Dipping Tiny Bitz: How I Coated My Entire Hand in Stain

My garage was a scene straight out of Jeremiah Johnson last night, complete with stains and an Indian burial ground.  Ok, so it wasn’t an officially so, but seeing so many limbs on spikes reminded me of that classic movie (“Fine measure of a man, yes?”).

Anywho, this past weekend, I got tired of seeing armless Tyranid warriors strewn about the house, so I decided to do something about it.  It didn’t take all that much effort, just had to paint about 75 random appendages (magnetized, of course) to use with my force.  I’d been procrastinating for a couple of reasons:

  1. Why put off until tomorrow what you can put of until the day after tomorrow?   Procrastination is just the easy way out, and I don’t use warriors all that often, so what’s the rush?
  2. I had to come up with a suitable color scheme for weapons.  To this point, I’d pretty much only chosen blue as the flesh tones and bone as the chitin for Hive Fleet Proteus (army page is a work in progress).  Aside from that, I did throw a dash of red on the guns for my Hierophant, so I could paint the weapons red, but that didn’t seem right for the bone swords.  Naturally, bone would be a good choice, but I’d already chosen that color for both the chitin and scything weapons (by the way, for anyone looking for color scheme advice for Nids, I definitely would choose different colors for those two items).  So, I was in a bit of a pickle, and I didn’t want to make a decision.
  3. I was somewhat baffled as to how I would manage to dip such tiny pieces.

Luckily, I had a moment of inspiration this weekend and managed to overcome all three.

I went with red for the guns (to keep in theme with the bio-titan), and opted for orange for the bone swords.  My theory there was that orange is a complementary color to blue, and if I blended it down to red, my hope was that it wouldn’t clash too horribly with the guns.  I don’t think they came out bad at all.

As for dipping, the solution was simple: magnets.  I’d already attempted the solution to some success with my gargoyles earlier this summer, so I just reused the same nails with the spare limbs.  Granted, these smaller pieces were much more tinchy when it came to dipping (and spinning), and I had a severe shortage of nails which forced me to double/triple/quadruple up on them, but it went smoother than I’d imagined.  In fact, I only lost a single arm in the vat of stain, and despite the fact that my lovely wife had brought me chopsticks for just such an occasion, I plunged my fist into the muck and bravely retrieved said bonesword.  Sure, it was a stupid thing to do, which resulted in me spending ten minutes soaking my hands in gasoline, but I did get to feel like Prince Arthur for a brief moment…

For some reason, these bits required less maintenance as the stain dried than normal bugs.  I’m not sure if that’s because this is significantly smaller than my normal batches that I’d dip, or because the smaller pieces have less places to worry about dripping.  More likely, it had something to do with each bit having it’s own pre-determined route for the stain (in the shape of a nail).  Yeah, that’s probably it.

The tally for the weekend:

  1. Monstrous Creatures
    • Scything Talons (x12)
    • Crushing Claws (x1)
    • Bone Swords (x4)
    • Lash Whip (x1)
    • Venom Cannon (x1)
  2. Tyranid Warriors
    • Venom Cannons (x2)
    • Barbed Stranglers (x2)
    • Devourers (or are they deathspitters?  No bother, I’ll use them interchangably) (x8)
    • Left Arms (for guns) x9
    • Bone Swords (x12)
    • Scything Talons (x12)
    • Rending Claws (x10)

In short, all of the arms I had lying around got painted up this weekend, and after these things dry, I’ll be able to post some pictures of my models with arms.  No more parapalegic Tyranids in my force… no siree.


7 comments on “Dipping Tiny Bitz: How I Coated My Entire Hand in Stain

  1. If you grab a thing of Mineral Spirit’s(like 3-5 bucks) it will remove any stain from hands very quickly, no need to submerge just splash some on your hands and rub it around like soap. Wash them in soap afterward and grab some lotion after that =)

  2. um, i commented but it didn’t show up so ill try again and if i double post just delete one…..

    I found Mineral Spirits is fantastic for removing stain from skin. It’s super cheap at like 3-5 bucks for a large bottle and actually doubles as a stain/paint thinner, just splash some on your hands and rub it around like soap. After that wash your hands off with soap and use some lotion to prevent excessive dryness and your good.

  3. Well you have to get messy if you want to do some quick and effective batch painting, I think. I got a DIY chemical peeling on my hand the other day when I accidentally poured half a bottle of acetone on it. I didn’t bother wiping it off straight away because I was in the middle of something. After a while I realised I had some white tiny bits on my hand which I supposed was from the kitchen paper I was using. When I realised they were my own skin was too late…

  4. Ewwww…. I hope everything healed up alright.

    I remember when I was in high school, we got a hold of some caustic
    chemical…. I thought it was Turpentine. Anywho, we just needed something
    to strip the paint off models, and that was glorious–but it burned like the
    dickens (and, of course, we didn’t wear gloves). When we were finished, we
    poured water into the leftovers to dillute it, and it has a nasty chemical
    reaction. I guess it had that explains why it burned so badly on our skin.

    Since then, I’ve stayed away from that stuff altogether.

  5. Haha well I guess it could happen do the best of us 😛
    Yeah, my hand is ok now. It didn’t really hurt since it was only the outer layer of skin that got peeled of. Just had a weird tingly sensation on my fingers for a few days (I guess because the surface nerves were more exposed) and it occasionally went numb. Not too bad though.

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