Thursday, February 19, 2015

Taking a Dip

With the exception of the Sash & Saber Swiss recently completed, the remaining Sash & Saber French never made it through the now standard Minwax stain treatment.  One battalion of Elite French and one battalion of Front Rank French legere also made it into the dip in this round as well as all French skirmishers. 
French and Swiss After Minwax
The stain provides a much greater depth to the figure and nicely outlines the webbing, clothing folds, facial features, etc..  Some may not like the look but I have grown quite fond of the method and results.  While results are better with uniforms in a more earth tone palette, for me, it works for most uniforms.

From the side-by-side comparison photo of the Swiss below, the contrast between the unstained (left) and stained (right) is apparent.
Swiss Before
There!  The Sash & Saber French contingents are now consistent with their brethren from other manufacturers.  I await a resupply of Tajima tufts to finish the bases.

22 comments:

  1. They look more detailed after the dip. Might be the angle of the photo, but those FR Voltigeurs look big compared to the S&S line.

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    1. The Front Rank legere are larger than the S&S figures but the tall FR plumes and stockier build make that comparison appear even greater. It might be the photo too!

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  2. The dip looks to work perfectly to me, great result

    Ian

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  3. If the figures are just blocked painted with no highlights then a dip will look better(as seen above), however a fully painted figure with shadows and highlights added and then compared to a dip figure gives a better comparison of what is better I think.

    On some figures I paint using only paint for shadows and highlights if I want a very clean figure and on others I use a dip(but I do add highlights even to that) if I want to speed a project up. So, I'm a proponent for both methods.

    Looking very nice Jonathan and as usual very productive.

    Christopher

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    1. Some very good insight and sage painting tips.

      Since I am a simple, painting mortal, the dip seems to add definition to my block painted figures.

      Again, most welcome commentary!

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    2. You sell yourself short Jonathan by calling yourself simple. Your figures are blocked in neatly which is the most important aspect in painting figures, because if one does not paint neatly then no amount of dips or highlights will make them look good. Because you spend the time painting neatly your figures look very nice and your dip method makes them look that much nicer.:-)

      Christopher

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    3. Very kind, Christopher, and I really appreciate your support and encouragement!

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  4. The Minwax is a great tool, especially when you want to paint for larger army projects and want to move loads of lead across the table at a steady pace. I'm all for it!

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  5. There's no question the Dip/Stain as you do it really improves the look of the figures. Not wanting to deal with the turps, drying time, etc I use an acrylic wash which works OK, but not quite as well.

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    1. Thank you, Peter! For me, the dip provides increased utility for not a great outlay in effort.

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  6. That is a marked difference and the shading is spot on. My of choice in 15mm is Vallejo Game Color Wash (sepia). I like it because its a thick wash and sticks. Is Minwax water based? I can look that up. ;-)

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    1. Hi Monty, Minwax is an oil based product and requires a solvent for clean-up. It does provide a good, hard outer shell to the figure as a bonus.

      I actually like the look of the figures after application of the dip (and before dullcote). It gives the figures a glossy, Old School look. I might have to find a project that would suit that style and give it a try.

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  7. I agree the dip method really gives outstanding results for large projects, as well as the "unifying" affect you are talking about. I found that applying dip to my old traditionally painted figures reduces the disparity from my more recently painted stuff.

    I have been using Army Painter dip with a mixture of Mineral Spirit. I find the Spirit extends the life of the (very pricey) can and also helps to dull the gloss finish you referenced.

    Also, I took your advice and picked up a can of English Tudor at ACE hardware. Did you use Gloss or Satin? Do you do anything to thin your mixture?

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    1. Good point. The dip is a great equalizer.

      Minwax Polyshades Tudor Satin is the stuff I use. After a quick stir, I use it straight from the can,

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  8. Lovely French and Swiss Jonathan! Dipping is a great way to get good results and troops on the table quickly. I use the AP acrylic inks which dry almost immediately.

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    1. Thanks, Cyrus! Never tried the AP acrylic inks. Drying immediately would be a very useful benefit. For the Minwax stain, I give it about 24curing time.

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  9. These Napoleonic Swiss look great.. or :o) should it be renaissance Swiss..I'm so.. confused (unable to think clearly) :oP

    cheers!,

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    1. Napoleonic Swiss and French this time. Renaissance French and Swiss to come along a bit later.

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