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Author Topic: Making your own washes.  (Read 404 times)


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Making your own washes.
« on: 02 November 2022, 11:40:03 »
Over the years I have tried many things for washes from commercial to DIY and have settled on a DIY approach. Now there are oodles of formulas out there and I have tried them all but settled on the one I use now shortly before I stopped painting.

Now the 3 main reasons I do this are..

1: I get more control over the coverage than I can from any paint line.
2: I get an infinite # of colors
3: Saves me money...

Now the formula I normally follow is based on one by Lee ..

10:1 Distilled water to flo-aid
50:50 Matte Medium to your Distilled/flo-aid mix
Ink is recommended at 20 drops per ounce this is where you are gonna need to play around. I usually put the mix in a 15ml/.5 oz dropper bottle and just add the number of drops to get the strength I want. 7 seems to be the magic # for dark inks and 10 to 15 for the lighter inks. You can also add or reduce water depending on how thick/thin you like it.

But this time I screwed up and swapped the flo-aid with the Matte medium. So way more flo-aid and way to little matte medium. I am really liking the results though...

Drops = Ink (Right black and Left sepia)
right arm - Army painter dark tone (Blotchy uneven tinting)
Right leg my mix - 5 drops my go to for lighter base colors like white and grays.(really flows off the panel lines and not so stark)
Center - 7 drops and my favorite (good panel line settlement even tone.)
Right launcher - 10 drops (not much difference than 7 except a wee bit darker)
Left Arm - Army Painter strong tone (this has a touch of black that I did not add to my wash)
Left Leg - 5 drops
Left Launcher - 10 drops

So why do all this and what would it cost me to do this? Well about $120 .... Wow holy crude that is 30 bottles of washes, but hold on I can make 58 bottles myself or buy those 58 @ $4 which is $232 ...  but it is only $2.07 for me to make my own... :o :o So if I were to buy every color from Citadel (shades), Army painters (Tones), and Vallejo you would have 50 colors with say 65% dupes in color and I would I would spend $236.5 @$4.73 avg. per bottle across the lines. Did I mention unlimited colors if you make your own...  ;D ;D I understand you can mix the shades by the companies and create your own but who wants to have to buy extra bottles to mix up lager batches. Plus have you ever tried to make mixes with citadels bottles I hate it...  xp

Let's break this down further ... what does $120 get me

2 16 ounce mixing bottles with twist top and markings for measurements
50 15ml dropper bottles
946ml of Matte medium
250ml of flo-aid

Set of 12 inks

Oh man I made a bunch of this and shared it with my buddies and now I need to make more. The only things you will need to purchase is the ones in red about $45 so now you made another 58 bottles @ $.78 or $1.12 if you have to buy another bunch of dropper bottles @$20. That would be $464 @$4 a bottle to make or a savings of.. $299 dollars for the first 116 bottles and goes down even more the more you make. This is a great way for gaming groups to go together and save everyone money. 6 fellow gamers plus an extra 50 dropper bottles = $24 per person and 9 bottles each in any color compared to $36. Each batch after will be even cheaper if they reuse the 15ml bottles.

So if you are one of those that mass paints armies or just flat out goes through washes like I do this is a major money saver. Compound that by the Gargantuan amount of colors I can make without having had to pre-purchase all the colors I need to mix. That means I can make a wash on the fly as I paint and I can make color combos that I have a whole 15ml bottle to use so I can reproduce the results across many minis.


<AND write down your ratios so you can repeat it every time
« Last Edit: 02 November 2022, 20:11:02 by sounguru »
There would be less humans if they were tastier....