Sunday, May 30, 2021

Comparison Tests with Enamel Washes from AK interactive

Fellow hobbyists,

while nowadays things move forward mostly on the social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram (my feeling), every once in a while there is still the need for a good old blog post.

I did a little comparison test series of the enamel washes from AK interactive. This is mostly because I just recently started using them in connection with more Grimdark painting style and all the inspiring work out there from guys like the Zatcaskagoon Miniatures with their Grimdark Compendium.

So I wanted to get a better feeling of the effect theses washes have on the colours underneath, in particular, how much they darken the tones.

For this purpose I primed two sets of miniatures, first a bunch of Plaguebeares with Vallejo White Primer and a set of old Necron Warriors with Green Stuff World Black Gloss Primer followed bz Vallejo Metal Color Chrome:

Just to be save, I left the acrylics to dry for one day before continuing with the enamel.

Next, I just generously applied the AK interactive washes over the whole miniatures with adding any additional thinner. I tested four: Dark Brown Wash (for Green Vehicles), (Black) Wash for NATO camo vehicles, Rust Streaks and Streaking Grime. The last one is not technically a wash, i.e., a bit thicker than the other three, but can effectively be used in the same way and to the same effect.

Here some examples of how the minis look directly after the washes:

The washes dry pretty fast (maybe 5min?), after that I started with the reduction step, using the White Spirit from AK Interactive and a cheap Q-Tip (cotton swab). 

One word quick word about White Spirits since there might still be some controversy out there: In the beginning, I had used a cheap White Spirit BS 245 (Bird Brand from Poundland if I remember correctly). This one DOES resolve the acrylic paints while the one from AK interactive does NOT! Conclusion: White Spirit is not equal White Spirit. You can read up on this here of course. Unfortunately, AK interactive does not list the exact content of their spirit but the Bird Brand one contains Hydrocarbons, C9-C12, n-alkanes, isoalkanes, and cyclics. I assume that there are some slight differences in the content which make the difference on the aggression towards acrylics. 

Let me know if you found a cheap White Spirit which does not attack the acrylics and can tell me the exact contents!

OK, back to the experiments! I tried to remove as much of the wash a possible in the exposed parts of the miniatures to test whether I could get back the original brightness of the colour below (this failed, after the wash, there always remains some darkening hue).

For comparison, I also painted one of each miniature with good old GW wash Agrax Earthshade. I use this as a representative for the acrylic washes.

Now the full photo series comparing to the pre-wash look on the left always, and one photo front, one back. 

As you can see, the washes great much more depth, i.e., darker shadows than the acrylic wash (i.e., Agrax).

Here the direct comparison pic of the different washes:

And now to the effect on metals (and flatter surfaces):

Summary & Conclusion: 

Firstly, the enamel washes are very easy and, thus, relaxed to work with. Applying them is without any worry because you know you can easily remove any excess. The actual removing step (reduction) is a completely new experience to acrylic painters but one gets used to it very fast, and it is a lot of fun actually, building up (or actually reducing down) to the desired result (again knowing that you can just add more if needed). Just verify first that your white spirit does not resolve the acrylics.

Secondly, I absolutely love the dirty and gritty look that results from this technique which I assume is owing to the completely different fluid properties of the enamel compared to water-based acrylics. I think, I will use these washes much more often now!

Thirdly, one needs to keep in mind the general darkening effect of the washes (or highlight again after with the original colour).

That's it, happy experimenting!!!

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Mini Review -- Spiky Brown Tufts from Gamers Grass

Fellow hobbyists,

out of curiosity, I recently bought Spiky Brown Tufts from Gamers Grass:

And this is how it looks on the model:

On the right:

On the right:

And on the left:

Pretty neat effect I would say! And easy to apply with its sticky bottom.

Cutting the tufts makes them fall apart completely very easily so careful with this.

All together, very happy with this product! Can recommend. Cheers!

Monday, January 6, 2020

Untamed Warbeasts finished -- Warcry


As said, for my Untamed Beasts, I imagined that they are coming from the hot savanna, and that they would despise metal, instead make everything out of bone.

Then I thought what would contrast well with the bones? Well, dark skin. And what looks awesome on dark skin? Warpaint! Google it! There is really amazing stuff out there!

For example the incredible photos of Jimmy Nelseon:

This black and white scheme would contrast super well with, you know it, blood! Y voila!