Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Fimir - Fianna Fimm Reboot 2

I've been beavering away on my fianna fimm, looking to take more time over them this time. I spent longer on the skin, and bought myself a new shiny tin of strong tone dip from Army Painter. The reason for this is that too much dip had dried out on the lid of my old tin, compromising the seal, and the air getting in pretty much ruined the dip left in the tin over time. Once dip starts to thicken it is only a matter of time before it's totally useless. Sure, you can thin it out again with white spirits, but the viscosity of dip is fundamental to its use. It should be like thin gravy. It also gives you more time to work the dip before it begins to coagulate, and you don't get long at the best of times. Dip that has begun to thicken doesn't spread as evenly and dries faster giving you less time to brush it on and then brush away the excess pooling in the recesses. It's not a technique for the faint of heart.

This is what led to the fianna looking less than I hoped first time around. Granted, I always paint over the dip, using it more as a wash than a final step, but if the dip wash is a fail, it's all over baby. The new tin made me realise just how treacley the old one had gotten. Taking no chances I'm sealing the lid with blu-tack to make sure it's airtight this time around.

I'm tempted to try the new GW blood/gore special effect paint on the bloody hand. I'll try out a wee tester first I think. In any case he needs a few more highlights here and there, basing and varnishing. Then I'll get cracking on his five mates.


  1. When experimenting with dip a few years back I found that getting the consistency of it right was a high maintenance art in itself. Like you say, not a process for those of a nervous disposition... like me as it turned out.

    I did find that experimenting with dipping in various ways led me back to a painting process very similar to the one that I used way back when I was starting to paint in the 80s. I currently go for a basecoat, wash, layer, highlight approach that I had moved away from over the years, but using a Devlan Mud/AP Strong Tone/AP Dark Tone wash instead of dip. I find it a lot less high maintenance than dip, plus its easier to control and can be done at the painting table in the living room without stinking the place up. But Im not trying to evangelise or anything: to each their own and all that.

    I still get better results from more heavily textured surfaces with washes than I do on large bare flesh areas like those on your fimir. I must pick your brains about your process painting these guys at some point: Im sure that I can steal a few shortcuts.

    I have had that BFTBG special effect paint for a while, built it looks a little too bright for my already gaudy tastes. I think that I will stick to various messing around with various Tamiya Clear Red mixes bloody areas on miniatures for now, but I will watch your progress with interest.

    1. Nice. I could talk about the minutiae of painting techniques all day, unless it's NMM, which I haven't even tried yet. I used Kevin Dallimore's techniques for years, no washes at all, but I slowly drifted back into it, and now washes, glazes and mixes of all sorts are my pals once again. I use the AP inks as well, they are pretty great. The consistency is different from the dip though, so I keep both on the shelf. I never dip my bases, which might seem odd, but the colours need to contrast a touch more so the models don't vanish into the basing.

      Flat areas are always more of a challenge, which is why the consistency of the dip is such a big deal. Thin, and it leaves a nice gradient into the recesses, too thick and it sits on the flat area giving a horrible patchy result.

      Dip is really no use on larger models though. Not enough time to work it before it begins to dry. My worms are done with base, wash, layers and glazes. I love acrylic medium, it's just the best stuff ever. I generally mix it into my layers to some degree. I use it in my verdigris and rust mixes as well, it eliminates the tide marks you get with water mixes.

      I keep hearing good things about Tamiya clear red. I must git me some.

  2. I found getting the dip gradient effect on surfaces just right was tough. It worked sometimes and not others and adding the ever changing consistency of the dip itself to the equation made it too frustrating for me. Im not really zen enough for a lot of random effects in my painting: Im no John Blanche.

    NMM strikes me as the toy soldier equivalent of jazz music written for professional saxophonists to listen to: not really for the mass market. NMM is appropriate for competition level painting, but pointless if the goal is getting painted figures on the table: its just making life difficult for rather limited gain. In my opinion :)

    I have a bottle of acrylic medium in my paint cabinet, but it remains untouched. Eliminating tide marks in ink washes sounds like something worthwhile and easily achievable though. Do you add water to the medium/ink mix?

    Tamiya Clear paints are alcohol based (IIRC), weird things. They are very sticky and very vibrant, far more vibrant than the equivalent washes or inks. I use them for a variety of largely unconnected things, like trying to quickly get a lustrous look in something like a cockroach shell that has been painted in graduated browns and LEDs.

    For blood I tend to mix TC Red with a very small amount of black or a dark colour and water and paint it over an area that has had a chestnut ink wash put over a graduated ares beneath. It dries fast because of the alcohol evaporating which means that it can end up looking quite clotted after a couple of minutes, which is a fun effect in its own right, but maybe BFTBG is an easier option. I must try it. I tend to get carried away when adding gore to models, ending up with somewhat juvenile looking, blood drenched, Planet Terror sort of look.

    When painting LED sort of effects the TC colours are still vibrant at the edges with some white in the centre. Like most of my painting, its a decent way to get a non-competition level result that still looks better than the time spent on it would suggest. Im obsessed with shortcuts and corner cutting (and storage, but thats another matter).

    I buy my TCR pots individually from China via Ebay. They cost about €3-4 each including shipping, so its very cheap and easy to get a pot to experiment with.

  3. I have to agree with NMM. I've seen some great examples, but there's no way I'm going to use it on an army.

    No water, just medium/paint/ink. Most folks tend to use a 5:1 of paint:medium, for layers, but I found myself using up to 1:1 for glazes. It takes a little experimenting to find the sweet spot for the effect required.

    The TC colours sound intriguing. I might start with the red and go from there. If BFTBG is too bright I might add some black or brown to it, I find most blood effects way too bright.

    I'm right there with you on the shortcuts. With work, family and such, painting time is at a premium, and if I want to get anything substantial done before I'm too old to hold a brush I need to employ said shortcuts.

    Speaking of new paints, James Wappel (one of my favourite painters) put up an incredible OSL piece today. OSL is near to the same camp as NMM when it comes to getting armies done, but he used fluorescent paints on this model, something I might really need to look at when I get to my chaos dwarves. You can look at it here. His understanding of colour is frankly, masterful.

  4. Mr Wappel knows his stuff alright, I feel like warming my hands near that figure.

    That sort of work, while wonderfully inspiring/depressing, is very far out of my league and my hobby brief too really. Its when guys who manage to paint to similarly high level at a rate of hundreds of miniatures per annum put up quick posts about their successful musical sideline and second PHD that I feel like calling the Samaritans ;)

    OSL is actually more insidious than NMM I think. Ignoring the fantastic stuff for a moment, bad NMM is less intrusive on a model than bad OSL. Also, everyone and their mother thinks that they can manage a decent glowing eye effect, when all they have actually achieved is smearing paint all over the cheeks of their model. The internet is jammed with images of shitty OSL. Thats my excuse for not getting it right...

    1. Yep, it's extremely unforgiving, and as you say, very easy to make a balls of.

      As to those people who can both paint extremely well and quickly, as I mentioned to one such person recently, they sicken me to my very core. In a wildly jealous way, of course.


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