New Washes For Old

I use washes a lot when I'm painting figures. I use various experimental recipes of my own devising, but I also use commercially available washes a good deal — they have the virtue of predictability, which my own concoctions sometimes do not.

The wash I've used and liked the most is the old Citadel Devlan Mud. It's no longer available, having gone out of production a couple of years ago, so I'm having to find an acceptable replacement.

I've airbrush-primed this figure with Vallejo's polyurethane acrylic surface primer white, and then washed it in sections with three commercially available washes:

  • On the figure's left (front and back), the old Citadel Devlan Mud.
  • On the right-front, the new Citadel equivalent, Agrax Earthshade.
  • On the right-back, the nearest Vallejo equivalent I could find, their Umber Shade.

All of the washes were applied undiluted, straight from the pot (or bottle).

Visually, there's not a hell of a lot to choose between them. They all dried to a good matte finish.

  • Agrax Earthshade is the lightest, and it pools the least in open areas. Judging by the smell, it has an alcohol component. It's very similar in hue to Devlan Mud, and I quite like its lighter, looser fluidity.
  • Vallejo Umber Shade is a little bit thicker, and it pools a lot more on flat, open areas. It's a touch warmer in tone, but still pretty close in colour.

Of the two, I think I prefer the Citadel wash, but the Vallejo offering is certainly quite usable and I don't feel that it's money wasted.

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