Starting Scenery: Washes

Starting Scenery: Washes

Firstly, what is a wash? Washes are dilute paint or ink that are used to bring out detail in castings, cracks and around raised details. In this video I’ll look at three types:

  • Isopropyl alcohol and india ink washes
  • Enamel washes
  • Acrylic washes

Isopropyl Alcohol Washes Recipe

I have used these mixes for over 15 years and they are all shamelessly cribbed from Bob van Gelder’s South River Modelworks. Although he’s now retired, it’s worth checking out his website to see his awesome modelling.

Light Wash:

1 teaspoon india ink
1 pint isopropyl alcohol 99%

Uses: bringing out painted details

Medium Wash:

2-2.5 teaspoons india ink
1 pint isopropyl alcohol 99%

Uses: weathering wood

Dark Wash:

3-4 teaspoons india ink
1 pint isopropyl alcohol 99%

Uses: bringing out details on rock faces, castings etc

Acrylic Washes Recipe

50ml matte medium
5ml flow improver or slightly less of washing up liquid or rinse aid
50ml water
40-100 drops acrylic ink. Black needs around 40 but brown needs around 100. It will vary depending on brand.

Add the ingredients to a dropper bottle.
Shake well.
Test for strength – it may look slightly grey before it dries because of the matte medium.
Add more ink if needed.

Spray washes need a finer mix so I use only 10ml matte medium to get the fine spray I want. It will depend on your spray bottle.


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Isopropyl alcohol and india ink washes:

99% isopropyl alcohol
Black Bombay Ink

Enamel washes:

Mig Productions washes are back in production but they are not on Amazon in the UK.
AK interactive have a wide range of washes such as the Light Rust Wash I used.
Ammo by Mig also have a range of washes that are worth checking out.

Acrylic washes:

Matte Medium
Flow Improver
Black Liquitex Acrylic Ink
Brown Liquitex Acrylic Ink

Or try Vallejo black wash

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