A review by Matt Broughton
A welcome addition to the painter’s arsenal is the latest product from Instar Paint. It would first seem that the ‘Alpha’ range steps into an area of the hobby currently created by the Games Workshop Contrast paints. An apparently fast and easy way to get your models on the table and battle ready, while retaining a degree of quality that is usually sacrificed when using standard painting methods.
Instar’s Alpha paint is however highly versatile and can be brushed straight onto the model in its pure form, or mixed on a palette with their Water+ formula. This gives a nice flow and allows the painter to vary the depth of the colours to their choosing. One thing to be aware of is how quickly the paint can dry. A definite advantage when you want to finish models quickly, but problematic when the paint keeps drying on the brush or the palette. I found that this was avoided by simply placing a spot of Water+ next to the paint and dipping the brush into it as I went along.
There has been much debate over preferences for either Vallejo dropper pots or the Citadel flip top style. Those who celebrate the former will be pleased to know that the Instar Paint comes in dropper pots and also includes a ball bearing or agitator inside to keep the mix consistent. The other great thing is that they come in a variation of sizes (5ml, 10ml, 20ml, 50ml and 100ml).
I had the pleasure of using the 5ml pots and was amazed at how much I could get out of one of these. Which makes them extremely good value for money. Worthy of note is the sheer range of colours. Historical figure painters will be content to see that the darker shades are much catered for which is great news when painting say WW2 camo for instance, but there are some real eye popping colours at the other end of the scale too. This in itself leaves the competition standing. As much as I enjoy using the GW Contrast products I’m currently frustrated at the lack of colours available and right now I’m only using them as an occasional compliment to the Instar range. I was very impressed at the eventual results I achieved with these paints, and felt I could go further with the time I’d saved by adding a couple of small highlights to the figures which really made them stand out. In conclusion Instar have proven to be ahead of the curve and I’m excited at the possibilities that lay ahead for this growing company.
The figures above are a mix of Wargames Foundry and Artizan 2nd Afghan War miniatures. The figure below is Jonny Frost from the Wargames Illustrated Giants in Miniature range. They were all painted using the Instar range.
Find out more at https://shop.instarpaint.com