Sunday, April 15, 2012

Testing the Army Painter quickshade

Hi there,

as you may have noticed, my blog's name is "An Average Wargamer". My thoughts behind this choice are quite obvious. I believe it's necessary to know your own strengths and weaknesses. I know my weaknesses: I like big battles with many miniatures, but I'm also a slow painter - a classical gap between claim and reality, which often results in frustration.

Possible reliefs are fast painting methods. The most popular was and is the so called dipping technique. I watched the evolution of dipping from its very early stages, the times when people used wood glaze to shade their miniatures. Today the Army Painter quickshade is very popular, because it produces a much more predictable result than the earlier experimental glazes. Although I observed this development, I never took the last step to try this method myself.

Some weeks ago, while I was writing a paper, I saw the pictures of a Thirty Years War army in 15mm. Thomas (and his brother), who I got to know on TACTICA, where they presented a great table, showed it on his blog. He painted his TYW army in a short amount of time and produced a fine result. This got me again into dipping. I decided to finally try it by the time I finished my work for my studies.

So I did and I will show you what I made. I chose a very systematic approach to see how the Army Painter quickshade (I employ the strong tone) affects different colours.

1. I took 11 staff slingers from this box, based them on coins, applied a white basecoat (GW primer) and added numbers, so I can see exactly what colours I used on which miniature (I of course also listed the paints used). I didn't deflash them, because I won't use them for gaming and therefore saved some time.

2. Now I painted them in bright colours. I only did the basics, just plain paint.

3. In the next step I applied the quickshade. I used an old brush to do so, because real dipping wastes much of the quickshade for nothing (as you can see here). Additionally, a brush gives much more control. I let them dry for some minutes and then took away the excess quickshade - less can be more. You can see the typical gloss of the quickshade. Then I left the miniatures to dry. I read several different time spans, from 12, 24 to 36 hours - I had between 12 and 24 hours. They dried over night on my balcony and the cold temperatures didn't harm the paint at all!

4. The last step was matt varnish, I use the one from vallejo. Now the miniatures loose their glossy shine and are therefore finished.

Conclusions: The Army Painter quickshade is also suitable for 1/72 miniatures. It produces good results in a very short amount of time. Especially brown and skin tones benefit from the quickshade. Also other colours look good after shading, but they appear brownish. Another advantage is that the quickshade adds a layer of protectice varnish, which is very good in connection with the soft plastic of 1/72 miniatures. Even though I like my normal painting results better, the quickshade is much faster and the results are comparable to my normal ones. I believe that the quickshade and the 1/72 scale are natural allies - cheap miniatures, fast painted! I wouldn't quickshade an expansive 28mm mini in that way, but for masses it is very suitable. Perfect for my demands.

I'm very satisfied with the quickshade and I decided to use it to increase my output. I'll now tackle the stuff that lay around for years. Some Greeks are on my table, waiting for paint, and also the Red Army will get a push. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Back again... hopefully

Hi there, I'm back again!
My studies absorbed my time in the last month, but now I'm almost finished. That means free time - and free time is hobby time! I wasn't totally idle the whole time.

At TACTICA, the best German tabletop convention, a friend and I bought some plane models. One was already a bit broken and so we decided to convert it into a mission goal for North Africa - recon information was always something both factions were eager to get.
The plane is a Fieseler Fi 156, called "Fieseler Storch" (storck):

It was a German recon plane and had some famous actions in WWII. It special feature was that it could start and land on very short runways and had a good circumferential visibility. When Mussolini was saved by German paratroopers he was evacuated in an overloaded Fieseler Storch. In the last days of the war, the famous pilot Hanna Reitsch landed in a Fieseler Storch in bombed out Berlin (she appears in the movie "Downfall (Der Untergang)") and even got out afterwards!

Some Italians investigate the wreck.

I'm back. Stay tuned.