Sunday, 8 March 2009

First Attempt With Army Painter

Having just returned to the hobby after a 10-year break to play video games I now have a different attitude to my previous, younger self regarding the painting of my figures.

I will no longer allow myself be swayed by the snobbery and anally-retentive approach by some of the hobby's activists. This new approach brought me to the recently released Army Painter (AP)which is no doubt loathed by certain sections of the hobby and therefore all the more reason to try it out!

To add further insult to injury, I purchased Perry Miniatures hard plastic 28mm ACW figures to experiment on and have outlined my initial results for you.

After assembly, clean up and initial basing, I applied the AP spray primer, which I think is excellent after a little early scepticism. Next came the base painting with no highlighting - another sacrilege, prior to coating in a strong tone dip; I simply followed the directions to the letter - anything to save time. The initial dip once dried, gives a shocking glazed effect though, so beware!

However, not to fear; after the dip had dried some 12 hours later, as directed, I sprayed on a light coating of AP matt varnish and added the necessary flocking to complete the effect as shown below.

While the finished effect may not be to every one's liking, I think that when the time saved from the all the previous shading and highlighting of yore is taken into account the results are quite pleasing. This is, after all, my first painting of any kind for 10 years and I must admit lessons have been learned for my next figures.

The use of fairly bright colours during initial base painting would undoubtedly give greater contrast once dipped and matt varnished rather than relying upon simply the uniform grey primer; although, in this case, the rifleman's trousers were originally two different shades - not that you can tell now!

To summarise, I personally think the use of products such as the Army Painter is the way ahead for painting reasonably looking armies in this time-constrained age; after all, we still need time to play video games and do all the regular things that people with lives need to do.

While the high priests of gaming purism may baulk at such notions, I am sure that once a few figures even of this limited quality are placed on a half decent gaming table the effect will be more than acceptable.

All the best!



  1. I'll have to give Army Painter a try on my 20mm figures .. the time has come to stop sniggering at the dippers and join them!

  2. I just bought a tin of dark tone today, ill be trying it out soon, it does look like the way forward.


  3. I've just tried it out on some Valiant 1/72 GI's and some 20mm Coldwar Brits - I think it's fantastic! The different coloured primers combined with this are going to mean I can roll out a decent sized, good looking, force in much less time than before...

    I wonder if it'd be any good for my 10mm Warmaster??


    1. Chalky, I've used it on 6mm stuff and think it looks great.



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