Some time ago one of the guys who used to make molds for Heritage Models sent me some pots of paint from Heritage’s paint line. Many of them were dried out beyond recovery, but a few were still usable. He’d added some water to them before he sent them, and they seem a bit thinner than the paints which came in the Paint & Play sets (which were the only Heritage paints I had back in the day). However, for my purposes that works fine, as I wanted to try out the “stain painting” method described in the painting guides Heritage published back in the day*, which call for watered down paint applied directly over the white primer they sold (& which I am 90% certain was just white gesso). So here are a couple of shots of my first step, applying the watery but still very intensely pigmented paints to a couple of Reaper minis.
You can see that the paint settled in like a very dark wash. The next is a giant(ish) centipede, also by Reaper, painted with some crimson paint from the same line. I see now that a couple of spots were missed.
The idea is that crevices and relief get slightly different densities of paint, darker in the recess and lighter on the higher ground. The next steps will be to add details in other colors and black line the borders. I’ll post more WIP pictures as I continue. Drybrushing and additional washes for shading are also recommended, but for a base coat, this is isn’t bad and I can see skipping those steps if you’re painting an army.
My impression so far of the Heritage paints though is that they are very good — the pigment seems extremely finely ground, the colors are very intense, and as thinned as they are, they remain fairly opaque. It could be that the crappy craft paints I use have just set the bar really low, but I remember using PollyS and Armory paints back in the day and these seem to be as good or better.
*The stain painting method was promoted, and probably invented, by Duke Siefried though Heritage staff artist Dave Helber wrote some of the guides and maybe added some additional tips.