Wednesday, 30 August 2017

To wash or not to wash ....

No, not my dear old mum's advice to always wash behind my ears.  Frighteningly, I find myself saying the same thing to my 9 year old son every morning.

It's taken me a while, but I've finally taken the plunge and tried an enamel wash.  I picked up a bottle of AK Interactive enamel wash for DAK vehicles.  Following various internet methods, it seemed that the idea was to paint the vehicles with acrylics, add an enamel filter if needed and then acrylic gloss varnish the whole vehicle.  Once the varnish is thoroughly dry, pin wash the seams, rivets, folds, creases, etc with the enamel wash.  Once the wash has hardened, excess can be removed with a white spirit dampened brush, wiped off on kitchen paper.  Once the desired effect is reached, the whole lot is left to dry and then matt varnished in acrylic.

The photos below show pairs of vehicles which have been gloss varnished, with the model on the right washed and the model on the left untouched.  I think the effects speak for themselves in terms of the greater depth and detail shown by the detail washed vehicles.

Britannia Miniatures 8th Army light trucks.

Armourfast Panzer IVDs.

The sad thing is it now shows up the shortcomings of the vehicles that I've not washed, so there could well be a program of retrospectively washing some of those most in need of detailing.  So, now to try out some other techniques that I've found on the web, such as chipping, streaking, etc.

These also give an idea of some of the projects I have on the go at the moment, which include 8th Army and DAK in 20mm, additions to my 15mm DAK and NW Europe US forces, and some ventures into 28mm Darkest Africa!  I've just invested in a Harder and Steinbeck airbrush, which has been well worth the expense, making it really quick to undercoat and basecoat figures and vehicles.  I still need to develop some subtlety in covering smaller areas for cammo patterns etc.  It's all in the trigger action,so I'm told.

As ever, thanks for looking.


  1. Do not be counted amongst the ranks of the great unwashed!

    On a serious note, gotta wash the troops and minis, they look so much better, and your technique(s) is light years ahead of mine!


    1. Thanks Jack. I've used an acrylic earth wash for most troops for ages, most recently converted to Citadel Agrax Earthshade. I've always avoided washing vehicles, especially sand coloured vehicles, because of the colour changes - general darkening and mottling. The AK Interactive wash really flows into all those joints and folds, and it's pretty straightforward to mop up the excess with a little white spirit. The acrylic gloss varnish needs to be really dry though - in preference I give it at least 48 hours to fully harden.

      By the way, I played a pretty intense game of Osprey's "Black Ops" last night - sorry, no photos, but it was great and really nail biting stuff. Well worth a look!

      Cheers, Andy