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Aethermatic Blue Citadel Contrast Paint Review

aethermatic blue

Into The Aether!

Welcome back to our citadel paint test series. Once again, I’ll be delving into individual paint colours from the citadel ranges and seeing what makes them pop on a model. Finally, I’ll be applying the paint to three different base colours and comparing the results so you can see exactly what effects you can expect from different combinations. My aim is to show you just what these paints are capable of and inspire artistic opportunities for your next project. In this review, my favourite citadel contrast paint, ‘Aethermatic blue’ is up to bat. But how will it perform?

Now, I don’t want to sound biased while I’m reviewing this particular paint, but I have used this colour for so many different features on models; it’s almost unreal. Everywhere from glowing machinery, to Spiterider wings, to the beating heart of the Drycha Hamadreth. The possibilities are almost endless.

Being a contrast paint, the texture of this paint is very thin; but you can use that to your advantage. In fact, that’s the name of the game. With just one or two thin coats, you can highlight, shade and coat your model to get quick effective results. The perfect entry point for anyone that’s new to the painting game or short on time.

As always, the contrast paints come in a large 18ml bottle, and although they’re slightly more expansive than other bottles, you really do get your money's worth. They go a long way, and perform hours worth of painting in a quarter of the time. Especially when there’s no need to water it down, just load up your brush and go!

This is definitely on the lighter scale of contrast paints, and seems thin on the pigment, but that doesn’t make it any less effective. Throw on a few coats of this magic blue liquid and you’ll have a fluorescent eye for a Necron or a flittering wing of a Sylvaneth leader.

Time To Test

But enough speculation, it’s time to show you just how this paint performs. As always, to showcase and compare a variety of results, I’ll be applying two coats of the black templar paint to a white, grey and silver base; and leaving them to dry for 12 hours before comparing.

Corax White Base

Straight in with a powerful combo of white and Aethermatic blue contrast. You really get to see the shading properties of this paint at work whilst pairing these two colours and it works so well. Giving off a dreamlike glow whilst darkening the cracks and dents that have formed. I really recommend trying this combo on wings, especially ones with veins and tendrils, as it will really bring out the details whilst keeping the surface light.

Mechanicus Standard Grey Base

Unfortunately, this combo was slightly disappointing. It coats the surface nicely and provides a dark blue base; but it doesn’t do much more than that. Because the paint is so light and so thin, it doesn’t provide enough depth to really stand out on the dark grey background. ALthough the possibilities are limited, it would provide a great shadow effect for scenery with pools of water.

Runefang Silver Base

And now we come to my favourite duo of the three; silver. I have paired these two colour together on almost every Necron I’ve painted. As the metallic look gives off such an effective machinery glow that I can’t help myself. What’s more, is that the more coats you use, the deeper the glow becomes. Want to create a light hum of energy? One coat will do. Want to generate a deep glowing heart of an ancient machine? Slap five coats over a bright silver base paint and watch it come to life.


Doesn’t that just get the mind going? Admittedly, the grey based paint doesn’t do it many favours, but with it being such a thin paint and a light colour, it was going to have a downfall somewhere.

But the silver and white really bring this paint up to a whole new level. Whilst painting my Necron Seraptek, I used the aethermatic blue and silver base combo on any spot that energy seems to flow from. Giving the model a weathered look whilst still showing it had life to live.

If you wanted to try something extra, I really recommend comboing this paint with the slap chop painting technique. It’ll give your model more depth and bring out the self shading properties of the contrast paint all at the same time. If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.

I’d love to know if you enjoyed this colour as much as I did. You can let me know by using the @zatugames tag on social media platforms. And while you’re at it, why not suggest a paint for me to try next? To buy the Aethermatic Blue paint today, click here.