Model Behavior: Acrylic vs. Oil Washes

Bill and Norm experiment with different kinds of paint washes for model figurines. We examine the differences in application and results between using a water-based acrylic washe and an oil wash for weathering. What kind of paint wash do you use for your projects?

Comments (24)

24 thoughts on “Model Behavior: Acrylic vs. Oil Washes

  1. Great video!! Answered so many questions I’ve had about this topic. 🙂
    Please can Tested do a video like this with the techniques/ effects on the layering of different paints when painting models and the correct way to apply them?
    (lacquer, enamel, acrylic, oil, etc..)

  2. I mostly paint in acrylics and use acrylic washes. I always seal the painted project with a clear coat before the washes. That way I can take off the weathering if required with 70% isopropanol without rubbing off the actual paint and try again.

  3. In the Rinaldi Studio Press SM range Michael suggests using a scrap of corrugated cardboard on which to place the oil paint so that the cardboard can leach away some of the oil and give a deeper, thicker quality of paint to work with enabling it to dry faster and dry to a more matte finish. This Tested Video has just extended some of my appreciation of using oil paints to details some elements of my models which i had not appreciated, thanks for that.

  4. yes, good tip! we typically use scrap cardstock or paper boxes as our palettes, which pulls a little bit of the oil as well.

  5. Great video!! Answered so many questions I’ve had about this topic. 🙂
    Please can Tested do a video like this with the techniques/ effects on the layering of different paints when painting models and the correct way to apply them?
    (lacquer, enamel, acrylic, oil, etc..)

    Certain Paints react differently when applied over each other. It’s pretty simple if you google it they have plenty of lovely charts for you to follow as an example. Most painters use one type of paint for a specific project. Like acrylic, lacquer (dries fast just like acrylic), or enamel (for toughness/durability) but it takes longer to cure just like oil paints. It’s all preference or to get a particular look depending on what paint you use.

    A good tip to remember is “Less is More” when painting and have fun.

  6. Definitely a simple Google search would help and there must be loads of Youtube videos as well.. but then there are also videos of acrylic and oil washes that can be found in a google search.. what make these so valuable is hearing the little tricks they share during the process.

    So the video might be title “different model paints” but they share those small tricks that you don’t know about so you can’t search it.

  7. Definitely a simple Google search would help and there must be loads of Youtube videos as well.. but then there are also videos of acrylic and oil washes that can be found in a google search.. what make these so valuable is hearing the little tricks they share during the process.

    So the video might be title “different model paints” but they share those small tricks that you don’t know about so you can’t search it.

    Aye, well said! Theres so many little tricks I think most people forget about them.

  8. Great video!

    I prefer oil washes since I can easily fix things after it dried with some white spirits or similiar. Also, when working with oil paints I find them even easier to use when thinned down before I apply the wash. I use 50-90% thinner (usually white spirits) depending on what I will do, really thin is useful if you carefully want to apply just small pin washes in small areas, could be around windows and other sensitive areas I don’t want a wash.

  9. the side “windows/visors” are there so they could move their head and see either side instead of having to move their whole upper body like you would have to do with say the apollo helmets.

  10. Dry times on oil paints are often complained about. Use less paint, use less thinner, and it dries much faster. When I’m weathering models with oil paints, I frequently use a hair dryer. I can be ready to go over the oil weathering with another layer of oils within minutes by keeping the volume in control (and help from hair dryer if needed). I try to be more deliberate as to where I’m putting the paint rather than slathering it on and then wiping it away. Oils can go from nearly 0% opacity to 100% opacity and that’s why they’re so nice to use. The pigments are finer in oil paints than a lot of acrylic paints as well (especially the stuff that comes in tubes). You can see that in the comparison of the figures at the end. The acrylic one is a bit blotchy.

  11. You get much better results with the acrylics if you add a very small amount of dish soap to the wash before applying. By very small, I mean just enough to break the surface tension of the water in the wash. If you’re making suds, you’ve added too much.

    Breaking the surface tension of the wash will allow it to flow down into the crevasses of the model much better and you’ll end up with a more oil wash like finish.

  12. You get much better results with the acrylics if you add a very small amount of dish soap to the wash before applying. By very small, I mean just enough to break the surface tension of the water in the wash. If you’re making suds, you’ve added too much.

    Breaking the surface tension of the wash will allow it to flow down into the crevasses of the model much better and you’ll end up with a more oil wash like finish.

    You can also use a small bit of Artists’ Acrylic Flow Improver, like from Windsor and Newton, that keeps any of the colors from shifting to a different shade which can happen using soap. It is not expensive and lets for quite some time.

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