Monday, January 24, 2022

REVIEW: Redgrass Games Everlasting Wet Palette and Paint Handle

I've held off on getting a wet palette for quite awhile now, but when Redgrass Games offered to send me one to test out I immediately jumped at the chance. They also send me one of their painting handles and some of their brushes as well. So what did I think of everyone's favorite style of miniature painting palette?

Everlasting Wet Palette - Painter Lite

As I mentioned before, this is my first wet palette. I know, I know, I'm way behind the curve on this. I've been using my trusted piece of tile for two decades now and haven't felt a reason to change, despite everyone saying I should try it. Well, after trying out the Redgrass palette on my last few projects, including the Rotbringer Sorcerer, I have to say, I'm a fan. For those of you who may not be familiar with what a wet palette is, at its most basic it's a damp sponge of some sort with a piece of parchment paper on top. This is what you actually put your paint on, and the damp sponge beneath it prevents it from drying out as fast.

The Redgrass one is obviously much fancier than that. The whole thing comes in a reasonably sized container with a lid. The "sponge" is a piece of foam cut to fit the container, and it even comes with pieces of paper pre-cut to fit the size. You just dampen the foam, squeeze out the extra water, put it in the bottom of the container, add a bit more water (too just below the top of the foam), then place your palette paper on top and you're ready to go! When you're all done with your painting session you just put the lid on it and slip the elastic cloth band it comes with around it to get an air tight seal. Then the next time you go to paint and you take the lid off, some or most of your leftover paint will still be wet and usable! This of course depends on how much paint you put on the palette and how long you wait between sessions.

Personally, I rarely put enough paint on my palette for there to be enough left to still be wet next time. If it's not a lot it will still mostly dry out. This is more due to my engrained habits of only getting out as much as I need. I don't use a ton of dropper bottle paints either, but I can see the benefit for those ones more, as it's a bit harder to control exactly how much paint you're getting out. That's not to say I didn't come back to wet paint still the next time I painted, it's just varied. The main benefit to me was how wet it kept the paint while I was painting. It basically never dried out, so whatever I got out on the palette stayed wet through my whole painting session. I even found myself switching colors, then going back to the original color, going to get out more paint out of habit and realizing I still had some wet on my palette from before. If you mix a lot of colors this is even better, as you can mix up a decent sized batch of whatever your color is on your palette, and it will stay wet, so you don't need to worry about trying to match the mix again later on.

There are really only two downsides I found to using a wet palette. First off, I've heard it's not recommended to use metallics on it, as they metal flakes may contaminate the water and the other colors. So, whenever I went to use a metallic color I had to get out my old tile palette again and use that. The same goes for any colors I was going to drybrush, as you obviously don't want to get those wet. The other thing, is that since none of the paints on the wet palette every dry fully (even the ones that seem dry will get wet again if you mix anything in with them) you have more limited space. With a traditional palette, once a color on the palette is dry you can re-use that space and add another color on top of it. Hence why so many people end up with a mini mountain of dry paint on their palettes. With a wet palette you just have to find an empty spot to use, and once the whole thing is used up you'll need to toss out that piece of palette paper and get a new one. It's not a huge issue, but does require a bit more maintenance and waste. 

Overall I really like my wet palette. It makes painting much easier. So far I've used it on a couple of models. The Hallowed Knight I did barely used it since it was mostly metallics. I think I got it out for the blue on the shoulders and shield. The Redgrass Everlasting Wet Palette seems great and I really like the lid with the band that keeps it shut. Whenever I need to use my old tile palette I just place it on top of the closed wet palette, so it's a bit of a space saver. It's big enough that there's enough room on the palette for several areas of paint, but not so overly big that it takes up too much space. If you've been on the fence about a wet palette like I was, I would recommend giving it a shot. You can find it here on the Redgrass Games site.

Redgrass Games Painting Handle

In general I'm not a huge fan of painting handles. The ones I've tried in the past have gotten in the way more than they've helped. I figured I would give this one a shot though, and in the end I was pleasantly surprised. The Redgrass handle is molded to fit your hand, which is nice, and the top part spins around, so you don't need to spin the whole handle. Even though it spins it's a tight enough fit that it won't spin unless you're trying to do it on purpose. The way the model is kept on is with some sticky tac, which is provided with the handle. This is a surprisingly "low tech" way to do it, but it works, and it solves one of my biggest problems with past handle. Often the part that holds onto the model has to be bigger than it's base, so it can latch onto it. This causes problems where the handle then gets in the way when you're trying to get to some details. Since this painting handle just uses sticky tac, the top of it can be smaller than the base, so no issues there.

The other thing I really like is that it has a magnet on the bottom of it. The handle then comes with a metal disc with a sticky side, so you can stick that to your desk and "park" the handle there when not using it so it doesn't fall over. My painting station has a metal frame, so I just stuck it onto the edge. It worked great and I was never afraid of the handle with the model attached falling over at all. I used this throughout the entire process of painting the Rotbringer Sorcerer. The only changes I would make to it would be to add one of those finger rests that arcs over the top of the model, maybe as something that can snap on, or an alternate top. This helps with getting some of those higher details as it gives your hand somewhere to rest and brace against. Also, the sticky tac is orange, and it is quite sticky, so I would be a bit afraid of it getting stuck on something and staining it, such as carpet or clothes. You could just swap this out on your own though if you really want.

I forgot to mention, that top of it which spins comes off as well. Redgrass sent me several extra tops, which you can also buy seperately. This way, if you're painting a unit, you can have all of the models stuck on their own top and just switch them onto the handle when needed. Personally, I probably wont use this for unit painting as it's just not my style. I can see myself using this handle for characters though or display pieces. I often run into the problem of accidentally rubbing paint off minis as I paint them, so this is one way to avoid that. You can find it here on the Redgrass Games site.

I think the wet palette is here to stay in my painting rotation now. Having painted without it a few times since I got it, I can immediately tell the difference. My paints just dry out so much quicker on a normal palette. As for the painting handle, that will probably be more of a situational use, but as I said, it's definitely my favorite painting handle I've used so far. The rotating top and magnet on the bottom are amazing.

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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