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Subject: Miniature Painting - Dipping rss

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Nigel Heather
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Horsham
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I'm sure there are better forums to ask this question but here goes.

I have a few miniature based games that I would like to paint.

I'm not a great paint nor am I after competition or display results.

I recently came across the term dipping for the first time recently and did some research. Found the the product of choice is Quick Shade from Army Builder.

This is something I would like to try, but Quick Shade is quite expensive (£20 or $30) for a small 250ml tin.

Are alternatives just as good - I've seen mention of Minwax Tudor, which I beleive is a DIY decorative stain, but not a brand we have in the UK.

Does Minwax Tudor do the job just aswell or is it a compromise.

Anyone from the UK able to suggest a suitable product in the UK - I assume something like ronseal.

Many thanks,

Nigel
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Michael Barlow
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Stratford
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When I first heard about dipping, Miniwax was the thing to use. But any similar product will work fine. First clean your figure, then primer, then paint a bit (armor, skin, clothes) then dip, then brush of excess to your liking. Results vary, but I'm sure you'll like it. If you aren't familiar with The Miniatures Page, you should check them out, and join or search their forums. Very helpful.

It still works fine. The only thing I'd have to say is that smaller the figure, the lighter the shade you should use.
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Wulf Corbett
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I've tried with the official Quick Shade dip can (the lightest colour), dipping figures from Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game, and found the results, although well-shaded, too dark for my liking. That was proper dipping, all the way in the tin. Next time I will try brushing it on, but I also got myself a dropper bottle of Quick Shade Ink, which supposedly matches the dip. Obviously there's far less in the dropper bottle, but then it costs far less... I haven't used it yet, but it will need brushing on, and, unlike the dip, it should clean off with water, which will save on brushes!
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Jeff McCarroll
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Like Wulf I started with Last Night on Earth figures. Since then, I've painted close to 40 minis. Actually dipping a figure, in my experience, creates a really dark end result. I now brush on the Minwax and still end up wiping excess off in certain places.

Whatever product you end up with, only treat one figure and let it dry to make sure you are getting the results you want. Adjust to your liking after that. Good luck.
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Apply with a brush. Thin the dip with Future floor polish so it flows into the cracks and crevices better. Most applications either aren't thinned out enough or are too heavy handed. I know the technique is called "dipping", but the technique has been fine tuned over the years. You want to be precise so you don't end up darkening the tone of the whole mini.
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Freelance Police
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Have you tried conventional washing? Just thin some brown paint with water and paint over the miniature. The ink will flow into the cracks. Works pretty well, imo.
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The Tak
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The advantage to the wash is you get more control, more gentle graidents in your results, and you can keep doing shades and highlights to get a really sharp looking fig. Of course, at that point if you 'dip' it you're just ruining the paint!

You can either use Minwax Polyshades (or comparable brand) or Quickshade by Army Painter. From talking to a few people locally and having seen the minis side by side I can say that in my experience the Quickshade gives better results, but only just. It's not a huge world of difference and if you brush the Minwax on instead of actually dip it, it's very hard to tell which was done with which.

It seems as if the Minwax perhaps has a heavier or grittier pigmentation in it compared to the Army Painter produce. It also doesn't seem quite as thick, but you can thin the polyshade with mineral spirits to get the same effect in that regard.

Whichever route you choose, just get some brushes wet and get painting! Cheers, happy gaming


EDIT: Oh, and as to the price, yes the quickshade is far more expensive but if you brush it on that can will last you a good long time. Ronseal is the brand to go to, you've got that part right.
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Nick Cooper
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From a UK perspective, I have used and can recommend Blackfriar polyurethane coloured varnish (Light Oak). This retails at around £3.80 for a 250ml tin.

The trick is to remove as much "flash"/moulding lines from the figure as possible, then to paint them in LIGHT/BRIGHT colours. Just paint the figures in block colours - don't bother with any shading or leaving dark lines between joints/items of clothing at this point. When you've done they will look basic and faintly ridiculous, but that is where the "dip" comes into play.

Simply buy cheap brushes and apply the dip directly from the tin to the figure, in fairly liberal amounts. Try to avoid applying TOO much as that result in pooling.

The "dip" will dull the bright colours and provide shading/depth. Leave and allow to dry... should be touch dry in 1-2 hours.

This method is splendid for producing tabletop standard figures quickly (they won't win awards though )

Here are some plastic figures from Battle Masters done with the above approach:






Like I said - they won't win awards, but as a way of getting troops on the table and looking reasonable, its a winner.

Wilkinsons also do a good, cheap range of varnishes - medium oak seems to be about as dark as you might want to go. Light oak tends to give figures more of a golden heroic hue, and perhaps less depth.

Two by-products to be aware of when using dip:

1. Toughness. The dipping is one TOUGH seal - you can chuck figures in a box and they won't lose their paint job (though fragile pieces like swords/spears/plumes etc may still break off if you DO chuck them in a box.... )

2. Shininess. Figures dipped will have a definite satin sheen to them - I usually apply a coat of Dullcote varnish on top to take the edge off that.

My advice is to try it with a couple of cheap plastic figures and see how you go on.

Hope this helps!
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