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A History of Citadel Colour—Part IV

Welcome to part IV 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 III here. Without further ado, the continuation:

In 1998 Citadel Colour went through another revision a mere four years after the hex pots came out. Honestly, I couldn’t find any information on the intent or philosophy as to why this revision happened, save that they moved to a new manufacturer in France. Even the White Dwarf that announced the change (#222, June 1998) is light on details, simply saying that the range is formulated so that each paint is a shade and/or a highlight for another. This cascading format would continue towards their latest pant range you can find in shops now. At the time, however, the main complaint lay in the pots.

Where once you got 20mL of paint in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, you then got 17.5mL in 1994. Now in 1998 each pot only contains 12mL, and comes with a screw-on cap to boot, a cap, which was infamous for letting paint get in the threads, compromising the quality of the seal and causing paint to dry-up prematurely. A cap redesign was inevitable, though. A common complaint with the white (and black, red, and blue) flip-caps of the previous generations was that they often broke off their hinges, even if their seal was unbeatable (and all mine are still usable twenty-seven years later). The screw-caps of the 1998 revision were the bane of every painter, and were (in my theory) the number one reason why people migrated to other ranges, which started to spring up around this time.

It’s worth mentioning, however, that despite the terrible paint caps this range was actually very well thought out. It can’t be ignored that the idea of creating “triads of paint” (shades, bases, and highlights) was a good move, and this range also gave us back the plethora of grays that were noticeably absent from the hex pot era.

This cap issue would get remedied in the 2003 update to this range, along with the addition of six new paints in less-fantastic, military-style colors (Tanned Flesh, Terracotta, Graveyard Earth, Kommando Khaki, Desert Yellow, and Catachan Green). Sadly they would also use this opportunity to discontinue fifteen paints including such gems as Leprous Brown, Nauseating Blue, and Jade Green. The caps worked well enough. They simply screwed on to the already existing pots and created a really tense hinge that had two modes: open at a sharp 90°, or closed tight.

By this time, however, McVey had moved on, first to Wizards of the Coast where he—along with Chris Pramas, later of Green Ronin fame—helped set up the miniatures division with the superb D&D Chainmail miniatures game (not to be confused with the proto-D&D miniatures game Chainmail by Gary Gygax & Jeff Perren), then later to Privateer Press where he not only headed their painting studio, but helped set up their P3 (or Privateer Press Paints) line of paints, which come styled in a familiar pot design, and are meant to be used in wet blending on your models.

After the 2003 lid redesign, Citadel Colour rested on its laurels for four years, before deciding to shake things up with the Foundation paints in 2007, and the Citadel Washes in 2008.

Next time: I talk about the period between 2007 with the release of the Foundation paints, and 2012, when the range sees its biggest shakeup in fourteen years.




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Carmin Carotenuto is a man about games about town. 

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