Thursday, July 10, 2008

Per your request

Yesterday I was asked to post a shoulder-to-shoulder comparison between a "dipped" miniature and a "plain" one. As I was basing my latest Hungarian regiment tonight, I took a couple of pictures. Because of the bad lightening in the room, I struggled with exposure, but here I can offer you two decent shots.

The unit on the left was dipped; the one on the right was not. I actually believe I should have done exactly the opposite: the Hungarian base has enough color that a further highlighting of the whites is not necessary; on the other side, the Austrian base is completely white, tunic and breeches, and it might have benefited from some shading.
I like the effect of dipping on certain figures: the ones where whites prevail, as in the case of Arabs or Dervish. I do not think dipping will enter in the standard routine of my Napoleonic painting, but I will probably dip some Austrian and Saxon units on a "as needed" basis.
Hope this will be helpful - thanks, as always, for the much appreciated comments!


Steve said...

...thanks for that - I'm getting interested in trying this.... ;o))

I was reading this blog the other day and he uses a darker dip than the one you use...

Adik said...

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the link. I have problems in visualizing Photobucket pics from the computer I am using in this moment, so I will go back and check it again later tonight. If I well understand, Matt at "Fine & Dandy" is using an ink wash, which is a similar but different technique. I was not able to achieve good results with ink wash: it made my miniatures grey-ish, without providing the neat highlighting I get from Minwax Polyshade.

I should have also added that, strictly speaking, I do not physically "dip" the miniatures, but I apply the dip on them with a brush; I also brush away excess dip. I like to keep my white white; I enjoying the shadowing effects, and the contrasts, but I would be afraid that a true "dip" would make the figures too dark.

I would recommend you to experiment around with this technique. It may not be right all the time, or for all figures, but it is a neat trick to have in your bag!


Bluebear Jeff said...


I use an "ink wash" on certain of my figures . . . also with a brush . . . but I do do one odd thing that I think might be of value to both of you.

When I start my "ink wash", I turn the figures upside down (they are on painting sticks) and brush on my wash from feet down to the head . . . then turn it right-side up and brush the other way (although this often draws off excess wash as opposed to adding more.

The particular value of this technique is . . . first, the wash gets in places that a top wash often misses . . . next, it generally leaves a slightly heavier wash in the shadow areas below belts, etc.

Finally, it should be noted that for "ink washes" (and I presume for "the dip") that it looks like a disaster immediately after you do it . . . but when it dries, it looks great.

Hope that this helps.

-- Jeff