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A quick guide to ‘Dipping’ your minis

This is a guide on using “Dip” or “Dipping” as a technique to quickly paint miniatures. “Dipping” is a technique that is very easy, saves a bunch of time, and looks really great on a variety of figures. The technique has been out there for a long time, most famously here.
This thread is mainly a re-cap and gathering of posts and images from my thread Godzilla Tyranid Army

This is a very easy paintjob that looks like a million bucks and is easy to do.

Like a million dollar paintjob

Like a million dollar paintjob

I used a Carnifex model to show how to get the paintjob that you see on the Tyrant above.

The steps needed are as follows:

1. Spray the LIGHTER color that you want on the model. I do this when it’s still on the sprue, but that is totally up to you. Don’t worry too much about a even, smooth spray job right now. Just don’t get it runny or gloppy.

2. Clip the pieces off the sprue and then REMOVE THE MOLD LINES – it’s very important that you get the mold lines off the model because ‘dip’ really makes them stand out. This can’t be stressed enough!

touch up the light color

touch up the light color

3. Assemble and touch up the light color. On a bigger model,like this carnifex, do the legs/tail and body first, then mate them. Leave the head and arms off for now.

A few words on getting the carnifex to stand up better -
Trim the parts that are on the legs that get glued to the tail – don’t lop ‘em of, but cut the corners down so they have some play in the socket. Now that they are loose, position the legs so that the tail will be on the ground.
Also, cut these 3 spine bits off. They get in the way of the body/chest assembly from bending further up.

Dakka Rifle

Dakka Rifle

Here is the Dakka Rifle I made, in honor of and in the style of RudyPicardo

At this stage you should have the body assembled and mated to the tail/legs. Paint the carapace whatever color you like (in my example, red) and then touch up the first color. (Tan)
You can see a few spots that need to be addressed…

It’s a lot easier to assemble and paint / touch-up without the arms attached. Once you are done with that, attach the arms. They were painted before assembly as well, along with the head.

One other note, if you are going to add any detail or accent color, do it to the head and weapons. They are the part that counts. The gun cables are a different color on this model because it is armed with a devourer – I made the cables and muzzle pink. It turned out looking like pepto-bismol, but worst things can happen! (my chief complaint is the lack of contrast, not the color) The gun cables on my other shooty ‘fexes are green. Again, this was just done for variety and to make the Dakka look different.

Here are photos with the weapons attached.
If you look at the pictures at this point, you see a paintjob that a 10yr old can accomplish! The bulk of the model has 2 colors on it, and the detail work on the guns and head are very simple. So far, not including the time it takes for paint and glue to dry, I have about 45min-1 hour spent on this model. (although this one has an extra 20 min spent making the devourer rifle…)

A little bit of attention has ben paid to the mouth and teeth -- nothing complicated.

Ok, now for the last 10 minutes of painting… the ‘dip’

I use this stuff slightly thinned out with odorless mineral spirits (available wherever you get the ‘dip’) at a ratio of 10 :1 or possibly 8:1 . If you get it too thin it starts separating and getting really strange. Get it to the consistency of heavy cream – milk is too thin!
I think I added 2 cap-full of thinner to the small can of ‘dip’. It will float, so shake well.

Now get an old brush and brush it on! In places where a bit more texture is welcome, glop it on. Legs, ribs, shoulders, etc… On the bits that you spent the time detailing, make a very light coat – it will act like a clear coat if you apply it thin enough.

One more thing – on these Carnifex models, the bottom of the chest, where the row of spikes are, there is a seam where the chest pieces mate. That area is a low spot and will collect a bunch of dip and needs to be smoothed out about 15 minutes later. Take your brush with a bit of thinner on it and dab it off. You should be able to load your brush with the glop from that spot and then use it to get the couple of other spots that you missed! (trust me. 15 min later you will see some places that you were just sure you got!)

After applying the ‘dip’ DON’T TOUCH IT FOR 8-12 HOURS!!!!! This is not our acrylic hobby paint, but polyurethane wood finish. It takes a long time to dry and is really tacky/sticky as it dries. Just leave it alone overnight.

And that next morning it will look like this.

Yes, it really is that easy!!

This Gaunt looks great, and has only the tan, red, and dip on it!!

click for fullsize

This Gaunt looks great, and has only the tan, red, and dip on it!!

Same with these rippers.

click for fullsize

Same with these Rippers.

Tan and red on the body, black in the mouth, white on the teeth, dip. Thats it!

click for fullsize

Tan and red on the body, black in the mouth, white on the teeth, dip. Thats it!

What dip could I get here in Ireland that would get the same effect?

Since I live in the US, I can’t directly answer that question.

However, the ‘Dip’ is a wood finish. specifically, an “all-in-one polyurethane woodstain and finish.”

If you were to go to a shop that has DIY home repair items and ask for something that is a “all-in-one polyurethane woodstain and finish.” you will probably get the right stuff.

Please look at this link HERE

This is the original page that got the information out there for all to use. The ‘Dip’ they show is a French product, and should be available throughout Europe.

I hope this helps, and please post back if you have any luck finding a good product. Cheers!

I have also used this technique on a squad of marines, some pictures

I decided to add these photos to show that the ‘dip’ does not have to be really glossy.
All of these models have a final coat of (fairly thin) ‘dip’ on them. These models also have more advances painting techniques used on them than the above miniatures… Just wanted to show the versitality of ‘dip’ as a final coat/varnish.

Also check out the tutorial thread on the forum or comment below

Posted by on October 16 2008. Filed under Painting. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

65 Comments for “A quick guide to ‘Dipping’ your minis”

  1. Looks awesome. I really need to try it this weekend :)

  2. Looks awesome. I really need to try it this weekend :)

  3. Wow…
    Thank you so much for this! I have been searching the web for ever looking for something as straight forward as this =]
    Should I try anything different with Ultramarines?

  4. Wow…
    Thank you so much for this! I have been searching the web for ever looking for something as straight forward as this =]
    Should I try anything different with Ultramarines?

  5. wow im definetly going to use that tyvm for the tips now all i got to do is gat my hands on the varnish

  6. wow im definetly going to use that tyvm for the tips now all i got to do is gat my hands on the varnish

  7. I been wanting to find an easy way to paint stuff for a long time. Thanks for this :)

  8. I been wanting to find an easy way to paint stuff for a long time. Thanks for this :)

  9. I made an audible ‘wtf’ of disbelif when I saw the results of this, and had to re-read the whole article to make sure what I saw was true.

    Amazing results, and incredibly simple, I may dare to attempt a test batch using this technique when I get the desire to paint again.

  10. I made an audible ‘wtf’ of disbelif when I saw the results of this, and had to re-read the whole article to make sure what I saw was true.

    Amazing results, and incredibly simple, I may dare to attempt a test batch using this technique when I get the desire to paint again.

  11. wow great idea, really brings out the shadows, btw awesome fallen unit :P

  12. wow great idea, really brings out the shadows, btw awesome fallen unit :P

  13. THANK YOU! I had all the correct materials, and when I tries it it SUCKED… only because I was not told about thinning the ‘dip’ varnish. I will definitely try this again.

  14. THANK YOU! I had all the correct materials, and when I tries it it SUCKED… only because I was not told about thinning the ‘dip’ varnish. I will definitely try this again.

  15. Question, the red looks great but if i used purple would it dull the color to much and cause it to just look black?

  16. Question, the red looks great but if i used purple would it dull the color to much and cause it to just look black?

  17. You may have just saved my ‘Nid army from the fate of a sh!tty paint job. Thanks!

  18. You may have just saved my ‘Nid army from the fate of a sh!tty paint job. Thanks!

  19. can this look good with the white and black/purple tyranids??

  20. can this look good with the white and black/purple tyranids??

  21. Fantastic article, a great compilation of dipping information thus far and a fantastic step-by-step instructional.

    I was wondering whether or not there were more examples of different colour schemes for dipping however. I am doing some experiementing with my own models to see how light/dark/bright colours appear after being dipped to discover what kinds of combinations work. I was wondering if, in your experience, you’ve realized that darker colours just aren’t viable.

    Specifically, I’d like to find a good green-base colour that won’t end up too dark after dipping (I have a green-body ice-blue color scheme that looks fantastic as is, and I’m curious whether or not I can adapt it to a dipping paint method)

  22. T'oog Spiderbutt

    Fantastic article, a great compilation of dipping information thus far and a fantastic step-by-step instructional.

    I was wondering whether or not there were more examples of different colour schemes for dipping however. I am doing some experiementing with my own models to see how light/dark/bright colours appear after being dipped to discover what kinds of combinations work. I was wondering if, in your experience, you’ve realized that darker colours just aren’t viable.

    Specifically, I’d like to find a good green-base colour that won’t end up too dark after dipping (I have a green-body ice-blue color scheme that looks fantastic as is, and I’m curious whether or not I can adapt it to a dipping paint method)

  23. Hey this looks awesome! I’ve heard about htis but never seen it in action. Would a basic brown stain look good for coating orcs and/or ogres in or is it more for whiteish, lighter figures?

  24. Hey this looks awesome! I’ve heard about htis but never seen it in action. Would a basic brown stain look good for coating orcs and/or ogres in or is it more for whiteish, lighter figures?

  25. Hey this looks awesome! I’ve heard about htis but never seen it in action. Would a basic brown stain look good for coating orcs and/or ogres in or is it more for whiteish, lighter figures?

  26. I so want to start painting again, this is a brilliant technique with amazing results.

  27. I so want to start painting again, this is a brilliant technique with amazing results.

  28. Question, how did u get the colours that bright to start off with?

  29. Question, how did u get the colours that bright to start off with?

  30. I have just one question. Are you seriously 10 years old?!

  31. I have just one question. Are you seriously 10 years old?!

    • Liam, I think if you read the article again, he is saying that the simple two-color scheme (prior to dipping) is simple enough for a 10 year old to do.

  32. would you get the same result if you were using ogryn flesh wash?

  33. would you get the same result if you were using ogryn flesh wash?

  34. Very Nice work with the “Dip” technique. Have you tried this with a matte varnish by chance ? I know it probably won’t make the colors pop like the poly but i’ve found for a dullcoat look it seems to work pretty well.

  35. Very Nice work with the “Dip” technique. Have you tried this with a matte varnish by chance ? I know it probably won’t make the colors pop like the poly but i’ve found for a dullcoat look it seems to work pretty well.

  36. Just wondering if I can get something clarifed. You mention the following: “I use this stuff slightly thinned out with odorless mineral spirits (available wherever you get the ‘dip’) at a ratio of 10 :1 or possibly 8:1 . If you get it too thin it starts separating and getting really strange. Get it to the consistency of heavy cream – milk is too thin!
    I think I added 2 cap-full of thinner to the small can of ‘dip’. It will float, so shake well.”

    Are you saying I need the mineral spirit and paint thinner or is the thinner the mineral spirits?

  37. wait, is the paint only sold in europe?
    Im confused…..

  38. Спасибо за инфу, почитал с интересом

  39. So what spray paint should i get for something like codex gray and a brownish green? for chaos and sum nurgle bits >:D

  40. [...] Dipping Guide VN:F [1.4.3_701]please wait…Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)Share/Save [...]

  41. Worke it on orcs to? If it do e-mail my.

  42. Жесть просто:) Прикольная статья и картинка по-любому в тему, молодец:)

  43. Благодарю:) Классная тема, пишите чаше – у вас отлично получается :)

  44. Ive gotten similar results from something called Kamar Varnish. I didnt even realize thats why my models were coming out like they were until I read this article. Granted, I love the way mine turn out.
    This stuff comes in a spray, though. No messy brushing, no waiting 2 days to touch your toys.

    http://i147.photobucket.com/albums/r320/malcontent0420/annabelle4427.jpg

    The pic is a bit blurry, but you get the idea. I think my camera sucks QQ.

  45. i find this also works “No Nonsense Interior Wood Varnish Clear Satin 1Ltr” for people who have a b&q website thing is http://nextday.diy.com/app/jsp/product/productPage.jsp?productId=10708&_requestid=564324

  46. wow it looks great i wonder how it will look on necrons

  47. Do you think this would be a good technique for necrons?

  48. do you think this would be a good painting technique for necrons?

  49. what colour did you use to paint the exoskeleton?

  50. How the hell did you manage to dip a defiler?!

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