Quick Shading is a technique that can be used to very quickly paint units to a gaming/tabletop standard. It’s not going to win you any painting competitions but it if you have an army that you really want to game with, this could really help you out. The technique has been around for a long time using things like furniture varnish and was recently brought a bit more “main stream” by a company called The Army Painter when they introduced their range of Quick Shade Dips. Essentially this is a tin of a wood varnish-like fluid that you dip your miniatures into, allow the excess to drain and then stand somewhere and leave to dry. Unfortunately it also has the same qualities as wood varnish in that it smells like solvent and shouldn’t really be used indoors, which is not ideal if you live in the UK and don’t have a shed or a garage. I personally haven’t tried this product yet but I have friends that have and I was impressed with the results; I also saw exactly how it worked and how the same effect can be achieved with something most of us already have on our shelves – Brown Ink – without having to go outside or stink your house out.

Essentially, quick shade provides a global shade to the entire model of a dull brown colour which is fairly innocuous and blends well with just about any colour you care to paint it over. I have since tried this on some of my models, especially some of the cheaper “filler” and can honestly say I’m pleased with the results because it gives me more time to paint the special models in my collection while creating the illusion of well painted armies.

Colour Palette

For this you will pretty much only need Aggrax Earth and only the “base colour” of the colours you want to use. In this instance, when I say “base” colour, I am not referring to the Citadel Base paints, more rather I mean the main colour you require, which is normally the darkest shade from the Layers you would apply. For example, if you wanted to paint something green, you might use Caliban Green as a base, Biel Tan Green shade, Warpstone Green layer and Moot Green Layer to highlight. If you were going to quickshade, you would just use Warplock Green. So for the example below I have used:


  1. Warpstone Green (Layer)
  2. Evil Sunz Scarlet (Layer)
  3. Doombull Brown (Layer)
  4. Skragg Brown (Layer)
  5. Karak Stone (Layer)
  6. Cadian Fleshtone (Layer)
  7. Iron Breaker (Layer)
  8. Dryad Bark (Base)
  9. Rakarth Flesh (Base)
  10. Aggrax Earth

As always, these colours are from the new citadel range. If you use other paint ranges, please use the conversion chart I have linked to in the menu on the left of the screen.

Step 1

The first step is to base coat all of the areas in their respective colours. In the above example I have used:

  1. Tunic and leggings – Warpstone Green & Evil Sunz Scarlet
  2. Boots – Doombull Brown
  3. Hood – Karak Stone
  4. Bow and Arrow Shafts – Dryad Bark
  5. Helmet and Arrow Tips – Ironbreaker
  6. Leather – Skragg Brown
  7. Arrow Fletching – Rakarth FleshM
  8. Face and Hands – Cadian Fleshtone

It should be noted that because primarily this uses Layer Paints, it works best over a White Undercoat and you may find you need to apply several coats of paint to get a smooth finish (the green in the photograph took 3 coats).

Step 2

Wash the entire model liberally with Aggrax Earthshade and that’s pretty much it. Quick Shading, it’s quick, it’s nasty but it’s effective.

As always, feel free to feed back on this article or request tutorials using the comments below. If you like what you’ve read, follow my blog.