Everyone has fond experiences with Badab Black the multifunctional wash that allows you to shade everything in one go. However I was recently told there is an even better wash out there, intrigued I decided to investigate.
Flory washes are water based clay weathering washes used by people who would call themselves professional miniature painters and spend their time using an airbrush to complete their scale tank or aircraft models, the important thing about them is they are completely water soluble, this means that once they dry they can be removed by adding water back to the area or in cases they are used over a smoothly varnished area just rubbed off with a piece of paper towel.
After you are finished and have a look that you are happy with just cover it with a spray matt varnish to seal it in place and continue adding more paint as necessary.
I ordered the colours Black, Dark Dirt, Rust and Mud to give me a reasonable selection that matched the washes I would normally use and set about trying it out. The first thing was to test it on some Deadzone terrain, this was large and cheap enough to write off if it didn’t work, however a coat of Flory-Black and some wiping down with damp paper towel later it came out quite nicely, not bad for a spray undercoat and some foam weathering.
Flushed with success and already imagining how quickly this would speed up scenery painting I decided to take it a step further on some of my miniatures, I had some Battlegroup Helios ships that I needed to paint up for a review and so gave them all a spray coat of Army Painter Purple followed by coat of gloss varnish and let them have a brushed on coat of Flory-Black as well (I didn’t use an airbrush for any of this) after it had dried it again got a wipedown with a wet paper towel. This was even easier as the gloss paint allowed the wash to wipe off with nearly no pressure and any mistakes could be fixed with a wet brush reapplying the colour into the crevices. The effect was much cleaner and looked like a natural clean shade of dark colour in the shadowy areas of the ships. After I was happy I sealed this in with matt vanish again and painted the detail straight on top of it.
I was pretty happy with both of these effects as one wash being used for dirt and grime and then later used as a precision pin wash is impressive but the speed at which I was able to achieve these results was the icing on the cake. They really open the door for a lot of different uses.
If you want to check out some videos of the process, try this one about applying shading to a rally car here and the collection of walkthrough on the Flory Washes site which show how easy it is.
Above you can see what it looks like after sealing and then a drybrushing of a lighter colour. Next on the agenda is going to be applying this to a Deathknell Watch kit I got second hand on eBay and a Dropzone Commander UCM dropship as if I can get this working on both of them I will be very happy indeed.
Overall I would say this a great product, the only caveat is that you will need cheap matt and gloss spray paint to ready the model and then fix the paint job in place afterwards but other than that it produces airbrush style results without the airbrush.
If you have a model with a lot of shading needed and a wash wouldn’t do it cleanly enough, use a Flory Wash instead.