Well a friend tried the Army Painter Quickshade varnish and had reasonable results so as I had a can of the Strong shade which I bought at the HotLead show earlier this year I thought I would give it a go.
First, I have to say as it is oil based it’s a bit more of a pain to handle than the normal water based varnishes I use. You need to ensure you have an oil based brush cleaner etc. to clean up after using this. Also, it does smell. I do not have a great sense of smell and so if I can smell it so it must be bad!
When first done (even after drying for 24 hours) the results are very shinny. I used a brush and painted on the varnish as I do normally for water based ones, straight from the can. After 24 hours to dry, I did a second coat of varnish – this time a water based paint on matte varnish (the W&N I use as normal). The water based varnish went over the armyshade without any issue. This I was surprised that toning down the shiny effects did make a different in the overall look of the figures and made them look better. The final result is not great but o.k. in my view. The figures do have more depth than just straight block colouring.
On the 15mm figs I used, the Quickshade did not pick out facial features that well, nor did some separations between some colours come out as clear as I would like it. So, I did make some touch ups on the figs after the matte varnish was dry and this also added to the end result – which has come out ok.
The models by the way are Livonian horse archers for my nearly finished Teutonic Order army in 15mm – using Old Glory 15mm figs. Below are a couple of pics so you can decide what you think about the result yourself:
… Maybe. I don’t think it really saved that much time for me compared to my normal painting/varnishing method and using GW shades/inks to add depth to figures – see my previous post on that. If you used spray on matte varnish that may reduce the time a little but I have bad results with those in Canada so don’t use them any more. Over a large number of figs I think it would reduce the painting time a little. The effect is different than paint on shading and it’s not awful but at the same time not amazing either.
I likely will next try it on an Anglo-Danish or Roman 25/30mm fig when I get to doing some of them. I can see why people would use this for large projects – especially is the models have lots of exposed skin, and though not bad I’m not completely sold on this either for 15mm figs.