Is Amsterdam Standard okay for miniatures?
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Thread: Is Amsterdam Standard okay for miniatures?

  1. #1

    Default Is Amsterdam Standard okay for miniatures?

    Hi all,

    I just recently started painting miniatures with a cheap starter set. As it's quite enjoyable, I was thinking to go buy the amsterdam standard 72 color set, as amsterdam seems reasonably priced and is available near me. However after googling a bit, I can barely find any mention of it in use for painting miniatures.

    Is it not very suitable for this, and should i go get some other brand instead?

    If it matters, I've bought some of the wizkids minature and intend to use them for RPG play.

  2. #2


    sorry can't really help as it's a first I've even heard of the "Amsterdam Std".

    At first glance(YT videos, reviews) it looks ok, but you'll need a lot more thinning as they seem thick out of the tube and I don't know how well it will cover if thinned enough.

    To be honest even though it looks great for 72 colors for 70 euro (about 1 euro/color), but most doesn't need that many color normally.
    I'd rather have only about a 3rd of the colors(that's still over 20 shades), but directly formulated for mini paintings (Vallejo, Scale75 are my preferred ones) than a big box, that's usable, but can be more of a hassle to thin/work correctly.

    best would be: buy 1 dark(some dark brown) and 1 light color(some beige, or light grey) and test them if they work for you.
    Worst case you can use them up on bases, best case you find that they are good for you and you can buy the 72 color set.
    Forgot, that it works again.

  3. #3


    My impression is that this brand is never mentioned anywhere really. I found one post at some site which said the same you are pointing out. It s a tad thick compared to the more "famous" brands. I feel I've been doing ok with this by being careful and painting very thin layers. Of course since I'm completely new to this, it could be that what I'm doing is really bad and an inefficient way to paint the miniatures.

    I did get some flesh colors from citadel at another store, since it seemed easier than mixing it myself as a newbie. I've not really used it much, so I'll follow your advice and test how it feels to use that compared to the Amsterdam type. If it's useful I can upload one or two of my very newbie creations so you can see if the paint makes it look bad (and lets disregard my skill level... )

    You are indeed right, the big set seemed like a good deal, since I probably won't have to buy anything else for a long while afterwards. In any case thanks for all the suggestions.

  4. #4


    It being thick is not the problem. One great paint line I tried is the "Schminke Primacryl". The colors are highly pigmented and is the first paintline where I could actually mix a nice purple from blue and red (try it with Vallejo/GW/whatever it mostly turns out brownish as the pigment quality is not that great). But the consistency is basically like a semi-dried toothpaste.
    So the paint being thick is not a problem, you just have to thin it more.

    It may be a good deal, but my experience from 2005 when I started: I bought the 72 Vallejo Game color set. If I look back I regularly used about 25 color with another 10-15 that I used occasionally. Rest never got used and are probably dried in their bottles (1-2 colors I could test, when after 10+ years I wanted to use them, rest still unknown). So in the end it would have been much better if I just bought about 15-20 colors at the beginning and added 1-2 as needed.

    And there are those who love mixing colors on the fly, they need maybe 5 colors (white, black, red, yellow, blue, 1 metallic).

    Mixing flesh colors can be interesting. The face on the right was done at a workshop with Jarhead. After he showed how to mix a skin color from the 3 primaries there was an excercise to mix our own skin color. Turned out that it is easier than expected. The face was done during the workshop on the simple reason that I had the 4 colors (white, blue, red, yellow) on my palette and didn't want to throw them away.
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    Forgot, that it works again.

  5. #5


    I too have never heard of the Talens Amsterdam paints but I have found that some of the cheaper craft paints tend to slide around on the mini rather than paint smoothly. They also have more chances of leaving brushstrokes in your painting. Many of the well known mini paints like Vallejo, Citadel and Scale75 have better self leveling properties. If you do want to stick to artist’s acrylics you are better off spending a few dollars more on a brand like Schminke. All you need is black,white and the three primaries. They give me wonderful coverage even when thinned but I only have the five paints I’ve listed. I haven’t used them myself, but I’ve seen good results with the Scale75 Artist colours. Very highly pigmented and lower on the binders that gives some cheaper paints a grainy look when thinned. They should be in stores and online in a few months. Not sure if you can still get anything via Kickstarter.

    Even if you don’t have a store close by it’s so easy to get Vallejo online and if you shop around you can get some good deals. If I get a few handfuls of Vallejo at my LGS I can get them for almost half price.

  6. #6


    Never heard of them either. Found them on an art store website, one thing that might be an issue is it looks like those are the student grade ones so might not be as heavily pigmented so might not thin as well. They do have a professional level version which might be a little better. I would agree that if you want to try them to buy one or two tubes first and see how it works. If you find it works for you who is to say you can't use them

  7. #7


    Seems not many have after all. From reading your comments i'm more tempted to go for something like this:

    I guess I'd need some washes also?

    Alternatively just the big box from army painted, but again, reading your comments above it might just be overkill, and I can just go get a pot of citadel or some amsterdam from the local stores if i need anything more.

    ps. the skin color looks great indeed.

    Edit: since i was discussing with a friend who has not yet painted a single figure but wants to start also - can one make washes by thinning down regular paint, or is it adviced to get the washes properly made?
    Last edited by Nibenay; 04-12-2019 at 05:04 AM.

  8. #8


    no for the first 2 unless you really want them.
    - The Game Color line is not too good from Vallejo. OK for general TTQ, but Model Color, Air Color are much better (not to mention other companies)
    - I never had luck or success with the Vallejo Washes. They tint the surface too strongly while not flowing into the recesses as I wanted to.

    AP is good, IF you want to buy every color.
    The ink/wash colors (the red capped ones) work as they should.
    The rest covers really well AND are 100% match to the sprays (in case of armies it can help a lot).
    They are a bit thick though, so have to be careful or details may be filled by them. Because of this some who paints for displays don't like them, but for armies, boardgames they are really good imo.

    wash: I'm lazy, so I just buy them as they are.
    But it's easy to make them. 3 recipes to do that:
    - 1 part paint/ink + 10 part PVA + 20 part water (from GW's how to paint citadel miniatures 2nd ed). Works suprisingly well.
    - 1 part paint + 3-4 part Lahmian Medium (new 'recipe' from GW), very Expensive... until you realize, that the Lahmian Medium is just a matt medium with a bit of flow improver, so can be exchanged for other products (for example Liquitex matt medium + FlowImprover)
    - 1-2 drops of paint/ink + 1 part flow improver + 10 parts matt medium + 10 parts water (about the same result as secretweaponminiatures washes)
    Last edited by MAXXxxx; 04-12-2019 at 03:36 PM.
    Forgot, that it works again.

  9. #9


    If AP paint is generally good, it also seems good value, plus i get the washes and some effects. I might leave that Vallejo game color to my friend who still wants it.

    I'm not sure if i mentioned but I'll be painting minis as use for RPG battles. Not for 40k armies or such.

  10. #10


    I would recommend buying a few paints from a couple different makers at first. That way you can determine which paints you like to use, and you will probably find out that you like different colors from different companies.
    Some brands to look at (and I have used all of these)
    Reaper - Should be able to find these at hobby store (at least in the US) (
    Scale 75 -can probably find in hobby store in Europe, otherwise online (
    Vallejo - can find these at most hobby stores (
    WarColours - online only, but decent prices and pretty good paints. Ships pretty quickly as well (
    Secret Weapons - not sure if they have a European distributor, but some good paints and washes: (

    I have also used the GW paints - they are alright, but tend to be more expensive than the others

    I use the GW washes mostly and have found them pretty good for what I need. As for inks, I would recommend the Scale75 Inktensity set, but I know quite a few that use Daler Rowney acrylic inks to great effect.

  11. #11


    Well I think I'll order something today, still not sure why, but as I'm going to London very soon, it's easier to get something cheaper than in Norway.

    I think I've already run into some of the issues you guys mention with craft paints. The gold tends to clump a bit and some other colors leave brush strokes. Alternatively I water them down and it takes quite a few layers to make it look good. I'll attach an earth elemental that I've painted with the amsterdam and a "song" brand (real cheap bought at store selling random tools and hobby supplies). Still not too bad but i also notice there is a lot to learn to make it look good.

    too much paint, too little paint.. and it needs obviously highlighting and some drybrushing a green glow before I'm done. I'm sure you guys can see more more stuff that is in need of some constructive critisizm

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  12. #12


    Actually it doesn't look that bad, especially if you are just painting for gaming right now. I also have to say that green really looks good, is it a fluorescent paint and was that one of the Amsterdam ones?

  13. #13


    Thanks, its getting there, but I've made quite a few mistakes. I think it's the 5th figure I've kinda finished. The green is "reflex green" from amsterdam. It works pretty well for that purpose. I dont think it's fluorecent at all, but its really strong green. Taking pictures with flash makes it look fairly glowy. The gold and tin stones are amsterdam paints also. The golden one is a pain in the ...

  14. #14


    looks good at first glance. The shading/highlighting changes a LOT with the figures.
    Gold: may be a pain (t)o work with, but looks pretty good as a base gold. At least based on the glare the mica-flakes seem pretty small which is good for nice metallics.
    Forgot, that it works again.

  15. #15


    I am satisfied with it so far. I intend to try to drybrush on some green light coming off the stone he's holding, plus the green rocks.
    However the "stone plates" seem a bit dull and depthless at the moment. How would you change that? I was thinking to highlight it with some light gray-ish color.

  16. #16


    an edge highlight will help some with that, but you could also paint it with a focused light source (say over its right shoulder) and paint the some of the plates in a lighter shade of grey and get progressively darker as you move across his front (away from the light) or zenithal highlighting if you prefer to call it that

  17. #17


    This is where washes come into good use. One of the dark green citadel washes could be used to delineate where the green meets the great rock. Darker browns and black will give you shade on the rocks and a brown wash could help shade the gold. This method will give you easy shading if you don’t want to do it the hard way. Some highlights on the rock surfaces both green and grey will really make the finish pop. If you highlight the gold rocks with silver make sure the highlights are small and tight otherwise the silver changes the gold finish too much.

  18. #18


    I'll be picking up the AP set in some days and then I'll test out the washes there once I'm back. I appreciate all the suggestions and will try to post the finished one later on.
    I'm mostly sceptical to rub wash all over the mini and ruin it by using too much/little/wrong color!

  19. #19


    The best advice to give if you are worried about using the washes is to at first stick to the same colour as your paint. Slightly darker will yield best results. When you get the hang of that then try out different colour combinations....e.g. a selective burgundy wash giving green orks a deeper shade and colour nuance. Some newer washes have a lesser chance of leaving great big tide marks but still apply the wash in recesses and more carefully over flatter areas. Like paint, you will get a better result building the wash up with successive applications.
    If you really dislike the result then quickly dunk your mini in some water to wash it off before it begins to dry.

  20. #20


    Hi again and happy easter.

    I've just managed to test the "mega paint set" from army painter and I'm quite pleased so far. I can see how the paint is much easier to work with using proper paint for miniatures. Again thanks for the all the suggestions above. Before I close this thread, I'll take the opportunity to as a few questions. Please see the pictues below.

    1) if you look at front and back side of the "molten" earth elemental, I've tried to drybrush on a bit "glow" from the copper colored rock onto the rocks next to it. Also a bit golden glow from the tip of the arm onto the tall rock on the backside. It did not work too well I think. The picture might make it look worse than it is actually though, in any case how can i make "glows" from hot object look vaguley realistic? I'd like to make the reflex green shine off on the nearby rocks in the other elemental also.

    2) the set contains soft, strong, dark and flesh tone washes. Would using them improving upon the look of the elementals without ruining the strong gold and reflex green in the cracks, or should I just skip using washes on these kind of minis?

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