Dipping Minis (Or How I learned how NOT to do it!)

This weekend I started painting my Khador. I have not made much progress as I was trying to also Dip the minis. I am mainly going for a decent tabletop quality force, and thus far…I am learning how NOT to do it :P

Firstly lets go over HOW I am dipping, and then I can explain what NOT to do.

Basically I borrowed my dads cordless power drill, and I am gluing the base of the mini to a piece of cardboard that has a nail run through it. Then, I use that nail like a drill bit. Dip the mini all the way in, let it sit for a couple of seconds, then remove it. Let it drip the excess off, and then stick the whole thing in a bucket and spin it via the drill.

This works out quite well…once I got the hang of it (for the most part)

Mistake 1 – Gluing the mini directly to nailhead. It does not work at all for Warmachine at least. The issue here is weight. I had my Juggernaut go flying off during the spin, which ruined him even AFTER I tried to shake him.

Mistake 2 – Touching the mini without gloves. Yea, I forgot to get gloves thinking everything would work out just dandy (DOH!) Thus I got the dip (Minwax Polyshades which is a Polyurethane Varnish) all over my hands. And, being an idiot (despite being WARNED) I forgot to get WD40. Yes, you want to get WD40 that stuff will remove the Varnish. Course your hands get oily but hey at least the varnish gets removed!

Mistake 3 – Not letting the excess drip off. Sounds weird right? Well I dipped my Destroyer after figuring out the “glue to cardboard with nail through it trick” and instead of letting the dip set, I just took it straight into the bucket and spun it. Thus the dip didn’t really darken anything. Just made the mini shiny.

Mistake 4 – Flat Area’s will STILL hold the dip so make sure you wick it off somehow. I found THIS one out after doing a Kayazy assassin as a test for what I THOUGHT would be my FINAL test. I got him in, let him drip the excess, and then spun the rest off. However, the back of his cloak and the internal spot on his cloak held TOO MUCH dip even AFTER Spinning, and thus has a big ol brown stain. Thankfully THAT is fixable easily. Unlike my Juggernaut, who is being stripped in Simple Green as we speak.

So what is my verdict thus far on dipping?

Well, it looks good on the FRONT of my mini regardless of the shine, and it DOES do like a wash (mixed with protecting the mini). However, I feel that actually dipping the mini and then shaking is the wrong way to go.

Next test? Treating the dip like a wash and brushing it on. I feel that this will give me more control and work a bit better. Here is hoping I can figure this out (I got how to wash pretty quick, but this is really messin with me!)

Of course I am going to be doing this outside, and I will STILL be mounting the minis to bits of cardboard with nails in em to protect my hands. Or I could just get some cheap gloves.

One or the other. Or I could just wash the damn things.

Maybe I will just pay someone to paint my crap. The only problem with that of course is that I cannot PLAY with it while it is being painted!

I hate painting >.<


6 thoughts on “Dipping Minis (Or How I learned how NOT to do it!)

  1. Byron

    I have been playing with dip recently as well… I have been liking using those little foam makeup applicator things for putting it on/cleaning it up. Tried cheap brushes, but didn’t like them much at all.


  2. I brush on the dip and have rolled up pieces of kitchen paper to soak up the pooled excess.

    Thanks to your blog I now have the hilarious image of a Juggernaut flying through the air after parting company with the drill!



    1. Clayton

      Haha. Thankfully he didn’t go flying too far, just bounced around in the bucket I was holding the drill down in. He bounced around pretty rapidly though.


  3. Nick

    I go for the brush on method. You will destroy whatever brush you use, so make sure it’s a crappy one, but brushing it on gives you much better control, and in my opinion, results in less heavy-handed looking shading.


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