I don’t know whether I’m getting lazier or just more impatient, but whichever it is, the saving grace has been the use of the Army Painter dipping system.
I fancy that at my best I am a pretty good figure painter. Not in the Kevin Dallimore or El Mercenario league, but certainly not a hack with the brush. Trouble is, my best was probably a year or so ago. Since then I have been finding more and more ways to paint fast to a good gaming standard that I am happy with. This has seen me experiment with black lining technique letting black undercoat show through, and with spraying my tanks with Tamiya colours and using dip or home-brewed magic wash to shade them. This has worked and I have churned out my FoW modern Egyptians and Israelis, piles of WW2 Germans and Soviets and now I’m starting the Italians.
The question has always been whether I would be irritated when I was finished that the troops I have painted are not my best possible work. However, I just finished my second squad of 28mm US troops today using Army Painter dip, and thought I’d put up a photo comparing identical figures with one of the totally hand-painted figures that I have done.
The figure on the right was painted with a base coat followed by washes then highlights. It involved drybrushing and paint mixing, followed by a satin varnish and then a matt varnish. The figure on the left had base colours painted on, followed by a brushing of Army Painter Strong Tone. It then had a spray of Matt varnish followed by the eyes being painted in. There is a visible difference in the figures. The ‘dipped’ figure has deeper shading, the highlighted figure is more subtle. I haven’t painted in the 5 o’clock shadow yet, but this will take 5 minutes for the whole squad. To be honest, there isn’t that much between them as far as I’m concerned. But here is the key thing: The ‘dipped’ figure took a third of the time to paint as it did to paint the figure on the right.
It might be cheating for some, it may be lazier, it may be settling for second best. But it means that I have a show of getting way more figures painted up for gaming. That has to be a good thing. Let me know if you think that I’m fooling myself and that ‘dipped’ figures are really a horrible abomination in the gaming world.