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P3 Wet Palette review - thumbs DOWN - Howard Tayler
Ramblings of a Happy Cartoonist
P3 Wet Palette review - thumbs DOWN
When I heard that Privateer Press was putting out a wet palette for figpainting I did some research, and learned how to make my own. Ironically, I ended up using a Privateer Press blister box, a sponge, and some wax paper. Total price tag - FREE (I had all the materials on hand.)

It worked great. Wet palette painting has added a huge new dimension to my work, and I demonstrate it all the time at the Friendly Local Games Store.

Friday I picked up the P3 Wet Palette, figuring that it would be better than what I'd put together. Boy was I wrong.

The P3 system is designed to wick water slowly (the "sponge" is a sheet of blister foam. Not absorbant at all, though it LOOKs like a sponge) up to parchment paper that is designed to wick water quickly. The box is not air-tight, and has a lot of air in it thanks to the high lid. The result? Paint dries out in a day at the most. Other flaws -- after a day or two the paper has a tendancy to curl right up under your paints, quickly drying your blends. The pad of 20 sheets, therefore is good for a minimum of 20 painting sessions and a maximum of 40 (assuming your sessions are paired back-to-back.)

My system (kitchen sponge, wax paper, Privateer Press blister box) wicks water quickly to the paper, which wicks water quite slowly. I've had paints stay good in there for WEEKS, and have painted with the same little puddles for several sessions in a row.

I've been experimenting with the P3 palette for two days now, trying to see if I can get it to do what I need it to. It has failed for me repeatedly. It's better than NOT painting with a wet palette, but it's far too expensive ($20) for a plastic box, a sheet of cheap foam padding, and a pad of parchment paper that conspire to not work together as well as something you can build for free.

I love the P3 paints, and adore their miniatures. It's a shame this product is such dross.
13 comments or Leave a comment
demonicgerbil From: demonicgerbil Date: September 8th, 2008 05:10 am (UTC) (Link)
You said dross. That's awesome. ^^
howardtayler From: howardtayler Date: September 8th, 2008 05:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I was tempted to use a word with only four letters, but the fifth adds some real class. :-)
argonel From: argonel Date: September 8th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not to mention all the wonderful connotations that dross conjures. Like that this is the worthless material that is leftover after making usefull material like steel. Or that it is the inclusion that makes the rest of the product less valuable.

Disclaimer, I'm a metallurgist, words like dross are part of my professional vocabulary and it is nice to see them used well in another context.
lorienlai From: lorienlai Date: September 8th, 2008 12:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm only guessing from your post but is this thing intended to keep your mixed colours wet so you can use them for an extended period of time? I've only ever really used mixes that I know I'll need huge amounts of (like one of p3's greens mixed with Citadel codex grey to make a pleasing Feldgrey for my FoW germans) so I use the little shampoo bottles from hotels washed out to store the mixes in. Works pretty well, and with the amount of convention going you do you should be able to get a few bottles handily enough.
howardtayler From: howardtayler Date: September 8th, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
If you're mixing large amounts of color (a new base-coat blue, for instance) then yeah, use bottles.

This is for keeping a range of subtle blends wet so you can keep working with them for hours instead of just minutes on the palette. Like if you're blending up from blue to white, or (like I often do) from blue to pink and then up to white. I'd need a dozen bottles, and I'd waste huge amounts of paint, and I'd STILL not get it right.
lorienlai From: lorienlai Date: September 8th, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, okay, I see what you mean. I don't really find myself having that problem all that often for some reason. 'Spose it's something to do with my stupid inability to paint more than one model at a time and having fiddly paint schemes on all of them.
feardiagh From: feardiagh Date: September 9th, 2008 12:20 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm going to send this review over to my former roommate who just happens to work at Privateer. Possibly he will have some wisdom or whatnot. He isn't a painter though, he is a caster. Which in my thoughts is cooler as he gets to work with molten metal and heavy machinery.
ogremarco From: ogremarco Date: September 9th, 2008 12:39 am (UTC) (Link)
unfortunately said former roommate has never used a wet pallette, and doesn't even really understand how they're supposed to work. Well, i suppose I do in theory, but that's about it.

I can however say that our customer service guys would be more than happy to answer any of your questions and pass along any concerns and complaints. No, really I'm not just saying that, Privateer takes this kind of thing very seriously.

frontdesk@privateerpress.com will direct your email to the right department or departments.

Still a fan, and still glad you're a fan,
howardtayler From: howardtayler Date: September 9th, 2008 03:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Ogre.

I guess the frustration stems from the fact that something I cobbled together for free works better than the thing I paid $20 for. It's as if they didn't research the range of wet palettes already on the market, nor the painting habits of their clientele. After all, my home-grown system will support not just the one-session painter but also guys like me who get interrupted and want to return to the same palette in a day or two.

The annoying thing about my system is that I have to cut wax paper to fit, and the one hobby tool I never seem to have on hand is SCISSORS. I had hoped that the P3 system would be convenient, and would (because of its size) hold a greater working range of paint smears.

Does the P3 wet palette work? Yeah, it does. For one painting session, and that's about it. It's great for that, but you can see why I was disappointed. Especially since so much of the rest of Privateer Press' stuff has been unmitigatedly awesome.

(Including the Slag Troll that is getting lots of undeserved hate on the forums. Stupid Trollkin players can't see the awesome in that sculpt...)
ogremarco From: ogremarco Date: September 9th, 2008 04:00 am (UTC) (Link)
I like the slag troll too.
ogremarco From: ogremarco Date: September 9th, 2008 04:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Although I am a bit surprised it's a light war beast, since the monsternomicon entry calls it a dire troll.
howardtayler From: howardtayler Date: September 9th, 2008 04:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I'd like to have a new breed of Dire at some point. Fluff-wise, I can see how he could be both Dire and Light. Eating metal isn't really a good way to get big. His metabolism has probably had to compensate.

(BTW, the problem with the Slag Troll is that the studio paint job has very, very boring colors. My paint job will lack the detail of studio work, but it will bring real love to the Slagster.)
From: twistedp Date: January 19th, 2013 04:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

p3 wet palette

I own a formula p3 wet palette and have had no problems with it. I can store it away for nearly a week, and when I return my paints are still wet. This includes large and small amounts of paints as well as different mediums from reaper to citadel to p3.
13 comments or Leave a comment