Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mustering the Tercio - Part 3

Now that my pike and shot figures have been block painted, it is now time to subject them to my version of the "dip".  I first started extensively using the dip several years ago, right around the time I switched to 15mm figures.  Although the dip is never going to result in award winning quality individual figures, I find that it is a very time effective way to quickly improve figures with basic paint jobs, and that for mass armies like Ancients, Medievals, or Napoleonics, the results can be very appealing.  In my opinion, if you are a wargamer who uses large armies instead of skirmish games, the dip is a technique that needs to be in your painting tool kit.

My first attempts dipping figures made use of Minwax Polyshades stains.  The results were alright, but a little dark for my taste, and the Polyshades stinks to high heaven in addition to requiring about 24 hours to completely dry.  Once the new GW washes, like Baddab Black were released, I then gave these a try.  Once again, okay results, if still a little dark, and being a GW product, in my opinion, non-sensibly overpriced.  Finally, I decided to switch to using Future floor wax as a clear fluid to mix my own colors of inks and paints into.  Future is available at almost any grocery store, and a single inexpensive bottle can last for a couple of years.  I do vary my recipe for dipping with Future frequently, depending on the effect I'm looking for, but for my new tercio, I used one part Liquitex Burnt Umber, one part Delta Ceramcoat Black, and probably about 10 parts of undiluted Future.  Above is a photo of the color and consistency I usually use.  Note that I do not actually dip the figures in the mixture, but I paint it on with a broad brush.  For the first five minutes or so of drying, you have to keep an eye on the figures to make sure you don't get thick pooling in recesses or on the lower portions of the figures (just wipe this excess away before it dries), but other than that, that's all there is to it.

Here is a photo of the pikemen, taken an hour or so after being dipped:

And the musketeers also:

After allowing the figures to dry overnight, I then mounted them using Elmers White Glue, three to a 40mm wide x 20mm deep base.  Once the glue dried, I then hit the figures with two spray coats of Testors Dullcote to protect them from handling and to dull the shine that the dip gives them.

Here is a photo of the completed figures:

Although the figures are now complete, the Tercio still isn't.  Finishing of the basing still needs to be done, and that will be the topic of the upcoming last "Mustering the Tercio" posting.

1 comment:

  1. Future really is a marvelous product. So cheap and versatile. It does tend to pool a bit if it is applied too heavily. But it has an uncanny ability to find folds and ridges and settle right into the bottom of them.

    And it's seriously cheaper than GW's washes or Army Painter's Quickshade.

    The only trick is finding it - the trade name is different in different countries. Here in Australia it is called "Pledge One Go" for example.

    There's a great web page which exhaustively lists most of the trade names and describes all the other things you can do with it.

    For example the high gloss that it dries to looks "wet" and is a great way of enhancing water effects on terrain pieces.

    So it's back to the future for me...