The late 90s/early 2000s pots can dry out. Some keep fresh no matter the decade, others dried out and cracked long ago, despite all my efforts to mix in water and clean out the threads. It’s all been a wild roulette, unpredictable and with no logical explanation behind the random chance.
Goblin Green, Enchanted Blue and Snot Green are great survivors. I just wish I could say the same for paints like Bubonic Brown, Jade Green, Scorched Brown, Storm Blue and many others.
There is nothing wrong with contrast paints. They’re a a tool like any other, and a great tool at that, a real breakthrough for mass-painting minis and allowing beginners to achieve a good standard faster. A friend of mine, who is a very good and careful painter with a mastery of lots of techniques, nowadays paint his red cloaks with contrast paints and a little edge highlight to finish it off.
“Why should I spend more time to paint, shade and glaze with lots of layers, when I acheives a better result with contrast paints on the cloaks?” he asked.
Foundation Paints, Washes and Contrast Paints are all excellent steps forward. But I wish GW brought back their monstrously strong inks, because I would like to achieve the same stark shading for many of my paintjobs (our useful inks spilled out or were used up long ago, some oddball niche ones may remain). I really miss brown ink, blue ink, red ink and black ink.
The paint bottles Citadel used in the 1980s do seem to never dry out. They were constructed differently, and designed to keep their contents forever. I’ve heard a number of veterans describe how they open the bottles after several decades, and they’re fresh like yesterday, all of them.