Monday, 1 April 2013

18mm Spanish Army Painter Applied

Okay so two posts in one day - and this isn't an April Fool!

I brushed on the Army Painter Dark Tone as suggested in the instructions. At first, I thought I'd made a huge mistake as it basically came out as a big black puddle on the first figure but as I spread it around the figure it became more bearable. And then all of a sudden it was "wow" this actually works!

I really don't think that actually dipping the figures into the can is a great idea as you'll get way too much onto the figure and need to brush it off. And this stuff is horrendously expensive for a tin - £18.00 for 250ml - so you don't want to waste it. On the other hand of course it will do hundreds of 15mm figures - on the tin they say it will do 200 figures if you dip - so I'm assuming if you paint it on to 15mm figures you could double that. And 400 or so figures is about five years production for me.

Of course as I brushed it on a couple of things became clear to me - my assumption that this stuff covered everything was obviously bonkers and I should have done the small detail bits before slapping on the Army Painter. The other was that I missed a few bits (am I the only one who always finds he has missed the cuffs on a figure or some such?) and will need to go back and retouch. I'm not sure how this will work after I've done shading with the AP.

If you look in the background you'll see a French Line Infantryman has sneaked in - I wanted to see how a finished Frenchie would work. I'm not entirely convinced - I am convinced Army Painter improved my efforts but I don't think Dark Tone is the way to go. On the other hand, at £18 a tin I don't really want to experiment with the lighter shades and find they don't work so well.

So, right now I'm thinking perhaps just a highlight on the crossbelts and these figures might be done. I used a really bright red for their facings and the Army Painter dulled it down very nicely without killing the colour. Clearly, the system works best where the figures have plenty of folds and crevices for the liquid to gather in but even the fairly smooth areas of the Spaniards britches showed some results. 

I'm feeling pretty hyped up by this - all of a sudden those masses of Austrian infantry in the big box look a bit less daunting! Of course, first I need to bash out some more caballeros!

As usual, apologies for the poor photography! 


  1. Hi,
    I used it on my Saxons (and Austrians) and it worked great. Started by using Foundry austrian white as a base then the mid after the AP and the final highlight with the light. Dark tone is the best, strong tone is to subtle. You end up painting a lot of the nifor in but if you use a deep flesh the highlight is great and whatever facings also work well. I paint in everything. I found I didn't need to touch up musket or facings. With AB figures it works the best. I have tried it on my Russians in green and it works well, Prussians it works ok but is not so effective on dark blue.

    Your figures came out great!!!

    Sorry for the big comment, just thought you might be interested. You can see my own results in my saxon and Austrian section if your interested.

    1. Hi Paul, thanks for your kind words - your Saxon WIP posts were what inspired me to take a crack at these. Having used dark tone on one battalion I was thinking the medium strong tone might be a bit more subtle - but I'm also thinking that being a bit more sparing with the dark tone might produce better results - I seem to have got a lot of variation in the different figures which I think is a result of slathering it on a particular area and not brushing away enough.

      Other than cross belts I'm a bit hesitant about doing much highlighting - I'll probably just do the lace on the epaulettes and buttons on the officer.

      My French Line infantryman was a bit of a disappointment - he just looked rather grungier than before after the AP rather than much better.

  2. P.S. Good to see you back!

    Also French were a success if they have pre 1812 uniform and white or brown trousers.

  3. Hi,
    Definitely control of the AP makes al the difference. I clean my brush and soak up any areas that are heavy/ pooled.

    The AP can trick your eyes to because of the shine. The Frenchman with a highlight on his face, coat and trousers and shall should come up sweet. Sometimes you don't see how well till after the matt.

    Glad you liked the Saxons.

  4. Great to see you posting again, Malc. I've never used the dip but have heard it can be tricky - you seem to have mastered it pretty well. With som many Austrians, you really need a method like this to speed things up.