Wash 'N Dry

My previous posts have involved a bit of experimentation to try to answer a specific question. However with this post, I am moving in a different direction by spending time illustrating some different techniques. This is not a tutorial, but rather an attempt to clarify some points, present some possibilities, and inspire your imagination. This first post covers the two most common techniques that one tries as a painter, washing and dry brushing.


I often see questions from folks new to Turbo Dork paints as to whether or not adding a wash to a figure will somehow destroy the color change of a turboshift. The short answer is "no". Therefore, I created the first half of this post in order to give newbies and idea of what different shading options look like.

I started by priming six Banderhobbs with matte black. I painted them with Radium, and then used various approaches to wash/shade the little guys. The difference between the painted Banderhobbs is subtle so I am hoping that (1) my new photo lights have brought them out in the photo collage below and (2) that they give you the idea that you can experiment with all kinds of washes and shades over Turbo Dork paints. Please note that you can see a full sized version of the composite photo by clicking on the image.

For reference in this post, I use the term "Wash" for a thin mixture of color that is applied all over the model and allowed to flow into its cracks and crevices. Whereas, I use the term "Shade" for a thin mixture of color painted directly into the model's cracks and crevices. 

  1. Original Radium painted figure without any wash/shade
  2. Washed with GW Citadel Gloss Nuln Oil
  3. Washed with Army Painter Quickshade Green
  4. Shaded with GW Citadel Gloss Nuln Oil
  5. Shaded with Daler-Rowney FW Acrylic Black Ink
  6. GW Color Contrast Creed Camo


Banderhobbs in Radium with different washes


As illustrated in the top row of photos, the color of different washes/shades can be used to bring out different aspects of the model. While Nuln Oil (Figure 2) darkens the overall color of the painted model, giving it a grittier look, some of the green and gold of Radium still shines through. In contrast, the Quickshade Green (Figure 3) adds more highlights and lightens the overall look of the figure in comparison to the unwashed model (Figure 1).

The second row of figures illustrate differences in shades. It should be noted that while the materials used for these figures were applied more or less in the cracks and crevices, I did not always color perfectly within the lines (see the next section examples if you are looking for more precision). Figure 4 which was shaded with Nuln Oil came out fairly comparable to Figure 2 which was washed with Nuln Oil. In contrast, the Black Ink (Figure 5) is much more saturated and provides a darker, more distinctive shading medium. The same is true of the Camo Creed Contrast (Figure 6). Yes, I know this is not the way that GW expects a contrast paint to be used but using it as a slightly messy shade all by itself works for me.

I should point out that I am not showing a shade made directly from a Turbo Dork paint. I did try some but they did not show up very well next to Radium. However, I see no reason that other combinations of Turbo Dork paints as main color and shade should not work. 

Lastly, the one thing that I skipped over in the discussion above is the fact that the washes/shades made by many manufactures are flat. In the examples above, only the Black Ink dulled the surface of the model. However, a little varnish perked things right up. Also, although, I did not do it, I was tempted to dry brush on a bit of Radium on some of the models to brighten them up a bit.


Before, I leave the world of washing and shading with acrylic paints and inks, I want to present some examples of a related technique. This is something that has gotten a lot of buzz lately and is known by a variety of terms such as oil washing/shading as well as pinning or panel lining. The advantage is that you can clean up the wash after it is dried to make a crisper looking final product. The disadvantage is that the chemicals used can be toxic so you need to used under the appropriate conditions.

There have been a few questions about it on the various Turbo Dork social media recently. Also since it was new to me, I wanted to try it out, so I decided to add something in this post.

Basically, the process is to paint the figure with a Turbo Dork paint, apply a varnish, apply the oil wash, clean up the figure with a solvent, and finalized with another coat of varnish. For other newbies, please note that the first varnish coat is essential, otherwise the “wash” will eat away at the acrylic Turbo Dork paint underneath.

In doing some background research on the technique, I found two different approaches for the “shade” that I tried out. In the first case, I used oil paint diluted with mineral spirits. In the second, an enamel paint formulated for use in panel lining.

I primed three Iron Golem figures with matte black and painted them with Blue Steel before "shading" two of them. The results are shown below.

  1. Original Blue Steel painted figure without any shading
  2. Shaded with Winsor & Newton Lamp Black oil paint diluted with mineral spirits
  3. Shaded with Tamiya Panel Line Accent Color Black


Iron Golem in Blue Steel with different washes


Although I need more practice at this and I think that a higher quality model would show off the technique better, these examples can give you a feel for how the technique looks.

I would not say that there is much difference in the look between using an oil paint and the enamel. However, since you do not have to mix up the enamel, it is a bit easier to use. Also the Tamiya paint comes with a brush in the lid which worked well for a few minutes until it fell off into the bottle and was lost forever. Hopefully, that does not happen often. 


Now off to dry brushing and what I hope will encourage you to experiment. Dry brushing is my favorite thing to do to a painted model to bring out a different look or feel. So I wanted to share several different approaches to the same model to get your creative juices flowing.

First, I painted up four Giant Constrictor models with Forrest Flux over a matte black primer. Then I dry brushed three of them with different Turbo Dork paints to bring out the different colors present in the turboshift.

  1. Original Forrest Flux painted figure without dry brushing
  2. Dry brushed with Murple
  3. Shaded with GW Druchi Violet and dry brushed with Sea Food
  4. Dry brushed with Electrum


Giant Constructor in Forrest Flux with different dry brush colors

The primary color shift in all three dry brushed snakes is still purple and green but the emphasis is different in each. Figure 2 has more purple, Figure 3, has a more highlighted green, and Figure 4 has a brighter green highlighted with gold. Figure 4 also illustrates the use of a turboshift over a turboshift.


Lastly, one of my favorite turboshift is Miami Sunset and I wanted to be playful with it and compare its use as the base on a model as well as to the same model with a deconstructed version.

I chose to use two Adult Remorhaz models for this experiment. One was based in Miami Sunset and the other in People Eater.  The composite photos are shown below with the "before" on the left and the "after" on the right. 

The Miami Sunset based remorhaz was treated in the following manner:

  • Shaded the sides with GW Fuegan Orange Wash
  • Dry brushed belly and back of tail with People Eater
  • Dry brushed over the People Eater with a light touch of Ill Gotten Gold
  • Dry brushed the flared parts with a light touch of People Eater
  • Dry brushed the antenna with Ill Gotten Gold
  • Dry brushed the ends of the feet with Spicy Meatball
  • Dry brushed the appendages on the head with Spicy Meatball


Remorhaz in Miami Sunset with different dry brush paints


The People Eater based remorhaz was treated in the following manner:

  • Shaded the sides with GW Fuegan Orange Wash
  • Dry brushed belly and back of tail with Miami Sunset
  • Dry brushed over the Miami Sunset with a light touch of Ill Gotten Gold
  • Dry brushed the flared parts with a light touch of Miami Sunset
  • Dry brushed the antenna with Ill Gotten Gold
  • Dry brushed the ends of the feet with Spicy Meatball
  • Dry brushed the appendages on the head with Spicy Meatball


Remorhaz in People Eater with different dry brush paints


Like the Forrest Flux painted snakes described above, the Miami Sunset based remorhaz is a good example of using the dry brushing technique with Turbo Dork paints to emphasize the shifting colors over a turboshift base. The People Eater also provides a use case for a turboshift dry brushed over a metallic as well as a different way to create a set of "shifting" colors.


I hope this post has given you something to think about for your next project. Be sure to post your creations on social media such as the Turbo Dorks Facebook Group.