Here they are side by side. The GA plate is much prettier and firmer. The HM plate is wetter, stickier, and squishier.
I put as close to the same amount of paint on them as I could. I used about the same amount as I have been using for the past month or so on the HM plate.
I put on the paint with a brayer. As you can see the paint mixed easily (too easily) on the GA plate. I used the same amount of strokes on the HM plate and still had a more blotchy look. I happen to like that.
Then I placed a stencil on top of each one. I did not have two stencils alike so I just used the only two 12 x 12 stencils I had. The flower one is a little thicker than the swirls, but I didn't think it would matter that much. It does, but I didn't figure that out until later because I used the thicker one on the HM plate and it works fine on there.
As you can see here the GA plate had way too much paint and it squished under the stencil and made a mess. The HM plate is sticky so this is not a problem I have had with it. As you can see the thicker stencil works great on the HM plate.
This is the third print I made, the second one looked pretty much just like the first. For this one I took the stencils off then pulled the print. These both look pretty good.
I decided to see if how the floral stencil would do on the GA plate with the same amount of paint I used on the first time. I thought it was more scientific to see if it was the amount of paint or the stencil that made the mess on the GA plate with the swirls stencil. As you can see if you click on the pictures above. The floral stencil made almost as much of a mess as the swirls on the first print.
I decided to use the floral stencil with less paint and see if I would get a better result. As you can see above the first pull did not print well at all. So I removed the stencil and pulled another print. It is not as clear at this point as when I used more paint.
My conclusion is that the squishier and wetter HM plate is better for stencils. At this point I am a little disappointed in the pulls I get with stencils on my new GA plate. I do like how much easier it is to clean and that it is not scarred up by the stencils. Below are some pulls I made after I put up the HM plate and just played with the GA plate.
I tried several different types of texture tools and I admit that I love the GA plate with most of the other tools I am used to using. I will continue to play, but I must conclude at this point that the only real advantage to the GA plate over the HM plate is its sturdiness and ease of cleaning.