by: Matt Flegal [ ]
Originally published on:
I don't know about the rest of you old timers but as someone who was mixing his own washes for a couple of decades when premixed washes came out I thought these types of products were silly. After using premixed washes for a bit I have come to love them. Allowing reproducable and reliable effects they are also quick and easy to use, saving time and headaches. While these new enamel washes from MIG are true washes, effectively highly diluted paint but a bit thicker than filters, they are apparently designed more to represent splashes and thin coatings of muck than to accentuate panel lines and shadow around details. Do they work? Well. . .
moss green wash
For all of these washes I built a quick test strip of panzer grey, white, tan, and dark green with a piece of strip U-channel to act as a detail piece. The moss green wash left the most opaque deposit of the three, being visible on all of the paints except the dark green. All three washes flow superbly and congregate around raised structures and fill an etched line perfectly. The wash does self-level out a bit but brush strokes stay pretty visible. The wash dries flat in about 10 minutes to the touch and can be wiped away with a wet tissue (just water) for about the first 45 seconds or so. After that you'll need thinner to get it all off. Compared to pictures it does look the right color and opacity for a moss or algae stain.
mud splash wash
As a traditional wash, this works pretty well, filling a seam and congregating around detail. However, it does get wicked in around detail and shows up fairly strongly there but is too dark to serve as a dust. It frankly looks a bit odd unless you spread it around if the detail bits are close together. It is also pretty thin, so a single application seems too transparent to represent a spray of muddy water. You can apply more to get that effect but then it wicks back into the detail and makes it stand out strongly with the brown outline. I'm not sold on this one but it occurs to me that if you mist first with a thinned brown from the airbrush and overlay this it might work quite well. This might also work for windshields as well.
dirty glass wash
This one made no sense to me at first. I presume it is to represent the film of grey crud that settles on outside windows if they are left uncleaned for too long. From the bottle it is a light blue-grey wash and on my test strip it looked thin and gathered in panel-lines fairly darkly. I put it on clear plastic and it looked pretty awful, smeared with obvious brush strokes and not realistic at all. I tossed it aside, ready to dismiss it. Then, about an hour later, I looked at it again. What a change! It self leveled and looks exactly like the smeared mess you see on an abandoned window. It also does not show up in the corners like I would have thought, so you're not going to see a blue-grey line along the edges of a window pane. Looking at this, my mind immediately went to all of the dioramas I've seen (and a few that I've done!) where a destroyed and abandoned building has crystal clear windows made of plastic or microscope slides. This product will be perfect for making that glass look abandoned but still transparent.
These are definite niche products. The Moss Green would be useful for staining around water spigots or on boats and amphibious tanks/planes. The Dirty Glass would be useful for, well, dirty glass. The Mud Splash is the weakest of the lot, I think, being useful for very thin splashes only unless you do repeated applications and risk showing some brush strokes. All are useful for those specific instances but probably not for the general modeller who would benefit from other washes. Be aware these are enamel washes and the carrier solution will attack other enamel paints (like the dark green that I used).