Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I dipped, and almost regretted...

I decided to dip... and I went close to a complete disaster.

First, a quick overview of my dipping technique, which is actually not a real "dip", as I use a brush to apply the Minwax Polyshade finish to my miniatures. I normally use a fairly large, cheap brush, and two types of Polyshade, one called "Antique Walnut", with a more reddish-brownish tint, which usually works great for red-clad miniatures, and the other with a blackish color, called "Tudor Satin", which works great for miniatures painted in gray and white as main color.

So, today I headed to the roof deck, armed with all the necessary to engage in a nice session. First I applied the Tudor Satin to the Spanish grenadiers, a Palatine regiment, and the French Piedmont and Normandie. So far, so good. But I didn't stir the Tudor Satin can much before applying the dip, so it came out as a relative "light" layer. When I moved to work to the Swiss and the Irish/Palatinate units, I made sure to stir more robustly the Antique Walnut, and... gee! It came out thick and dark brown, and covered everything, from bayonets to the white and yellow trim on the hat. I had to sweat quite a bit to thin the dip, and to remove as much of it as possible from the areas whose color I wanted to keep more vivid. And as I was working in this crucial cleaning action... the brush broke off! I was able to fix it on the fly, and to complete the cleaning/finishing strokes -- I just had to be very careful with the brush.

Photos will follow soon. For the time being, let me articulate the lessons of the day:

a. make sure the brush is in good condition; if it is, take a second one with me nonetheless, just in case;
b. use a smaller brush: it will make my work slower, but it will ensure I have better control of the amount of finish I apply to the miniatures;
c. try not to put any dip on the hats and the bayonets;
d. give the dip a few minutes to sit down, or stir more gently at the beginning. Go for a ligher mix. These are War of Spanish Succession figures, not colonial natives, duh!

Bottom line. The Swiss and the Palatinate/Irish came out a little darker than I would have preferred, but they are still nice. Normandie, Piedmont, Palatinate, and Spanish grenadiers look great. The day was saved!

1 comment:

CWT said...

Oddly, I was just 'dipping' a huge number of figures last night, and happily seem to have unknowingly followed your advice.

(I haven't worked up the courage to go look at the results yet...)