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reaper msp wash formula


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I found a formula for washes ages ago, but haven't been very successful with it.  Since then, I have been trying to discover my own variation, but haven't found the right combination yet.  Mostly typically, my issue is that although the paint pools the way I want it, after it dries, it just looks like a messy smudge instead of remaining in the recesses they way I want.  (Hope that description makes sense).

 

(When I say formula, I just mean X drops of medium to Y drops of paint.  Or X drops of msp sealer to Y drops of paint.  Or whatever).

 

So, I'm very interested to hear what others have done to get their washes to be well-behaved; specifically if you use MSP (since that's what I have access to).  I realize that for many of you, its just second nature and you just thin the paint until it looks right and bob's your uncle.  But maybe you can remember what you started with before you got it down?

 

Thanks for your feedback.

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When I was making my own washes, I found that a few drops of Johnsons Klear (Future in the USA, now being sold as Pledge something something wax...?) in the water helped a lot with getting everything flowing nicely. If you want to get a really matte finish, some Tamiya X-21 matting agent is helpful, but if you intend to finish your figure painting with a matte varnish, it's not necessary in the wash.

 

Also, I've found that artists watercolours work better than hobby acrylics for washes; the pigment density is higher, so you get better colour density with less paint, they tend to be more translucent, and the colours look cleaner to me as well.

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When I was making my own washes, I found that a few drops of Johnsons Klear (Future in the USA, now being sold as Pledge something something wax...?) in the water helped a lot with getting everything flowing nicely. If you want to get a really matte finish, some Tamiya X-21 matting agent is helpful, but if you intend to finish your figure painting with a matte varnish, it's not necessary in the wash.

 

Also, I've found that artists watercolours work better than hobby acrylics for washes; the pigment density is higher, so you get better colour density with less paint, they tend to be more translucent, and the colours look cleaner to me as well.

 

Thanks for the ideas.  Leaves me with somewhat the same question as water and matte medium, tho:  how much of those additives makes for a good wash?

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It all depends on what you want to do with the paint, how thin you want it, etc, unfortunately.

 

Future, alcohol or dish soap are only ways to reduce the surface tension and make the paint get into the recesses better. Paint thinner, or a mix of water and matte medium, or just water works as well.

 

However, there are not "hard and fast" rules because we all do it differently, just the way it works for us. Me? I use water with some flow improver and matte medium (like 8:2:0.5 for example and yes, I know that is more than 100%  :blush: ). Other times I use Vallejo Model Color Galzing Medium, or Thinner Medium, for some paints that are too viscous. 

 

I also don't generally "wash" as in uncontrolled application of paint all over the zone, so unfortunately my own mixes might not work with your paint style (see previous paragraphs!)

 

So what I propose to you is choose a test mini, something with cracks (or lots of fur), get a drop of paint and try some mixes, testing them on the mini and letting it dry. Find one combination you like and then fine tune it.

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Hey uber, how are those washes? We saw some out in the wild and were tempted to buy them. What colors are worth it and what use are they?

They come in sooooo many colors. I got 3 of them recently (with my bag o crap) - parchment, dark sepia, and gold. Love em so far. I know James Wappel uses them a lot. He swears by them and all his video tuts have them I've seen.

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I have most of the Secret weapon washes as well. I really like them. They seem to behave themselves as a wash and if I need it a bit thicker I can let it sit for a minute to dry out some then brush it on like normal paint. See my spirit of the forest's eyes for an example, I used 2 secret weapon washes on those eyes.

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In the past people have complained of some issues mixing RSP with Future (which is actually now sold as Pledge or something else, it's gone through like six label/name changes in the past 10 years or so). It's not intended for paint, so Anne has felt no compunction to make her paint line play well with it. I still use it for a few applications (gloss sealer substitute, mainly, since I have a bottle sitting around), and Anne yells at me about it because it's a little toxic. I know it's big in the modeler community, but some of the uses they like it for are things we don't do, or can easily be duplicated with gloss sealer.

 

I often do washes just with water. If you are finding that you get rings or the paint is separating, try using half RMS brush-on sealer and half water. A lot of people like the RMS brush-on sealer a lot for mixing into washes and glazes. You could also experiment with adding a drop of the RMS flow improver, which is an art supply intended to break the surface tension of water and help paint flow better. Matte medium and similar products from other paint brands or art supply companies like Golden and LIquitex would have a similar effect to the brush-on sealer. I sometimes use Golden Airbrush Medium, but it does add some glossiness and slow drying time, so often I'll just use the sealer. There are also art store flow improvers/flow aids, but these often require mixing so it's just easier for me to use the RMS product.

 

Dish soap, Future and some other things mentioned can have a similar effect of breaking the surface tension of water, but as they are not designed nor intended to be mixed with paint, they could also have unexpected or undesired effects. Lots of people use them quite happily, I just figure it's worth mentioning that there are products specifically designed for these purposes.

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I don't use future with any of my paints. I do however use it with various inks as that was how I was taught at first. With MSP's I have never had any problems with thinning them using just water to make a wash or a glaze, and they don't come out glossy 

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Here's a thread of sample results of Secret Washes on primed miniatures. Washes have a "slop and glop" reputation, but see the thread for a video for a "controlled wash". I paint to tabletop, and find washes speed up my slow painting by shading the miniature without paint. Since I use a fair amount, Secret Weapon premixed washes further reduce painting time. Soft Body Black is my current favorite. It's an "organic" black wash I can use to pre-shade primed miniatures without the harsh look of most black washes. Sewer Water is a good all-around brown wash. Other washes to use depend on what colors you need to shade. Typically, you want a wash whose shade is darker than the basecoat color.

 

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1129305/how-to-select-a-wash-secret-weapon-washes

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"Les Wash Recipe" pretty much IS secret weapon washes. One forum member was using them to stunning effect of Circle Oroborobororoborrorororos miniatures...

 

 

Username bloodydrake. He started mostly using Army Painter dip and then branched out to Secret Weapon Washes:

 

http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/46259-bloodydrakes-workbench/page-2

 

Personally I use some matte medium (quite thick gooey stuff) plus flow medium, (less thick) plus water. With MSPs I often just thin with water, maybe add a tiny bit of flow medium. I have found Army Painter's little bottles of wash are a great way to get a fast, fast result, and I recommend them heartily; they will teach you what a wash formula can do, and you can then use that knowledge to develop your own washes.

 

Here's my really limited troubleshooting guide, remember I only paint intermittently so while I've been at the hobby for 20+ years I am a bit of a novice still:

 

My wash recipe is basically Les Wash basic mix, plus MSP's until I think it looks right. Probably 3 or 4 parts wash base, one part paint?

 

If it covers more than you want rather than just in the folds, try adding a bit more of the base mix.

 

If you then find it's not intense enough, try going back a step, and instead of adding (more mix: less paint), just keep the proportions the same but add a little more flow improver / flow medium.

 

If you're getting a paint-ring and puddling, slop less on and/or add a little more matte medium to keep the pigment "in suspension" ie., mixed into the fluid so it doesn't plonk itself down at random.

 

When you're using a lot of wash or dip type techniques, it can help if you make your basecoats much brighter than you want, so they look less muddied and dull after all the wash gets slopped on them :)

 

If you're using washes, or in fact doing almost anything at all, make sure the coat beneath is FULLY CURED ("dried") first or weird messy ugly things can happen, and last:

 

If you're using actual inks, they can seep down or up through acrylic layers if they get wet, which is probably why Les uses expensive waterfast inks.

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