Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I just replied to a comment by Steve to the previous post, and I realized that some of this information might be of interest to a broader audience (if you are like me, you probably skip the comments section, or get distracted at the second one...)

Steve guessed, correctly, that the figures shown in the pictures had been "dipped." Correct! If you look through some my old posts in the "Painting" category, you will find more examples about my dipping technique. I use MinWax Polyshade, a product to treat wood,easily available in American hardware stores. Depending by the effect I want to create, I use either the "Tudor Satin" finish, which is basically black (although MinWax has now a new shade which is officially 'Classic Black"), or the "Royal Walnut", which is more brownish-reddish (it works very well for natives in the colonial period; I once tried "Honey Pine" to create a sandy effect on bedouins, though, but it was a complete disappointment.) In the case of my WSS miniatures, it was "Tudor Satin."
Strictly speaking, I actually do not "dip", but I apply the finish with a brush, as I like to control the final effect. In particular, as a matter of personal taste, I like white to remain white, rather then turning "dirty grey" as it may happen in case of too heavy dipping. Occasionally, I leave the figures to drip upside-down on some support of sort to get rid of the excess dip. As a general pattern, results are excellent on miniatures primed in white and painted in bright colors; the effects are barely noticeable on dark colors (check the Palatine infantry, in dark blue, in the previous post.) And on miniatures primed in black, a dark dipping may result in figures excessively dark, at least for my taste -- as documented here.

In general, I am a fan of dipping. While it does not shorten my painting time, as I tend to detail my miniatures quite a bit anyway, it really add that special shading that, to my eyes, turns a painting job from B- (here) into an A- (here).
But again, as we say in Italy, "ogni scarrafone e' bello a mamma sua": every cockroach is beautiful to his mommy's eye, thus I tend to have a weak spot in grading my own figures...

1 comment:

Bluebear Jeff said...

I often use a diluted brown ink to get a similar effect . . . although I believe your Minwax adds a protective coat at the same time.

-- Jeff