Monday, 17 October 2011

Army Painter Quick Shade - aka 'Magic Dip'

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I bought some Army Painter Strong Tone Quick Shade (aka 'magic dip') from Figures in Comfort at this year's Colours convention. I paid £19.95 (IIRC) for it, but saw it cheaper from other traders :(   I decided to use it on a new project so that all the figures in that project had the same finish. I didn't want one side in a game looking completely different from the other - in terms of finish anyway!

So - somewhat appropriately - my new 18mm fantasy animal figures from Splintered Light Minis, were my guinea pigs and now that they're done, here are some before, after and 1 'during' pictures, with my conclusions on Quick Shade afterwards.

Hedgehog and Badger - before

Hedgehog and Badger - during (immed. after dipping)

Hedgehog and Badger - after

Otters - before

Otters - after

Shrews - before
Shrews - after

Squirrels - before

Squirrels - after
Note: All the 'after' pictures were taken approx 24hrs after dipping.

When pulling the minis out of the dip and then standing them on my cutting mat, they were covered in huge blobs of the dip - the Badger and Hedgehog 'during' photo shows this perfectly. There was so much dip on them that you couldn't see the gap between their legs!

Not having used the dip before, I spread the excess around with a brush and felt obliged to do that with all the dipped minis ... but that rather defeats the object of the dip doesn't it? If I have to spread it around the figure with a brush I might as well use a wash - how I normally finish my figures! Perhaps they would have been ok without spreading the dip, but to me there seemed far too much to just leave it ...

As an example of the wash finish that I normally use, the 28mm Sci-Fi figures in my last post were all finished with the mucky brown/black wash and I think the effect is just as good as Quick Shade's and is also considerably cheaper.

The only advantage I can see of using the dip is that it is a varnish as well, but seeing how glossy it is, I fell that I'm going to have to put coat of matt or satin over it.

So, my conclusion ... I like the shading of the finish, but not the gloss; Army Painter Quick Shade is not for me due to its high gloss finish and cost. I'll probably use up the tin I've got, but I won't be buying anymore.



  1. Same opinion here mate, I'm also stunned that you can buy miniature armed shrews and squirrels....excellent.

  2. Have never tried it as there are so many different yays and nays for it. Thanks for showing your results.

    Would perhaps adding water or somthing maybe help

  3. Hmmm - I think I would want to see the end result in person before making up my mind... but it is a bit expensive in Australia to try (for me at least)