Time to step up your hobby game with this quick trick that is stupid simple. I’m am always looking for little cheat codes or hacks that can compensate for my lack of legit painting talent. Recently I have discovered how powerful of an effect a little bit of gloss can provide if applied appropriately.
I am a big fan of Games Workshop’s Ardcoat. It is one of those technical paints that people do not typically buy when they are just getting started in the hobby, but more experienced hobbyist find it priceless. This stuff is basically just totally clear pigment that dries to a slick, glossy shine. When used correctly, a model can suddenly have a bit more realism as light reflects off of a lens, screens, gems, lasers and the sort.
Not only does Ardcoat add a little bit of realism to your painted minis with pretty mush zero effort, but it helps create an immediate focus point. Due to the fact that people are like pigeons, in that our eyes typically can’t help but look at sparkly things, we are able to make parts of our minis really pop out with just a few dabs of a glossy pigment. Where this really benefits us is in helping to deter unwanted attention to parts of a model that might not have been painted too well. I am always attempting to find the quickest way to get an army table side. So, I will take shortcuts like speedily dry-brushing or doing a sloppy shade/wash, when painting large portions of a mini because my game plan is to really spotlight areas of the model that I will spend most of my time on.
So, for example, my Space Marine’s were all 90% hastily painted, but I spent more time and energy on the helmets. I then used Ardcoart on the lens of each and every marine’s helmet. When the light bounces off of their gloss-coated lens, people almost always stare right at the marine’s helmeted heads and totally disregard the rest of the poorly painted mini. I am embarrassed to say how many people at LVO came up to me and complimented me on my Marine army when in fact it was one of the fastest painted armies I have ever completed because the only part of the minis that I spent real time on were on the helmets.
There are a few key things to think about before you recklessly go and apply a glossy finish to a model. Most importantly is that gloss paint is applied only after you have sprayed on a final protective top-coat. Many people, including myself, always spray a painted model with a clear protective sealant coating to prevent the paint job from chipping or rubbing off. Most of these protective spray result in a satin or flat/matte finish which of course would negate any of the effects that Ardcoat would achieve. So always apply Ardcoat to the shiny little details, after the entire model has been sprayed down with a protective top-coat. Another thing to remember is to use a very fine brush so that only the area that should be reflective, gets any of the glossy pigment. For example, you want to paint just the lenses of a pair of googles and not the face or metal frame surrounding them. And one last tip: Don’t go overboard. More is less here. Too much shiny stuff on a single mini can become distracting. I limit myself to one or two details on any model getting any Ardcoat.
There are plenty of other times where a bit of Ardcoat can go a long way! While glass and gems are obvious choices, think about applying a shiny finish on salvia, slime, liquid and any sort of gooey surface that would reflect light naturally. With this little trick, your models can instantly look better and you might just get a few more hobby track points!
And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!