While waiting for my 1/300th North Africa divisions to arrive I thought I'd paint up some casualty markers using old Airfix figures (you know, those ones that came in every box and were next to no use!) With our SLS rules 9and others) we mark damage with smoke puffs, which also gives a good sense of where the battle is happening, but once a unit has only 1 damage left it is "spent" and retreats and can't advance until rallied - so you a) have units out of the action surrounded by smoke-puffs and b) have lots of smoke puffs tied up doing nothing really! So in 6mm I have casualty markers that equate to "spent" for units and I thought it would be useful to do the same in 20mm, esp with the Waterloo 60 planning (that's going to need a lot of smoke puffs!)
I'd also promised myself some time at the start of the year to review my painting style. I still don't think I'm up to doing 3-shade approaches. I might try the off highlight, but its the use of better washes where my biggest and quickest improvements can probably be made. I used to use Nuln Oil ink diluted, but GW now sells it as a wash, which I don't think I'd noticed so was still diluting it! On 6mm it still looked OK, but in 20mm it was giving too much of a dullness to everything and not filling cracks. So I decided with these casualties to finish in 4 different ways:
- No wash at all, just to show the impact that the washes do have
- My existing 50:50 Nuln Oil wash
- Neat Nuln Oil wash
- Army Painter Strong Quickshade applied by brush ( OK I know that Alan and my brother both mix their own from furnisher polish but I haven't the time/confidence in consistency!)
All had a Vallejo Matt varnish, brush applied (after several disasters with spray).
Here are some of the results - I think I have the captions right!
|50:50 Nuln Oil Wash and Water|
|Neat Nuln Oil Wash|
|50:50 Nuln Oil Wash|
So actually neat Nuln Oil and Quick Shade both giver pretty good results, and Nuln Oil dries a lot faster, doesn't smell, and Quickshade still needs the matt varnish.
So I think my plan is (since I have a £20 tin of Quickshade!):
- Use QS on the WW2 1/300th armour and figures I'm about to do as it will look good as dirt as well as shading
- Since my next "batch" is 20mm ECW or WOTR so more forgiving than Napoleonics do a unit in each of neat Nuln Oil Wash and QS and compare the results.
Then I can take stock and make a final decision. Whilst that QS tin looks expensive will be interesting to see how fast I get through neat Nuln Oil at GW prices!
Still won't ever win any painting competitions though!