Saturday, April 30, 2011

Painting Shenanigans!!

So I've been experimenting with the "Dip". The "Dip" usually is Minwax Polyshade, a polyurethane wood stain. The stain acts as a beautiful wash, bringing out every tiny pockmark of chain mail and line of plate armour; plus folds of cloth etc. The polyurethane part gives a tremendously durable topcoat to the fig. This wood stain come in a many different colors and can really speed up army painting with good looking results. Army Painter sells a similar dip that's formulated for miniature painting but is a bit pricey. Here's a link to there site, It has a ton of examples of using the Dip. However, while my initial tests seemed to have very positive results, once I shifted into production mode and started to crank out a bunch of models, each batch was flawed. Each Time I tried to paint a dozen or so models at once, the stain would be way too dark, like straight black ink poured over the model, with only the most extreme edges of the models being visible other then glossy black. Each time I thought I figured it out and tried again, this time shaking the models, not just letting it drip back into the can, but same result messed up paintjobs. Then I thought it was do to dipping it instead of applying with a brush. Nope. Turns out I shook up the can nice and good, just before each production session, but just popped the top and dipped when "testing". Once it was shook up it was way too dark, but most the pigment sinks to the bottom over time.

But the good new was in researching why I was having such dramatic variations in results, I found something better then the "Dip". I found a few people expounding the virtues of Future floor wax mixed with colored ink and some water. Awesome.I love Future as a paint additive adding a drop of "magic wash"(50/50 future/water) to paint on a pallet, this makes the paint slow smoother and dry slightly glossier. It also strengths the paint to a degree. Magic Wash is great when painting whites and light colors as brush strokes are often visible, but are almost non existent when using the wash. I had thought about adding Ink to the wash before but had never tried it and had forgotten about it. Now I'm hearing people telling me it's much better then a polyurethane stain for a ton of valid reasons. But before I list the reasons I'll say I'm very happy with the results. I'll post picts soon.

Future vs Minwax
Drying time for Future is between 15-30 minutes, Minwax takes 24 hours.
Future can be cleaned from your brushs and thinned with water. Minwax requires Turpentine.
Future allows you to easily dilute your colors to the point you can really control how dark your stain is and you don't have to shake off excess. Minwax requires a bit of vigorus shaking to remove excess dip, this can be messy getting a polyurethane stain splattered on clothes or surroundings.
Future smells a bit like apples. Minwax smells like oilpaints and is toxic to breath.
Future lets you add any color ink or (maybe paint, I haven't tryed yet). Minwax has a limited selection of colors.
Future is much less glossy then Minwax, while a matt varnish might be preferable, It's not mandatory.. Minwax is extremely glossy and requires a matt varnish.
Future is easyer to control and work with. Minwax is simple but slow, messy, and toxic.
Minwax is probably more durable then Future, but I'm confident Future will protect much better then standard paint and as well as many sealants people use to protect there figures.

I was very hopeful for Minwax and I might have had much better results with Army Painter shades, but I can't think of anything I'd be happier with then Future and what it can do.

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