Today we will finally add the stain to the models. After doing this a few times, I have a list of things I highly recommend doing prior to using this method, as it can be quite messy, and once you get varnish on some things it is very hard to remove.
1. Place a barrier around your working surface and between it and the table/desk you are working on. Old newspapers are great for this. When I say working surface I mean the actual place where you let models sit or where you’d mix paint etc. I use a white acrylic tile as it is easy to clean (window cleaner does the trick) and easy to obtain.
2. Make sure the brushes you use are old ones, because if the varnish/stain hardens in your brushes it will ruin them. I recommend a large brush (tank brush) and a smaller sized brush.
3. Have turps ready to clean your brushes after if they do get ruined. You will also need turps to strip a model if you manage to mess up the staining job. I did do this a couple of times so I will show you in a couple of articles time how I got mine back to bare metal.
After assembling all the models in front of me and after setting up my workspace (as above), I set about applying the stain to my models. For this I used Army Painter Strong Tone. The can looks like this:
Now there are numerous articles on the net as to what brand is better and what is tone/shade is the best but we all have different styles and opinions so if it works for you and you are happy with the end product then that’s all that matters. You can use normal varnishes found in
hardware stores as well. One that I have used before and works well is Minwax Wood Finish. There are a ton of articles on the net so feel free to check them out. The cans of it look like this:
Now for me, I will often pay that little bit more to grab an item I know is designed for a certain product rather then try other brands and possibly have to waste time with products that give you poor results. Remember that if you would rather save money and put the time into trying a different brand then ALWAYS test your product out on a miniature before applying it to your actual models.
Ok, so you literally just paint on the stain using your large brush. Treat the stain like a wash that you are applying to your whole miniature. Don’t be subtle either, you want a lot, and I mean a lot, on your miniatures to cover the whole thing. What will happen is the stain will flow down the miniature when you leave it to stand. Give it a couple minutes and then using you smaller brush start to remove the excess pooling of stain/varnish. Here you can either dab the excess onto a tissue paper or try and wipe it of back into the can.
Rinse and repeat this method on all your miniatures keeping in mind to let the stain flow by itself and don’t try move it with your brush as this will leave streaks on your miniatures. Once you are done let your miniatures stand for 24 hours before you come back to them. My end result for all my miniatures is this:
Day 1 Miniatures
Day 2 Miniatures
Day 3 Miniatures
Now all that is left to do is place an anti-shine spray over these models and base them. Here is a great chance to think about and plan what colours you want to use for your bases and also what texture you will use. The base of a miniature really bring the model to life so try to design a base that will make your mini pop!
Nearly there now, just one more session and we will have a fully painted company!