Thursday, September 6, 2012

Romans! Lend me your dip!

Like many gamers I have been very curious about Army Painters quick shade dip method. There is only one way to assess it and that's have a go yourself right. So that's what I did.
For a long time now I have had visions of Roman toy soldiers simmering away in my mind. Maybe it's all those Macro and Cato novels I have read or maybe it's that opening sequence from the Gladiator movie. A while back I acquired a box set of Plastic Legionnaires from Warlord games. Great figures. Body's that just require a head, one arm, and a shield glued on. In fact it is probably the shield that will really set these figures off.
Not much flash or mold lines on them that I noticed. I went for a much more coarse grain of base materials than I have used for my Saga figures. That was a good idea because unlike my Saga figures that really require I glue the base material on in two stages to cover that feet base edge with a finer grain beach sand to build the ground up I did these just the once (another time saver).
Army painter actually uses Warlord Roman figures to demonstrate the Army Painter dip method among many other figures they have used as well. So on went base colours after glue was all dry. Straight forward really. Metal colour, Skin, then anything else. I went for just Khaki on the base as this is a fairly light colour and I wanted something to contrast the strong shade dip. I am not going for any particular environment with my colour choice. Just generic war gaming bases at this stage.

As you can see I thought the colour I used for my skin base was a little dark (GW Dwarf Flesh) so I added some lesser amounts of Vallejo Flat Flesh. Darker skin may actually be OK for Romans on campaign in some Barbarian infested part of the ancient world. Any way I will see what happens after the Dip.
I sprayed them with some Tamiya Flat Clear Spray after leaving them to dry for a night and stuck the very cool shields on.
The Dip method was an interesting experience. I did it in the backyard as you can imagine it can get a bit messy when you hold the figure with pliers and flick off the dip as best you can. One figure actually feel in the dip, so I just pushed the pliers in and grabbed it out. Give it a good flick and it seemed much like the others.
It ended up pooling in a few areas but overall I thought it was a good result. It indeed does seem a good time saver. I could leave them as they are or actually do  little more highlighting on them. The skin sort of has a dirty look about it which is actually OK by me as war (and the ancient world for that matter) is dirty after all. The pooling maybe for two reasons. My flick technique not aggressive enough and/or the heat of the day. Probably around 32degrees Celsius in my backyard when I did it. Flicking these rapidly through the warm air probably starts the drying almost instantly. So perhaps a little turpentine thinner in the dip may suit my environmental conditions. Alternatively painting the Dip on may help give more control. But I really don't want to be smelling this stuff for any longer than I have to.
Anyway I will have another go at this and I am happy with the result. It does take a little getting used to looking at these with the difference in methods used previously but it really does work I think.

Cheers from Brendon (The Kiwi)


  1. Kiwi, use the brush-on technique! Much less messy, easier to control. I used to dip and shake off the excess, but brushing the quickshade on is better in every way. Use a cheap brush.

  2. It's great stuff in my opinion, saves you so much time and if you can get results like these its well worth it!!

  3. Thanks Ray.
    Thanks for the tip Wostry.
    I actually spent about 5 minutes painting some more highlights. Just a very quick drag the brush over the armour and another hit of the red on the tunics. Made them look even better.

  4. The effect is good and I also recomend painting, not dipping. They now also do it as a bottle that is water based so you don't get the smell. I use it as well as other methods but it saves so much time. I use Winsor & Newton Nut Brown ink for 10 and 6mm figures (needs watering down for white based uniforms)


  5. I do a base coat of paint and then a v sharp highlight which helps after the dip. I like a lot of people paint it on and then go over the batch of figures, usually 10, with white spirit to lighten any areas i feel are to heavy.