Secret Weapon Miniatures Wash Series Review

SWM washes thumbnailToday we take a look at the lovely acrylic wash series by Secret Weapon miniatures which I have had the pleasure of thoroughly testing out. The range consists of 30 different shades, and most of them are not your regular shades of washes. Most wash ranges deal in a select few shades that are the most basic washes that essentially will work for shading any colour lighter than itself. The SWM washes however, offers a wider variety of shades as well as some really interesting ones that I haven’t seen in any other ranges.

Let’s take a look at the colour chart:


First off there’s two types of black, soft body black which is low on pigment making it great for subtle shading, and heavy body black which has a lot of pigment and is great for heavy shading. The range has a lot of murky shades of brownish, greenish and sepia shades which are great for tinting metals and making realistic weathering, and it’s nice to have a choice other than just sepia and brown. There’s also some pretty flashy colours like fallout, a very toxic looking green, and cotton candy which would make any slaanesh player giggle with joy. But my personal favourite has to be the dark and rich colours like amethyst, sapphire and ruby, they are just fantastic for adding depth and work especially well on metallics.


The consistency of the washes is good, they need to be shaken thoroughly however as the pigment does tend to set at the bottom. They have a good transparency and brushes on very easily and also work very well with an airbrush for tinting colours and other airbrush techniques. They dry to a satin finish, which is something that doesn’t suit everyone, but personally I like that better than a completely matte finish as it makes them look better on metallics without dulling them down. However if you’re the kind of person who likes the dull sheen, a few drops of matte medium added to the wash or a matte varnish treatment should do the trick without too much extra work involved.


Now let’s have a look at some of the results I’ve achieved with these washes. I have used them on several projects now and I am very satisfied with the results.

Rogal Dorn (1)

My own version of the Primarch Rogal Dorn: Extensive use of the amethyst wash on the gold, as purple tones are great for creating depth on gold. The sword is done in a true metallic mirror technique, where the blade is basecoated in silver and a turquoise ink is used for the light areas and the sapphire wash is used to make the darkest shading, this is applied by airbrush.

Abaddon detail Abaddon

My Abaddon model have had all his gold shaded with the amethyst wash as well. the heavy body black was used to tone his black armour back to give some contrast and make it look like high polished black plates. I used the purple wash on his gorget and neck for the object source lighting on the lover part of his face. The sword was done in a mirror effect similar to the one used on Dorn, but using the amethyst and purple washes.

Loken front

I painted Loken using a lot of the washes as well, mainly I used a lot of the baby poop and amethyst wash for the armour and the gold details, the green hue also has some green wash added to it to tint it. His face is shaded with both purple and red black wash, and is kept very pale, his hair has had 2 thin coats of golden brown wash, as the metal flakes in it helped the hair look a bit more like blond hair.

All in all I can highly recommend this wonderful line of washes to all painters out there, whether you’re an experienced painter or a novice it has great potential and the selection of colours is unmatched by any wash line I’ve come across which is a big plus.  They also work quite well in an airbrush, which is really nice toofor tinting colours, candy coating metallics and other cool effects and as Secret Weapon Miniatures are steadily becoming more popular it is starting to get easier to obtain their products worldwide, so there’s no excuse as not to add these to your range of painting auxiliaries.

author avatar tda

The Damned Artificer or TDA is an avid painter and modeler with over 12 years of experience. He’s been an active forum blogger since 2009 and his work can be found on fora such as Warseer, Dakkadakka, B&C and several others. TDA is the newest contributor to Graven Games and there is a lot of exciting stuff in the pipeline.

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