Jump to content

Dips and Washes

Recommended Posts

Hi Everyone! I'm a long-time lurker now finally breaking my silence :)


I spent many hours last night in this very forum reading about dipping techniques and I feel pretty confident that I'm not duplicating information from another thread. I have a pretty straightforward question about dipping: How is a dip not just a wash?


I realize that the polyurethane stain products put a very tough protective coat on the miniatures, and I can see how that would be a desirable thing. But is this the main reason that dipping is seen as a beneficial timesaver? Are there shading characteristics of these stain products that differ significantly from a more conventional wash? If so, in what ways?





Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 12
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Well, the main difference that I can see is that a wash isn't applied over the entire mini.


I imagine dipping is significantly quicker.


Having said all of that, I've never been a 'dipper', but then again, I don't paint armies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The various dips have a very different viscosity and surface tension than the usual sort of wash. The result is that they usually give a smoother gradient when darkening figure recesses, they tint the high points a bit more than washes usually do, and they don't give you tide lines like washes will if you don't handle them correctly. They also don't require much skill to use correctly.


And, as you noted, polyurethane coatings provide quite a strong surface protection layer.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to be opposed to the dip but have relaxed my opposition to it. After starting a 100pt Cygnar force i came to the realization that dipping the rank and file troops would speed the whole process up considerably.

I still hold the line on characters, solos and Warjacks. A big plus for the dip is the rock hard protective coating it adds..that there is a big plus for me. Even after the dip I go over the model with some highlights and clean up but the

net result is still a lot faster.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

painted with a wash




painted using a polyurethane dip




And a side by side comparison




Same base colors, except I used ProPaint Slime Black (I think that's what it's called, don't have it handy ATM) and a medium toned poly stain. Dipping applied faster, but took longer to dry with more fumes. Also, on these I put them on a bit heavy and didn't thin it with anything. Next time I'll use some mineral spirits to thin the stain to help it flow better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's just me not getting all the excess off the legs. The poly was kinda thick due to the climate at the time of the painting. That and there were some casting imperfections that the dip seemed to bring out more than regular painting did. Using a poly dip will definitely bring out any irregularities in a flat or curved surface very quickly, intentionally or not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aha. Part of me wishes the wash was the same color as the dip for an apples-to-apples comparison. The wash looks to be a lot thinner both in color density and in texture, which leaves me wondering if dipping isn't to washing what carpet-bombing is to cruise missiles...trading finesse for speed of coverage. I imagine you can't dip repeatedly to use multiple colors, or even different colors in different areas...but in return you get once-and-done, nearly impervious coverage.


Or I could be off by a mile...I'm guessing based on what I'm seeing, not on personal experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The inconsistent color is a feature of the dip, though it does get more pronounced the more you leave on.


I dip most everything now, and here's my list of dip features.


1)Very protective coat

2)A wash. Does most of what a wash does in terms of darkening recesses and tinting the overall paint job.

3)Pseudo Shade. The inconsistent nature of the dip brings out a shade like effect as it settles slightly unevenly over the miniature

4)Fake Hightlight. This is especially eveident when using lighter colors under the dip. The dip settles away from the edges and high points of the miniature and leaves them a bit lighter than the other surfaces. For this reason I always try to paint the base blocking under the dip with colors that are bit lighter than I would if doing traditional brush techniques.


Also, as I'm sure you're aware, the "dip" need not be dipped. I use a poly-stain product and I apply it with a brush and rather than shaking it off, I dab off excess with a brush as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...