All Citadel paints are a kind of water-based acrylic paints specifically designed to be used on miniatures made of metal, plastic, or resin. Citadel paints are a very high quality acrylics used for base coating Citadel miniatures in a convenient and easy way.
Citadel paints are non-toxic, high quality, easy to use, and are known to give a smooth matte-like finish over a black or white base only with a single layer of coating. Mainly used for tabletop games (for example monopoly, Warhammer) when painting miniatures and models, Citadel paints provide an excellent finish to any miniature.
This article goes on in detail to tell you more about what Citadel paints are, what they can be used for and if they’re any good when painting miniatures for tabletop games or for Warhammers, as well as the comparison between Citadels and regular acrylics.
What Are Citadel Paints?
Citadel paints are acrylic paints mainly used for two purposes; as a base paint and as layering paints. Citadel base paints are used to basecoat your Citadel miniatures easily and give a very smooth matte finish over a light or dark base coat.
Citadel layer paints however, are designed to be used over the Citadel base paints, as a second layer of whatever color you desire for your miniatures, giving your model a better and rich finish.
Citadel paints also have a technical paints range used for creating various effects on your miniature model, giving it more structure, character, and complexity. All these types of Citadel paints are used by tabletop game players to customize their own miniature models (used within the game) as they please.
Instead of purchasing a premade set of Citadel paints, we recommend building your own paint set with this build your own assortment bundle. This allows you to choose only the colors you need or want at a great value.
What Are Acrylic Paints?
Acrylics are water based paints used for a variety of purposes because of their functionality. Acrylics can be cleaned when they’re wet, when dry they become permanent, can stick to most surfaces and model, are low-odor, non-flammable, and can be used in a variety of painting styles and techniques.
Acrylics can be used on canvases, paper, card, or to paint on glass, plastic, metal, stone, or even fabric. They can also be thinned to be used as water colors if the need be, or used as is for more coverage and a better finish.
What’s the Difference Between Citadel Paint and Regular Acrylic Paint?
Since Citadel paints are specialized paints that come with a miniature model collection specific to a tabletop game, they naturally are more expensive than normal acrylic paints. Acrylics are a very common type of paint and thus are more reasonably priced.
Citadels are a very high quality acrylic, so the difference in quality between regular acrylic paints and Citadel paints is by a significant margin. Although you can get more paint in a regular acrylic paint bottle than a Citadel one, the difference in quality makes up for the lack in quantity.
Citadels have a better consistency as well as a finer pigmentation capable of ensuring a better finish for your miniature model, whereas acrylics do offer a good pigmentation, but not nearly at the level of Citadels. Fans of most tabletop games prefer using Citadel paints as they make their mini models look better and the paint lasts longer.
While acrylics can be used for painting a figurine, they are thicker with a coarser pigmentation and cannot refine and bring out the tinier gaps and the finer details in a miniature model. Citadels do a better job in this regard as they don’t clog the minute details of your model, as they’re a miniature specific and more artist grade paint type.
Is Citadel Paint Good?
- Citadel paints are considered better for miniature specific purposes because:
- They’re a very high quality acrylic
- They’re artist grade paint and miniature specific
- Good value for money
- Has the best washes out of other paints
- Has variety; base paints, layering paints, and technical paints
- High consistency and pigmentation
- Better opacity and smoother matte look
- Have a better paint formula than normal acrylics
- Pigmentation doesn’t vane when thinned
- Can create detailed texture on small models
- Don’t clog the minute details of your mini model
- Offer a better finish and can make your model stand out
- Encourage miniature model painting hobby by offering a good experience
Despite all the arguments in favor of Citadel paints, they do tend to be on the pricier side, so if you don’t want to invest that much into them, there are suitable alternatives.
For example regular acrylics of craft paints that you can use to paint your minis, granted you’ll have to thin the paint a little so that it goes on better. Vallejo is a great option if you’re looking for good quality paint to customize your miniatures.
Can You Use Normal Acrylic Paint on Warhammer Miniatures?
You can use normal acrylic paints instead of high quality ones like Citadel to paint your Warhammer miniatures, but because of the thick viscosity and coarser pigmentation of regular acrylic paints, you’ll have to thin them down with water until they are at a suitable enough thickness to cover your miniature model.
You can also thin then using acrylic mediums so that they go on better and provide a finer layer to your Warhammer miniature. There are very specific types of acrylics that can be used as an alternative to Citadel, some examples of acrylic paints used for miniature painting include Vallejo, Reaper, and P3.
You can also get a similar pigmentation and opacity that Citadels provide by using a flow medium to mix with regular quality acrylic paints.
Citadel paints are miniature specific paint used by many for their hobby of miniature painting of various tabletop games like Warhammer.
Citadel paints differ a lot from other water based paint, oil based or even regular acrylic ones in the sense that their formula is specifically designed to give a better miniature painting experience than other types of paints.
Although they have decent alternatives, none quite come close to the finish, the richness and the quality that Citadel paints provide. However, the alternatives can be used if you’re a novice in the hobby of miniature painting looking for cheaper options to practice.