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Thread: Washes

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    Sorry if this is a bit obvious to some people, but I haven't a clue about washes.

    1) When is a wash applied? After an undercoat? Before? Last thing?

    2) Can a wash be painted over? When painted over, do you lose the shading effect?

    3) Painted with a brush just like ordinary paints right?

    Thanks,

    -=Count Jasper=-


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    LO Zealot WolfRaider's Avatar
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    Washes are simply diluted paints or inks used to darken recesses on the miniature. There are three basic techniques for applying washes. People often refer to them all as washes, but they are not the same.

    A wash is a complete coverage of the miniature using VERY thinned pigment (ink or paint, see below). It is designed to flow off the high points of the miniature without affecting the base color very much. It should pool into the low areas. You may have to wash one side of the miniature at a time, holding the mini in a position so the wash flows into the folds, cracks, etc, and not just run down and pool at the mini's feet. Most often washes are applied to one area at a time to affect that area only, such as a mini's hair, cloak, pants, or so on.

    A glaze is similar to a wash, except more often done with inks. You need the greater intensity of pigment to acheive the goal. With a glaze, the goal is to not only shade the deep areas, but lightly affect the base color on the high points as well. An example would be using an orange ink over a yellow robe. You want the yellow to take on an orange look, with darker orange in the folds. So the glaze gives all the yellow an orange color, but darker in the folds.

    Black lining or outlining is not technically a wash, but using a wash is often an easy way to achieve it. Outlining is simply picking out the line between two separate parts of the miniature such as joints in the armor or borders between pieces of clothing. Its often called black lining because it involves painting or inking in a fine line of either black or a darkened shade of the base in order to bring out the division between the two sections. Using ink thinned with alcohol is probably the easiest way to black line.

    Yes, you apply washes with your brush. You could use a big soft brush for an overall glaze, a smaller one for washing key areas, and a very thin liner brush for outlining. In all cases, the key to an effective wash is thinning your paint. Use a shade of paint darker than your base color and dilute it until it's about the consistency of milk. Now, brush it across, the entire surface you wish to shade, allowing it to flow most heavily into the recesses. Remember, you can always add wash, so start light and work your way up. Don't be afraid to apply several washes until you've reached the effect you like. You may have to wash different areas separately so you can hold the miniature at an angle that will let the wash set where you want it. If you keep the miniature upright, the was will flow to the bottom of everything. If that’s where you want it, it’s good. Otherwise you have to hold the miniature so the wash flows into the areas you want.

    And yes, you can paint over the wash. Often, after washing, you paint the base color on thehigh points, and a lighter color on the highest areas to highlight them. You could also use drybrushing depending on the surface and effect you want to acheive.

    As I mentioned above, you have to thin the paint to create a wash. You will also have to thin your paint for just about every application, just not as much as when creating washes. Thinning is very important, and will have a great impact on the quality of the paint. You have two choices for thinning, the inexpensive, and the slightly more expensive. After trying both, I feel it is well worth the cost to use professional thinners, and isn’t that expensive when you loot at the whole picture. First the cheap way; add one drop of liquid soap to your paint pot and thin with water. As a slightly better thinner, you can use one part Future Floor wax (clear acrylic liquid wax) to three parts water, and use this instead of plain water. So what’s wrong with the cheap way? Acrylics aren’t paint mixed with water. The clear part of acrylic paint is a medium designed to adhere to a surface and dry with a hard shell. The more water you add, the weaker this medium becomes. Water also has a high surface tension which causes the paint to bead up if too much is added. So on to the best way. In any store that carries a selection of acrylic paints, you can find Flow Enhancer, Acrylic (airbrush) Thinner, and a variety of mediums to produce special effects; pearl, gloss, crackle, etc. Make a mix of flow enhancer and thinner. You can add a little water, but you don’t need to if you use acrylic airbrush thinner, which is very thin. I also like to add retarder to the mix to slow the drying of the paint. This gives the paint a chance to flow and eliminate brush strokes. This mix will make you paints very smooth and flow extremely well. I use an empty dropper bottle; add concentrated flow enhancer (10 drops per oz), retarder (10 drops per oz) and the rest is four parts thinner to one part water. I use this to thin all my paints.

    A normal order of application for me is to prime the mini, paint the base coat, wash and/or glaze the areas I want to affect, highlight (painting or dry brushing), blackline, and finally edge highlight (paint the very edges and corners a much lighter color). Once done I spray with a protective finish.

    This is also a good article: Let it Flow

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    Excellent, many thanks.

    -=Count Jasper=-

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    Ayatollah Moomintroll Hard A**'s Avatar
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    Blimey WolfRaider, Top Post! I think its the most informative and useful I've read yet on this board ...(goes away weeping softly)...
    Ryan Dancey, Vice President of Wizards of the Coast, believed that TSR failed because of "...a near total inability to listen to its customers, hear what they were saying, and make changes to make those customers happy." Are you listening, Games Workshop ?

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    Senior Member K-Tana's Avatar
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    Wow, good post. Personally, i use magic wash , as it produces a smoother finish than citadel inks, and the pigment gets sucked into the cracks of the model better. It's dirt cheap too.

    So what is it? Well, you take standard acrilic floor wax (I use Klear in the UK, I dunno what you'd use elsewhere) which costs around £3 (and will produce more magic wash than you can use in a lifetime) and dilute it 4 parts water to 1 part floor wax. Pour into a bottle, and leave to stand overnight. This removes the small bubbles that form. The, simply mix a little paint with some of the mixture, and apply as per a wash.
    I live in your eyes

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    Again, very useful K-Tana. Much Obliged. The pain I find with using Citadels ink/washes is that when wet they go and sit in the cracks quite happily, but as the wash dries surface tension/capiliary action draws the pigment back out of the crack and it dries on the surface around looking messy.

    I'm hoping your Magic Wash will solve all my problems! And bless you for being a Brit and knowing an Acrylic Floor Wax that I can get in UK (I've been wondering about importing the Future stuff on WolfRaiders website) Cheers guys!
    Ryan Dancey, Vice President of Wizards of the Coast, believed that TSR failed because of "...a near total inability to listen to its customers, hear what they were saying, and make changes to make those customers happy." Are you listening, Games Workshop ?

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    Another product out there that is already thinned for washes is Wonder Wash. Here's my review of their product: Wonder Wash Review

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