Dipped Celts

Playing with two new toys – Wargames Factory Celts and WoodSheen by Minwax and I’m slowly warming to both.

The Celts are plastic 28mm figures for historical wargamming.  The figures are cleanly cast, without significant mold lines.  Assembly is a bit of a chore – the models are intened to be dynamic, which makes it a bit hard to sort out what angle an arm belongs at or where to hang a shield.  Sculpting is adaquate – hair stands out as the one area that needs improvement.  The figures are true to human scale, which means they fit with with GW’s Empire humans but are dwarfed by Chaos Maurauders.

Celts are played in a hoard – my tentative 1K WAB list has about 90 warriors.  There is no way I’m painting that many figures by next Adepticon.  The solution is dip.  I chose WoodSheen:  Rose Wood as an alternitive to the standard stain products as it advertises a 2 hour dry time.  I applied the dip by brush and with 24 hours of dry time, the figures were slightly tacky (which is still better than the huge stink and 2-3 day dry time of stain).  After two layers of matt spray sealer the figures were presentable.  The biggest adjustment in using this product will be the choice of base colors.  All subtle shades are lost under the dip, I’ll need to add more whole colors such as grey and white to my color scheme.

Celts 007

Celts 009

This figures need a bit of touch up on facial details and the shields need to be fixed.  But other than that, any other advice?  I’m thinking the dip is too heavy on the skin tones & that I might want to try a better brand of matt sealer to completely kill the shine.


  1. #1 by Thomas Whitten on May 13, 2009 - 12:42 pm

    I use MinMax polyshades Tudor and Royal Walnut from ACE. For Celts, I would the Royal Walnut. Those two don’t really stick too much and a they hit the tacky stage in 12 hours. After a day they are normally dry. (Mine sit in my basement which has a low humidity.)

    Two suggestions to help out. Do them in small batches – about 5 figures. Shake them in a plastic bag to get off big drips. And using blister foam or good cotton rag (like you would use to applying stain to wood) go back over the figure and lightly wipe areas that have excess stain.

    In your case, just lightly draw the foam over the skin areas. This will draw off most of the dip from the surface, but maintain the highlights.

    • #2 by Thomas Whitten on May 13, 2009 - 12:45 pm

      Above I intended to say shading (instead of highlights)

      I should also say, after it has dried for a day or so, I do go back over the figure and add any highlights with paint. I finish up with using 2 coats of Krylon Matt sprays. I did this with my circus orks (clown and carny) which hopefull will appear on my blog once I learn to take a good picture.

  2. #3 by chicagoterrainfactory on May 13, 2009 - 1:06 pm

    Thanks for the tip – I’ll have to try cleaning the flesh areas after applying the dip. The orange color is a bit of a turn off.

  3. #4 by John on May 13, 2009 - 2:01 pm

    I thinking they are a bit dark Rich (could just be the photo) are you priming them black or white?…it should definitely be white using a dip. I am going to suck it up and just use the GW washes on mine..way more expensive but easier to control from my point of view..I aim to have some done by the next time I see you..my Cav shipped from WF the other day too!

  4. #5 by Thomas Whitten on May 16, 2009 - 3:40 pm

    Here are some colorful orks I used the dip on. I used Polyshades Tudor on these.


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