I’ve subjected Joe [Orteza] and Dave [Pauwels] and possibly a few others connected to this site to my various paint line tirades already, but since James brought it up, I’ll cast my vote for using Reaper Master Series flesh tones and then begin explaining the why.
However, I will preface my expository ramblings with a big "in my opinion" and "your mileage may vary…" I never really cared for GW's idea of flesh tones (or the mock GW Vallejo Game Color versions) and Vallejo Model Color isn’t readily available in my area (I’ve no experience there). So back in early 2005, I thought I'd give the Reaper flesh tones a try. I was ordering something else from the warstore (www.warstore.com) anyway and tacked two of the "triads" on my order - the medium-skin triad and the fair-skin triad.Just lining them up on my desk I was impressed. Each triad flowed - one into the next - in a nice clean progression. And when I put the fair triad next to the middle triad I got a range of 6 flesh tones. And unlike GW, they look like actual skin tones, ie: The back of my hand is "tanned highlight”. Skipping ahead a week, I got the dark skin triad too, and when you add in the three dark skin tones you get a 9 color progression of flesh tones from sub-Saharan African to pale Scandinavian. I love it. I'm all for blending, but anything that makes my life easier… if you wanted to save a few ducats, you could probably buy these in singles and just buy every other color – the progression is quite gradual. In addition to these 9 colors, there are two more flesh-tone triads “golden skin” – for a slightly yellow, Asian tone and “rosy skin” for that pale, pinkish skin you see on some red-heads and other light-complexioned people.
For the record, my 2005 GD trollslayer was painted with the Tanned (mid-range) flesh tones, my WD Dark Angel successor and 2006 Crimson Fist terminator were painted with the Golden skin triad, my 2006 Adepticon Kommandant was painted with the Rosy skin and Fulgrim’s face was done with the Fair Triad and a few glazes of RMS Amethyst (lavender). They've been just a pleasure to work with.
One caveat, the early mixes of some RMS paints were bad. As in “Unusable” – thick, gritty, B-A-D. Mostly this seems to have been taken care of, but I (and the Reaper forums) recommend getting the paints straight from Reaper to make sure you’re not getting something that’s been on the shelf for months. If, like me, you have some of these bad mixes, Reaper will replace them no questions asked. They want to make a good impression on us painter types.
IMO, the RMS paints as a whole are fairly muted, the GW colors are generally more vibrant. I think this is an asset for flesh tones, but for that reason I’m still using a lot of my GW colors. However, as I long ago reached my last straw with the current paint pots, all my GW paints are in Reaper or Vallejo dropper bottles. I really hope they’ll be re-potting all the standard paints in the new Foundation pots.
So far, every line I’ve tried has some good things, some bad things (planning to try P3 after GenCon). I suppose that’s the way of the world. But for my money, the RMS flesh tones are top notch.
Anyway, Reaper has a PDF with most of their Master Series line and a few pages of how-to and propaganda on their site.