Love it or hate it, but influencer hobby products have become a thing. We’ve witnessed ex-GW presenter Duncan Rhodes launching his own paint range, Angel Giraldez selling airbrushes, and now Monument Hobbies are stepping in with their ProAcryl Signature Series. They’ve already dropped two paint sets co-developed with YouTube legends Ninjon and Vince Venturella, and two more sets by pro painters Ben Komets and Matt Cexwish are out when you read this. In this review, I’ll be taking you through the entire ProAcryl range, with a special focus on the Signature Series. Is this paint range truly living up to the hype or are you just getting influenced?

Ever since Monument Hobbies introduced the ProAcryl paint range back in 2018, it has managed to garner a significant following and earn the endorsement of prominent hobby YouTubers and award-winning competition artists. My buddy Ross over at Fauxhammer even dedicated an entire video to why he thinks they’re the ABSOLUTE best miniature paints.

Now, I’m always a bit wary of bold claims like these. I’ve reviewed a truckload of hobby paint ranges and found that they all have their pros and cons. So, after giving the complete ProAcryl range, including the new Signature Series, a thorough test drive, I’ve come to a conclusion to the question: Are ProAcryl really the BEST paints? Well no, but yes. Let me explain.

Pro Acryl Signature Series review and unboxing
These items were kindly provided by Monument Hobbies. Thoughts and opinions are our own.

You see, ProAcryl paints are genuinely top-notch. The pigmentation, vibrancy, and the chemistry behind them are seriously impressive. When they first hit the scene in 2018, their formula was groundbreaking and second to none. But here’s the deal – other recently released paint ranges like AK 3rd Gen, Two Thin Coats, the new Vallejo Game Colors or TTCombat paints have caught up. I also think that ProAcryl paints are not for everyone, as they are not targeted at everyone. There’s a bit of a learning curve involved that requires a certain level of experience.

Before I dive into what I mean by that, let’s check out what the ProAcryl range has in its arsenal.

The Pro Acryl range

At the time of this review, there are 102 colours in total, available individually or in various paint sets. The Base Set features a selection of 24 core colours and is a solid starting point, while three expansion sets carve out the range with more variety and depth. There is a set with 9 metallic colours and a set of transparent paints.

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The Transparents aren’t inks or Contrast-style paints; they’re regular paints with the same consistency as the other ProAcryl paints, but with reduced opacity. They can be a bit tricky to use, and in my opinion, they work best thinned down as glazes, or as filters applied with an airbrush. For instance, you could spray them over a pre-shaded model. However, they’re quite a niche product and definitely not a must-have.

Pro Acryl Black Wash review

I better like ProAcryl’s three washes – these bad boys flow like a dream and have a stronger tint compared to the new Citadel Shade paints.

The latest additions to the range are the four Signature Series paint sets by Ninjon, Vince Venturella, Ben Komets, and Matt Cexwish. 

Pro Acryl paint review

More about the Signature Series below, let’s first explore the characteristics and qualities that define ProAcryl. These paints are manufactured in the United States, and encased in 22-millilitre dropper bottles featuring pre-installed agitators. Price-wise, they’re quite reasonable considering the amount of paint you receive. The bottles have unique screw top tips which are a “love it or hate it” kind of affair. Before you can get painting, you must first remove the seal. Sometimes it satisfyingly comes off with a single pull, but sometimes it’s more stubborn. The white ring must remain in place as it keeps the bottle air-tight. Then the tip twists open, but twist too far and it may break. So far, so good, and the screw mechanism prevents the nozzles from blocking. However, a significant drawback is the necessity to wipe the tip after each use to prevent the buildup of dried paint residue.

Honestly, I’m not a big fan of the tips, and the plastic of the bottles is also quite hard to squeeze. Monument Hobbies offers more standard dropper bottle style nozzles for retrofitting, which I’d prefer, but buying these for every paint can quickly add up. Please let me know in the comments about your experiences with the nozzles, maybe you’re seeing something that I’m not.

So if the bottles take some getting used to, the paint should better be fantastic. And fortunately, Monument Hobbies deliver what they promise. The paint has very high opacity, an even, buttery consistency that makes them go on super smoothly with either brush or airbrush. They have a good amount of working time, and they dry with a pleasant matt finish. The colours are pure and highly saturated, even the more muted shades retain a certain level of depth.

Tyranids Genestealer painted with Pro Acryl paints
Painted with Pro Acryl (and Magos Purple Contrast paint)

Yet, I mentioned a learning curve, and there definitely is. The paint consistency leans towards the thinner end of the spectrum, displaying a lower viscosity than say Citadel Layer paints. But at the same time, they are exceptionally pigmented, often more opaque than a comparable Citadel Base paint. Typically, midrange and darker colours provide effective coverage in two thin coats, while lighter colours are a bit weaker and may require a few additional layers.

And this is when the learning curve comes in because when you’re used to thicker body paints like Citadel Colour or The Army Painter Warpaints, you will have to relearn how to paint to some extent. After all, thick paint is easy to thin, but the reverse is more challenging. ProAcryl paints demand minimal, if any, thinning, particularly when using a wet palette. The extra moisture in the palette made some colours like the yellow almost too thin for my taste. But thanks to the thin consistency and high pigmentation, blending and edge highlighting with ProAcryl is a dream, whereas for dry brushing you might want to wait a bit for the paint to dry a little on a dry palette.

The other point is that ProAcryl doesn’t cater to the casual painter who wants to pop into a store and replicate a paint scheme by grabbing a set of colours from the shelf. Let’s say you’re painting Ultramarines? Citadel Colour has a matching base, shade, and highlight colour, specifically designed for painting blue power armour. In contrast, ProAcryl gives you a couple of blues, white, and black, and challenges you to experiment and mix. 

This doesn’t have to be a bad thing, and moving out of your comfort zone means learning more about colour theory and paint properties. For the average painter who just wants to paint an army effectively, however, this can prove a hurdle and perhaps explains why ProAcryl is more popular with experienced painters. And that’s where the Signature Series swoops in.

Pro Acryl Signature Series 1 – 4 review

Each of the four sets boasts six new colours co-developed with four skilled painters and content creators, based on their respective paint styles and preferences. Apparently, they receive a share of the sales, as the website states that each purchase benefits the respective artist.

Imagine having your own colours with your name on them – I mean which painter doesn’t dream of that? I like the idea, but personally, I’d refrain from entering into a paid brand collaboration, because then I would no longer be able to provide you with unbiased hobby reviews. But I wouldn’t knock any content creator for it, because let’s face it, no paint brand would ask me anyway, because our reach isn’t near the size of Ninjon & Co.

In Ninjon‘s set, you’re treated to warm beige, cream, and brown tones, alongside a duo of warm magenta shades. I could see this set being a very good complement for painting and mixing skin tones of all kinds. Vince Venturella‘s set takes a cooler approach, featuring dark jade, blue-grey, cool purple, and even a cool white. The pink skin tone and ochre green feel a bit out of place, giving the set a touch of randomness. 

The sets by Ben Komets and Matt Cexwish bring the first satin and gloss colours to the ProAcryl range. I would only recommend these sets if you are really familiar with the style of the two painters, as the colours do not represent the matt qualities of ProAcryl. They are kind of their own niche within the range. If you’re nonetheless interested in them, I recommend Monument Hobby’s Instagram channel. There are two posts where Matt and Ben explain their thoughts behind each of their colours.

Value

The Signature Series is not just a cash grab, as it serves as the perfect gateway into the world of ProAcryl. If you are a regular reader of Tale of Painters, chances are you’re pretty invested in miniature painting. You’ve likely got a paint stash and already own most, if not all, of the core colours from the ProAcryl starter set. But the colours in the Signature Series sets are more likely to add a touch of uniqueness that you might not have in your paint collection yet. And the small six-colour size makes them perfect bite-sized samplers of the range. Just to make it clear, I would recommend the Ninjon and Vince sets, as the other two sets are not representative of the whole range because of all the satin and gloss colours.

ProAcryl paints can be a bit hard to find outside the US, so check out our 🇬🇧/🇪🇺 partner stores Element Games and Firestorm Games or 🇩🇪/🇪🇺 PK-Pro. Using our links helps to support Tale of Painters at no additional cost to you, so thank you very much for using them!

The best acrylic paints for painting Warhammer miniatures selected by Stahly

I have also added ProAcryl to my list of favourite paints. So be sure to check out my best of miniature paints post here.

I hope you found this review helpful, feel free to leave a reaction or comment below, or post your questions here or discuss on our Discord channel.

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Pros

  • Powerful combo of intense pigmentation, solid coverage, thin yet velvety consistency, and matt finish
  • Brilliant metallics and washes
  • Signature Series sets are a great bite-sized sampler of the range

Cons

  • Limited colour palette
  • Transparent paints aren't universally useful
  • The screw-tip design of the nozzles is not my favourite

Final Verdict

Back to the question I raised at the beginning of the review: are ProAcryl truly the ultimate miniature paints? As I said: Yes, but no. No, because they are certainly not for everyone. Yes, because they do have incredible chemistry and pigmentation. And they can push you to up your painting game, challenging you to work with thinner layers and experiment with mixing new colours. But perhaps most importantly, I believe it was ProAcryl that have pioneered a new generation of acrylic paints, inspiring other brands to improve the quality of theirs.