A few years ago I experimented with various products for shading models with Ink
and ink alternatives. At the time I was predominantly painting 15mm figures and in the end I settled on using Winsor and Newton Ink as the best way to produce deep shadows. Used with dry-brush highlighting it worked well on 15mm figures. When I started painting 6mm vehicles I used the same technique but then I discovered small bottles of Army Painter Quickshade and gave them a try. They worked well on infantry figures and I ended up using them almost exclusively. But last weekend I realised I had run out of Quickshade, prompting a temporary reversion to Winsor and Newton Ink. I rather liked the high contrast shadows it created and decided it would be worthwhile revisiting the whole "what to shade my models with"
So here's my rather unscientific test, pitting Quickshade Soft Tone and Quickshade Strong Tone against Winsor and Newton Peat Brown Ink. I've used some spare Italian tanks I had and base coated the models with Tan Yellow (912) before applying the inks.
|The three contenders - From left to right, Quickshade Soft Tone; Quickshade Strong Tone; and Winsor and Newton Peat Brown Ink.|
|The Soft Tone Quickshade settled nicely into the recesses of the model and is suitable subtle without obscuring the base colour too much. |
|The Dark Tone Quickshade understandably produces darker shadows but also significantly darkens the base colour making it looks slightly dirty.|
|The Winsor and Newton in produced the strongest shadows but with less darkening of the base coat than the Strong Tone Quickshade did. |
My personal preference is the Winsor and Newton because I prefer the bold dark shadows it produces. Like the Quickshade Soft Tone it doesn't obscure the base colour and flows easily into all the recesses. I think that combined with strong highlighting it is possible to make even 6mm models stand out on the games table. Of course the best results rely heavily on the model itself having plenty of detail for the ink to settle into and I think this would probably work best on vehicles rather than infantry.
The finished effect might not be to everyone's taste (all painting is a matter of personal preference) but I quite like it. Having made my choice I am interested to hear what other 6mm wargamers prefer. Do you even use ink on figures at this scale? Or maybe you think that different types of ink or shade suite different types of figures? Whatever the answer I'd like to hear what you do, if only to gauge how far off the mark I am!
I don't paint tanks in 6mm but for figures I use W&N Nut Brown, this has a lighter shading effect than Peat Brown.ReplyDelete
For buildings I use various inks, mostly GW but also Vallejo as well
Hmm, I've not tried Nut Brown...I may get myself a bottle and give this a try.Delete
I like the subtleness of both the Army Painter models, but you can't beat the effect from the W&N Peat Brown! Thank Gawd Reject Richard discovered this bottle of gold and its many uses, many years ago!, Where would my armies be now without my bottle of Peat!ReplyDelete
I think the Quickshade works better on larger models, but for 6mm a lot more contrast in required for them to stand out on the games table. The high contrast helps accentuate and highlight all the details, and as detail is what you pay for with GHQ mini's I want to be able to see it!Delete
I used to paint everything with W&N before AP came along - Nut & Peat - it's possibly thinner than the AP stuff and better for smaller scales. I've recently been using AP washes on my 6mm but will try W&N for the next batch. Thanks for the reminder :)ReplyDelete
I tend to use whatever I lay my hands on! But of the three the Ink seems to give better contrast between light and shade. So of the three W&N wins on this occasion. But whatever you choose will be the right choice.ReplyDelete
I agree - The W&N looks better.ReplyDelete
I use the Magic Wash for any washing that needs to be done. It's inexpensive, very effective and you can make up a mix to suit your own tastes. It will last for absolute ages as well. If you are interested the link is:ReplyDelete
IMHO the ink looks best, with the soft tone the better of the two APsReplyDelete
Very interesting comparison.ReplyDelete
How are you diluting the ink before application?
I didn't. You can dilute the W&N but I haven't done that here.Delete
Ah, thank you!Delete
Do you use gloss varnish first?Delete
Have you tried enamel washes? I use ak interactive brown for green vehicles on all of my 15mm vehicles and some 6mm test vehicles. Flows very well, good colour, can clean up mistakes. Downside is slow dry time and smell.
I use a spray gloss varnish after I have finished painting with a top varnish of Testors Dullcote to reduce everything to Matt again.Delete
I use both varnish/dip and W&N inks and it depends very much on the scenario. In this case I'm with you, the ink is a better choice and it is how I'm attacking my Epic Squats.ReplyDelete
Very nice work. I think I prefer the W&N version as well.ReplyDelete
I've used all of these as well as the latest GW shades of Agrax Earthshade (dark brown) Reikland Fleshade (reddish brown) Seraphim sepia ((light brown ) and Nuln Oil (black). I paint almost exclusively 15mm Peter Pig figures which take washes really well. I am tending to lean towards the GW washes now as I find they don't stain the upper surfaces as much as the AP washes do. I alter which wash I use dependant on the base colour and the look I am after. I am impressed with how the W&N ink works on the 6mm tank. My only problem is the gloss finish but I guess with Matt varnish this isn't a problem.ReplyDelete