Hello everyone :)
The good guys from RedGrassGames sent us a Everlasting Wet Palette for review.
In a nutshell the Everlasting Wet Everlasting Wet Palette is a new product they plan to kickstart on the 19th of September.
The key points are:
- The box is air tight so your paint won't dry.
- They use a special membrane that doesn't melt or smell, keeps the hydration constant, and is completely flat.
- They use an hydration paper (100 sheets included), that lays completely flat and won't have air bubbles.*
*The hydration paper used is a point of contention. At first it was announced with an hydration sheet that you could clean, but there are some production issues with these. This review is subtitled Part-A because I did it using one of the 100 hydration sheets included in the kickstarter. But the RGG team sent me an email today saying that next week I will have the re-usable paper to test (The Part-B).
Let's start the review !!! yahaa
First, I have been painting for one week with the Everlasting Wet Palette to really understand if I like the product or not!
My situation: I live in the south of France, temperature is 30/35° the day and very dry right now. Without a wet palette it's an horrible experience to paint!
WIP of a Rat Ogre for my Skaven Blood Bowl team using the Everlasting Wet Palette.
My old setup: I usually use a Daler-Rowney (A4 size) wet palette, I customized it with flat sponge, an anti fungus solution provided by my wife ^^ and some cooper coins. Even with all this the foam starts to smell after some time but I am still super happy with my setup.
Size is 15cm * 20cm.
Each component is like advertised on the images, the quality is good and my review set didn't have any defects.
The Everlasting Wet Palette is smaller than my old one but there is a nice trick, you can use the topper like a palette too for double space! (so 2x 15*20cm.)
Yes there will be 2 foams included in the Kickstarter.
Done with the technical part of the review. Check : http://www.redgrassgames.com/ if you want more info (i'll add some press kit image with more technical info at the bottom).
If you are in a hurry just go to Conclusion to know what I think.
But if you got a bit of time, stay with me as I'm going to cover the different sections in this order: Paper, Foam, Box, Wavy, basing, layering, 2BB, glazing.
This review is my honest point of view about a product I used for the last 7 days, nothing more nothing less!
RedGrassGames didn't pay us anything.
The hydration paper is perfectly flat, and I mean really flat, no wrinkle, air bubbles or zones where the foam is not sticking to the paper. This is no small feat at all, laying the paper and being completely flat without air bubbles and without any extra work is amazing.
When I think of it, with my DALER it's impossible - I always get wrinkles with the material included. I had to use flat sponges to get something decent. Problem is, with a sponge, the surface color is not neutral and the adhesion is not perfect. So from the early set up the Everlasting Wet Palette wins hand down.
Usage is very pleasant, the hydration is kept constant and won't change during the painting. I did some test with the paint and while painting for 2 hours, the paint didn't dry or dilute at all! Felt like fresh from the pot. I am going to go into more details later but it's a crucial point with two brush blending.
Image of a new sheet:
You see? Flat :)
FLAT + No Bubbles + keeps paint consistency for hours = Win !
After one week of using the foam it's still in a non-smelly condition. No fungus started to grow!
When you close the Everlasting Wet Palette the paint stays in perfect state for 24/48 hours. I didn't even put the box in the fridge or anything, the test I did: Paint 2 hours, close the box (Friday) then come back to it Sunday evening. A little stirring from a lightly wet brush and the paint was ready to go.
The foam holds around half a glass of water, but won't get bloated and deformed so that's good!
The foam color is grey (will be white on retail), it's a neutral color that doesn't alter the paint tone. On my usual palette I used a yellow sponge that of course alters the color hue. Doesn't happen here, it's not huge but it really helps.
Quality: If we are supposed to use one foam over long periods of time, what happens when it's dirty with paint? Can we clean it?
Is the Foam sturdy?
- I spilled paint on the foam to see what happens, Red and Coal black (something like dark sea blue but from P3). I managed to clean the red with soap but the coal black left a stain.
- While I was washing it I squeezed really hard, scrubbed with moderate to high strength to test if the foam is sturdy. The answer is yes - it is. The foam is back in place and shape didn't change and there are no fold marks. I'll advise to avoid scrubbing with abrasive stuff as the foam surface could loose it's smoothness.
- Tear Resistance is pretty good too, I asked my 3 years old daughter to try to rip it in half. Didn't make a dent in it and there is no mark on the foam too. It should be enough for painting (even if you paint like a Khorne 'zerker).
Box is nice and looks solid, mine is 3D printed (I want a 3D printer!) the orange color is vivid and looks good. I was told by RGG that the final products will be in ABS plastic ( Wiki page on the ABS ^^).
If you don't have a full room dedicated to painting, you can easily close it tight and store it in the fridge or a desk.
It's very stable, you can lay your wrist on it while reloading your brush without catapulting it the air. The height is just enough for the foam + paper + safe barrier for the water. It's pleasant to reach for the paint inside and there are no shadows even if you don't have a light over the palette.
Still I would have liked it a bit larger as I am messy when mixing paint, I need more space !! (15*20 cm)
The Wavy is a free add-on included in the Painter pledge (25€). You connect it to the palette with 2 rare earth magnets. You can connect it on any side, so you are not limited to one Wavy!
Perfect for avoiding the Agrax spilling drama! Handy if you want use old metal line from Vallejo (Alcohol based) and it also includes a brush holder ^^.
Let's talk now about how the painting techniques interact with the Everlasting Wet Palette.
I speak off course about the first layer of paint after priming. It's a crucial step where you have to apply multiple "thin coats" of paint ;).
It's not a very hard part but it's a tedious one. Myself ,when I basecoat, I follow Aaron Lovejoy's advice and I don't thin my paint that much, but I take extra care applying a very thin coat. When I use a wet palette I know that after a short time my paint is going to be much diluted so I need to re-thick it. With the Everlasting Wet Palette I noticed it's a lot easier, the paint thickness doesn't change over a short period of time making the basing straight forward. I mix the right consistency and then I know I have something like 2 hours to get the job done without needing to correct the paint.
Ok it's just color basing so nothing more to say about it. Let's get to the technique..
Layering is the meat of miniature painting, we always need to do some layering for a project. Once again the key point here is the paint dilution. I think I am used to check my layer dilution before every refill, so I do it without paying attention. With the Everlasting Wet Palette it was easy, I choosed the right dilution and then painted a large surface. I did all the skin on the Rat Ogre layering (and glazing). Each highlight was mixed once and stayed in good shape the time I did multiple coats on the models. In a nutshell, this one is a lot more efficient at keeping the paint in a layer thickness, as paints usually dilute really fast in a fat glaze and then a glaze on baking parchment paper. Here my experience was a lot smoother, I had pools of paints stay in a perfect state for 20 or 30 minutes of layering even when only a little of the paint was still on the palette.
2 brush blending
Yeaa, the part I was most eager to write about !!! the 2bb is my technique of choice when I want to blend. It's easy and fast at the same time, with only a few extra glaze you can get very good result.
Problem, this method is kind of reserved to peoples not living in an hot and dry land (Come from Seattle the city of rain so it's expected).
Quick technical explanation : 2BB is a spit feathering where you move the paint around with a second brush clean and wet with your spit. First problem is that you need thick paint because you can work with the medium but can't do shit when it's too much water. Second problem is, if the paint is too thin it dries too fast and you can't work with it (it leaves stain marks because surface tension breaks). Usually with a wet palette, the window where the paint is workable is quite short but the effectiveness of the method makes me endure it !
Rejoice painter ! this is why I am going to use the Everlasting from now over my Daler. This Everlasting Wet Palette keeps my paint from drying but doesn't alter it too fast. I think it's because the water doesn't flood the medium.
I'll say like I mean it: This is perfect for 2BB !! these last painting days were super fun and I am not going to look back.
Once you are used to it, glazing is super easy and fixes anything :D. Mixing a glaze is not that hard with a common wet palette. You just stir the paint on the paper and the water goes through the hydration paper and dilutes the pain very fast. On the Everlasting Wet Palette that doesn't work. The hydratation is too slow for doing it like that, you have to hydrate the brush in the water pot and then dilute to get your glaze. Not a big problem for me, but some peoples may disagree.
PS: It worth noting that during my mails exchange with the RedGrassGames team they asked if we thought that the hydration was enough. That implies they should be able to propose different levels of permeability with a different foam/paper combo. I am not good enough to comment on this and I found it perfect like this for me. Just keep in mind that could be a possibility!
Ok folks, time to wrap it up, I have been writing for ages and Bloodbowl 2 legendary edition is out since yesterday :D
1) The Everlasting wet palette is a better product than other palette produced by art manufacturers (or home made), imho.
I have tried a lot of different wet palette configurations, this one is my favorite by far!
2) The Foam not stinking and being color neutral is perfect for painting.
3) The hydration paper lays flat, without air bubbles and keeps paint consistency for hours.
4) The box closes well and can be stored in a fridge or a desk.
The deal is:
Very good value !
Add-ons are :
100 X hydration papers.
Paint on !!
I am going to use this Everlasting Wet Palette from now on. 100% adopted.
Thx to them for sending a review product !
ps : If you have any questions or observations write them in the comments below, I'll give them the link of the page so they can interact by themself :D