How to use Army Painter Quickshade Dip

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to another post in my How to series!

Today I’ll be talking about my experiences with quickshade, telling you how I’ve found it to work, some things to avoid, some things to definitely do, and some expectation management.

I should also let you know that at time of writing I have only used Quickshade strongtone.

What is it?

Quickshade dip is best imagined as alternative to a traditional wash. As the name implies, it allows you to quickly apply shade to the recesses of your model. I’ve also found that the quickshade acts as a pretty robust varnish too. Which is especially great if you’re using it on metal models, or plaster of Paris castings!

It comes in a traditional house paint tin containing 250 ml, the tin is a good 2 or 3 inches tall and wide. This is good because it allows you to literally dip your models into it (more on this later). Quickshade comes in three shades, light tone, which is for shading light colours, strong tone, which is like a dark brown similar to Citadel Agrax Earthshade (basically, use this on 99% of all things). It also comes in darktone, which is black to you and me. Why they didn’t chose a more obvious set of names I do not know, but hey, never mind.

Quickshade Dip Strong Tone

Quickshade Dip Strong Tone


How to use it

Army Painter gives you some fairly straightforward advice – shake well, then dip your painted model in, then holding the model with some pliers shake the excess from it, then leave it to dry for a day. However, I’ve discovered that there are some much more advanced techniques which I’ll share.

What I’ve found is that if you follow the instructions as written, you end up with some hefty pooling. No worries, I have a solution!

You will need:

  • Cordless power drill
  • A drill bit
  • A wine bottle cork
  • Some blue tac or similar
  • A deep and broad jar

Begin by setting up your drill, attach the drill bit, then half drill into your cork. Make sure you leave the cork wedged securly on the drill bit. When you drill now, you should have a spinning cork.

Attach your model to the cork with the Blue Tac. If the Blue Tac doesn’t stick, find something stickier. Despite common jokes about stickiness, do not be tempted to use an actual stick.

Quickshade Prep_zpsst9slmlh

The ‘Drill’ Method


Then, holding your drill, dip the model carefully into the (pre-shaken) Quickshade. Try to not go so deep that you overflow the base, but make sure the whole model is submerged.

Then carefully raise your model out of the quickshade and lower it into your empty jar. Pull the trigger on your drill, your model should start spinning in the jar, and centrifugal force will carry the excess shade from your model and collect on the sides. A steady hand may be required here so you’re careful not to hit the sides or you might damage your model… Oh and be wary of your model flying off the cork for the same reason (hopefully you secured it well).

After 20 – 30 seconds of this, you can stop the spinning. Carefully remove your model and set it aside to dry for a day. There shouldn’t be any pooling, but if there is, now is the time to carefully remove it by dabbing with a tissue. The quickshade comes off very nicely this way.

Also please note that the Quickshade is very sticky, and until it dries it will only get stickier. That being the case, don’t leave it in a place where your cat can rub up against it!

Apothecary 1_zpsvejkrdcf

Freshly Dipped


24 hours later and you should have a dry and glossy model. If you’re like me, you’ll want to spray the model with a matt varnish to get rid of that shine. Easy enough, but make sure you test your spray first as the wrong ambient humidity can ruin things.

Apothecary 2_zpsjnewsscb

Matt Varnished


When you’re done you should have something that looks like this 🙂 Please note that this model only received a basic base coating, no highlighting and no shading have been done. What you’re looking at is base colours, Quickshade strong tone dip, and matt varnish.

Final Thoughts

Stopping only to go like my page on facebook, and then sharing this post with your friends, this article should imprint upon you the need to head straight down to your FLGS or online at The Outpost (my FLGS) and order yourself a pot of this!!

It massively speeds up the process of washing your models when you’re painting in bulk, leaves a very nice finish, and gives your models a robust varnishing to boot. What’s not to like?

Drop me a comment below the line (when you get back from your FLGS) to let me know what you think.

Jimmi Waz ‘Ere



*Edit* The ‘Splash On’ Technique

Howdy again! Months later I’ve discovered an addition technique for Quickshade! It’s called the Splash On/Brush On technique – From the Army Painter guide:

Simply soak the mini in Quickshade with a brush, let it settle for 30 seconds and “suck up” excess with a piece of pointed tissue or an old brush. Do not use Quickshade as an ink, but soak the mini in it, to achieve the fabulous shading effect. As Quickshade dries it withdraws into and around the recesses and details and “shrinks”, so it is vital to leave Quickshade on the model and not remove too much. Don’t use your best brush- an old worn out one will do just fine.

This particular method is particularly handy for when the model is too big to fit in the can!

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