Painting: Using Army Painter Quick Shade

Get your army finished quickly and get more time for gaming!

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The “dipping” technique has been around for years; people experimenting with all sorts of chemicals carried home from B&Q. Quick Shade is the first specialized “dip” designed for painting massed armies of toy soldiers. It comes in 3 different tones, to suit the individual gamers taste.

Dipping or Splash-On

On our Roman army we dipped the models into the can of Quick Shade holding the base of the miniature in a pair of pliers. It’s a very effective and super fast approach to adding shading and varnish to your standard troopers. However, for bigger miniatures or for gamers without outdoor facilities (yes… dipping is messy business), you can easily apply on the Quick Shade with an old brush – this is called “Splash-On”.

When you paint on the Quick Shade, make sure you put on plenty of paint. In fact, you have to almost drown the model to allow the Quick Shade to settle in the crevasses and the right spots. Leave the model for a minute then remove the excess pools of Quick Shade using the same brush or a piece of tissue.

Big or odd sized models are difficult to dip into the can are often done with the Splash-On technique.

Shading and Highlights

As the name subtly hints Quick Shade is a … shade. It adds definition and shading to the deepest areas of the miniatures (in the same way as an ink). To get the best effect, always start with a brighter nuance of the colour, than what you want the end result to look like. For instance, if you want a nice deep red, start with a bright red – the Quick Shade will shade it and tone it down.

You don’t need to add highlighting afterward – we didn’t on our Roman Army. However you can do so if you want to and if you got the time! Indeed it might be well worth going back and adding a few highlights to your army commanders.

Shading black is somewhat of a challenge – it’s hard to find a darker tone than black! An option is to add a thin grey highlight before the Quick Shade or simply to add an old fashion highlight after the Quick Shade is completely dry.

Soft, Strong or Dark Tone

What Tone to use? A difficult question to answer, as taste is very individual. A good rule of thumb is to use the same Tone to all models in the army, if at all possible. This will create a coherent looking force which will look really good.

Quick Shade comes in 3 different variants; Soft Tone, Strong Tone and Dark Tone.

Soft Tone: This Quick Shade is specifically designed for lighter colours and looks extremely effective on light colours (white, pink, yellow for instance) as a consequence. Alternatively Soft Tone will give you an effective light shading effect, good for large surfaces and “clean” miniatures.

Strong Tone: This Quick Shade looks extremely good on models which need a deep shading and the rich brown pigment has a battle worn feel to it. Strong Tone is the most common of all the tones as it will add a fantastic shading effect to an army and give it a stunning overall look. In doubt: pick this tone!

Dark Tone: The ultimate shading for metal and armour. Dark Tone uses black pigment instead of brown and creates a very fine black shading on your models. Dark Tone is also superb for models needing a sharp contrast such as furry animals, machines and knights for instance.

Roman Colour Variants

We’ve painted up a few different colour schemes for the Roman Legions illustrating the possibilities of Quick Shade including combinations with different Colour Primers.

White Uniform: This Roman soldier was sprayed Colour Primer: Plate Mail Metal, then given a white uniform and dipped in Quick Shade: Soft Tone, adding fine subdued shading.

Bone Coloured Uniform: This legionnaire was sprayed Colour Primer: Skeleton Bone before standard bright base colours were painted on, he was dipped in Quick Shade: Soft Tone. Soft Tone works best on bright colours, such as this beige uniform.

Red Uniform: For this miniature we just started off with a Colour Primer: Pure Red spray, but it was otherwise painted and dipped in the same manner as our main army.

Blue Uniform: We sprayed this Roman Colour Primer: Matt White, base coated it GW’s Enchanted Blue with flesh and metal and applied Quick Shade: Dark Tone with Splash On technique.

Green Uniform: Started with Colour Primer: Plate Mail Metal; then flesh, green uniform and brown leather straps. Finally the trooper was dipped in Quick Shade: Dark Tone and given a bit of Battlefields: Field Grass on the base.

Musician Blue Uniform: The horn blower also got a blue uniform and lots of bronze armour on his armour and horns. He was dipped in Quick Shade: Strong Tone and finally given a winter base for a bit of variation. The wolf pelt was base coated with a mix of browns making it darker towards the middle.