I will start this review by clearly stating that the MIG Pigment products were supplied to me direct from MIG Productions with the express purpose of reviewing them. But I have no connection to them and all the comments below are my own. Right, now that is out of the way let me get on with the review itself.

MIG Productions have built up an excellent reputation (probably mainly within the armour modelling community) for their range of pigments and cast items. They also produce a number of instructional books and DVD to accompany these. I already had the book "Frequently Asked Questions About AFV Painting Techniques" by Miguel Jiminez and have spent many evenings flicking through the pictures of completed tanks, wondering if I will ever be able to finish anything so convincingly and accepting that probably not was the answer. Helpfully this particular book does not show the techniques using exclusively MIG Productions products, so many of the techniques should be achievable from the average modellers toolkit.

Having established this reputation within one field it now appears that MIG is moving into the fantasy modelling with the release of 8 pigment products specifically marketed at us.

The Products

For those of you to whom pigments is new, as it was to me, they are basically pure pigment (of the type you would find in paint or pastel chalks) without any of the accompanying solvents or chemicals. This leaves them very flexible in how they can be used and the types of results you can achieve.

The pigments released (I am not sure if this is the first or only release, but I would imagine that if they are popular more will follow) are called "Rocket Exhaust", "Martian Dust", "Lunar Dust", "Volcanic Ash", "Zombie Green", "Graveyard Dirt", "Plasma Burn" and "Metallic Silver". These are available separately at 3.5 euros each direct from MIG or as two set at 15 euros a set (which seems to be more than they would cost individual?). More on the sets below.

The samples I received consisted of one pack of each of the sets. The first contains "Rocket Exhaust", "Martian Dust", "Lunar Dust" and "Volcanic Ash", while the second is "Zombie Green", "Graveyard Dirt", "Plasma Burn" and "Metallic Silver". The back of each pack shows some of the effects which can be achieved.

Each of the jars contains a quantity of very finely ground pigment, shown here from the Martian Dust one.

Also helpfully there is a leaflet which provides some more detail on the application process

Using the Pigments

So that is about the products themselves. What about using them?

The first thing I discovered is that there is a level of skill needed for them. This is not a "spray and pray" product and you need to practise using them in order to get the most out of them. Having said that they are more easily corrected than paints as you seem to be able to wash the pigments off the surface to a certain extent if it all goes wrong.

I tried using them on my Luna Pawn AFS kit, which I was in the process of finishing up for the South Cheshire Militaire show, and decided that some Martian Dust would finish it off nicely. The surface was still slightly glossy from applying the decals and this does not provide a surface with much texture to it for the pigments to "grip" to. A matt surface would be better for simply scrubbing the pigments onto. After a quick bit of research on the MIG website one way of applying them seemed to be to apply the pigments to the surface and then apply some turpentine. This dissolves the pigments in situ. This seems to work well, but did take a few attempts to get right. I think it this particular case as well the colour contrast between the AFS model and the Martian Dust pigment was not very great. However, the end result does provide the appearance of a suit which has picked up considerable dust on the lower levels, and the nature of the product means it appears to have become ingrained into the recesses.

As an experiment I mixed some of the same Martian Dust into the papier mache I was using the make the base and this produced a nice even colour. I have in the past painted the papier mache afterwards but this means if you damage it or want to put something into it (like grass) the white shows up again. This method would get around this nicely.

So here is a close up shot of the leg of the AFS:


My bottom line on these is that they achieve results which are very difficult to achieve in any other way, but they do require a level of practice and skill. That skill doesn't seem very difficult to master though.

Each little pot of pigment should last for a considerable number of projects, so in that respect they are good value.

I was fortunate enough to be lent the MIG Productions DVD on apply pigments and that was incredibly helpful in understanding how they work. The DVD is 10 euros and if you are investing in some pigments for the first time I think it is probably worth adding this into your shopping basket.

Unfortunately with the pound currently on a downward spiral compared to the euro (and dollar) they pigments are going to be a bit more expensive, but a bit of hunting may find them cheaper from a company in the UK which got them before the slide and has not revised its pricing as yet.

MIG Productions also do regular pigments aimed at the armour builders and I would suggest looking at these as well, as some of the colours (such as rusts) could also be used quite easily by sci-fi and fantasy builders. Maybe similar colours will be included in future releases of the Fantasy Range?

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By SFMuk Admin
Added Jan 16 '14



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