Something About Stain

Since January, I’ve been saving up painted bugs to dip. This is because my methodology of dipping gets stain everywhere. In fact, after another round of it last night, I’m still picking stain out of my hair, a la “Something About Mary.”

But I digress. As stated, I’ve been hoarding up “painted” models until I had enough that I could justify spending an evening coating my garage (and my head) in Minwax polyurethane. Each time I think that I’m ready to try, I spy another loan model that I could add to list, if only it were painted. With that mentality, I wind up continously procrastinating.

Last night I found a reason to do it though: my gargoyles.

Since I had gone gung-ho and magnetized them, I found myself in a bit of a pickle: how do I dip them without ruining my magnetized flying stands. In talking about it with good ol’ Dad (on father’s day), he gave me the solution: nails.

The idea being that nails are both cheap and magnetic, so they can hold the models upright without unnecessary cost. So, with that in mind, I drilled 40 holes into pieces of spare 2″x4″ and tested the theory. The only flaw was that I only had 20 nails and 40 gargoyles. Sure, I could’ve ponied up another dollar for the rest of the nails, but I ran into a problem of where do I store that many 2″x4″s without them getting in the way. As a result, I opted to do the gargoyles in batches.

Which was the perfect reason to dip again last night. No matter what I did, I was going to have to do two batches, since I only had enough stands to do half the gargoyles at once. Now, I had no reason to wait until I’d completed painting all the bugs, so I ran down to the store and picked up another tub of “Antique Walnut Satin,” prepped my treadmill box, threw on some rags and went to town.

The list of models that saw stain included:

  • 2x Hive Tyrants
  • 2x Zoanthropes
  • 2x Tyranid Primes
  • 2x Hive Guard
  • 10x Tyranid Warriors
  • 30(ish)x Spore Mines
  • 6x Raveners
  • 20x Gargoyles

So, it’s by no means everything I had lying around, but a good enough haul to justify getting dirty. I did go through my bags of half-painted ‘stealers, but found them to be just that: half painted. In order to prepare for my next (and perhaps final?) round of dipping, I’ll need to finish those guys up, along with my Trygons/Tervigons, a few more termies (armed with stranglewebs), and three more zoanthropes. I suspect the relatively model count should be quite similar.

Anywho, the dipping went off fairly well and, despite my earlier statements, I did manage to keep the stain rather contained. I only got one drop in my hair (forgot to wear a hat), and since I’d prepped the area with garbage bags taped together, it doesn’t appear that there’s really much clean-up to deal with.

While I was dipping them, I became concerned that some of the models (particularly the Zoa’s and the Tyrants) were a little light, so wound up dipping them multiple times. Really, when all was said and done, I’d wound up dipping everything except the gargoyles at least twice. It’s not that the gargoyles couldn’t use it, but I had just taken too long and the stain had already begun to set on them before I’d gotten around to noticing.

Anywho, the build-up of stain on the Tyrants is a bit over-the-top, so maybe I did get an little over-zealous when I dropped them in for the third time. Too late to really do anything about that now though…

As for the gargoyles, the nails worked fairly well. For those models who I drilled shallow holes (and consequently had magnets fairly flush with the bottom of the gargoyle itself), they worked well. For those that had deeper holes, the nails had a harder time holding on to the model as I flicked them to remove the excess stain. Really, I wound up forsaking the flicking method on them in favor of simply spinning them. They came up with about the same end result, and I stopped accidentally throwing gargoyles around my garage.

So, my Tyranid army is progressing nicely. I do believe I can finish them with one more dipping appointment–and then it’s on to basing…

As always, if you’d like to see larger images, you can click on any thumbnail for the full picture.


Something About Mary image owned by 20th Century Fox.


10 comments on “Something About Stain

  1. To keep your area clean, why not cut a hole in the top of a cardboard box, and then lower the model in, spin, and remove. Should catch all the Nails are great – they also fit into a drill like a bit for easier spinning 😉

  2. I've had good success with the more friendly methods of just brushing it on and using water-based stain for smell-control and ease of cleanup. For some examples of figs done this way, search for “sonsoftaurus” in the Dakka Dakka galleries and check out my Orks and IG.

  3. Wow, that is really effective. They look really good now. I'd like to see some gargoyles close-up.I think they could probably benefit from another dip as their chitin does seem a bit pale still, especially compared to the other monsters (I don't think any of them look over-done).

  4. Great tips. I haven't really spun models before to remove excess stain, itjust came from necessity. I take it you're speaking from experience? I'llhave to give them a whirl next dipping session. 🙂

  5. Yeah, my buddy Jerm did it as well. It works great for a bunch of forcesthough–not just 'Nidz. Orcs are great, and even some varieties of spacemarines. As an instant shade for Imperial Fists, it's unbeatable.

  6. Thanks. I'll get some pics of them in detail when I get to fleshing out myarmy related pages.I agree that they could use some extra stain–I just didn't get around tobrushing them up, until they were already fairly-well dried. Oh well, ittakes all types, right?

  7. Those orks look great. Did you dip the vehicles as well?I've used the brush-it-on technique only when I have models that are franklytoo big to dip into the can, and even then, I wind up flicking them toremove excess stain. How do you remove it, if not by flicking/spinning?

  8. Yep, did the vehicles too. Brushing it on you've got more control, so there's less to remove in the first place, but you can wick it away with the brush itself or a paper towel. It's also nice in case you want to do some areas more heavily than others.

  9. What do you mean when you say 'brushing them up'? Don't you just dip the models in, and then shake them around a bit? What do you use a brush for? Or do you mean 'brush them up as in 'finish them'.And when you dip your second batch, is there and reason you wouldn't be able to add a second coat of stain to them then?

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