I have always approached GW’s paint range with a bit of a sceptical mindset. The company has had a poor track record of delivering on their marketing hype and their paints, in the past, have been pretty much standard paint but at a higher price. And in those horrible pots.
I recently stumbled over a tutorial on how to quickly and easily paint Horus Heresy Imperial Fists and part of the process they describe requires the GW shade Agrax Earthshade. I picked up some of the paints I need but I thought that I had already purchased a pot of Agrax Earthshade. Sadly I did not and I decided to use some Army Painter Soft Tone in its place. The Soft Tone worked but it was quite difficult to keep the wash in the recesses and it tended to cover more of the miniature than I wanted. Especially when the next step involved using a shade over top of the pre-shading. I did two models and then put them aside.
Luckily I was at work the next day and picked up the required Agrax Earthshade. What a difference it made. The shade flowed into the recesses of the model quite easily and appears to have a higher surface tension than Soft Tone and so it also stays there. With a good brush it was much easier to do the pre-shading and even I was able to make it look quite good. I can’t speak for the rest of the paints but the shades appear to be an excellent product and quite worth checking out.