hist-games: Coloring bone tafl pieces?

Teceangl tierna at agora.rdrop.com
Wed Apr 2 22:12:43 PST 2003

> I figured I'd use something with a matte finish. perhaps a wood stain,
> or my father had some luck using Rit fabric dye for tinting some of his
> wood carvings. In any case, I figure I'll have to experiment a little to
> get the look I'm thinking of -I don't want anything that might rub off
> on sweaty, or Guinness-dampened hands.

Hmmm, this bridges into my other interest, which is the painting of gaming
miniatures for role playing.
Since you're willing to work with non-period coloring agents, let me suggest
some stuff I've had good luck with, which have survived many a session of
spilled sodas, accidental drops into the salsa bowl, and at least one latte
bath (no alcohol at the games, but I've gotten IPA on my painting table).

Acrylic paints.  Go to the hobby shop and get the ones formulated for
wargaming miniatures.  I suggest Reaper brand.  There are paints, and
a line of "inks", which are ideally suited for tinting.  You can dilute
the paint with either distilled water or water mixed with rubbing alcohol
or a bit of liquid dishwashing detergent (the cheapo stuff).  You might
also want to dilute the inks some.  The result is lovely, if you've used
the right colors and dilution, you can get anything from bright colors
to semi-faded antique-looking tinctures.
Yes, I've painted actual bone using acrylic paints.  I used Reaper and
Warhammer brand paints, diluted with plain tapwater (water's soft here)
to get a stained effect.  It worked magnificently.  Especially since my
base was pork roast bones post-roast.  :)  When I made bone dice a couple
of years ago (seasoned deer bones this time) I tinted one set again with

Then, if you want them extra protected and handleable, you can use a spray
on totally transparent and shineless overcoat.  NOT A MATTE!  Matte has
shine.  Again, I have a brand name to drop (I've painted a lot over the
years and endorse products only because I've had the best results, no
other reason).  Model Master.  You want the "Lusterless".  Small can with
green striping.  After it's dry you can't tell it's on, but it's protected
some of my best work from habanero salsa that can strip color from cloth
(it did!).  If it can stand up to that, it'll manage the Guiness, and I
will attest that it also protects through years of handling as well as
transporting in a box where pieces might rattle around and bump together.

The paint's $3 for a small bottle, but when you dilute it it lasts
forever.  The spray overcoat is perhaps $5 a small can and not only
will one can last awhile, it's priceless when it keeps your color from
rubbing or chipping off.  Gaming and hobby stores, and some model railroad 
places will carry the paints.  All will carry the spray overcoat.

- Teceangl
  Miniature Painting Guide and FAQ  -

More information about the hist-games mailing list