Sunday, 22 February 2015

To Dip or not Dip? Painting Dwarfs. Painting challenge 2015 Part II

With the equivalent of nearly 70 models painted in the last 6-8 weeks I've been flying through the dwarfs. That's more models than I've painted in 2-3 years! It also means I have my one large dwarf Hail Caesar division finished for our big 4 a side game later in the year

It's mainly thanks to using the Citadel painting station in the evenings. It means I can sit next to the wife and chat away, rather than me sitting painting in my nerd shed. Firstly it means I can get a small amount done every evening. Secondly, and more importantly, it doesn't leave my wife feeling neglected (and then annoyed) as I spend days on end in the shed, a win for both of us.

The other main contributor to my painting speed is Army Painter Quick Shade, namely the dark tone. This has enabled me to concentrate on only base coats for the majority of models, rather than spending a large amount of time washing and highlighting rank and file models. It's worked out very nice on the dwarfs and I've even gone back over a large number of models I painted years ago. These have been touched up where I neglected areas (all their weapon handles and boots were left black out of sheer laziness) and I've also gone back over nearly every shield to brighten them up. I've also painted two character models, but these were painted using the 'old fashioned' method of painting, washing and highlighting. 

Regarding the quickshade. I don't 'dip' the models but rather paint it on using an old brush. I then go back over the model about 5 minutes later and remove a lot of the dip where it has pooled in places I don't want it too. I find otherwise it can go on a bit thick, even with shaking off excess. It also means less waste and your tub lasts longer. I then leave the models a minimum of 48 hours before applying Army Painter Anti-Shine matt varnish.

I've learnt from experience that it has to be warm when you spray the matt varnish to prevent clouding, don't do it in cold conditions. I've a fan heater in the shed I turn on for 10 minutes before I spray models to warm it up a bit. I also do only one side at a time and then leave them for 5-10 minutes between coats, otherwise I sometimes find that the varnish wrinkles as it's applied. While you can sometimes repair the clouding by subsequent varnishing (I paint on GW ardcoat and then spray matt varnish again. This seems to remove most of the clouding. Thanks to JustJohn for the tip!) you can't repair the wrinkling so be careful and, unlike me sometimes, patient.

Here's some sample pictures of what I've finished in the last few weeks. I've still got to go back and base all the miniatures with GW Mourn Mountain Snow and Army Painter Tundra tufts.

These miniatures are dwarf troll slayers that I have painted and dipped. The hair did get an orange drybrush over the red basecoat though to make it stand out. Also the skin got minor highlights to prevent it looking flat due to the large amount of it!

These 4 dwarfs are ones I painted about 6 years ago and are much brighter than the dipped ones. 

The one on the left is an older miniature, while the one on the right is the one recently painted and dipped. The older ones will be getting a dip coat later today!

A selection of the dwarf rangers. I've ten finished in total and ten to do

Some of the dwarf warriors. There are currently 65 finished and 50 left to do

15 out of the 20 hammerers were painted years ago using the older painting method, but have since been touched up and dipped. 5 have been just base-coated and dipped. There's 20 Ironbreakers finished too that need varnishing.

The one on the left is base coated and dipped while the one on the right is base-coated, washed and highlighted (and now dipped!). Up close you can see the difference but when in units they look pretty much the same. The main difference is the face.

One of 2 dwarf organ guns finished along with their crews

The recently painted dwarf characters. These were painted, washed and highlighted. The lord on the bear did get an additional coat of dip for protection as he's a bit top heavy.

Only about 100 more dwarfs to go until finished!


  1. They're looking pretty damn sweet Bruce.

  2. Cheers Dave. They are coming along nicely, and more importantly with impending 2nd baby quickly!