23 March 2011

Old Habits Die Hard.

Ever had an Epiphany? A sudden burst of light and with it an understanding not previously held.
Well it happened to me recently when I visited the NWA (Nunawading Wargame Association). Both Alex and I popped into their Friday night meeting over at Mitcham to see for ourselves the club and who was there and more importantly what they were playing.

Being that it was a fairly warm night I was surprised to find the place jumping. Lots of people and lots of games going on. Ranging from Fog of War, 40k, 28mm ECW, 28mm AWI, 25 mm French versus Austrians, DBA and others. Obviously I headed to the ECW and spent some time talking with the player there who was waiting for his opponent to turn up. I was interested to see how they were handling The Perfect Captains "Very Civil Actions" rule set as they were the only other group from my knowledge giving it a try out. Actually the talk was good as they had only played 1 game previously  and a number of questions were asked about the rules, which I answered to the best of my knowledge. But it was when he showed me his troops that I had my Epiphany.

His troops were a mixture of Warhammer and Hinchcliffe if memory serves me correct. Not competition winners by any means but pretty good nonetheless in my honest opinion. Now I've always painted as good as I can, but am really a pretty ordinary painter who simply doesn't understand or have the ability to do the shading and other advanced methods used by most painters these days. Having my army professionally painted is not a consideration as though I could afford to have this done, painting is the personal touch that each of us brings to their army. Its the infusion of personality that differentiates one army from another, though they may be in all other aspects identical. Besides, painting is that portion of our hobby that mostly is done in the piece and solitude of our painting desk and not only appeases our artistic natures but also gives us that sanctitude and release from the day to day drudgery of the real world, albeit for a very short time.

So I asked him what his secret was? No secret he replied. I paint them up and then apply the "Army Painter" system, by dipping them in the strong tone dip and then Matt spraying them after they are dry.
I was staggered, the light came on and I thought  "I must try this". At this stage his opponent Neil turned up and one look at his troops convinced me this was the way to go.

On returning home I booted up the computer and soon was watching many videos on u-tube about the Army Painter method. Within a few days I had my supply of the three dips,  Soft tone, strong tone and Dark tone. Also a spray can of their Matt vanish.

So armed I proceeded to do a number of single figures that I use for officers and a couple of elements of horse.


After Army Painter


Used Dark Tone
Do they look better? I'll let you be the judge.
For mine it has improved my rather ordinary painting to at least something acceptable for the wargame table. The above horse was done using the dab method with a brush, rather than dipping as recomended by the "Army Painter", as seen on many u-tube videos.



This officer was dipped as per the "army painters" instructions.

1. Dip into tin.
2. Allow the stain to run off.
3. Flick onto paper to remove any extra excess.
4. Allow to dry for 24 - 48 hrs.
5. Spray Matt finish.

Dipped in strong tone.

Dipped in Strong tone.

 I am happy with what I've achieved but things always improve with practice and I'm sure that by the end of the can I'll have results that will help make the troops look spiffing!

Neil W

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