My blog about my wargaming activities. I collect a lot of 15mm miniatures for the American War of Independence and so collect a lot of rules for this period. I started miniatures with Napoleonics, so I have a number of armies in 6mm and 15mm figures for skirmishing. I have15mm WW II figures that I use for Flames of War, Memoir '44, and someday, Poor Bloody Infantry. Finally there is my on-again, off-again relationship with paper soldiers that I sometimes write about.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Painting with Citadel Washes

Lately I've been experimenting with painting using Citadel washes. By "painting with washes" I mean painting a figure, generally white, and then using the washes to color the figure. Initially I was painting a figure with colors in block styles and then washing, but I found the washes too subtle, unless I used a very light color.

So, I decided to start with the lightest color of all, white, and wash it, seeing what the effects were. As flesh color is something I paint a lot of lately (I am painting ancients at the moment, so there is a lot of flesh to be painted). For painting flesh, Citadel offers three basic colors: Flesh, Sepia, and Mud. Over white, Flesh gives a reddish, sun-burnt hue, Sepia fives a orange-brown hue, and Mud a darker-brown hue. By the way, the Black wash gives a gray hue over white.

The good thing about Citadel washes (or bad, depending upon your point of view) is that one coat will not do. Like painting with watercolors, that means you wash with one color and then wash with a different to get a different shade. You can also mix them together. For example I mixed Green and Mud and made a nice Olive color. By using Privateer Press' Yellow ink and putting Mud as the second coat, I got a good Dark Mustard color.

For some figures that are deeply cut, it may take more than two coats. I use small brushes to apply the washes, that way I can move pools of wash, lightening or darkening areas, as necessary. If I do a third coat, it is usually only to specific problem areas (shin, elbows, noses, and ankles) so I don't darken the other areas too much. For figures that are not cut at all, for example old Scruby miniatures or some of the simpler Irregular Miniatures sculpts, washing won't work at all as the figure would be uniformly the same color.

Ultimately, that is the point of washing: darken the recesses while keeping the highlights lighter, effectively shading the figure without a lot of effort. Washing does that for you, but it is not as simple as dipping. On the other hand, washing produces better results, in my opinion.

Pictures to follow.

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Huachuca City, Arizona, United States
I am 50 yrs old now. I bought a house in Huachuca City, AZ (although I have a townhouse in Houston, TX and a small home in Tucson, AZ) working on a contract for "the next two years" that is going on five years now. To while away the hours I like to wargame -- with wooden, lead, and sometimes paper miniatures -- usually solo. Although I am a 'rules junkie', I almost always use rules of my own (I like to build upon others' ideas, but it seems like there is always something "missing" or "wrong").