I have probably mentioned several times in the last that I am something of an enforced painted – I paint because I really don’t like the look of bare plastic and metal on the tabletop. Painting isn’t part of the hobby I would necessarily choose to do – I would much prefer to be playing games.
However, since I also think that I should paint the models I have bought to put on the tabletop, I find myself looking to use what techniques and skills that I can find to make painting as quick and painless as possible. My goal isn’t to paint models that will win awards, but rather to get models onto the tablet that look decent from “wargames range” – the range you see figures when actually playing with them. This is typically 3′ – 4′, so if a model I have painted looks good at arm’s length, I am usually pretty happy.
One of my favourite ways of painting is to use a dark wash over a figure to provide contrasting shades and highlights. It is a technique that usually works well, and I have had some decent results using it.
Up until recently, my dark wash of choice was Games Workshop Declan Mud, and its successor Agrax Earthshade. This wash has tended to give me the sort of result I am pretty pleased with.
You have a tendency to stick to what you know, so I would have probably carried on using Agrax perfectly happily. However, my visit to Glenbrook Games in December, which started this new spree of painting, also gave me the opportunity to try out some new paints and washes, one of which was the Army Painter washes.
I was immediately impressed with the results I achieved with these – especially the Strong Tone, which gives a dark brown colour (much in the same way as Agrax Earthshade does) but seems to give a warmer tone, and have used it several times since to generally good effect, especially on my latest batches of models for Rangers of Shadow Deep.
These pictures give examples of ‘before’ and ‘after’ the wash has been applied.
Probably one of the most dramatic effects I have achieved were on these zombies from Mantic Games
A word of caution – whilst I have had good results, I have also had the odd disaster. These villagers from Gripping Beast for example. The result of applying the wash here has been a dark mess – I would have probably been better off applying the Soft Tone wash due to all the lighter colours. I can recover these somewhat by applying some highlights, but I am very glad that these are not models I will be using often.
In conclusion, I have become a fan of the Army Painter washes and will probably end up using them in preference to Games Workshop washes in the future. However, there are times that I will certainly proceed with caution!