show when painted on. This is a liquid paint, make sure that the paint around it is dry before applying this paint as it will mix and become murky if there is wet paint next to where you paint it on.
6. Shade- The "Wash" of Citadel
This is your wash layer type of paint. It is super liquidy and brings that paint's color into the cracks, creases, and recesses. This paint is far too thin to be sued for anything but shade/wash. I like that there are a variety of colors to pick from for the washes.
7. Technical- The not really paint but cool effects in a bottle
This specific Citadel paint isn't always a paint. These paints pots contain effects and specific detail works that you can apply to your miniature or most frequently the base of your mini to help bring special effects to your look. "Blood, slime, rust, and even the cracked earth" These types of paints are supposed to be applied with the Citadel texture tool instead of a paint brush. These paints are applied last and take up to 24 hours to dry/take effect. We personally have used the mud and blizzard looks, and they do take the full time to dry, yet some will still have that glossy "wet" look.