Do you like Citadel spray paints and primers but wish there were more of them and they were cheaper? Then check out The Colour Forge. In this review, we’re testing their spray paints range, which not only offers a huge range of 23 colours, all matched to Citadel Colour paints, but also offers 100ml more paint per can than other brands!

Colour Forge spray paint cans on a grey background
These items were provided by The Colour Forge. Thoughts and opinions are our own.

The Colour Forge is a British company founded in 2020, known for its spray paints, MDF terrains, neodymium magnets and basing materials. Their spray paint range includes a matt varnish, a MDF sealer, and 23 colours all matched to the Citadel Colour range. The paints come in larger 500ml cans, which hold 100 ml more paint than the standard 400 ml size of similar products.

Colour Forge spray paints colour match tested

According to Colour Forge, all 23 spray primers are designed to match Citadel Colour paints. There are equivalents for almost all current Citadel spray paints, as well as equivalents for many popular Citadel Base paints such as Rhinox Hide, Naggaroth Night and Steel Legion Drab. And if you miss OOP spray paints like Averland Sunset spray, you should find the perfect replacement with Sunset Yellow. For Contrast fans, there are also equivalents for Greyseer and Wraithbone.

This handy conversion chart features all current paints and their Citadel equivalents, plus the closest matches from other paint ranges:

Colour Forge paint comparison sheet
Missing on this sheet are Death Rattle Green (= Citadel Death Guard Green) and Hyrax Brown (= Rhinox Hide)

Now let’s find out how good the colour match really is. I sampled 12 of the 23 colours, on the left side of each Space Marine backpack you can see the bare Colour Forge primer, on the right side I painted over with the corresponding Citadel Colour. I also added some Citadel Spray Paints for comparison. Please use the zoom function to get a better impression:

Comparison of Colour Forge primers and Citadel Colour paints
Hand-painted/sprayed and photographed under a 5500K daylight lamp

Overall the colour match is decent, but not 100%. Some spray paints come very close, others are slightly off. Honestly, Games Workshop’s spray paints aren’t better in this regard, they also have some colours that don’t really match their acrylic paint version. I always recommend applying a thin layer of paint after priming anyway, so that you have a uniform finish if you ever need to paint over or touch up something.

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Colour Forge primers in practice

Using Colour Forge primers is straightforward. Colour Forge primers share the same caps as Citadel spray paints but the cans have more pressure, so I found it’s easy to apply too much paint. As the paint goes on rather wet, I wonder if there might be a bit too much propellant in the cans. Fortunately, Colour Forge primers are rather forgiving and the paint levels itself a lot. Nevertheless, for the best results, I recommend increasing the spray distance to about 25 cm, applying only a few short bursts before letting the miniature dry for the next coat.

The coverage is solid to average, most colours require 2 to 3 thin coats for a perfect opaque basecoat, the finish is satin. Colour Forge advertises their spray paints as primers, while Games Workshop points out that many of their spray paints are paints and not true primers. The difference between primer and spray paint is that a real primer bonds more strongly with the surface of the model and is, therefore, more resistant. This can make a difference, especially with metal and resin. As the paint goes on rather moist, I suspect that Colour Forge primers are more like spray paints, but the durability on plastic is pretty good so no complaints here.

Colour Forge Spray Primers and models

Value

Colour Forge spray paints are very affordable at £10.00 per can, which is well below Citadel Spray paints and even a bit cheaper than The Army Painter’s Colour Primers, while even containing 100 ml more paint. I would like to draw particular attention to Gauntlet Gold which costs less than half of Retributor Armour spray!

If you’re located in the UK or Europe, you can order Colour Forge primers directly from Colour Forge’s website, or from our partner shops Wayland Games and Element Games, where you can even save 10% over RRP. Using our links helps to support Tale of Painters, thank you very much! You can find the primers here:

Unfortunately, the spray paints are not yet available outside the UK and Europe.

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Score

Pros

  • Huge range of 23 colours plus a matt varnish and MDF sealer
  • All colours matched to Citadel Colour paints
  • 500 ml cans
  • Solid quality and straightforward to use

Cons

  • Colour match is decent, but not perfect for most colours
  • High pressure, easy to overspray

Final Verdict

Colour Forge primers offer a a very large selection of spray paints designed to match Citadel Colours, 100 ml more paint than comparable products, and solid quality at a more than fair price. There is even a perfect replacement for the OOP Averland Sunset spray, which is fondly remembered by many Imperial Fists collectors.