The later stages of painting figures seem to take longer than the start for me. I guess it’s a result of the initial enthusiasm with beginning an army giving way to the realisation of the effort involved. Also the boots, belts, quivers, spearheads and so on are repetitive and a bit more fiddly than blocking in the main clothing colours. That said, I got everything done that I wanted to and the first elements of my Communal Italian army are ready to base.
I did a few things differently on this batch of figures as an experiment. Usually I apply a wash using watered down paint or ink, leave that to dry overnight, then spray on a gloss varnish, leave that to dry overnight, and then spray on a matt varnish. As you can see there are a few overnight waits in that process. Also there are two sprays. It’s been a very windy August here in Melbourne and I do my ‘rattle can’ spraying outside, so with a few of my earlier armies I lost time waiting for a calm afternoon to apply the varnish coats.
This time, for the washes I got a bottle of Atelier Gloss Medium & Varnish. It’s the consistency of water, so when it’s mixed with a couple of drops of ink it makes a very good wash. It ‘sucks down’ into creases very well and it seems to be fairly tough. I used to use Johnson’s Klear when I was over in the UK but for some reason you can’t buy it in Australia. Pledge One Go is recommended as being the same stuff – but it certainly doesn’t smell the same! So I’d recommend the Atelier product as a Klear substitute from the varnish and wash point of view at least. People also use Klear to restore model aircraft canopies and as an aid to decalling but I won’t vouch for those uses until I try them.
I also used my Derivan Matisse Polymer Matt Varnish for the first time. It’s very thick but you can add water to thin it. I overthinned and also missed a few areas but because it dried so quickly it was easy to re-do.
So there we are – in a couple of hours I managed to do what used to take a lot longer, and I’m pretty pleased with the results.