About a year ago, Reaper released their Master Series HD paints. Aimed at the success of Citadel Foundation Paints, they promise a high density pigment that provides excellent coverage and fast basecoating. But unlike Foundation Paints, which offers only dark and muted colours, they come in a lot bright and vibrant shades. This is why I got my hands on some “difficult” colours like yellow, red and pink to find out if Reaper can keep their promises.
Reaper paints are quite hard to get in Europe. I ordered mine directly from the States through the CoolMiniorNot online store, which offer a flat 7 dollar shipping charge to Europe. Just don’t forget to check your local customs regulations to avoid bad surprises.
Reaper offers two ranges: Master Series Paints Core Colors with over 216 colours and additives, which are great to flesh out your paint collection with shades you don’t find elsewhere, and the newly added MSP HD which comprise 38 colours. Reaper Core Colors are a thin, high quality paint with lots of flow improver added, similar to Vallejo Game Color. They thin down excellently and are great for layering and blending techniques. Reaper paints come in 15 ml dropper bottles. I think Reaper’s design is better than Vallejo’s, as I’ve experienced less spilling and there is a little agitator in each bottle which helps blending the paint when shaking.
When you compare HD paints with Foundation Paints, you instantly notice they feel more like regular paint as there is flow improver added and they aren’t as thick and don’t dry as fast. In this regard, they are more like Vallejo Heavy Opaque paints, which have a flow improver added as well. For my review, I picked up the most vibrant colours I could find: Brilliant Red, which is similar to GW’s Blood Red, Golden Yellow, which is similar to GW’s Golden Yellow, and Entrail Pink, a fleshy pink shade. Let’s check out how these HD paints compare against similar colours from other brands. To do this, I prepared a piece of plasticard and primed it black to see how many layers it will take for each colour to acchieve an even coverage.
Sorry, my scanner struggled to reproduce the colours, especially the pink and purple ones. But this is more of a test of coverage anyhow. Each line indicates another layer. For this test, I thinned down each paint to the same consistency to even the field.
As you noticed, Reaper’s HD paints cover very well in only a couple of layers. Brilliant Red beats Blood Red by 1 or 2 layers, Golden Yellow beats VGC Gold Yellow by 1 layer (keep in mind the VGC yellow has better coverage than GW’s yellows, so the HD yellow would come out even better when compared with GW). Entrail Pink covers very well, too, as does VGC Squid Pink. The consistency of the paint out of the bottle is excellent and needs no or only slightly thinning. Most Foundation paints can cover in one coat, yes, but then you would need to apply them so thick that they will obscure detail. Foundation paints need to be thinned down, and then you need 2 or 3 coats with them as well.
There is no witch craft about them, but Reaper Master Series HD paints are definately worth a try as they are a high quality paint with excellent consitency and above average coverage. Brilliant Red and Golden Yellow are probably the best red and yellow I’ve tried so far.
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