Looking for help with pin washes
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Thread: Looking for help with pin washes

  1. #1

    Default Looking for help with pin washes

    I am painting 15mm tank for flames of war, specifically british crusader tanks. I am looking for advice on pin-washing. The tanks in question will painted sand (buttery yellow), and I want very high contrast dark lines in the recesses.

    In the past, I've black-lined with a technical pen, literally doodling in the model with blank ink to create contrast. Up close, it looked dreadful, but at arms length it made the model really jump out at you. It is also very fiddly, and I want something 1) easier and 2) brown instead of black. You can also see my shaky hand at work with the unsteady lines.
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    I want a wash the really hugs crevasses and share edges and flows away from flat surfaces. I want a bit of transition from the edges to the recesses, more than I get here with black lines.

    I tried simple paint/water, but that never looks as good dry as it does wet.

    I've tried pin washes with Reaper black ink and Les's Wash Black Body wash. Reaper spreads too much on the flat areas; Les's wash works OK, but seems to dry too fast, and is hard to get into the cracks. I was using a really long liner brush (3/4" bristle, pretty fine) but found it didn't control the volume very well (too much or not enough)

    I am considering technical pen and sepina ink as well as Polyshades dip, but both these seem a little extreme just yet.

    What wash and what brush would you suggest?

  2. #2

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    hi,

    first I'd suggest varnishing it with a gloss varnish. It helps the washes flow off the surfaces to the recesses.
    Then you could go 2 routes. Acryl and Oil. The methods are basically the same, but I find the oil one easier.

    What you'd do in both cases: wash the model liberally, wait a bit, then clean up with a thinner + q-tip.
    In case of normal acrilics the 'thinner' for cleanup that I'd use is the Vallejo Airbrush Cleaner. For oils it's the same as you used to thin the paint.

    After it's dry you should varnish the model again, for example to matt (but it's really a personal preference, some like it glossy).

  3. #3

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    Max is right - whack on a coat of gloss or satin varnish, let it dry and then apply your wash. This will allow it to flow with less resistance. For acrylic washes, I personally am of the opinion you should try and control where they go as you apply them - completely covering the vehicle in a wash, but using a standard brush rather than a liner one (which doesn't hold much paint).

    Personally if I were doing the tank above, I'd block in the main colours - tracks included. Drybrush the tracks with a metal colour. Varnish and let dry. Mix up a wash of black and umber oil paint with white spirit and then use a brush to flow this into the cracks and crevices. The paint will flow using capillary action around all of the panels and such like. Let that dry off and as Max says, a q-tip and white spirits can be used to tidy up any messy bits. Then mix up a wash of umber paint and apply it around all of the rivets. Once again, let that dry off and then use a small flat brush slightly dampened with white spirit and "draw" the paint down to mimic rain and rust stains. Let that lot dry for 24 hours and then you can apply weathering pigments to the tracks and other areas. Let that dry and then hit it with a final coat of satin/gloss varnish. Finally once that's cured you can use a matte varnish to bring it back to a flat finish

    ta da!

  4. #4

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    I was thinking of using those w&n water based oils on my latest piece. DR mentioned them and after a bit of searching, they might be worth a shot as you can lay them down and then clean up the high areas with a Qtip before they dry (in theory). I may run out to the art store this weekend to get a few tubes.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by MAXXxxx View Post
    hi,

    first I'd suggest varnishing it with a gloss varnish. It helps the washes flow off the surfaces to the recesses.
    Then you could go 2 routes. Acryl and Oil. The methods are basically the same, but I find the oil one easier.

    What you'd do in both cases: wash the model liberally, wait a bit, then clean up with a thinner + q-tip.
    In case of normal acrilics the 'thinner' for cleanup that I'd use is the Vallejo Airbrush Cleaner. For oils it's the same as you used to thin the paint.

    After it's dry you should varnish the model again, for example to matt (but it's really a personal preference, some like it glossy).
    Would you use a spray-on gloss varnish? I attempted a brush-on acrylic varnish, but although glossy, the result wasn't very smooth -- too much brush strokes. I did a plane yesterday that was glossy coated and pin-washed, but the result was a lot of fiddling with fluid paints to get the desired results.

    For oils, are these the simply the tubes of oil paint from a arts and crafts store? I've looked, but they are comparatively expensive, so I am wondering whether it is worth the extra work and cost.

    What is it about the airbrush cleaner that works better than e.g. simply water? Would you thin with airbrush cleaner?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by RuneBrush View Post
    Max is right - whack on a coat of gloss or satin varnish, let it dry and then apply your wash. This will allow it to flow with less resistance. For acrylic washes, I personally am of the opinion you should try and control where they go as you apply them - completely covering the vehicle in a wash, but using a standard brush rather than a liner one (which doesn't hold much paint).

    Personally if I were doing the tank above, I'd block in the main colours - tracks included. Drybrush the tracks with a metal colour. Varnish and let dry. Mix up a wash of black and umber oil paint with white spirit and then use a brush to flow this into the cracks and crevices. The paint will flow using capillary action around all of the panels and such like. Let that dry off and as Max says, a q-tip and white spirits can be used to tidy up any messy bits. Then mix up a wash of umber paint and apply it around all of the rivets. Once again, let that dry off and then use a small flat brush slightly dampened with white spirit and "draw" the paint down to mimic rain and rust stains. Let that lot dry for 24 hours and then you can apply weathering pigments to the tracks and other areas. Let that dry and then hit it with a final coat of satin/gloss varnish. Finally once that's cured you can use a matte varnish to bring it back to a flat finish

    ta da!
    I'll try this. Getting the rivets right seems important. Now we you say block paint, to me, that means painting each area as a block, but leaving borders and corners and panel lips and so forth black. Is that what you mean?

    How long do I let it dry before cleanup with the q-tip? Minutes or overnight?

    Also, regarding pigments - I've seen the color change after being sprayed. Will a gloss coat preserve the pigment colors? (I've had really mixed luck with pigments. I can see the potential, and I can get great intermediate results, but the end product disappoints.)

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjs101 View Post
    I'll try this. Getting the rivets right seems important. Now we you say block paint, to me, that means painting each area as a block, but leaving borders and corners and panel lips and so forth black. Is that what you mean?

    How long do I let it dry before cleanup with the q-tip? Minutes or overnight?

    Also, regarding pigments - I've seen the color change after being sprayed. Will a gloss coat preserve the pigment colors? (I've had really mixed luck with pigments. I can see the potential, and I can get great intermediate results, but the end product disappoints.)
    By block, I mean paint it as a single solid colour. Don't leave any part of the model black unless it's going to be black. One of the issues with using pure black for black-lining is that you'll end up with something that looks really cartoony. If you paint it all the base colour, the black/brown wash will naturally shade around the panels and in gaps, most importantly is that it won't suddenly go from colour to black which looks unnatural.

    You need to leave the oil wash until it's no longer wet (i.e. the white spirit has evaporated out). However you can easily leave it anything up to 24 hours and still achieve the same results - it's one of the really nice things about oil washes

    Regarding pigments, I think it depends entirely upon the pigments being used and the effect you're after. Most of the pieces I've used them on have been display pieces so I've not sealed them in with a satin/gloss and went straight to an airbrushed matte varnish. What pigments are you using and how are you applying them? You can get a variety of sealers that will lock them in place (you can actually mix with brush on varnish too)

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by RuneBrush View Post
    By block, I mean paint it as a single solid colour. Don't leave any part of the model black unless it's going to be black. One of the issues with using pure black for black-lining is that you'll end up with something that looks really cartoony. If you paint it all the base colour, the black/brown wash will naturally shade around the panels and in gaps, most importantly is that it won't suddenly go from colour to black which looks unnatural.

    You need to leave the oil wash until it's no longer wet (i.e. the white spirit has evaporated out). However you can easily leave it anything up to 24 hours and still achieve the same results - it's one of the really nice things about oil washes
    OK, I am now the proud owner of two tubes of oil paint. I am block coating a trial set of three tanks and some guns and I'll give the oils a go.

    I was rather stocked the the prices on thinners. I realize these are artists thinners, but I have a half-gallon of "odorless" paint thinner from the home depot. Is that OK to use, or should I go get the W&N Sansordor thinner. I think with washes, we'll use rather a lot more thinner but also, many of the concerns of oil-on-canvas artists may not apply -- opacity, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjs101 View Post
    I was rather stocked the the prices on thinners. I realize these are artists thinners, but I have a half-gallon of "odorless" paint thinner from the home depot. Is that OK to use, or should I go get the W&N Sansordor thinner.
    I use oil paints for washes. I thin them with mineral spirits from Home Depot. It doesn't strip the paint and is really inexpensive. After the wash sets, you just dampen a q-tip with mineral spirits and you can "lighten" the wash on flat surfaces as other posters have suggested. A small tube of oil paint and a quart of mineral spirits will last you for years!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjs101 View Post
    OK, I am now the proud owner of two tubes of oil paint. I am block coating a trial set of three tanks and some guns and I'll give the oils a go.

    I was rather stocked the the prices on thinners. I realize these are artists thinners, but I have a half-gallon of "odorless" paint thinner from the home depot. Is that OK to use, or should I go get the W&N Sansordor thinner. I think with washes, we'll use rather a lot more thinner but also, many of the concerns of oil-on-canvas artists may not apply -- opacity, etc.
    That should be fine. I tend to decant my thinners into a dropper bottle for easier usage (it will evaporate over time though). Completely agree with timewizard too, the paint and thinners lasts for years (providing there aren't any "incidents")

  11. #11

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    OK, this is my first stab. The base color is lighter than the original model (Vallejo Air "sand" instead of Vallejo Model "dark sand"). It is painted solidly, with a little bit of drybrushing and high lighting.

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    I used a mix of burnt umber and lamp black, probably leaning towards too much black. In places it looks good, but on others it looks too blotchy. This is the most successful one, and I am not really happy with it. It looks too grimy for something in the desert.
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    Next, this one is really disappointing, the turret is much darker than I wanted, and I haven't been remove the paint as I expected with a q-tip. I tried about 20 minutes after painting the model and then some more today.

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    I suspect I used too much black and maybe too much paint relative to the thinner--too thin. Any ideas?

  12. #12

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    Was the Qtip dampened with thinner or just dry? Keep in mind the thinned oil will dry quicker too. I used water based oils this weekend to decent effect, but it really wasn't anything i couldn't have achieved with acrylic washes and water. A very "six of one half dozen of the other" experience. Nice to have, but might not see too much use from me.
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    Hmm the good one looks okay. You could try dry brushing it again with some of the Vallejo sand. Just make sure you have hardly any paint on your brush. Or maybe some of the secret weapon weathering pigments. Finally, you could try a stronger solvent. Like turpenoid/turpentine or even acetone. Just go slow or might you end up with no paint left at all.
    Last edited by Demihuman; 10-29-2013 at 01:36 PM.

  14. #14

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    You're making progress - that's the most important thing!

    My first observation is that the tanks don't look as sharp as the first. It might be the paint, the varnish, a not very sharp sculpt or a combination of all 3. Sadly washes really flag up imperfections

    Rather than a q-tip, try a small flat brush. The one I use is about 1/4" wide and very flat (thin I guess). I just put the tip into my spirits so that it wicks up and then use that in dragging movements to push the wash around. If the brush starts to look like it has colour on, then I'll wipe it down on some kitchen towel and start over. The brush should stay "clean" at all times.

    Both washed tanks are a vast improvement on the first. The hull of the second is very good. The turret would benefit from taking a cloth/kitchen towel, wetting it with spirits and wiping as much off as you can. Then letting it dry and pushing the remaining oil round with a brush.

    Don't forget that if you can always apply a second wash too - and third etc.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zab View Post
    Was the Qtip dampened with thinner or just dry? Keep in mind the thinned oil will dry quicker too. I used water based oils this weekend to decent effect, but it really wasn't anything i couldn't have achieved with acrylic washes and water. A very "six of one half dozen of the other" experience. Nice to have, but might not see too much use from me.

    I used the qtip dampen with thinner.

    I'd heard I should let the thinner evaporate off, but the oil paint will take a long time to dry completely. Up to 24 hours, it should still be workable. Since I am working on a glossy surface, I can't really tell when the thinner has evaporated off. Even the same night, I didn't feel like I was getting much wash back off the model.

    The tanks are in simple green. I'll give it another go by this weekend.

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    Using the oil washes is a bit of a trial and error process. I didn't get it quite right the first few times either.

    Here's a video tutorial I think you might find useful. The first couple of minutes he just talks about the materials he uses, you've already got those. Then he demos how he mixes and applies the washes.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2JurVVWLzY

    Hope this helps. Oh, one more thing, I don't let the oil wash dry or let the thinner evaporate before I start using the Q-tip on it to remove some wash. I do that right after I've applied it. Remember the Q-tip should be just damp, not wet with thinner. You want it to be able to wick off some of the oil wash.

  17. #17

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    Well, rather than trial and error on my models, I have made board with assorted textures: GW spurs, textured paper, pennies (front and back), and bark.

    I am testing VGC sephia and black inks, LES's wash mixes, Magic mix with inks, and of course some oils. I'll put the results tomorrow.

  18. #18

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    OK, this is my wash test. It is not really a pin wash test, but more or less a generic wash test with different mixes and textures. For pin washes, the mixture should settle into the corners and flow away from the flat surfaces. I do not want glaze that changes upper surfaces's colors.

    The textures tested were:
    - GW sprue - a share intersection of flat surfaces at greater than 90degrees
    - Checkered texture (regular raised squares)
    - coin texture (irregular pile of coin cylinders)
    - Penny (heads)
    - Penny (tails)
    - bark

    All the materials are spraypainted white and the gloss-coated to allow the inks to flow to edges.

    I tested the following wash mixes:
    Vallajo Model Color Sepia Wash
    Vallajo Model Color: 50:50 Sepia and Black
    LES mix: Armor (see http://www.awesomepaintjob.com/index...ources.recipes), thinned with water as I applied it.
    LES mix: Sepia
    Oil paint (sepia) with low odor thinner W&N Sanordor after 30 minutes of drying
    Oil paint (sepia) with low odor thinner W&N Sanordor after 4 hours of drying
    Oil paint (sepia) with low odor thinner W&N Sanordor after 8 hours of drying
    Oil paint (1/2 sepia/1/2 black) with low odor thinner W&N Sanordor after 3 hours of drying
    Oil paint (1/2 sepia/1/2 black) with low odor thinner W&N Sanordor after 8 hours of drying
    2ml Magic Mix (1 part Future floor polish, 3-4 parts water) + 2 drops Sepia ink (Daler Rowney Acrylic Artist inks)
    2ml Magic Mix + 1 drops black ink
    2ml Magic Mix + 3 drops Spepa ink, allow to dry then wash with 2ml Magic + 2 drop Black ink
    2ml Magic Mix + 5 drops Sepia ink
    1ml Magic Mix + 4 drops Sepia + 2 drops Black
    2ml Magic mix + 4 drops Sepia + 2 drops black ink


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    Sorry about the mediocre images. Big flat sheets of basically white sheets are hard to photograph.

    My Thoughts:

    1) I got good generic washes from VGM washes, but not good pin-washing. I'd call this more 'glazing' than 'washing'. The surfaces of the coins are colored, not white.

    2) Although I've had good luck with Les's washes on highly textured models, the results here on pennies are terrible. Look at the pennies, and you'll see spaces where the color wicked away from the surface of the penny. I didn't want much glazing, but these gaps are really bad looking.

    3) Oils. What a mess. Attempting to clean the surfaces at less than 6+ hours fails. The Qtips makes a big sloppy mess. Cleaning the surface after 7-8 hours is better. Importantly, look around the pennies, where they glue to the base board. No wicking away from this surface.

    4) Magic mix - Magic mix produced the best washes on the surfaces of the pennies bar none, but the ninty degree angle between the base board and the penny edge, here the Magic Mix wicked away from the corner of the penny/base.


    I am a bit conflicted. Magic and Les's wash seem to work well on actual miniatures. Les's wash looked terrible on the surface of the pennies, while Magic looked really good. Oils thinned with Sansodor worked well, if the paint had 8+ hours to dry. (Sansodor is noted by the manufacterer has being slower to evaporate than turpentine--and it is really odorless.)

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    Thanks for the wonderful write up! This is very informative.

    I like the Les sepia and the first 2 magic washes. I hear what you are saying about pooling, but to me the problem with pooling is not too much pigment, but leaving tide marks. like on the LES armour. What do you think about thinning the washes more. Maybe even a lot more. When I do a wash I want to see very very close to the original color in some spots. None of these look to have any white showing.

    Also, i think "glazing" means adding very thinned layers exactly where you want them. With glazing you get all excess paint off your brush on a paper towel first then you you apply your very thinned 'glaze' right where you want it. As opposed to wash where the paint flows into cracks and stuff. The only difference is the amount of thinned paint on your brush The only reason I am being knit-picky is because I have thought of glazes and washes interchangeably for a long time and it has really hurt my take away from a lot of write-ups. For example, you could glaze on a pure white highlight to the tip of sword with several very thinned layers but you could not wash that on. (Or at least I couldn't)

    Oh, checkout this thread: http://www.coolminiornot.com/forums/...-the-Nautiloid

    He thins his washes with acrylic medium and gets some pretty drastic results.

    Oh! and this dude: http://ultrawerke.blogspot.com/2007/...al-part-i.html

    This is what got me thinking about the oils in the first place! WONDERFUL blog. Now dead but really great stuff.

    Neither of those might be applicable to your scale but worth a look-see anyways
    Last edited by Demihuman; 11-07-2013 at 12:23 AM.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Demihuman View Post
    Thanks for the wonderful write up! This is very informative.

    I like the Les sepia and the first 2 magic washes. I hear what you are saying about pooling, but to me the problem with pooling is not too much pigment, but leaving tide marks. like on the LES armour. What do you think about thinning the washes more. Maybe even a lot more. When I do a wash I want to see very very close to the original color in some spots. None of these look to have any white showing.
    I believe thinning is the not the right approach, ironically. We all started doing washes by thinning paints with water, so naturally we assume more water is better, but I believe this is not so.

    I thinned the Les's wash Armor mix and you can see the result. It beaded up away from the glossy penny. The Nautiloid tutorial used ink and matt medium and just a little water to make it workable.

    I'd thought early on that adding more flow-enhanced water to Les's wash would make a better wash with more 'flow'. But it flowed so much it tended to flow away from deeper recesses even more.


    I think you may be better of using only or mostly matt medium and spreading it thinly mechanically (i.e., brush work.)

    Here is a test I'd done last summer with different ratios of matt medium and water. I ink ratio was always forty drops per fluid oz of mix:
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    All water is terrible. Look at the scarf on the helmet and the folds of the surcoat.

    Three parts water to one part matt medium looks OK, but doesn't settle into the recesses enough and formed tide marks in the folds off the surcoat.

    1:1 looks a little better, but still forms pools at the bottom of the surcoat.

    3 parts matt medium and one part water and pure matt medium are better yet. Now to be fair, I probably have net more wash on the 4th one, a variable I didn't control for as well as I should have. But both settle nicely into the recesses and yet form no tide marks.
    Last edited by mjs101; 11-07-2013 at 10:35 AM.

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