There are many different techniques that can improve the results of miniature painting. Possibly the simplest to employ, for the highest return, is adopting a wet palette. Wet palettes can easily be created using some wet kitchen towel and parchment paper, but much as there are different quality paints (possibly organized using an app) and brushes out there, perhaps your palette needs some love too?
That’s what the people at Redgrass Games thought when they designed their “Everlasting Wet Palette.” They have considered how a wet palette can be best utilized to optimize the painting experience. Redgrass is taking their users well beyond the realm of a hastily torn piece of greaseproof paper and a sandwich box.
Their Everlasting Wet Palette is looking for funding on Kickstarter, with a starting pledge level of $30 (€25).
What is a wet palette?
Before talking about the Kickstarter itself, it might be helpful to explain what a wet palette is, and why you might want one. I’ve only been using one for a short amount of time, and until fairly recently, I’d never heard of them.
A wet palette is pretty much what it sounds like. It’s an artist’s palette for mixing colors, that is, err, well, wet. It’s made simply by placing a semi-permeable membrane, like parchment paper on top of a soaked sponge or paper. The membrane allows some of the moisture through, which then keeps the paint dilute when it is placed on top of it.
Using a wet palette means paints take longer to dry out, meaning you can use them for longer. It helps when mixing paints together. As the blends stay wet for longer, you don’t have to keep making up new batches. When using a wet palette, paint color remains more consistent, making it easier to keep tones uniform across a number of models. If enough paint is used, and the palette covered, mixes can even be stored overnight and be useable the next day.
If you’re using the multiple (at least 2) thin coats method of applying paint to your minis, a wet palette can help here too, as the paint is automatically thinned and tends to flow better.
What is Redgrass Games’ Everlasting Wet Palette?
Is it Everlasting?
Err, no. You will, however, be able to use it for a very long time before you’ll need to replace anything. And the box will last a lifetime.
What do you get if you back the Kickstarter?
I’ve only seen a 3D printed prototype of the palette. So my experiences and any pictures you see are based on that. The final versions will be molded plastic.
The Everlasting Wet Palette consists of:
- Airtight box. The basis of the palette. Stops moisture evaporating when not in use. Shallow for ease of access when painting.
- Note there are two sizes available, Painter (15 x 20 cm, $30) and Studio (20 x 30 cm, $35).
- Foam sheet. Super absorbent for holding the moisture that underpins the wet palette. Mold resistant to prevent smells and incursions from the god Nurgle.
- 100 sheets of hydration paper, the membranes that will form the paint surface.
- A band for keeping it all together.
- The side of the box has magnets in two positions (along one length and one width). This is to keep the…
- “Wavy” in place. The wavy is a more traditional “well” palette for those times you don’t need a wet palette, such as when making very thin glazes.
What doesn’t it include?
- An alarm to let you know when you’ve left the lid off. I wouldn’t expect it to, but I really need one of these!
- Increased painting skill. The Everlasting Wet Palette may make the paint flow more freely, but it doesn’t make the hand any steadier!
- None of the pledges include postage. These are to be added at the end of the campaign. Estimated costs start at $5 for the US and €5 for Western Europe.
Should you back the Everlasting Wet Palette?
Like many things in many hobbies, you don’t need an Everlasting Wet Palette. But much as you don’t need 17 different shades of blue or 48 paint brushes, your life will feel more complete if you have one.
If you haven’t made the transition to using a wet palette, I do recommend it. Though I joked about painting skill above, the increased paint flow does give your minis smoother coverage. On warm days, the persistent hydration of the paint does make the painting process a whole lot easier.
You could make one yourself. It easy to do so, but the Everlasting Wet Palette will definitely be better.
The shallow sides make it easy to access the paint. The hydration paper is of good quality. Not all parchment paper is made the same, and you’re never left wondering if you’ve used the wrong brand or put it in upside down.
The addition of the wavy, which although at first seems superfluous, is a really nice touch. It means everything you need is in one handy place.
I’m not, by any means, a painting expert, but I have found the process of switching to the Redgrass Everlasting Wet Palette an easy and thoroughly worthwhile exercise. Whilst I have made my own wet palettes in the past, that extra bit of quality makes the process a whole lot more satisfying.
If you’re new to using wet palettes, set one up yourself, and see what you make of it. If you enjoy it, consider returning to pick up the Everlasting Wet Palette. It will make the process even better. If you’re an experienced wet palette user, I think you’ll love the thought Redgrass have put into its product. I’m sure it will improve your painting experience too.
Disclaimer: I received a prototype version to test in order to write this review.