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"How to apply 'The Dip' to 200 Army Men at once..." Topic

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Toy Gaming

1,336 hits since 8 Nov 2017
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2017 3:20 p.m. PST

I recently got my nephew, a professional carpenter, interested in gaming with plastic Army Men figures. He bought 200 figures, and decided he wanted to Dip them, like mine, to improve their appearance. I shared how I brushed it on, but he took a different approach: he used his stain/paint sprayer to apply The Dip to all 200 figures at once! Wish I'd have thought of this… Years ago!

Because the sprayer gave him such control over the amount applied, and it was applied by aerosol, rather than brush, his figures came out better than my brushing ever has. The Dip accumulated in the folds, as it should, but without any pooling that I can see. The best part is, you can apply it in stages, or passes, until you achieve the application level desired. It gives a high level of control you will not have, with a brush, or by dunking, even with spinning the figure on a drill. Plus you can apply it en masse!

Harbor Freight sells an Electric Paint Spray Gun, with a coupon, for around $14. USD You can load this Spray Gun with un-diluted Minwax Polyshades Tudor (black), or Royal Walnut (dirty brown, in the mud, color), and spray as many pieces as you need to, in one go! I have a few hundred Army Men figures I would like to base, and Dip, for my games. I also have a couple of hundred, 25-28mm, fantasy figures I need to Dip. No more brushing it on, for me! I can't wait to do this… It gives great control over the application, allowing you to avoid much of the dreaded pooling caused by excess application. Cheers!

Stryderg08 Nov 2017 3:48 p.m. PST

PICTURES!! Otherwise it didn't happen. (I think that's a rule on the interwebs.) And I wonder if an air compressor could be used instead (already got one of those).

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2017 3:57 p.m. PST

I'll work on getting photo's posted/hosted…

He used an air-tool sprayer, not the cheap electric one like I posted. So, yes, you can use an air-powered sprayer.

I have a used Wagner I bought for spraying loads of terrain pieces, which I never actually used -- went the brush route, instead. Now I have a new use for that Wagner. Sooo looking forward to doing this! Brushing on The Dip takes so much time, and effort, compared to this… Cheers!

ordinarybass08 Nov 2017 4:03 p.m. PST

Fascinating and brilliaint!
I'd love to see some pics of his results.

Stryderg08 Nov 2017 4:13 p.m. PST

I'll work on getting photo's posted/hosted…

Thanks. I was trying to be funny, not pushy. Hope it came across that way.

Jeigheff08 Nov 2017 6:30 p.m. PST

I too would like to see pictures. Thanks in advance!


Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2017 9:13 p.m. PST

I took it as funny, Stryderg. No worries.

Got two images, not the best quality, but they show the effect with the urethane-stain collecting in the folds and recesses of the Army Men figures. Great thing is, you can start out light, and if it is not dark enough, spray again, until you are satisfied.

I agree: it is brilliant. Wish I would have thought of it myself! This is going to save me sooo much time, and effort… I plan on setting my mini's aside, once they reach the point of applying The Dip, until I get a large batch ready to go. Then I will spray them all at the same time. When they dry, the whole batch will be ready to finish their bases. Fast, efficient, and with more control than I've had before. Love it.

Linked Image 1;

Linked Image 2.

The Army Men figures are Hot Glued to 2"-square, MDF bases. He just sprayed them, base and all, with standard Minwax Polyshades urethane stain. Be sure to mix it thoroughly, before filling the sprayer's reservoir. The stain tends to settle to the bottom of the can, forming a very thick, viscous layer. Other than that, it is pretty straight-forward.

The Army Men figures were pristine, fresh out of the bag, days after he ordered them. They were very clean, and shiny. All of the darkness seen in the images, is from The Dip. Be sure to click on the "+" sign, to zoom in on the images, to get a better look at how effective this technique is. Cheers!

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2017 9:43 p.m. PST

By the way, this same approach could be done using an air brush. I'd recommend the less expensive, single stage, which pulls the stain varnish out of the reservoir without running it through the head.

Mel the Terrain Tutor talked about this type in his recent video, Pro Tips on Using PVA. I believe Mel stated that this type of Air Brush sells for around $6. USD Since it does not run the varnish through a head, there is no cleanup, except for the reservoir bottle, itself. For spraying The Dip onto smaller groups, or even individual figures, this would be the way to go… Cheers!

abelp0109 Nov 2017 5:04 a.m. PST

I've been doing it like that with my airbrush for a while now.

Stryderg09 Nov 2017 8:49 a.m. PST

Nice, thanks.

Personal logo Steve Roper Supporting Member of TMP09 Nov 2017 2:25 p.m. PST

I use a cheap harbor freight hobby kit do to this


The only warning is be VERY careful of overspray on figures already done.

But it is very fast and I did hundreds of hold 25mm ancients in an afternoon

ordinarybass09 Nov 2017 3:28 p.m. PST

Those pics look quite nice!

I like how you can just leave them shiny since the figs themselves are already shiny!

JARROVIAN Supporting Member of TMP10 Nov 2017 3:37 a.m. PST

I just looked at that Central Pneumatic quick change airbrush on Amazon UK. It's £108.00 GBP here. Gobsmacked!

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