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Imperial Fist Citadel Contrast Paint Review

imperial fist pain splat

They Call Me Imperial Fist Yellow

Welcome to the first in a long line of citadel paint reviews. In these reviews, I’ll be exploring what citadel have done to make a particular colour in their range pop. Finally, I’ll be applying the paint to three different base colours and comparing the results so you can see exactly what colour is best to use for your models. In this review, I’ll be placing one of Citadel's newest contrast paints, ‘Imperial Fist’, in the line of fire to see how it holds up.

In 2022, Citadel released a new line of paints to the contrast line, promising a newly improved formula that provides more vibrant results than ever. In addition, these new colours expanded the variety of shades that were already available in the range, making this form of quick painting accessible to more painters.

Looking at the pot of paint itself, it oozes a bright fluorescent shade of yellow which would stand out on the armor of any marine. In fact, this colour was designed specifically with the imperial fist faction from Horus Heresy in mind. In the bottle, you get a generous 18mls of paint which is already thin enough to apply straight to a model. In fact, the whole idea of contrast paints is to allow the paint to do all the work of shading for you.

I can imagine that this colour will really pop on a bright base paint such as white or silver, but I think it will really struggle on darker colours such as black or grey. Nonetheless, enough speculating, it’s time to put them to the test. To get an equal result from all three tests, I applied two coats of paint to each base colour and let them dry for 12 hours before comparing.

Corax White Base

I think you’ll agree that the imperial fist contrast really lends itself to a white base coat. The bright yellow really pops from all parts of the base and has even shaded nicely in the crevices and indentations. I’m also impressed by how smooth it looks after two coats, as contrast paints are renown for struggling with flat surfaces. If you were looking to use this paint for your imperial first army, I would highly recommend using a white base for your models.

Mechanicus Standard Grey Base

From the get go, I knew that a yellow contrast would not lend itself to a grey base paint however I was really surprised with the result. What we are left with is an almost camo green colour that would look fantastic on the side of a tank. If you were looking to replicate this effect, just make sure to soak up any pools of paint that gather in the dents and lines, otherwise you’ll be left with bright yellow marks and it won’t suit the desired effect.

Runefang Silver Base

I’m always excited to see the metallic result that contrast paints have on a silver base, and imperial first did not disappoint. What we are left with is a rustic gold colour that looks like it's been dulled slightly by weather and war. This would look fantastic on armour and weapons, or parts of machinery. To make it pop even more, try dry brushing over it with ‘Necron compound’, one of Citadel's dry paints.


Surprisingly, each base paint offered a unique result that would look effective on particular models. I was especially surprised by the result on the grey base paint which would look fantastic on an imperial marine tank.

I’m also pleased to see that this shade offers a variety of different resulting colours. It gives painters more options to explore when using the contrast range on their models, and also offers unique effects in only two coats of paint.

So that brings us to the end of this paint test, and I think that imperial fist held up pretty well. I’d love to know what you think of these results, which test was your favourite?

That concludes our thoughts on the Citadel Contrast Imperial Fist Paint. Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts and tag us on social media @zatugames. To buy the Citadel Contrast Imperial Fist Paint today click here!