Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Replacing Citadel Blood Red Spray Paint

Here lies the quest to replace the beloved out of stock supplies

Citadel Blood Red spray paint
Citadel Red ink
Citadel Chestnut ink

Trying to fill the gaps still held by great products now long out of production is difficult. However I have been somewhat successful is locating a few possible replacements. I want to remedy this issue as it has now made a definite halt in painting and further assembly of new models for my Blood Angels army.

This will be a long write up with plenty of photographic evidence for discovery and acquisition. So please follow me to the beginning of Part 1 in the great journey to replace Citadel Blood Red Spray paint.

Part 1

The best way to explain my methodology is to show a course of a vehicle.

I would start with a vehicle, spray on white spray primer, spray on Blood Red spray paint. The picture gives of the red hue, but not much of the orange hue. What follows is an example of a vehicle with white primer spray and Citadel Blood Red spray. Yes, I actually sprayed this vehicle with the actual good stuff.

A Blood Angels Land Speeder awaits painting ...

I would then apply a mix of Citadel Red and Chestnut inks. I would mix the red and chestnut inks together with water in a 1/1/1 mix until I got a color consistent with blood. I would wash the entire vehicle in the ink mix and let the vehicle dry before proceeding further with painting. This method was showed to me at a GW stow in CA and I stuck with it for its simplicity. What follows is another vehicle with white primer spray, Citadel Blood Red spray, and a wash of Citadel Red and Chestnut inks, plus paint.

 Here is a shot of both models together. This picture shows how much a difference the ink mix wash effects the overall red color. This picture also shows more of the orange hue of the Citadel spray. I wonder if the paint mix is still good in a can which is more than 10 years old now?

The original

Citadel Blood Red spray paint

How many are left on the planet till this can becomes a pickable antique?

The replacements

Liquitex Cadmium Red Medium Hue spray paint

Army Painter Pure Red spray paint

Testor's Flat Red spray paint

Model Master Italian Red spray paint


I used some extra medium sized rhino bits as test pieces.

Test 1 - Spray paint applied to plastic.

This test was used to examine how Citadel, Army Painter, and Liquitex would look when applied to plastic. The main focus point is Army Painter spray paint does not require a white primer compared to the original Citadel spray paint which does. Citadel provided the base color, Army Painter was a close match, Liquitex was too bright.

(Left) Citadel (Middle) Liquitex (Right) Army Painter

Test 2 - Spray paint applied to white primed plastic.

This test was used to determine how much of a difference the white primer effects the Citadel and Liquitex spray paints. Citadel stayed almost the same while Liquitex stayed about the same, but it was still too bright. Liquitex appeared a bit on the runny side.

(Left) Citadel (Right) Liquitex

Test 3 - Spray paint applied to white primed plastic.

This test was used to determine how much of a difference the white primer effects the Citadel and Army Painter spray paints. Despite the fact Army Painter does not need a white primer, some say yes and some say no so, I wanted to see for myself. Just like the previous test, Citadel brightened slightly and Army Painter brightened slightly. I think the first few sprays of Citadel were not full or did not receive the best coat as this piece has a much better looking coat of paint. Army Painter was too bright at this point so using Army painter Pure Red spray paint with a white primer is not good for this job.

(Left) Citadel (Right) Army Painter

Test 3 Comparison

This test is a simple visual comparison of the previous test pieces. I believe Citadel spray paint needs a white primer and Army Painter spray paint does not need a white primer. Citadel spray paint remains consistant throughout he testing process. Army Painter became much brighter. Citadel Blood Red has a slight orange tint to its red hue while Army Painter Pure Red has more of a straight red hue


Army Painter

Army painter becomes much brighter with a white primer added.

Test 1.3 Comparison

This test is a visual comparison of the Citadel and Army Painter pieces from Test 1 and the Army painter piece from Test 3 set against a vehicle spray with white primer and Citadel spray. The lighting did not work well I think in this picture. Citadel on the left matches the vehicle, Army Painter with no primer on the right is a close match, and Army Painter with primer on the bottom is too bright and not a good match.

Armored Landspeeder! Dah Boss is gonna love dis one.

Test 1.3 Comparison 2L

This test a visual comparison focused on the Citadel piece in Test 1.3 which shows is an exact match despite not using a white primer. The Citadel i think did not get a perfect coat and you can see some of the raw plastic in the windshield area, however I don't think it would matter much. The Army Painter appears to be an exact match as well in this picture.

Citadel against Citadel

Test 1.3 Comparison 2R

This test is a visual comparison focused on the Army Painter piece in Test 1.3 which shows a close match, although having more overall red than orange hue. Either way I believe Army Painter is a suitable replacement so far.

Army Painter against Citadel


Liquitex Red spray paint

Red hue, too bright, no match

Liquitex Red spray paint with white primer

Red hue, too bright, no match

Going by the this color chart I think perhaps the Light Medium Red hue might have been better for a less red and more orange hue.

Liquitex is water based and more geared for professional graffiti artists and the like. Being water based, I did not a very wet appearance up close, but a second spray did get a nice coat. The spray is a great product, but it may not be more miniatures. I think I might be able to get it to work on something. The bright red hue would be perfect for some Draconis Combine Sword of Light units as they use the brightest red possible to paint their battlemechs. This spray paint was a gamble with a 60% coupon, but if I can get the spray to work there is a lot of color possibilities. The price is good for the amount of spray within the can.

Army Painter Pure Red spray paint

Red and orange hue, good match

Army Painter Pure Red spray paint with white primer

Too bright, no match

Army Painter so far is the closest match and the fact I won't need an additional spray of white primer saves me some cash.

Part 2 I will test Testor's and Model Masters spray paints.
Part 3 I will test ink replacements.

This concludes Part 1.

Please give me some feedback. Stay tuned for an update on my Blood Angels Land Raider Crusader and an approaching  Battletech battle report.

1 comment:

  1. This methodology is far to scientific for me. I prefer to just wing it & then bitch about the inconsistent results afterwards...