A History of Citadel Colour—Part III

Welcome to part III of a miniseries on the history of Citadel Colour as told by me, just some guy who's been following this stuff for most of his life. You can read part I here, part II here, and part IV here. Without further ado, the continuation:


When Mike McVey began the 1994 revision, he was able to work with the manufacturer (by all accounts HMG Paints UK) to envision the paint range as a whole (fondly dubbed by nostalgics as the “hex pot” range). Some colors carried over (Goblin Green, Skull White, Snakebite Leather), some colors got name changes (Red Gore became Blood Red, Moody Blue became Regal Blue), and some paints were dropped entirely (Terracotta, Codex Grey, and Titilating Pink—rumor has it this last one was due to an ingredient that had gone out of production, or been regulated by the UK or US). Overall, the colors were all there, and they came in a unique-looking pot: 17.5mL/0.62oz hexagon-shaped pot with a brittle, but indefatigable, white, black, blue, or red lid (depending on the type of paint). This range also introduced washes and glazes into the painting repitoir. While always a tool of established painters, washing and glazing became techniques that newer painters could now attempt by virtue of there being paints that specifically did those techniques. Once called inks, these new washes were less shiny when dry, and tended to have darker hues to accentuate the recesses of models and help in shading, or blending.


This inter-range period causes a lot of confusion in the minds of those casting their memories back, due in no small part to Games Workshop’s series of painting guides that came out during this period and straddled the change over. The first ‘Eavy Metal painting guide that didn’t come free with a White Dwarf was the infamous red-border book that covered nearly everything one needed to start paintingiin miniatures. It came out in 1993 and, naturally, featured the original range of colors. The next book to hit shelves was the Warhammer 40,000 painting guide, which came out in 1994, and also features the classic Citadel Colour range (though doesn’t show any pictures of paint pots at all). Next came the Citadel Miniatures Modelling Guide and the Warhammer Armies Painting Guide for Warhammer Fantasy Battles. These two both came out in 1994 and the Warhammer Armies Painting Guide made reference to the hex pot range (both in recommended paints and in pictures of the pots). All of these guides, however were advertised as complimenting one another, and were presumably (though a couple years before my time, sadly, so I never saw them at my local Games Workshop) sold together. I can only imagine the confusion on a newer gamer’s face as they stood in front of the gravity-fed paint rack and searched endlessly for Go Fasta Red.


Next time: We take a trip forward four years to the much-maligned screw-cap "bolter round" pots, and yet another revision to the Citadel Colour range.


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Carmin Carotenuto is a man about games about town. 

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