There have been a number of new miniature paints launched over the last few years, including Citadel’s revolutionary line of Contrast paints, Army Painter’s new single-coat solution, and the Two Thin Coats line from former Games Workshop presenter Duncan Rhodes. Now there’s another new brand name in the mix: WizKids’ line of Prismatic Paint. This line is formulated by Vallejo, a European company with years of experience in the hobby paint industry, and it includes all-new colors created exclusively for Dungeons & Dragons miniatures.
Unfortunately, while the quality of these paints is top-notch, the pricing may seem a bit odd at first glance. So let’s dig in.
Originally founded in New Jersey in 1965, Vallejo moved to Spain in 1969 and has been putting out hobby-grade acrylic paints for decades. They’re well known in the scale model space, and miniature painters have likely encountered their Game Color and Model Color lines already. They thin well, clean up well, are easy to apply, and perform a lot like Citadel colors in many respects. They’re common enough that most color swatch charts include them, including my favorite hosted over at Dakka Dakka.
WizKids has utilized Vallejo paints in its miniature sets before, but this year it’s launching two new D&D-branded paint sets. Colors feature D&D-themed names, but they also retain their Vallejo reference numbers. Game Color Elf Skintone (72.004) is exactly the same as Prismatic Paint Elf Skintone (92.004). But there are 20 all-new colors, formulated by Vallejo especially for the Prismatic Paint line.
Can you mix and match the paints you’ve got to make colors similar to these? Yes, of course, but your mileage may vary based on your experience and the composition of your paints. WizKids tells Polygon what it’s selling here is convenience. These colors will eventually be sold individually in 8-millileter bottles for $2.49 each, but today they’re only available as part of two boxed sets — D&D Prismatic Paint Basic Starter Set and D&D Prismatic Paint Intermediate Set. Both sets come with 30 bottles, including washes and special effects, like a metallic medium that makes any color sparkle. They also feature a carrying case, foam inserts, and some decent little brushes. With sets priced at $99.99 each, WizKids said that those add-ons account for roughly 25% of the cost.
So, if you’re looking to start out on your painting journey with an all-in-one boxed solution, then these sets are a great place to start. But, if space is not a concern and you already have all the brushes you need, buying single bottles of Vallejo paint will get you more paint for your dollar.
You’re on your own for getting just the right color on those kobolds, though.
Prismatic Paints are available now via WizKids, online, and at local retailers. They were reviewed with a retail set provided by WizKids. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. You can find additional information about Polygon’s ethics policy here.