Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Potential Replacement for 'Devlan Mud': Army Painter Strong Tone Ink


(First, I apologize if this is old news for some of you, but I thought I'd post it just in case others had not run across this product.) Like many other mini painters I'm a big fan of some of the old GW paint range, particularly their washes, and specifically the iconic 'Devlan Mud'.  Cripes,  I should have bought quarts of the stuff when I knew it was being discontinued, but the road to Hell is paved with good intentions (and hopefully those who text in movie theaters).  Anyway, I poked around the web and found that several others have been recommending Army Painter's new line of inks as potential replacements to GW Devlan Mud and Badab Black. 

Well, I dashed out and picked up a bottle of AP Strong Tone in order to give it a whirl. Here is a matte card with a brushed-on sample (left to right) of GW Devlan Mud, AP Strong Tone, and GW Gryphonne Sepia. 


The AP ink is certainly not a perfect match to Devlan Mud, but I think its not too far off the mark. I've used it on several figures now and quite like the effect it gives. If you wish to see another side-to-side example check out this excellent article From the Warp.

The Army Painter Strong Tone mimics their oil-based 'dip' but instead is water-based, quick drying and has a non-glossy finish (three big 'wins', imo). As an added bonus you also get more of the AP ink (18ml vs 12ml) for less money than the GW wash. 

Now, if they could just copy over that nasty-yet-compelling Devlan Mud smell...

37 comments:

  1. Interesting Curt. I have been using the substitute Nuln Oil for the Baobab Black, but still have 2 bottles of the Devlan Mud left, so I have not had to use the substitute Agrax Earthshade yet. I have been looking forward to using the AP inks (are they true inks or pigments). I still like the AP polyurethane because it contracts and I have never seen it stain. Does the new AP inks act in the same way?

    John

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    1. I'm not sure if it is an ink or a pigment (though it applies much like an ink). The ink does stain so it gives a somewhat different effect than the dip (I find the effect of the ink stain can largely be controlled with water).

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  2. I for one have not heard about these, will need to check it out at a show and by God Devlan mud had a smell like when Ray takes his socks off at work!

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    1. That's it! I'm sure the smell reminds me of my great time spent with you all in Gravesend (after all, Ray was on my side of the table...). ;)

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    2. But I didn't take my shoes off!!! But the stuff does stink though!! I may pick up a bottle or two and experiment! Cheers Curt

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    3. You didn't have to take your shoes off... ;P

      Seriously, give it a go Ray and let me know how it works for you.

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  3. Now that is good to know. I've become addicted to the 'wonderwash' that is Devlan Mud and asked the good chaps at my local shop what they would recommend as an alternative. It was suggested that Agrax Earthshade was the way to go; thinner but would get there in the end - haven't tried it myself yet!

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    1. Yeah, I've heard several mixed opinions on Agrax Earthshade. I've liked the AP stuff I've used in the past, and I find its usually cheaper than GW's products, so I thought I'd give it a try based on other's recommendations.

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  4. Curt

    I've always used artist acrylics - either raw umber or burnt umber depending on my mood and which one I pick up first. You can get them in the mega sized tubes at your firendly art or craft store for a really low price (they are an art store cash cow). Being acrylic they thin out with water and I do washes to get my shading (the heaviness of the wash varries but not for any scietific reason).

    Cheers

    PD

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    1. Good call, Peter. I'll have to give that a try sometime. I'm a lazy git at heart so I like stuff that is already largely colour-matched to what I'm familiar with. I also like the 'staining' effect that ink/pigment can give over straight acrylics.

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    2. I am a lazy one too - thinning out the acylic etc. is just too much of a pain, plus it ends up inconsistent, because I suck...

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    3. Greg

      To me thinning out an acrylic is the easiest route that I can imagine

      Cheers

      PD!

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  5. Nice find Curt - not seen that so far

    Ah the "sweet" smell of the stuff... not. I found a pot that was 7 years old - oh it was nasty.

    I also do recommend the Vallejo Sepia wash , at 200ml , it can be thinned easily and again can produce similar results

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    1. Yes, I've heard that the Vallejo Sepia is a good product as well - have to give it a try.

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  6. I use my own wash mixes of artists acrylic inks in a base of 20% fluid matte medium/5% flow aid and of course my Klear/ink mixes for final wash-cum-gloss coat. For a few quid in initial outlay you can have several years worth of washes.

    The mix I use is based on Les Burley's recipe (as used by Secret Weapon)
    http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/261541.page

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    1. Thanks for this Tamsin! You are like an alchamist! I know I'd get the stuff all over me, I'm such a klutz.

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  7. Thank you a lot, Curt. I am a big fan of "Devlan Mud" and this AP wash is a very good alternative.

    Cheers.

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    1. Yes, I suppose you'd use a lot of this type of wash with your recent Vietnam figures.

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    2. I am using a new green wash, in fact, and the brown in the weapons and bases. I like a lot the effect it has.

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  8. I have used the "Agrax Earthshade" several times now. It is a decent replacement - much closer than any of the other alleged matches on the paint side of the equation. The only challenge is that on one or two occaisions it has dried with a horrifically glossy finish. I have avoided that by giving the wash a good shake before using...

    Oh - and again for the record, I just have to vent at how absolutely stupid the GW paint names are. I can't decide what is worse - "The Fang" or "XV 88"...

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    1. Yup, they must have been seriously high when they came up with some of those names. I would like it if we could have more descriptive and visceral names like, 'Scrotum Brown', 'Arterial Spray Red' and 'Placenta Pink'...

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  9. Curt I don't know if my blog post back in June was one of the "several others recommending AP's..." you came across, but it covers 3 of the AP washes as potential replacements for some old GW favs. Here's the link if you're interested:

    http://derfeldmarschall.blogspot.com/2012/06/how-i-survived-gw-paintocalypse-of-2012.html

    Cheers,
    Jason



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    1. Yes! Thanks very much for that link, Jason - its very helpful.

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  10. I use vallejo's washes from Maelstrom, just as good as the GW ones at a fraction the price, plus the dark brown (sepia) and black are available in bulk 200ml pots, which again makes them excellent value...

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    1. BTW, I usually mix the sepia and black washes at 50/50 and use this combo to shade 90% of my figures.... only recent exceptions were the strumpets...

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    2. Well, strumpets ARE exceptional by their very nature, I think...

      Great tips, Scott, thanks for that. I've heard really good things about the Vallejo line so I'm going to have to track some down so I can give them a try.

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  11. I use both Devlan Mud and AP strong tone and their isn't much a difference. If you bits water to the mix it gets even closer.

    Christopher

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    1. Better if thinned a bit? Good to know, thanks Christopher.

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    2. Yes it can be better depending on how strong you want the shade to be. Either one straight out of the bottle is pretty strong, but adding water will lighten the shade. For example dark clothes straight out of the bottle is probably the best, but light colours and facial tones then I recommend adding some water until you get the right mix.

      Christopher

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  12. I picked up the AP after seeing the article over at FTW.. and it is great. Almost exactly like Devlan Mud as stated above, and really fits the bill. Truly should be recommended more.

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    1. Yes, its working for me as well. Thanks for your comment. I'll have to try some of the other suggestions given by the others- always good to have a few options at hand.

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  13. I just bought GW Agrax Earthshade the colour GW recomends to replace DM with. Not yet tried it and I have some washes by Vallejo that I use but do not really compare

    I will now also try the strongtone

    Ian

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    1. I'd be interested to know what you think of the GW Earthshade in comparison to the others (and the original DM).

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  14. Thanks for the reminder, saw the initial post on another blog and totally forgot about this replacemnt of the ever useful devlan mud. Cheers!

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