Friday, May 1, 2009

On the Second Day of Retail

On the Second Day of Retail,
My game store gave to me
Undesirable Color
and a helping of market saturation

German Yellow (Vallejo VC806)

It's not that I'm surprised that a color like German Yellow took me 5 years to sell 6 bottles (the last one selling this afternoon). What's surprising is that Flat Yellow, a couple slots over, sold 21 bottles in the same period.

Flat Yellow (VC952)

Even more surprising, the Flat Yellow equivalent in Citadel, Golden Yellow, sold the equivalent of 85 bottles during that same period. We can add to the list of why something doesn't sell: wrong brand. Brand loyalty is very important, but only a few brands have cachet in the game world.

Golden Yellow (Citadel 61-09)

The eye can discern over a million different colors, but when it comes to paints, how many do we need? If you're a historical painter, just about every color that was ever used on a uniform or vehicle. The Vallejo line has over 200 colors to represent this, but there are only a small number that sell well, probably around 25.


  1. You say "wrong brand" I say "idiot consumers." Dammit people, even with the improved bottles, regular Citadel paints are crap!

    I heard someone the other day go "they added this little shelf on the inside of the cap so you can use that as your pallet" and I wanted to scream "yeah, in the meantime the rest of your paint is drying out because the cap is open!"

    Seriously, I like their washes and foundation series, but for regular paints both Reaper and Vallejo are superior.

    Now, when all your store has are Citadel paints I can understand going with Citadel as a matter of convenience, but there's just no excuse for people shopping at BDG.

  2. I like the Citadel paints, after moving from Vallejo and then Reaper. What I like most is the system of foundation coats, base coats and washes. It's just easy.

  3. Heathen!

    I like the foundations and washes, but still prefer Vallejo for the regular paints. Of course, I'll probably start using Citadel again as I run out of some Vallejo colors for convenience (no one local carries Vallejo), but there's a lot of colors that simply aren't in the Citadel line that I use.

  4. Am I supposed to be able to tell the Citadel swatch from the Vallejo swatch by colour? Because I honestly can't. My eyes don't do yellow properly.

    When I paint, I tend to go by price and range. The bigger the range, the more likely I am to go with a brand.

  5. Squeeze bottles may not dry in the bottle while you are using them, but a lot of paint ends up drying to the palette - or being washed of at th end.
    Flip top (or even screw top) paints are much better for doing small paint jobs.
    I continue to use both Citadel and Vallejo, and have just started using the Citadel Foundation paints (and they seem to work fine).

    Oh, and when you get some dry paint in a squeeze bottle, it can be a real mess!

  6. "Am I supposed to be able to tell the Citadel swatch from the Vallejo swatch by colour?"

    Vallejo shamelessly copied the entire Citadel line. This is one of those colors. Citadel painters should also know that Vallejo continues to offer discontinued colors that Games Workshop dropped. Terracotta is one I'm dependent on that got dropped last year.

  7. That is one of the biggest strength's of the Vallejo Game Color line. I keep hearing people complain that this color or that color is gone (tentacle pink keeps coming up for some reason), but still can't think outside of the Citadel line. :-P

  8. There was also this funny thing that would happen. We sell empty dropper bottles and customers buy them to use with their Citadel paints. We used to sell empty Citadel paint pots too, and some people would buy these pots for their Vallejo paints.

  9. ...

    OK, I guess after Joe's comments I could see that you might do that if you don't use a pallet when you paint, but really, you need to use a pallet when you paint. Paint right out of the bottle is, 9 times out of 10, too thick for a good paint job. It needs to be mixed with some water. That requires a pallet.

    I know people who are more skilled at painting than I am, but who produce models that look worse than mine because they don't use a pallet.

    BTW, do you still carry those empty Vallejo paint bottles?

  10. Yes, you asked me about those bottles last time, but we didn't get you any.

    I paint right out of the pots too.

  11. You are a very bad man (both for painting from the pot, and not getting me any bottles :-P )