My first choice and probably most used paint is the venerable Humbrol Enamel. I think I now own the entire paint range after many years of buying various colours as and when I needed them. I opt for this paint as its very easy to use, coats really well and dries surprisingly quickly when placed in my model oven. The other bonus of this paint is the low re-activity that it has with other types of paint once it has dried fully. I also use this paint for dry brushing as it is quite easy to control with the brush and a rag. It also does not tend to slide around the surface as much as other do when employing this technique. The downside to using this paint I suppose is that you have to be extremely careful when handling the model after painting because if the paint has only formed a skin, it will leave bloody awful finger print marks or scag lines in the finish.
I have also started to use the Vallejo paint range for figure painting. I am not a big fan of acrylics, especially the Tamiya range which I think is bloody awful. I don't have a huge range of these just yet but my collection is growing slowly. It is really good quality, fantastic coverage and dries really well. The range of colours is superb although I will say that they do have one or two mis matches between what they say the colour is supposed to be and what it actually should look like. However, I would argue that this is true to almost all paint suppliers.
For my diorama ground work I use the Inscribe brand of acrylic paint. This paint comes in large bottles, is very good on price and is sold in almost all hobby shops that I visit. It is excellent to use as a colourant for base/earth mixes and does not affect the drying time of materials such as plaster and poly filler. Clean up is easy as its water reduce-able and a little tends to go a very long way. I have just finished a bottle of burnt umber that I bought almost ten years ago! I also use this paint to cover my molded plaster bases that feature on many of my models on the website.
Last but not least the good old fashioned artists oil paints. These paints are used on every model that make. They are fantastic as washes, even better for tweaking the colours so that they are just right and better still for adding that realism to any figure that I make. I even use oils on the 1/35 figures to provide the right amount of definition on the uniforms. I especially like the Artisan range from Windsor and Newton as this is a range of water reduceable oils. Yes you have read this correctly, oil paints and water! Even better the company provides additives that will speed up the drying process of the oils to a little over two to three hours in some cases!!
This wouldn't be an accurate post of the paints that I use unless I mention the secret weapon in my arsenal. Halfords grey automotive acrylic primer (Halfords is a national car part supplier for UK). It comes in 500ml spray cans, costs £6.00 and last for ages. I use this primer for plastic, resin, vinyl and groundwork (plaster and wood). Its awesome and beats any model primer that I have used to date for quality and price. I think that I should also add the Tamiya spray cans that I occasionally buy for large models, humbrol acrylic & enamel matt spray varnish and of course Johnsons Klear or Future or Pledge wax depending on where you are in the world
I hope that you enjoyed reading this post. If you would like to read what other modellers use in the persuit of realism then pop over to this link where you will find all of the other members of the sprue cutters union
The Sprue Cutters Union