Sunday, August 29, 2010
Pro-Tip; Additives, solvents & effects
A friend of mine is getting into the hobby after a long hiatus – much like myself – and I was acting "Living FAQ" for him when he went shopping for paints, brushes and airbrush. Most of the paint stuff was kinda easy to explain. Mostly "You want Vallejo colors, buy opaques, washes and some starter set."
Then I went onto the other part, additives. And there was this looong explanation of what things do, what I do with them and what it really was. So I thought I should put that up here as well. LBursley goes through them pretty well in one of his videos, so hit YouTube and look it up. They might work for you, they might not. I know that Natalya Melnik doesn't use any additives at all apart from water. She's a pro though, I ain't! :)
From left to right...
First up is Micro Set and Micro Sol. If you've ever thought of using water transfers pick these up. If you're like I was and thought that water transfers was the suck. Pick these up and try them. Applying transfers is a dream with these compared to doing it oldschool-style and using nothing but water.
The Micro Set is like a slow drying thingie, and Micro Sol is some sort of acidic (don't drink this stuff, don't drink any of the stuff in the picture!) solution that softens up the transfer and makes it conform to the surface you're applying it to.
Next is rubbing alcohol. Isopropyl is the technical name for it. I use it mainly for making washes, it really kills any surface tension and makes the wash behave almost like an oil based wash. You don't need much. A drop or two is sufficient. You can also use it for fixing pigments.
Flow Aid is one of these "Get this!"-items. I use Liquitex, but that's mostly because that's what my local friendly artist store has on the shelves. There are a ton of other brands, I can't vouch for them, the Liquitex Flow Aid does wonders though. I mix a couple of drops together with a 1:1 solution of medium and water to get "Gunk" for thinning paints. This is a great item to buy with friends since the recommended mixing ratio is 1 part flow aid to 20 parts water, so you wont be using much of it.
Slow-Dri, well it works, but it's kinda "meh". Mostly because I suck at wet-blending and haven't really had the time to use it properly. It's great for airbrushing as well since it prolongs drying of your paint which equals less needle-cleaning.
Matte & Ultra-Matte Medium are basically like colourless paint, which is part of the "Gunk" and to make paint a little transparent. The matte medium is kinda semi-gloss, so I went out and bought an ultra-matte as well. It's not noticed much when using it for thinning paints. But when making washes the LBursley-way I prefer the ultra-matte since most artists inks are kinda semi-gloss. Besides, you'd still put a coat of matte varnish on top of your figure when done. So it doesn't matter too much which one of them you use.
Water effects... well. There are better brands out there but it's kinda easy to pick up while you go get the latest issue of White Dwarf. I use mine for... water effects(sic!).
Turpentine! A must if you're going to make oil colour washes or want to fix pigments onto your mini before sealing. Preferred if you're spraying on varnish since it sucks bad if you happen to move around pigments with your airbrush / spray-can. Make sure you buy odourless since the normal one smells really bad. Use good ventilation since even though it doesn't stink it's still not healthy to inhale. (And don't drink this one either, ok? :))
So, that's about it for additives I use. I'd love to hear what you use, how you use it. Or any reasons why you don't use it. Please leave a comment.