How to Transfer GW Paints to Dropper Bottles

Welcome to Warhammered and our first tutorial post on How to Transfer GW Paints to Dropper Bottles.  Recently I took the plunge and decided to transfer my GW paints from their pots to dropper bottles.  This isn’t a new thing but it seems to be picking up traction, so I’ve put this guide together based on my experience to help all the other hobbyists out there.  As I had most of the items already I only had to source the bottles and the agitator beads.  This resulted in a combined cost of £12.30 so cost shouldn’t put you off.  If you have as many paints as I do you will more than save that in dried up paint.

Why Transfer Paints?

That is entirely up to you.  It isn’t the most difficult or laborious process, but depending on your paint collection it can take a while.  It is common knowledge that the GW pots are one of the poorest forms of paint storage available.  They aren’t very easy to work from and paint somehow always manages to collect round the rim.  This makes them more awkward to open and close, causes waste in itself and an imperfect seal leads the paint to dry out in the pot.

Dropper bottles maintain a better seal, are easier to shake/mix especially with an agitator bead and are much easier to use.  You don’t have to dip your brush in the paint making them a dream in comparison if you are mixing paints, especially with airbrush work.  

You don’t need to do this for the new contrast, glazes, shades or dry paints.  These all work best out of the pots and aren’t worth the hassle of switching over.  In fact, some of them wouldn’t work in droppers at all.  This process is intended for your base and layer paints. 

What materials you need

Transferring GW Paints materials

  • 15ml Dropper bottles (with wider nozzle)
  • Small Funnels
  • Agitator beads (at least 1 for each dropper bottle)
  • Grips
  • Snips
  • Airbrush thinner/flow improver
  • Paperclip
  •  

Links to each item can be found at the bottom of the post.  I have linked the items I bought for the process and I’m assuming you will have snips.  The grips are optional but it’s good to have some sort of stabiliser for the bottle.

Let’s do it, Transfer GW Paints to Dropper Bottles!

Get yourself a work area set up and make sure you have some sort of mat down as things may get a little messy.  Ideally have it somewhere you can watch tv or listen to a podcast while you work to make it a more enjoyable process.  You don’t have to do them all at once either, I did mine over several sessions to spread the work a bit and stop it feeling monotonous.   I opted for 15ml dropper bottles.  The GW pots are 12 ml so that will be plenty of space to top up when you are almost out.  

1) Set up your dropper bottle in the grips, add an agitator bead and sit funnel in top.

Transferring GW paints setup

The grips will stabilise the bottle while you work as they are very tall and light.  It also means it is stable enough to sit the pot in the funnel hands free.  They just need to hold slightly, it shouldn’t be so tight that it marks the bottle

2) Pick your paint and give it a good shake.  Open it to check consistency and add some thinner, then give it another good shake to mix it through.
Transferring GW paints chunky white
Very chunky white paint, this one may be a lost cause
Transferring GW paints add thinner
Layer paints only needs a little thinner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The amount of thinner you need to add will depend on the type of paint i.e. a base or layer and how old it is.  Base paints are naturally thicker and they all dry out with age.  The whites and greys tend to be the worst in my experience but the yellow was also quite chunky so it can vary.  To get a good idea of proper consistency and to avoid over thinning I would recommend starting with a new pot.  Even a new base paint will flow well enough to transfer, I only added some thinner at the end to try and get as much out of the pot as possible.  You are always better to only add a little at a time as you can always add more if need be, but you can’t take it back out.  I’ve found that airbrush thinner worked best but flow improver was ok too.

3) After a good shake, snip the two arms connecting the lid to the pot and take the lid off. 

Transferring GW paints snip pot

It doesn’t hurt to give the pot a minute after shaking to allow the paint that will be on the lid to settle back into the pot.  If you pop it straight away there will be lots of paint still on the lid which will be essentially wasted and likely end up on you or the work area.  Even though the arms have been cut you can still put the lid back on for a reshake if needed.

4) Pour some paint in the funnel gradually and allow it to fill the bottle.

Transferring GW paints funnel

If the paint is more than half full or quite thick there will be too much to pour into the funnel at one time.  It can be a little slow to transfer some of the thicker paints so it is best to test it gradually at first and avoid overflow, mess and waste.  A straightened paperclip is quite good for giving it some help if necessary.

5) Leave pot in funnel to transfer remnants
Transferring GW paints leaving pot
Grips allow you to do this easily

Once it is mostly complete you can sit the pot in the funnel and allow it to transfer automatically.  To retrieve a little more I add some more thinner, pop the lid back on and give it a good shake.  This small amount will be much thinner than the rest but should mix to a good consistency in the bottle.

6) Remove funnel, pop in the nozzle, attach the lid and wipe tip in the remnants of paint on the pot
Transferring GW paints nozzle type
Thicker nozzle type
Transferring GW paints paint lid
Paint tip of lid with leftovers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a jar of water next to me to stick the funnel in and stop the paint drying to it.  It makes it far easier to clean later.  Make sure the nozzles are the thicker versions shown in the photos.  Many suppliers send them with very thin ones designed for vaping fluid but this is too small for our paints.  Ensure you have the lid on tight so that it does its job better than the pots did and by wiping the lid in the paint it means you can have a colour reference from above.  Perfect if they are going to be in a drawer as they are for me.

7) Peel label from the GW pot and carefully stick onto the dropper bottle
Transferring GW paints peel label
Easy peel

Luckily for us the GW pots have easily removable labels that stay sticky.  This makes it really easy to just peel them off and stick them on our new bottle.

Completed

Transferring paints complete

And there you have it, your paint in an easy to use dropper bottle.  Just rinse and repeat doing as many as you want at one time.  You will lose a little paint in the transfer process but it is less than you will lose from it drying out.  In addition, they will be much easier to use in general and far more suited for airbrushing.  They also take up far less space in a drawer.

Drawer space comparison

And that is How to Transfer GW Paints to Dropper Bottles.  I hope this helps you out, after researching lots of ways to do it I found this was the easiest and cleanest method for me.  Let me know how it went for you and if there are any tips or tricks you can add to improve the process for everyone in the comments.

Links

15ml Dropper bottles, correct nozzle size and funnels.

Agitator Beads

Airbrush Thinner

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Danny

Fan of the Warhammer and 40K hobby. Back into it for the last three years after a long break.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *