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London, United Kingdom
A mythical beast - a female wargamer! I got back into wargaming in the summer of 2011 after a very, very long break. My current interests are Ancients, ACW, 30YW and SciFi gaming.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Tamsin's Test Lab #001

You may have spotted in my post yesterday that I've had a brilliant (or possibly very silly) idea about how to paint coloured horn-scale armour and barding. Well, I realised today that in among the 48 "other cavalry" I'm currently working on there are 9 horses with barding. "What the heck" I thought "let's try out that idea on them".

The barding was given a thin basecoat of Green Brown, allowed to dry, ink-washed (5 different colours used), allowed to dry, then given a second ink-wash (using the same colours).

Here are some pics:

This pic shows the barding with the Green Brown basecoat:

These two show barding after 2 coats of ink-wash over the basecoat (violet, Grecian Olive, Orange, Aqua Blue, Red Earth):

From a distance it looks quite effective, but close up you see that the colouring has settled into the recesses with very little staining of the raised scales.

Hmmm, that idea didn't work out then. Looking around my bench, I spotted my painting sticks for the command groups.  I figured that 3 of the lancer figures from there could be sacrificed to the gods of experimentation.

Realising that the wash mix itself was probably causing the lack of staining, I decided to try a straight water-dilution of the ink. Having 3 figures to play with allowed me to compare 3 different conditions:

A: Red Earth wash over white-washed barding; second Red Earth wash; brown wash
B: Green Brown basecoat; Red Earth ink-dilution; Red Earth ink-dilution
C: Red Earth ink-dilution; Red Earth ink-dilution; brown wash

This is after the first 2 steps:

This is after the third step:

The brown wash over the ink-dilution (C) may have been a mistake - it seemed to re-dilute and mix with the ink. It might be that the ink hadn't dried sufficiently, or it could be that it will happen regardless of how long the ink is given to dry.

Overall, the best effect seems to be with (B). I'll give it some extra time to dry (overnight) and then tomorrow I'll test a small patch with the brown wash to see if the ink runs again.


  1. Good post. I recently tried something similar for cataphract horse armour. I went with various metallics first and then, once dry, painted over that tamiya smoke mixed with a little black. Seemed to work OK for a first try!


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