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.