Befreiungskriege 1813-14

Painting and modelling 28mm Napoleonic wargaming miniatures

Andrea Miniatures white paint set

Posted by Martin on May 27, 2009

Andrea Miniatures white paint set

Andrea Miniatures white paint set

I decided to take up Harry the Elder’s suggestion to try Andrea Miniatures for my white palette. Specifically he suggested their set of six white paints. Originally, I had hoped to be able to buy them at Partizan last weekend but nobody was selling them (at least as far as I could see). So I did a bit of online research and ordered a set from Historex Agents.

I have to commend the customer service from Historex – an e-mail acknowledgement of receipt of my order was followed by another e-mail yesterday afternoon to tell me that the order had been dispatched. And the package arrived at my work address (much more convenient than delivery to my home address) this morning. Needless to say I spent the rest of the working day sniffing the paint bottles and itching to get home to try them.

The set comes in a neat little box and comprises six (did I say that already?) little 17ml dropper bottles (similar to the Vallejo ones) of paint. There’s a base colour (which I’d call a pale umber if I was confident I knew what umber looked like), two shadow colours that move towards grey and three highlight colours, the lightest of which is pure white. Five of these six colours, as far as I can tell, are not available as part of the Andrea range of paints sold individually (the exception being the pure white).

Now six layers of colour is overkill on a 28mm figure, even for me! So I lined them up on the table and tried to narrow it down to four while I made a cup of tea. The second shadow and the third highlight (i.e. the white) were obvious bookend choices and I settled on the first shadow and the second highlight to go in between them. Then it was down to painting, albeit just a tiny area of a Saxon coat. So these are very much first impressions and I’ll be able to provide more accurate comments once I’ve used the paints more extensively.

Firstly, I often have to give a new bottle of Vallejo paint a stern shake to reintegrate the pigment with the carrier. With these Andrea paints, there was little or no evidence of separation but I did give them a quick shake just in case. The consistency (and smell and taste) is very similar to Vallejo acrylics. Having said that, some Vallejos go chalky once you get them out on the palette, dilute them to painting consistency and begin brushwork. This is a problem that I often experience with Vallejo white so I was keen to assess reports I’d heard of the smoothness of the Andrea white. And, yes, it’s very good. Moreover, all four shades that I tried demonstrated consistency of consistency, if you see what I mean. That sort of thing is important to me because it means I can confidently predict how the paint will thin down and behave when I work with it.

Coverage seems to be good, though I did over-thin a couple of the colours tonight so I’ll have to check that more thoroughly in a lengthier painting session at the weekend. Drying time feels about the same as the Vallejos and all four shades dried nice and matt (one of the things I dislike about the Foundry paints is that they dry with a sheen and feel plasticky – almost like working with Dulux Vinyl Silk rather than a matt acrylic).

Overall, then, a very promising initial outing and, fingers crossed, I appear to have solved my white palette problem. Given that I made successful adjustments to my light blue and green palettes earlier this week, it’s about to be all systems go for painting my first Saxon battalion. And I know one figure scupltor / painter who’ll be smiling at the fact that this Andrea white paint set has more than a hint of umber to it.

I’ll post some photos of applied paint in due course but, in the meantime, it’s worth noting that Andrea do several other six-paint sets for black, flesh, red and blue.


16 Responses to “Andrea Miniatures white paint set”

  1. Phil said

    I’m keen to hear more about these. I think I will probably have pulled the trigger on buying them myself before you do any other updates though. Could you tell me, without going to the pure white, is it possible to build up a credible off-white without using the final pure white in the set? And I gather that it is more umber than gray, so producing a pearl grey might not be so easy?


    • Martin said

      The other five colours in the set are not tonally neutral (i.e. they are not pure greys) but have a slight browny-sandy tinge to them so I suspect they wouldn’t suit attempts to achieve a pearl grey.

      However, Andrea does have a pearl grey in its range of individual colours which might work for you. There’s also a darker confederate grey that you might consider. I’ve not seen or used either of them in reality so I can only speculate about how useful they might be for you.

      I’ll aim to post a photograph the six bottles that comprise the set over the weekend, in case people find it useful.

      • Rob said

        It would be great to see photos of a test peice, much as you did with the perry officer that you did in a saxon scheme a month or so ago.


  2. Glen said

    Well I for one agree fully with said sculptor/painter on using raw umber, mind you it was only after a discussion with him about it that I decided to give it a go. I now have a tube of the stuff on my painting table for use whenever I am painting anything white, very effective it is too.

    It will be interesting to see your results, see if your drawn towards the umber side!


  3. Harry the Elder said

    Pleased you found these colors (Ops! Sorry, colours) useful. I use the black set to good effect as well and have the red set on order. A note from my experience painting large figures in the use of whites; any white based on linen fabric or other natural fabric (cotton or wool) should have the umber added and any white based on chalk (crossbelts, slings, etc) should have a tiny bit of blue added to cool down the white.

    • Phil said

      What is your experience with the red set now?

      • Harry the Elder said

        I’ve been painting Prussians like a possessed obsessive…
        Brits are next up – will let you know…

      • Harry the Elder said


        I am working on a unit of Prussian Lutzow Corp. Unit has red facings, piping, etc. The Andrea red paint set paints are creamy and easy to use. I saw no separation of pigment from binder as I do with Vallejo reds – a serious problem with many of Vallejo’s colors, I find. So much so that I decant my Vallejo paint into jars for use.
        I made a digital image of a mounted Lutzow officer if you are interested in seeing the Vallejo reds “in the flesh.”

  4. Phil said

    Yes, I’d like to see that. I’m assuming you mean the Andrea reds? Did you post them on a website?

    I’ve just gone through some effort to get some Plaka reds to experiment with.

  5. john mooney said

    Hi Martin, I recommend the blue, red and flesh from the andrea sets, not sure about the black yet, it goes from light grey to black if u follow the leaflet, will update on them when I get more use, but the others are the best I have tried for a long time, especially the blues

    all the best

    John (Seansdaddy from Steve Deans)

    • Martin said

      That’s good to know John. I’m hoping Andrea will add yellow and green sets to the range. Especially the green…

    • Phil said

      I concur on the blues. I like the red also and am still trying to sort out how to use the flesh.

    • Harry the Elder said

      I’m presently using the black set to paint up a unit of Uhlans for the Lutzow Corp. I generally use just three tones of the set to provide a base, shadow and finally a highlight. I skip a shade between each layer. In other words if I start with 1st shadow as a base then 3rd shadow is my shadow and 1st light is the highlight. If you follow me… Close up the tones appear very separated but from viewing distance the uniform shading flows from light to dark and the figure’s uniform is very well defined with a slightly faded worn look.

  6. john mooney said

    Re the Flesh Phil, I use the darkest base colour then lighten with the other base and use the 1st light as a highlight then add the 2nd light for the final, comes out real life flesh, (better than the foundry anyway 😉 hope this helps

  7. John M, said

    Just to add to this post I took delivery of the silver paint set and its the most fun I’ve had doing mettalics, what I would say is buy the gold or the silver do not buy both as the inks are the same bar one so u can use the inks with your vallejo old gold Ive tried it and its great,
    thought Id share me thoughts on these 😉


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