Posts Tagged ‘Painting’

The Quest for the Perfect Wash, part 1

Posted on February 27th, 2015 under , , , , , , . Posted by

   I like the idea of a wash. I do. It saves countless hours of detailing when you are painting minis. But when you are trying to paint up an entire zombie apocalypse, you really want to be able to base coat them, wash them, and be done. You really don’t want to go back in and highlight a thousand zombies. Not unless you’re that rare gamer that had an obnoxiously lucrative stock brokering career and decided to retire early to do nothing but paint miniatures. If there even is such a thing.

   So I set out on a quest to find the perfect wash: that wash with just the right deep shadow color that pulls into the cracks so efficiently that the crest of each shape gleans untouched at the highest points of your model. In short, I haven’t found it. But, along the way, I found some washes that did some pretty wild things, so I figured I’d share.

I use the Army Painter Dark Tone
when I need something for dark colors
or a more sinister deep shadow.

   Now, we’re real do-it-yourselfers over here at LXG headquarters (some of us, anyway). I make most of my own food from scratch, and even sew some of my own clothing. 2CE and I made those model display cases you see in our videos from scratch. So when the first wash I picked up didn’t work perfectly, I used a basic formula of paint (a drop or two), thinner (40-50 drops), and Elmer’s glue (1 drop) to try out some homemade stuff. But I didn’t like how much I had to make at once, and didn’t want to look for or make an empty bottle to hold a bottle’s worth of stuff that worked well but not perfectly. I said I make my own food, but to me, making your own wash is like grinding your own flour. You shouldn’t have to. It’s not the creative part of the process. It’s extra labor that, even if you can do it in large batches so it’s not time consuming, you, as the “artist” shouldn’t have to. That’s what apprentices are for. Or flour-making companies with flour mills. Or wash-making companies that can make giant vats of wash and put it in little bottles that retailers can sell to you.
   But I digress. If you don’t want to make your own wash, here’s what I’ve found out so far about some washes that might be available at your local hobby store:

Army Painter Soft Tone is perfect
 when you don’t want to overpower
light or bright colors.

Vallejo- Oddly, although AAA hobbies has an extensive line of Vallejo paints, if they make a true wash, I haven’t seen it. They do have several transparent colors, that are nice for laying in a tint, but they do not pull to the cracks like washes. There are, however, times you want that, so it warrants a mention. I have even, on occasion, mixed them with regular paint when I want to both thin the paint and add the color of the translucent at the same time, and gotten some nice results. You might be able to turn them into washes by adding PVA glue, but now you’re just back to homemade anyway, right?

Formula P3- sadly, only makes 2 washes that I know of. Why is this sad? Because their washes are the washiest washes I’ve ever washed with. They run to crevices as though they are diving into a trench in a firefight, leaving the original paint color all but untouched on the high spots. Sure, sometimes they do it so well that the shading is almost spotty, but that depends more on the individual model. Alas, they make it only in two colors, and neither of them are a good, all-purpose color:

P3 Flesh Wash made this Squidman’s
brain and this zombie extra “fresh.”

Flesh Wash- Flesh is a very accurate name for this wash color. It is NOT sepia. It is closer to terra cotta- a very reddish brown. So red that I use it on the occasional zombie to accomplish shading and blood all at the same time. So, unfortunately, it won’t hold up as an all-over wash, but there are definitely some good uses for it.
Armor Wash- Again, this is aptly named. Vehicles and heavy armor is where you are most likely to use this. It is a very cool, dark gray, almost blue depending on what you put it on. It’s too blue to use on anything but cool colors like silvers and grays, but with how well P3 washes pull to the cracks, if you love armor and vehicles, you will surely want to eventually use this.

Army Painter Blue Tone
was used to create the fur
variations on this Neiran.

Army Painter makes a series of what they call “tones.” They don’t pull into the crevices as much as the P3, but moreso than the Vallejo transparents, so they make pretty good washes. They add shading, while coating the model in a unifying color that blends the colors you used together just a little, while leaving you able to see the original color you painted. They have three brownish ones, and a few colored ones. The sepia ones are called Soft Tone (fairly light in color), Strong Tone (medium), and Dark Tone (very dark and a little grayer than the others- nearly a black tone). In my opinion, these three pull to the crevices a little more than the colored ones, making them more like traditional washes, but that could just be an illusion, since they are more neutral colors.
   For colored ones, they have green, blue, purple, and red. They are all strong colors. If you use them, you will tint your model those colors, all over. But if you are painting something made of fire, ice, slime, etc., that may be just what you want, and they will still give you shading in the crevices in the same color.

Conclusions: Although I haven’t found the perfect wash yet, at this point, I’d say, if I had to live with only one wash in my paint collection, it would be the Army Painter Strong Tone. There are no basecoat colors it thoroughly clashes with or overpowers, and it does a decent job pulling into the cracks and harmonizing your paint job at the same time. You may want to highlight over it, but you probably won’t hate yourself if you don’t. In short, you could do worse for a universal wash.

Two Examples of Army Painter Strong Tone

Drop the Top (Skank WIPs)

Posted on February 27th, 2015 under , , , . Posted by

In the immortal words of Rich Homie Quan, “I drop the top on my whip.” It’s been a while since I had a good ole’ fashion work in progress post. Following is a series of pictures of my steam tank in…

Ravenwing Black Knights and Librarian – Schlemazal

Posted on February 26th, 2015 under , . Posted by

I’ve been gone for a while due to a lack of time for hobby work, but I’ve decided it’s about time I got through my backlog of Dark Angels. With that in mind, over the next few months I should be posting here more often as I battle through painting far …

Quick Hint #104

Posted on February 25th, 2015 under , , . Posted by

When you are drying brushes let them dry with the bristles pointing down. This stops the last of the paint and detergent sinking into the ferule causing them to become splayed. If you can hang them point down then lay … Continue reading

One for the Cabinet- Street Gladiator by Comfy Chair Games

Posted on February 25th, 2015 under , , , , , , . Posted by

What is that I see? Is that a smiley face in my Spinespur column on the LXG Painting board? Why, yes it is! I have just finished my last, lovely Spinespur model. And here he is, the Street Gladiator. It took me a while to get around to him, but I’…

Arkham Dozen Painting – Take 2

Posted on February 24th, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

A while back I joined in with a Batman painting challenge on the Arkham City Limits Facebook group.The plan is to paint up 12 Knight Models figures over the course of a few weeks. They called it the Arkham Dozen.My first choice was a whole load of char…

P3 Grandmaster Diorama – "Contract Renegotiation" Part 5 Paint trickery!

Posted on February 23rd, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

Edit – sorry for missing last week – I had this all cued to go and somehow screwed it up and forgot to hit the publish button… oh well back again!So when last we left off – I had painted and mortared the back wall, base coated the floor, rust coated …

20mm WW2 British Infantry

Posted on February 22nd, 2015 under , . Posted by

Slight diversion from my normal fantasy and SF fare this week, with a trip to World War 2 in 20mm.

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Showcase: Bloodletters of Khorne

Posted on February 22nd, 2015 under , , , , . Posted by

Bloodletters #1

Not terribly exciting but I did finish up five Bloodletters. These guys got a tabletop standard paint job, so nothing amazing. I did spend some time on their swords though. Often when I do quick paint jobs like this I will pick an element and make it the focal point and the swords are an […]

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54mm AWI British with buff facings

Posted on February 22nd, 2015 under , , . Posted by

Another battalion of 54mm British regulars are done (I’m gonna have to order reinforcements!) and ready for the table. These guys will see combat at the club next week.I did this unit with buff facings and turn backs. While washing these, I was so busy…

Black Powder: French Line Foot Artillery, 6 pdr.

Posted on February 21st, 2015 under , , , . Posted by

Just finished up my French Line Foot Artillery. This is a Six Pounder from the Perry Miniatures range.It will belong to the Grand Army of Germany, III Corps under Marshal Davout, At the Battle of Wagram, there were 51 pieces in support of III Corps, in…

Panzer IV for Bolt Action

Posted on February 20th, 2015 under , . Posted by

One of the units which I am running in my half of the Bolt Action team tournament at Adepticon is a Panzer IVh. This is my armor support for the list that I am running with John for the tournament. Its been performing well in recent games, I feel that I am learning how to […]

Tale of a King: Clash of Kings Road Trip: Part 5

Posted on February 17th, 2015 under , , , , . Posted by

Part 5: The 7 P’s Tournament Prep So with days to go till the first 2015 UK Regional I’ve been doing some last minute preparation and planning along whilst frantically getting the rest of my army to the minimum painting standard – ideally I would like them to a higher standard but have run out […]

Grenadier command

Posted on February 15th, 2015 under , , . Posted by

I finished the two command figures for the Grenadier unit I painted earlier this week. Overall, they are good. But, as I look at the photo, I see I (somehow?) put the frigging flag on upside down. Sonofabitch! An easy fix but a bit of a piss off n…

Narok WIP – Part 3

Posted on February 15th, 2015 under , , , , . Posted by

Narok WIP – Part 3 Insomnia struck again yesterday so I had some time to kill that was spend working on Narok. I finished his skin and started painting the metal parts, they need…

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Rebel Grot Commissar: Getting started

Posted on February 13th, 2015 under , , , , , , . Posted by

Commissar on the go (2)

Hello all, Last week I put it to you to decide my next project.  I got a handful of votes and of the three project I proposed the Rebel Grot Commissar won out.  Although I never posted it this is actually a model I started working on during a business trip a few months ago.  […]

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Black Powder: First French Line Infantry Complete

Posted on February 12th, 2015 under , , , . Posted by

So I recently started getting into Napoleonics. I LOVE HISTORY. I think in some way nearly all wargamers do. I had started looking into historical wargaming in 2013, but not until last summer did I finally get some units. I had sat on them, painting a …

Narok WIP – Part 2

Posted on February 11th, 2015 under , , , , . Posted by

Narok WIP – Part 2 A quick update on the (small) progress I managed to find some time for today.

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Painting WIP: Two headed Troll Sculpt

Posted on February 11th, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

So, I’m getting through loads of stuff paintwise, that needs doing, and this has been put off for ages. This is of course, my own two headed troll sculpt thats been waiting for a long time. You’ll have to excuse the shadow on many of these pics due to the lack of natural light and […]

Quick Hint #103

Posted on February 11th, 2015 under , , , , . Posted by

Wooden drink stirrers are an absolute must for any scenery modeller but they have one great failing, they always look like freshly cut timber (which is more or less what they are). Now it is of course easy enough to … Continue reading

Supplies Secured

Posted on February 11th, 2015 under , . Posted by

It’s been a long time coming, but my budget finally allowed me to shore up my increasingly scrappy paint collection. I just need some cheap grey hobby acrylic to use as primer and I’m all set.I chose this set as I prefer dropper bottles, it comes with …

54mm AWI Grenadiers

Posted on February 11th, 2015 under , , . Posted by

No gaming this week to I have been hard at work painting. I finished of  unit of 54mm British Grenadiers. Figures are from All the King’s Men and are quite lovely! I always like figures that trigger the camera’s facial recognition software.These w…

The LXG Painting Board- January 2015

Posted on February 10th, 2015 under , , , , , , . Posted by

   All-righty, folks! It is a new year, with new models destined to be painted ! (okay, and some older ones, too). Since several of us here at LXG have made New Year hobby resolutions related to painting, we need to keep an eye on our paintin…

Narok WIP – Part 1 & Harlequin Rant

Posted on February 10th, 2015 under , , , , . Posted by

Narok WIP – Part 1 & Harlequin Rant While Lilith is taking her Simple Green bath I wanted to try out the Scale 75 paints I ordered a couple of weeks ago and decided…

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Mantic unleash their Secret Weapon!

Posted on February 10th, 2015 under , , , , . Posted by

Mantic is a hobby company – we make good quality, affordable miniatures, and simple to play games. We offer incredible customizable scenery, and now we’re pleased to be working with Secret Weapon as their exclusive distributor for the Tablescapes Gaming Tiles in the UK and Europe! What are Tablescapes Gaming Tiles? Tablescapes Gaming Tiles are […]