Sometimes you want to accentuate panel lines or details on a model that has a smooth surface. Washes can get messy on smooth surfaces, but there is a way to avoid this. Pin washing is a method of getting wash into detailed and small places.
When Should You Use a Pin Wash
The age-old art of pin washing has emerged as a venerable technique to engender shadows on flat surfaces with intricate nuances that would otherwise remain unnoticed. Its foremost application lies in the subtle grooves of an AT-M6’s sleek panels or in the minuscule crevices that underscore the seams of a model airplane, tank or car. This technique has the acumen to exude realism in areas where a brush stroke might not suffice.
To put it simply, the unembellished surfaces in the photographs portray little to no difference in the naked eye. However, the introduction of this technique adds another dimension to the model. By applying the wash, the recesses become emboldened with a more prominent air of sophistication and artistry, culminating in a more polished and sophisticated end-product.
Steps to Pin Washing
- Paint your model to the point that you want to add the pin wash
- Spray your model with a high gloss sealant
- Apply your wash to the area of detail
- Remove the excess wash
- Seal your pin wash
- Move on to the next stage of your project
Paint Your Model
When it comes to the art of model painting, one may question whether the traditional method of painting should be upheld prior to pin washing. It is true that pin washing is most effective on predominantly level or polished surfaces, thereby obviating the need for superfluous highlights and shadows. Therefore, there is no exigent necessity to deviate from one’s accustomed painting technique.
Gloss coat your model
The incandescent layer of gloss is the paramount ingredient in enabling the pin wash to fulfill its intended purpose. It is an essential component to guarantee that the wash glides with ease across the model without adhesion, which ensures the eradication of the pigments without jeopardizing the underlying coat.
Alclad Gloss Klear Kote is, in my estimation, a matchless product for the gloss layer. Although the odor is far from delightful, the sheen and smoothness achieved is unparalleled. I do have a minor caveat: the odor is abhorrently noxious. Proper ventilation is imperative when using the product. To mitigate the fetidness, I allow a free flow of air through my abode when applying it.
My quest for a less pungent alternative is ongoing.
The significance of a well-lacquered model cannot be overstated. Failure to coat the model with sufficient gloss may impede the bonding of the paint, resulting in a flawed and deteriorating finish. To circumvent this predicament, I apply not one, but two coats of the gloss layer.
After coating the model, it is of the utmost importance to await a thorough drying and hardening process. I typically allow an overnight period for the layer to completely set. Any residual softness in the layer may compromise its effectiveness, thus rendering the wash removal process futile.
Apply Wash to the Detail areas of Your Model you Want to Create Shadows
When contemplating the various types of washes available for the task at hand, one cannot help but acknowledge the sheer multitude of options. However, in my personal experience, I have found that acrylic washes tend to be the most effective. To be more specific, I have developed an affinity for the Citadel washes, which are widely regarded as the gold standard in this realm.
Now, when it comes to applying the wash, there are essentially two schools of thought: the neat approach and the sloppy approach. Each methodology presents its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages, and as such, it is imperative that one chooses the correct path based on the circumstances at hand. As for myself, I tend to employ a calculated approach that is tailored to the specificities of the situation.
If, for example, one is working on a smaller portion of a model, it is critical that they take a cautious approach when applying the wash. This is where a fine-tipped brush comes into play, as it allows for a steady and deliberate distribution of the wash into the various crevices. Of course, it is important to exercise extreme care to prevent any spillage or errant application outside of the intended target area. While this may require a greater upfront time investment, it ultimately saves one time in the long run, as it eliminates the need for any subsequent touch-ups or corrections.
On the other hand, if one is working with a model that boasts a more intricate and detailed design, such as an AT-M6, it is advisable to apply the wash more liberally across the entire surface. While this may seem haphazard or careless, it is actually a more efficient approach. While it may take longer to remove the excess material from the surface, this approach saves time in the grand scheme of things, as it reduces the need for excessive precision and painstaking attention to detail when applying the wash to a complex and bustling surface.
Remove Excess Wash
Apply your wash. Let it dry a little bit. If you did a good job with the gloss coat, you will have some time to work before it becomes completely dry.
Take a Q-Tip and dip it into water. Gently move it back and forth over the surface where you have excess wash that you want to remove. The water will get between the gloss coat and the acrylic wash and cause it to loosen. The Q-Tip will remove it from your model with a little persistence.
In order to remove wash from the desired areas without removing it from other areas, you need to go over the detailed area perpendicular to the detail you want to remain. If you go parallel with the desired detail, instead of perpendicular, it will be harder to get rid of the wash without taking it away from the areas you want shaded.
I have tried other products to clean my house, but I think that water works just as well or better.
Seal Your Model after the Pin Wash
A pin wash is not the final step in your paint job. Most of the time you will want to move on to other weathering techniques, or at least knock down the gloss finish, nobody wants a shiny tank. It is a good idea to seal this layer before moving on.
If you don’t want to use gloss, you don’t have to. I usually switch to a flat finish at this point so that the next steps will adhere better. Alclad also makes a good flat finish that I like. It is also a lacquer, so take appropriate precautions. If you are in the UK, you can check Element Games here to see their prices.
What is pin wash in Modelling?
Pin wash is a technique used in modelling to create shadows and highlights on a model’s surface. It involves using a thinned paint mixture which is applied with a brush to the raised areas of the model, and then wiped away quickly with another brush dampened with thinner, leaving the paint in the recessed areas.
How do models apply to wash?
Many models apply washes by dipping the tips of their bristles into the wash, and then tapping them against a palette or other surface to remove most of the liquid. They then load their brush with paint and apply it to the model in a light sweeping motion.
How do you clean Warhammer models?
Warhammer models can be cleaned with soap and water. First, use a soft brush to remove any dirt or dust from the model. Then, wet your fingers and rub them over the surface of the model until it’s covered in suds. Rinse off the soap under running water, and then pat the model dry with a towel.
How do you oil wash a Model?
Oil washing is a painting technique that can be used to add depth and variation to a model’s colours. It involves mixing some paint with an oil such as linseed oil, and then rubbing it into the model’s surface. The paint will gradually fade away, leaving the original colour behind but with a slightly darker hue.