Saturday, 13 July 2013

Hobby: Nuggets of Wisdom part 2

Part 2. Part 1 is here.

I'll get right to it.

Oh, and this one ended up being a lot about dipping. You've been warned.

It goes by many names, the dreaded 'dip'. I use Army Painter's Quickshade.

Here's the thing though: I don't use it for the shading. If there was a readily available version with no pigments in it, I think I might use that. No, the thing about Quickshade is it makes metal models bounce.

Have you ever dropped a multi-part metal mini? Did it break? Or did it do something closer to exploding, sending arm-shaped pieces of shrapnel flying in every direction (but especially in under sofas, book cases and irrate club members)? Did all your hard work painting the little blighter get undone?

I have.

More than once.

Since I started dipping my models, though, not so much.

Picture time:

See the book held by Admonia (that's the one on the left)? The arm holding that book is attached by a glued area the same-scale size of a pencil. It broke twice while I painted the thing, and is really too small for pinning with the tools I have.

I finished painting her, dipped the whole lot of them, Anti-shined them and brought them to their new permanent home at the club. And during my first game with them, I dropped her.

She landed on the book, bounced twice and came to a rest lying on her side. With everything still intact. No paint chips. No broken-off pieces. Just pick her up and keep playing. Your Mileage May Vary, though...

So, the piece of wisdom is this: dip your minis not to shade them, but to protect them.

Anti-Shine is for Suckers
So, you've dipped your lovelily (er, maybe not) painted model, and suddenly, it reflects more light than the forehead of the Swedish Prime Minister on a warm day.

Anti-Shine is a must.

Problem is, Army Painter's Anti-Shine is one of the least forgiving hobby products of all time. If it's too cold, or two humid, or if it rains or is windy, or if you squeeze the nozzle for .01 of a second too long, your mini ends up white. Like you'd tried to Anti-Shine it with white primer.

The largest forehead in politics.
No, Army Painter's Anti-Shine is more work than it's worth. Because there is an alternative. 

GW's Purity Seal is sort of adequate as a protective layer. It doesn't hold a candle to dipping, though. But, applied over Quickshade, it not only adds a perfectly redundant extra layer of transparent armour to the little fellow, it dulls the shine right down.

And here's the really good news. Unless you apply it to the point where rivulets form, it doesn't act weirdly. True, if you do desire tiny streams of Anti-shine to flow down the sides of your minis, you'll still not be happy with the end result.

But then, I guess there's no pleasing you.

Except with rivers of Anti-Shine...

The Drying Mesh
Some things should not be put on a flat surface to dry.

Dipped models are high on that list, but certain primers cause the same kind of problem.

I've built myself a wooden frame (okay, I took the remains of a broken wooden dishstand from IKEA) and wrapped steel wire around it, leaving about half an inch between the wires. Now, I can put down a newly dipped model on the wires, and any excess Quickshade drips onto the box underneath (seriously, don't forget to put a box underneath) instead of pooling and drying around the base of the mini.

Quickshade on the floor is not a good thing. Don't forget the box.
It's worth the time it takes to find something expendable and frame-like and adding the wire.

Magnets Rock!
I use magnets for one thing, really.

No, it's not magnetizing different weapons/upgrades/banners/whatever to minis so I can change stuff around. I'm past that. It's more work than it's worth, really.

No, I attach one or two magnets to the underside of my models' bases.


Because it makes them stick to things, is why.

My WHFB movement trays have a thin sheet of steel (ferrofoil) glued to them. It's an interesting experience to turn a movement tray with fifty Halberdiers upside down, and have the models just stay.

My Blood Bowl ball is magnetized, so it sticks to the base of the mini holding it.

And most recently, I've taken a leg from a defunct IKEA table (yes, I have left-over pieces of IKEA furniture lying about - it's part of growing up, at least in Sweden) and am using it as a priming stick. That is, I attach my magnetized models to this square stick of iron, and then I can turn the stick around to get at the models with my spray can.

Once upon a time (like, four weeks ago, before I had this idea) I used double, sided tape like a regular punter. Now, thanks to the glory of magnets, I don't have to.

Word of warning, though. Metal models are heavy. I do not recommend turning Killjoy upside down, unless his entire base is a magnet.

He is many things. Little is not one of them.
And lastly:

Buy new brushes before you have to
Brushes wear out. Every paint brush has only so many strokes in it, and they go quick.

Don't wait until your brush is nothing but four bristles before you buy a new one. As soon as your current go-to brush starts showing signs of wear, get another. Best case scenario, your old one has far to go yet, and the new one will stay on the sidelines. Worst case, at least you can continue painting.

And hey, that old brush that's still not disintegrated? Use it for something else. Washes, terrain, rough undercoats, there are plenty of things that shouldn't be done with your good brush.

And that's that.

Join me next week for, well, what do I know.

Ta, and DFTBA.

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