Sunday, June 7, 2009
In the above video I go about how I perform the 'dipping' technique when working with miniatures (music by the Darkest of the Hillside Thickets in the background). I have used super glue to affix large nails with a flat head to the underside of the bases and then I proceed to insert these nails (now with figures on them) into the chuck of a power drill. The spinning action of the drill is more than sufficient to remove the excess dip, and by doing so inside an empty copy paper box, there is zero mess, in fact, you can do this indoors on a rainy day if need be. I fine tune the wiping off of the excess with a foam cosmetic sponge that you can get in the makeup aisle anywhere. Cotton balls and cotton swabs will not work as you end up with getting a lot of fibers stuck to your figures, go with the latex foam sponges, you get a lot in a bag for a cheap price. Allow drying time overnight.
I was on a kick there for a while where I dipped everything. I should point out that either Army Painter products weren't around yet, or I just never heard of them. For the dip I use a MinWax Polyshades Black Tudor Satin 360. Yes, this 'flavor' exists, and no, you will not find it at a large chain home improvement store (and the clerks there will swear it doesn't exist). I get mine from a smaller, locally owned Ace Value hardware type place, and they've got both large and small cans, the one in my video is the large size. If you can't find it, don't think another flavor will work equally well, it won't, I know because I've personally tried several different kinds. If you absolutely cannot find a can of Black Tudor, get the next darkest thing you can get and run a test model first (well, always run a test model).
Andy on the one hand will brush on the dip, just skimming the top layer of the liquid in the can after it has settled some. Not for me, I dunk the entire mini in the can, a couple of times, swish 'em around a whole bunch, then, well, you've seen the video up top. Wiping off the excess dip is a very critical step in the process because its wood stain for crying out loud, it's not designed to go on our lovingly painted models, and it will pool up in the recessed areas making it quite unsightly. I don't dip a whole lot as of late, for no real reason, and I am certainly interested in Army Painter products now, even if it means nothing more than less mess. If you don't have a dedicated 'dip brush' and clean it with turpentine or mineral spirits, you'll have one ruined brush on your hands. Also, if it gets on anything (concrete, clothing, walls, etc.) it will not come out, so don't go dipping in 'night on the town' clothes or anything. I should also point out that dipping is a great time saver, but it's not the magically delicious answer to painting. It should be used as one more tool in your overall painting toolkit, not as a shortcut to quality. It will take a very average (or poor) looking mini and make it look much better, but it won't do much at all for a mini that already looks great.
A shout out goes to blogging compatriot 25mmW with his recent post on using Army Painter products on an Eldar trooper, and by extension Ron at From the Warp with his recent call for all time-saving tips to put into another useful tutorial.
Here's a quick gallery of some of my dipped examples:
WM Khador Warjacks, you can dip any size mini large or small
A Reaper Dwarf, look at the detail brought out in the hair and beard
More WM, a Dwarf Warcaster and his Warjacks
Side-by-side comparison of WM zombie both before and after dipping process
A pair o' WM Ogryn Bokurs
Warzone Troopers after a shot of Dull Cote
15mm Star Grunt II troopers completed
The Dwarves from my YouTube video
A closeup of the Dwarven standard bearer