Reaper paint review | Is it the best paint for minis?

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Whether you’re a miniature builder and want to paint your figures or you have experience painting miniatures, the simple fact is that when it comes to painting your figures, every mini player wants the best paint that would provide exceptional details. 

Yet, if you limit painting resources to popular brands like Vallejo and Citadel, you limit yourself as a painter. Besides these top-of-art paint brands, Reaper paint lines offer better long-term investment in quality and paint performance. 

They’re also one of my favorites because of their unique sets. 

Are Reaper paints good? 

One of the many reasons I love Reaper paints is that their quality is really great and they are consistent with their pigments and viscosity. 

In fact, Reaper paints make up a majority of my paint collection (of course, I also have a few Citadel and Vallejo sets). 

On the other hand, while their paints are a bit thinner than Citadel paints, you can still thin them to get a glossy finish and specialty effects like oily metal, fresh blood, or lacquered armor finish. 

The most outstanding feature of Reaper paints is their triad design. 

This allows you have a set of paints (three basic colors), a shadow, a base, and a highlight color that work harmoniously together. These colors are readily mixed to allow you to paint skin tones and hair colors. 

Reaper Pros

  • You can buy a set of a triad that includes a shade, mid-tone, and highlight for one color
  • Ease of creating great colors with minimal mixing 
  • sold in bottles that are easy to mix without contamination
  • The liner colors make very good washes

Reaper Cons

  • Not many game stores carry Reaper paints 

Reaper paint is amazing for miniatures

This paint line absolutely loves figures. 

Although their thin viscosity may look too thin to use for detailing in miniatures, their strong point is that they are finely thinned. 

Their smooth nature offers a great flow from the brush to the surface of your miniature and has a really good feel when applied. This way, the details are very obvious and not obscured or overshadowed.

Reaper Paint Is extremely easy to use

The big difference between big-name paint lines like Vallejo and Reaper paint is that, unlike Vallejo, with a very thick and opaque consistency, Reaper paints are thin and won’t require much thinner to get them ready for your figures. 

This makes them easy to use. Plus, their triad system helps reduce the learning curve involved in mixing. 

Reaper Paints – Made In Texas

the dropper bottle makes Reaper easy to mix

Fortunately, Reaper paints mix well as long as the base coat is the same as thinner and there isn’t so much pigmentation in the colors. 

On the other hand, the dropper bottle style they are sold in makes their paints easy to mix without contamination. Mixing paints like Citadel will require you to measure it out by the brush full. 

With Reaper, you can drop 2 drops to this color, and 5 of another, and easily re-produce that ratio when you inevitably find a spot you missed.

Another reason that makes Reaper paints easy to mix is the triad system. Buying colors in threes takes out a lot of the mixing work. This way, new painters when trying to get consistency won’t overkill the paint mixture. 

Reaper has a good coverage

On coverage, I find Reaper paints to cover well. They go on smooth and can be watered down for shades or built up for highlights.

But as mentioned earlier, Reaper paints are all pre-thinned and take numerous (often 4+) coats to get good coverage. 

The best way to get good coverage is to supplement them with paints from other manufacturers. Mix in the dark color of the triad with a base color from Citadel or Vallejo.

You get better coverage, and the new base color will be closer in tone to the triad. You can highlight up from there.

That said, when it comes to the results, Reaper paints will not be for everybody. Reaper tends to have a very matte, almost chalky finish, as opposed to brands like Citadel offering a satin, almost plastic finish. Reaper’s chalkiness is great for things like cloth, linen, and dirt – but it won’t work well for skin.

Is Reaper paint easy to clean?

When painting, the chances are that you’ll always spot remains of the mold release agent used during the casting process and leftover paints.

Reaper paints won’t be a pain to clean off. 

Most people use a toothbrush to scrub the plastic, and even if you’re quite rough, it won’t damage the plastic. But, lukewarm water or even warm water and dish soap work fine. 

Reaper Paint dries completely in 30 mins

Reaper paints don’t dry out as quickly when I just thin with water (although they don’t need much thinning anyway). 

However, the paints have a pretty decent drying time. It’s not as long as some ranges but longer than most, which means you can get some good working time.

Depending on your climate, Reaper paints are going to be completely dry within 30 minutes. Many painters wait as long as 24 hours to be sure the paint completely cures. 

254 colors for you to choose from

Reaper offers a wide range of colors in two line up; the Master Series Paints Core Colors with over 216 colors 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 colors.

Overall, you’ll find as many as 254 color variants for Reaper paints. 

A big win over brands like Army Painter with only 124 paint line up. 

They will last for a long time 

Paints, especially Reaper paints will outlast many products as long as you store them well. 

Simply store them in a box or display stand less prone to extreme temperatures. 

Make sure they don’t come directly under the cold and sunlight. As long as they cover well, they last forever.

The prices for Reaper paint

Reaper paints aren’t so cheap from a price point, but they aren’t generally expensive. You’ll find many hobby stores retail online between $2.99 to $3.69 for each 15ml bottle. 

While this price may seem extreme for many new modelers, it offers a slight advantage over Citadel’s bottle size. A bottle of Reaper paints can cover over 100 28mm soldiers and five miniature vehicles. The bottom line is no matter the price range, a 15ml bottle will last a while. 

Conclusion

Most miniature painters are big fans of Reaper, and somehow managed to accrue a small collection of their collection because they include a free bottle of random color with every miniature paint you get. However, Reaper paints are more than this. 

Their flesh tones are amazing and have become my go-to for painting skin. They offer smooth coverage, are easy to use, and mix, and their wide range of colors means you can easily paint with the desired colored scheme you have in mind.

So, no matter how pricy Reaper paints may seem, they are worth the investment, especially as they come in a 15ml bottle, over 3ml larger than a Citadel paint pot