Usually we don't post about rumours on Tale of Painters, but what we're hearing at the moment will affect a lot of us hobby-minded people. It seems the Citadel paint range will see some drastic changes in the next couple of months. Stores can't batch order paints at the moment, suggesting GW wants to run down their stock. Rumours suggest GW might change the paint itself - either through a new manufacturer, a new formula or both.
Either way, the hue of each colour will slightly change as it's impossible to recreate the exact same shades of the current range with a different type of paint. And of course they will discontinue some of the bad selling colours, maybe in exchange for new ones. A new paint pot design, a different packaging or a different name wouldn't be too far-fetched either. So what does this mean?
First, this isn't the first time GW's venerable paint range is facing change. Back in the 90s, Citadel Colour was made by HMG in the UK (HMG do Formula P3 for Privateer Press at moment and Coat'd'Arms, which feature some of the old Citadel colours in their fantasy range). You certainly remember the old hexagonal tops with the white flip-tops. There was an eclectic mix of colours, with washes, inks and even things like purple or green tinted metallics. Over the time, they dropped most of the non basic paints and all of the washes.
Around 2000, GW changed their manufacturer to one in France and introduced the smaller hexagonal "bullet-style" pots with the black, notoriously clogging up screw-tops. They dropped some colours and filled gaps with new ones. They kept most of the paint names, even though the change of manufacturer resulted in significant change of each colour as well: I remember the old Bleached Bone was less yellowish and more cream, the old Ultramarine Blue slightly more cobalt and less cool and so on... The new range of inks was also completely different and glossy where the old ones were matte.
Years passed until another, more cosmetic change happened: They ditched the screw-tops for flip-tops and added a couple of new colours like Graveyard Earth, Catachan Green, Terracotta and so on.
The next big thing was the introduction of Foundation Paints in 2007: 18 new colours with a very thick pigment for better coverage, coming in their own type of pot: a round, conic flip-top. It was only a matter of time before the Foundation Paints were accompanied by the Citadel Washes, which replaced the range of inks in the main Citadel Colours range. Then we saw another few colours from the main range dropped, like Tentacle Pink, Brazen Brass and so on, before the Citadel Colours range was refilled in the same new pots as the Foundation Paints and Washes.
What some people didn't notice when they changed the pots of the Citadel Colours range last year is that both the Washes and the Foundation Paints are now made in France like the rest of the range. In the beginning they were made in China. This change in manufaction did change some of the hues slightly - for example, Gryphonne Sepia is now slightly more orange, while Dheneb Stone is now slightly more yellow. Also we've seen a slightly revised pot design - the opened lids won't stay in place anymore as they removed the click mechanism.
So what's next?
This brings us to today. I wonder what GW will do with it's paint range now. I've heard they might change manufacturer again, maybe back to their original manufacturer HMG or to an unknown US company. As pointed out above, this means all colours will change in one way or another, which makes it frustrating to match old paint schemes once you run out of your current paint pots. Deleting some bad selling colours, which I think is a given as well, won't make this any easier. Perhaps they even have something more radical in mind? While I think the Foundation and Washes range will largely stay intact, maybe they will increase the paint quality of the main range or make every colour a Foundation type? This might be something good after all, because after trying lots of other paint ranges I find the basic Citadel paints lacking. Either way, they will sell you this as the next best thing after the moon landing for sure,
Let's see what the future brings. If this development makes you worry or gives you finally a reason for finding alternatives or for expanding your collection of paints, I will soon present you a handy guide for different brands of miniature paints and my thoughts about them. Until then, what kind of brands do you use? What to you think about a new Citadel paint range - a help or a hindrance? Drop me your comments, let's get talking!
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