Army Painter Speedpaint 2.0 Review – Paint the Rainbow

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Army Painter Speedpaint 2.0 Review – Paint the Rainbow

Army Painter Speedpaint 2.0 Review is here, and we've had a chance to test it and put our thoughts out there in the hobby world. In this review we'll review specifically the Most Wanted set.

Army Painter changed the game with its first line of Speedpaints. They are bringing a new level of convenience to the hobby market, and competing with products such as Games Workshops' Contract line. For those who don't know the idea behind them. Speedpaints are meant to take the hassle out of painting and bring the, well, speed. Prime your model with a desired White or gray primer and paint with one generous coat of Speedpaint.

That generous part we think is key here. It took us about 5 bases (as below we tested all the paints using GW textured bases) to get a feel for how much we needed. It takes some getting used to if you're coming from using normal paint as well, be that from Army Painter or anyone else. These are very “wet” paints, so, if like us you use a wet pallet, we'd probably suggest using it dry or close to it. That said, and Army Painter does warn you about this, the Speedpaints will likely run through into the actual Wet Pallet foam layer and stain it.

Onto the actual meat and potatoes of this review, though. The Army Painter Speedpaint 2.0 Most Wanted set. It's a mouthful, but, the set lives up to its name.  In the pact, you get 24 paints (23 colours with one medium to help dilute paint), 13 of which are new to Speedpaint 2.0, and a free Speedpaint Brush. The set includes everything you'd need to cover most of your bases, from silver and gold, to 3 shades of blue, green, skin, a black, white, and a gray and everything in between.

When it comes to the core colours, you'll generally find a nice mix between the dark and the light. We'll show you more below, but we think the green is a good example of this. From the darker Absolution Green, to the lighter Shamrock Green you have Forest Sprite giving you something in between. Obviously, this isn't a complete set, so you won't find 3x of every colour, but you get the idea.

As mentioned above, the idea behind the set is to be fast. Prime the model, one coat of Speedpaint 2.0 and boom. You have a finished model. We found this to be pretty much accurate, provided you use a good amount of paint, and don't water it down. Army Painter does advise this in the reading material provided, but it takes some time to get used to.

This review will focus on the actual set, rather than the Speedpaint 2.0 concept as a whole.

Army Painter Speedpaint 2.0 Review – A closer look at colours

Tools we used in this review

All pictures below were taken at the same time, using a desk light above and taken on a Google Pixel 7 Pro. We painted all the bases with a Citadel Shade brush, rather than the one provided due to the type of painting we did for this review. All bases were done with 4 drops of paint from each bottle, with a liberal amount of paint on the brush.

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  • Army Paint Wet Pallet (though used nearly dry)
  • Citadel Shade Brush
  • Warhammer Necromunda – 32mm Bases
  • Swedish tap water (for the brush, not for drinking)
  • Google Pixel 7 Pro (to take the pictures)
  • Photos taken inside the inserts that came with the box. We're all about recycling here

Speedpaint 2.0 Review – Hoplite Gold & Broadsword Silver

Army Painter Speedpaint 2.0 Most Wanted Review

Colour us impressed when it comes to these two metallic paints. I must admit, I wasn't sure one coat metallic would work, but here we are. While they don't necessarily move around the surface like a lot of the other paints, being metallic obviously impacts this. They do settle nicely on the base, and create some nice natural dark spots. You'll get a nice highlight when painting a model, without the “goopy” metallic paint clogging up the model.

Of the two provided, I like the Gold the most, but that's really only because I feel Silver has more scope to be this good. Gold I've always found to be a weird colour, so it's great to see not only a good one, but a Speedpaint one.

Speedpaint 2.0 Review – Desolate Brown, Warrior Skin, Crusader Skin, Pallid Bone

Army Painter Speedpaint 2.0 Review

Next up is the skin tones, plus we included desolate brown, partly because it fit in with the colours and partly because I wanted to have four colours in the picture. For me, I'm a lazy painter man. I don't want to plenty 4 colours to get a face, I want to just take a paint and put it on a little face and be happy. Now, we know human skin is harder to do due to uncanny valley and all that stuff, but… I like these so far. Crusader skin worked well for me as a lighter skin tone, and I'm not against adding a little bit of white to lighten it up more or maybe some brown to darken it slightly.

On the darker scale, I think Warrior Skin does a good job at a darker tone on face, though, I did use Desolate Brown and I liked the result it gave. Honestly, I would have liked to have a more dedicated dark skin tone in the set as well, maybe like we see with the blue and green, having a third option to add to the mix.

Pallid Bone does what it says on the bottle, it's a really nice one-coat bone colour. And as someone who still needs to paint an entire box of Cursed City it's a welcome addition to the collection.

Speedpaint 2.0 Review – Zealot Yellow, Bright Red, Nuclear Sunrise, Slaughter Red

Army Painter Speedpaint 2.0 Review

I love colours on this spectrum. If I can use them in an army, I tend to, my wife loves adding a bit of red flair to a cloak to make it pop. Now, at first, I was a little disappointed in Bright Red, but, it mimics what the bottle tells you, rather than what maybe the name implies. I like both the reds here, though Slaughter Red is the more likely to be part of my collection. I own the Blood Red (not in this set) from Speedpaint 1.0, and honestly, it's a shame not to see it here, though I do understand why.

I'm not someone who uses a lot of orange in my painting, it's a little too fun for me. But, I like how this one settled down on the base and I might bring it to the party in future.

For yellow, I do like Zealot Yellow, but you can see how it's still a pain point for paint manufacturers. It's slightly darker than it might look based on the top colour in the bottle's shield, however, it does look nice in person.

Speedpaint 2.0 Review – Familiar Pink, Murder Scene, Purple Swarm

Army Painter Speedpaint 2.0 Most Wanted Review

“I love these” is what my wife said when she laid eyes on Familiar Pink and Purple Swarm, so much so, that I'm amazed they are still on my painting desk and she's not stolen them. But she's right, both of these are lovely, and I can see myself getting a lot of use out of them. I personally like to use purple on cloaks, so this is a great addition. I'm not one for painting aliens normally, I'm more of “paint the human people” type dude, but I think Familiar Pink is targeted at people who love Tyranids and the like.

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As for Murder Scene, it looks a little on the brown side, and I did paint with this on two bases just to make sure… but it does come out lighter than a brown, and closer to a really dark purple. For me, I can see this being used to create some variety in my “paint it like wood” line of colours that I seem to have collected (more on that later), so I'm glad I've gained another.

Speedpaint 2.0 Review – Tidal Wave, Beowulf Blue, Plasmatic Bolt

Army Painter Speedpaint 2.0 Most Wanted Review

I like blue, it's a nice colour to paint with and you can do some great things with it. Tidal Wave is a really nice Ultramarine one-coat paint, that I think will get a lot of love. While Beowulf is a much darker blue that creates some really nice natural shades.

I think the big winner here is Plasmatic Bolt, because, if you're lazy (like me) this is a cool one-coat plasma colour for any plasma-based guns or stuff you might have. Overall, I like all three of these, I think maybe the Plasmatic Bolt could do with having a dark wash put over it to finish, but I like the initial result.

Speedpaint 2.0 Review – Shamrock Green, Forest Sprite, Absolution Green

Army Painter Speedpaint 2.0 Most Wanted Review

Green, the colour of Orkz and money. I think the greens in this set provide the best variety of a single colour that we've had. All three could easily be used interchangeably while standing out great on its own. Absolution Green is a great deep green, probably not best used for say Ork skin, but more deep vegetation. Forest Sprite is a nice “dirty” green, which could be used if you play with a swamp pallet, maybe you have a band of Goblins that live in the swamp, and this would be a great option for either their skin or maybe clothing.

Lastly is Shamrock Green, which is the brightest of the three, and sits nicely in the dark spots making it a good option for a bright skin tone. Slap some dark contrast on the spots you want to be slightly darker and you've got a winner.

Speedpaint 2.0 Most Wanted Review – Score and closing thoughts

Score 9.5/10

I'm always going to like something that helps me do what I want faster, especially if it comes with few to no downsides. In the Speedpaint 2.0 Most Wanted set I get pretty much what I wanted. Obviously, this is a fixed set of paints, it's great for someone wanting to get into Speedpaints with the best possible solution, without getting one of the huge sets. The price of entry here is the key. You can pick the set-up for between $70 and $90, and with each paint costing around $5 each ($115 of paint in the box if we ignore the medium).

So the value is there, plus the free brush is a nice bonus. Obviously, you lose the option to pick certain paints you want, but given that you could pick up 23 colours for the price of 14 (at best price) it's worth having a few double-ups.

But we loved our time with the set, and look forward to using it in future. It's great value, it provides a great quality of product, and what it provides feels unmatched in the space.

Army Painter Speedpaint 2.0 Review – Paint the Rainbow
David Hollingsworth
David has written for games media outlets for the last ten years. With his first major esports role being with Esports News UK covering mostly UK League of Legends. David is also a member of the British Esports Association and is an advisor to them on World of Warcraft Esports. More recently David has worked for Esports Insider and Red Bull as an esports journalist. David later became Editor at ESTNN and now leads the current team.