Wednesday, 14 March 2012

A difference in dips

When is a dip not a dip?

I have had great success with the Army Painter dip and had High hopes for the Vallejo acrylic dips too, as my previous posts mention. However, I have begun to notice how differently they work and the effects they produce. Where the oil based dip leaves a more evenly spread wash and staining the acrylic one seems to dry into patches. You still get the general effect but so far I have not been as happy with the results on larger, flatter areas. It also has a quite severe dulling effect on metallic colours, bronze and gold shades particularly. I have been working on a set of Prussian ships for Dystopian wars and have been fairly pleased with the results but......well, I can't help wondering how they would have come out with the oil dip and anti-shine spray.

I left the painted ships, the nine destroyers in the fleet pack, for a day so the paint could cure/set properly before liberally coating them with the acrylic brown dip; lifting off the excess as I went etc. I then left them for another day for the dip to fully dry in all areas before painting on a matt varnish. Here I noted that the varnish was washing away some of the dip, giving a lighter look to the finished models than I had envisioned. I am often accused of making things too dark, a symptom of my colour issues, and I cannot say that the end product did not look too bad, but....

The acrylic dip is appearing to be less predictable than the oil but it still provides decent effects. It also settles in the tub very quickly leaving dried residue around the edge if you are not careful. I also have a tub of the acrylic black dip and I have found that to be very dark indeed. Some caution should be used with these dips, especially when you first use them. definitely try them on a spare painted figure so you get to see the effects first. A basic and obvious warning but one that is well worth mentioning again.

There is still and important place at my painting area for these Vallejo acrylic dips, I just need to think about how I use them.


  1. I've not tries the army painter dip yet, I've had a jar for a couple of years now and I've never even open it. I use Windsoe and Newton writing inks to wash my figures and like you said when painting on matt varnish it lifts up some of the ink, but leaves it in all the creases, just where you want it!!

  2. Hi Ray,

    You mentioned the ink before and having seen pics of your figures on your blog I know it works well, they always look great! the army painter dip is very different. The stuff doesnt wash away and leaves an even tone on the high places and nice shade on the low. I really must post a pic of my WSS brits to show you. I saw on the Wayland Games email update that they now stock smaller bottles of the stuff to let people try it cheaply. I think it worth a try, even though it is the most expensive system.

  3. Hi Ray,

    I will sort some pics out for my next post on Friday. You have started something here with the BLB2 rules...what am I doing!!?? I need to find a set now, although I dont like the £27 price tag, cheapskate that I am!