Do you want to paint more diverse skin tones, but don’t know where to start? Then the new Skin Tones Paint Set from The Army Painter might be just what you need. 9 new shades, 3 new washes, and 3 new pigment toners cover all skin tones from light to dark. The selection of colours was developed together with actual people of colour. In this review, we take a look at whether the set delivers what it promises.
The Skin Tones paint set is a new paint set by The Army Painter that contains 15 completely new and unique colours to the Warpaints range, mixing medium, 4 empty mixing bottles, and 20 stainless steel mixing balls. It is available from September 19th, 2021, and has an RRP of 47.50 €.
This product was kindly provided by The Army Painter. Opinions are our own.
The Skin Tones Paint Set from The Army Painter was designed to create highly realistic skin tones. All colours and washes have been carefully developed to cover the widest possible range of natural skin tones – from fair to dark and everything in-between. There are 9 skin tones, 3 “pigment toner” paints meant for mixing and glazing, 3 new Quickshade Washes, plus an acrylic medium to help you thin your paints for smoother applications. All paints except for the mixing medium are completely new additions to the Warpaints range.
I really appreciate that this new range of paints was designed in collaboration with people of colour. Their input also gave rise to the idea of giving the colours the names of gemstones, so that arbitrary assignments by ethnicity could be avoided. Find out more in this video:
The Army Painter Warpaints are heavily pigmented paints, most of them with an above-average opacity, think of Citadel Base paints. Find out more about Warpaints’ properties in our lengthy Warpaints review (part 1 here and part 2 here).
Now let’s take a closer look at the new paints:
Onyx Skin – A dark anthracite brown for a deep skin tone, a bit darker and more muted than Dark Stone from the core Warpaints range. Use Dark Skin Wash for shading, or add a little bit of Matt Black (or Abaddon Black) to the base colour. For the highlights, I recommend adding a little bit of Opal Skin, Pearl Pigment Toner, or Underdark Grey from The Army Painter’s D&D paint range.
Mocca Skin – A dark brown with a reddish hue. It’s similar to Doombull Brown from Games Workshop, but a nuance darker and slightly more violet. Add Onyx Skin for shading, or use Dark Skin Wash. Tiger’s Eye Skin and Jasper Skin work well for layering on top.
Tiger’s Eye Skin – A medium reddish-brown that is a nuance more reddish than Doombull Brown from Citadel. Mocca Skin or Strong Skin Wash are perfect for shading, while Jasper Skin can be used for highlighting.
Jasper Skin – A burnt sienna skin tone with hints of red, shade with Strong Skin Wash or Tiger’s Eye Skin, highlight by adding Topaz Skin, Ruby Skin or Opal Skin to the base colour.
Dorado Skin – This is a medium fair skin tone that is almost an exact match for Cadian Fleshtone from Games Workshop, but with much better coverage. Shade it with Soft Skin Wash or Flesh Wash from the core Warpaints range, and add Opal Skin or Pearl Pigment Toner for highlights, or use Kobold Skin from the core Warpaints range.
Amber Skin – A fair skin colour with a hint of ochre. Mix with Opal Skin or Pearl Pigment Toner for highlights, or use Corpse Pale from the core Warpaints range, or Flayed One Flesh from Games Workshop. Soft Skin Wash works well for shading.
Topaz Skin – This is a fair skin tone with a rosy hue that can be shaded with Soft Skin Wash, Flesh Wash or Tanned Flesh from the core Warpaints range, or Reikland Fleshshade from Games Workhop. For highlights, I recommend adding Opal Skin or Ruby Skin.
Ruby Skin – An light skin tone that is even more pinkish than Topaz Skin. Shade with Flesh Wash from the core Warpaints range, Reikland Fleshshade from Games Workshop, or by adding Garment Pigment Toner. For highlighting, mix with Opal Skin.
Opal Skin – This is an almost white colour with a warm, reddish hue. This could be used as a base colour for very pale skin, or as a universal colour to lighten the other skin tones.
All in all, I’m very satisfied with the nine skin colours. It’s a decent selection from light to dark, muted to vibrant, and the opacity is really good. Even the light paints don’t need more than three coats over a dark basecoat, which is much better than what similar paints from other manufacturers are capable of (looking at you, Cadian Fleshtone and Flayed One Flesh, cough).
The Army Painter are famous for their washes, and if you follow my tutorials, you know that Strong and Dark Tone Wash are staples of mine, so I was eager to try the three new washes designed specifically for this set.
Soft Skin Wash – A light brown wash that, unlike Flesh Wash from the core Warpaints range or Reikland Fleshshade from Games Workshop, is more of a sepia brown than a reddish hue.
Strong Skin Wash – A medium brown wash that is a bit lighter than Agrax Earthshade. In comparison to Darkoath Flesh Contrast paint from Games Workshop it’s more neutral and less reddish.
Dark Skin Wash – This is a dark brown wash but unlike Strong Tone Wash from the core Warpaints range or Agrax Earthshade, this has magenta and violet hues mixed in. I instantly fell in love with this unique colour, as the violet hues will not only enrich dark skin tones, but also gold, copper, and bronze. This will definitely become a staple for me.
Very nice selection of washes, as I said, the Dark Skin Wash stands out for me. I’m missing a more reddish-brown wash in this set, on the other hand, this already exists in the Core Warpaints range in the form of Flesh Wash, so you might already have it or Reikland Fleshshade from Games Workshop anyway, so no big loss.
Finally, we take a look at the three pigment toner paints. These are paints that are meant to be mixed into the base colours to alter their hues, or to be thinned down to be used as glazes. Their consistency is similar to regular Warpaints, but I feel a little bit more acrylic medium was added so that they are slightly more translucent. Of course, you can also use them just like regular layer paints.
Garnet Pigment Toner – A crimson red with a hint of magenta. This toner can be used to add more reddish or pinkish hues to your skin tones, or as a glaze for picking out lips or adding blush to noses and cheeks.
Obsidian Pigment Toner – A dark green with a hint of blue. Makes skin tones duller and sicklier when mixed in, or can be used to create stubble, five-o-clock shadow, or circles under the eyes when applied as a glaze. Also a great colour for adding tattoos.
Pearl Pigment Toner – Another off-white colour. While Opal Skin leans more towards a reddish hue, this one is a bit more neutral. Can be used to lighten virtually any paint when mixed in.
As this set is intended for slightly more advanced painters who like to experiment with their own colour mixes, there is a nice addition of four empty 18 ml dropper bottles for keeping your paint mixes as well as 20 stainless steel balls that you can add to the paint bottles to achieve better mixing when shaking.
Stay tuned for next week, when I give these paints a spin for a new tutorial!
The Paint Set has an RRP of 47,50 Euro, which translates to about £35. Single Warpaints are 2,75 € and 2.99 € for the washes, so the paints alone add up to 44,72 Euro, counting in the empty bottles and mixing balls, the price is reasonable. Remember that Army Painter paints come in 18 ml dropper bottles, so there is 50% more content compared to 12 ml Citadel Colours for a cheaper price.
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