Prismatic Paints – (RPG Paints by Wizkids)

Some of the earliest tabletop games involved playing with little figures to represent units and creatures and where there are little figures, there are people who want to paint them. In the past, miniatures and painting were relegated to the dedicated wargamers or the occasional fan of role-playing games. Today, painting is even more common – many larger format board games also contain minis providing boardgamers the chance to join in. Traditionally, Wizkids has produced a wide variety of pre-painted miniatures for RPG players but has recently dipped their toe into the wider painting field with a line of high-quality unpainted minis. As of now, players can even buy their painting supplies from Wizkids, with a special Dungeons & Dragons branded Prismatic Paint sets of thirty colors in a portable carrying case.

The Wizkids Prismatic Paint line consists of two different sets (Basic and Intermediate) of thirty colors of paint (with a brush), a set of tools, and a set of paint brushes.

The Prismatic Paint toolkit includes a hobby (X-acto) knife and a pair of snippers to trim off any extra bits of plastic off of one’s plastic mini. Note, the snipper blades are set up to be “flush” so that they make a clean cut when used. The set also includes a flexible (stiff foam) sander with two sizes of grit – one on each side. The sander and knife are also available separately. I though the tools were pretty good and it’s nice to have a dedicated set just for this purpose. Some gamers go so far as to mix and modify their models by snipping parts off one and gluing them on to another. These tools should make that an easier task.

The is also a set of three paintbrushes (medium, small, and smaller) with the same branding. These had synthetic bristles and I wasn’t as big as fan as I felt like they didn’t seem as good as the ones I’m used to. They did have the nice D&D branding, though, which was fun.

Finally, we have the paint sets themselves. Each case of thirty paint bottles comes in a handy locking carrying case and a bonus small brush. There’s even a little slot to hold the brush. It might have been nice to have space for the tool kit as well, although I’m sure I could just jam it into the foam if I really wanted. The biggest selling points for the paint are the variety of colors provided as well as the fun D&D-linked color names. Who doesn’t want to paint with Bullywug Hide green or Illithid Skin purple? The basic box has some basic colors like bone white, sun yellow, rust, and flameskull green. Metals include Gold, Hammered Copper, and Silver. The case also includes several washes: Black Wash, Sepia (light brown) Wash, and Umber (dark brown) Wash. Why is wash important? Painters use a wash as one of the last steps in painting. It is typically dark and very runny so it clings inside nooks and crannies of a figure making them appear darker. It’s great that there are a few to try out in the beginner box as it is such an important beginner skill to develop. There’s also a bottle of Matt Varnish to use to protect all that work when painting is done.

The intermediate case expands on color options and includes some of the more fun names like Juiblex Slime Wash (green wash), Tarrasque Carapace (orange), and some of the others mentioned previously. Colors of note include Metal Medium, Gunmetal, Glorious Gold, and a bottle of Gloss Varnish if you want your figures shiny.

The accessories excite me less than the paints, but it is pretty fun to have that D&D brand on there. It would be easy to pick up a hobby (X-acto) knife just about anywhere but the soft sanders and special trimmer might take a bit more looking. For that reason, I think the set is a nice deal but I’d forgo the knife. I’d also skip out on the brushes as they don’t seem to add value. I generally don’t do a lot of prep work on my minis so haven’t used a soft sander before. Having one on hand is great for me to try it out and I can search down more if I decide they’re useful.

The paint sets, however, are a great way to get into the realm of mini painting. I like the colors on offer and the handy carrying case. Sure, most people will only be painting on their table at home, but they are very portable if you need to move them around and compact if you have limited shelf space. Of note, these paint bottles contain only 8 ml of paint, contrasting with the industry-typical 12 to 17 ml bottles. I did a search for other minis paint sets on offer and while the price per ml is on the high end for Prismatic Paints, it is not too far off other top-tier paint brands. Most beginner “sets” are 16 to 20 colors while Prismatic Paints provide 30. At just 8 ml, one is going to quickly run out of the most common paints (black, white, metals, black wash, definitely matte varnish.) However, the idea of these paints is that they are an introduction to the painting hobby. Beginners can find the colors they like and buy more.

For the beginning painter, I think these kits are a great start. Painters can try out a wide range of paint (and washes) to figure out colors they like. Even the color names are handy. Some experts might want to mix their own colors from a fundamental set, but a beginner might not know what makes a good blood-red or goblin flesh. Having exactly that color on hand is nice. Are these color sets great for advanced painters? Probably not, unless they really like painting on-the-go. For beginners, however, there are a lot of advantages. And do not overlook the simple “fun factor” of having a handy little D&D branded case in which to keep all your painting toys.

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