I decided to brush on the Army Painter Strong Tone Quickshade this time around. I'm much happier with the results. I used the wrong brush but it was still much easier to control than the dip method. Below is a pic of the beloved test levy in each state: color blocked, brush-on shaded, and dullcoted:
Its going to take some trial and error to figure out what's the right amount of stain and where it should be. For example, I've definitely got too much on the legs of these guys. I used another brush to soak up some of the excess stain. I learned you need to check back on the mini after a couple of minutes as the stain tends to move and pool-up over time. You've got to remain vigilant as an area that looked good at first might start looking over-shaded.
I'm still debating high-lighting these guys. Part of me wants to kick them up a notch visually. Part of me wants to not bollocks them up and have to strip them again! I did paint on some highlights on the black haired gent before shading him (as the stain wasn't going to draw out much detail from the black). I also made an attempt to highlight via the method Dr. Phil Hendry suggested on a forum post:
"Once it's dry, everything gets a painted-on coat of Army Painter Strong Tone (sometimes I 'dry-brush' the 'dip' off the highlights on the tunics with a brush dampened with white spirit, just as the 'dip' is going tacky), followed (once that's dry) by a light squirt of Testors' Dull Cote."I don't think I had much luck though. Perhaps I waited too long to 'damp brush' on the thinner, or perhaps my natural turpenoid isn't as strong as the white spirits he uses. I am going to give it another go though. I like the idea of being able to draw out some highlights easily (as opposed to mixing up lighter versions of the paints).
This was my first time using Testor's Dullcote. I'd heard mixed reviews of the Army Painter matte spray, so I went with what seems to be 'the old standby.' I was a bit nervous as I am spraying outdoors in Florida, but the temperature and humidity were pretty much spot on (for once!). It took two light coats but the results were outstanding. The finish is very matte. Interestingly the only problem area was where I had used the most turpenoid while attempting to highlight. I'm guessing that area was no longer glossy enough to really take up the matte spray?
All told, I'm very happy with my progress and feel like I'm finally starting to make it out of experimentation phase and into the production phase. Which is good, because I believe my other thirty-four miniatures are starting to get a bit jealous!