Tuesday, 12 May 2015

A New Blog Post - It Does Exactly What It Says On The Tin

The Tools Of The Trade

Oh, yeah, I blog about painting sometimes, don't I?

My proxy Hobgoblin Archers are slowly taking shape.  The first ten with musician are now finished bar a varnish, and the second ten with unit leader is next on the painting table.  All is progressing as normal, albeit very slowly - I'm spending a lot more of my time reading RPG books right now, especially with purchases from the closing down sale at the Dragon & George .

The Hobgoblins haven't been painted exactly the same this time around.  After the routine base coat, I decided not to paint on Quickshade in the manner of an ink or wash as I usually do.  Instead, I would to finally try the art of "dipping".

One for the 90s kids.
"Dipping" was how the idea of Quickshade first came about, essentially.   Basically, the figure is painted in neat block colours and then the base is clamped with a pair of pliers that fully submerges it in a pot of fluid.  Originally a wood stain in the manner of Ronseal was the preferred choice - as shown on this internet guide from way back in 2006.  Quickshade came along a few years later, a stain made for the dedicated purpose of dipping figures.  

Pictures from Army Painter's downloadable guide to their products.

The figure is given a few shakes to make sure it's an even coating with no dark blobs of shade, then it's left to dry.  Once the figure has totally dried - which can take several hours if not a day or two - the whole piece will have an even browny-black shade which graduates darker when it goes deeper into the recesses.  A gloss finish is likely, but a matt varnish can lessen this effect for those who don't like it.

The left is a Goblin painted with a solid brown spray; the right is the same but with Dark Tone Quickshade added afterwards.  Other dips exist which are more brown than black in hue.

Dipping is a bit of a controversial topic for some miniatures painters.  Undeniably it allows for a large load of figures to be shaded easilly and without too much work - anyone desperate to finish painting a whole army to finally play will appreciate that.  For someone with as minimal skill as me, the shading effect it produces is very smooth without any of the "dirty" look that a bad wash can end up leaving.  However, others find it a bit soulless and automated - it's a "cheat", almost.

My Hobgoblins as seen last time - barely basecoated.

Well, I'm afraid I intend to "cheat" more often in that case!

...Actually, don't tell Sister Superior I said that, I think it may be misinterpreted. 
I did my dipping out in my garden, armed with my pliers, Dark Tone Quickshade and a cardboard box to plop the figures on.  After an abortive first few tries where I hadn't shaken the figures enough, the dipping process went pretty smoothly.  A single figure did make a break for it out of my pliers and, when fished out, had sustained some damage - the top and bottom of the shortbow had broken off, necessitating some repair work when I got back indoors.  All nine other figures went fine, and once they had dried only needed a pinch of red and green edge highlighting to seal the deal for me.

Those same Hobgoblins, after a dip and basing with black poppy seeds.

The main downside I found to dipping was the mess and smell.  I had prepared my clothing accordingly, wearing scabby old trousers and unimportant shoes, but had not been bright enough to bust my gloves out.  Inevitably in the handling and shaking of the figures one can't help but end up with hands splattered with Quickshade and it took quite a bit of scrubbing and spraying to get it off - even then, the next day I kept smelling the smelly smell of smelly varnish.  Similarly the smell lingered a bit in the room I was drying the figures in, making me long for a Man Shed or Garage outside I could leave something like this in overnight.

Anyway, if I can convince myself to put down the book on The Spaceshank Redemption and get back to painting, my goal is to get a total of thirty archers ready to go.  After that I'm going to see if I can convince my mate Charles to face off against the Chaos Dwarfs for the first time...

Hobgoblins 11 through 20 await the process to repeat on them.

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