While I have my favorite wash for painting infantry models (Army Painter Strong Tone) I've never been able to find a wash I was particularity happy with for vehicles.
Using the Strong tone (or Dark tone) on vehicles can be problematic because it tends to stain even the raised parts which can darken the whole model. The solution to this has been to use an AK Interactive Enamel wash which can applied and then wiped off with a Q-tip and mineral spirits.
I disliked using the enamel paints since they can be more odorous than the water-based paints, and it necessitates having a different system to clean the brushes.
I recently managed to stumble upon a new wash, a FloryModels.co.uk Clay-based acrylic wash called Dark Dirt.
The great thing is that I can use it as the AK Interactive wash and simply apply it all over the model. Once it dried I also use a Q-Tip but armed with only water instead of mineral spirits or thinner.
I tried it on my Recon Assault Transport (RAT from http://www.clearhorizonminiatures.com) after a base coat of light grey:
I've also used it on some light tanks from Darkest Star Games.
The model before the wash
The wash still wet, straight from the bottle.
|Once the wash has dried I use damp q-tips and makeup sponges to remove excess wash|
Just needs decals!
Another angle showing the effects of the wash.
As you can see, the process is very easy with great results. And you can always remove it if you don't like the effect and want to start over.
Once you've gotten it to where you like it I would seal it with a varnish. If you put decals on first make sure to varnish the decals before putting the wash on, as the process for removing the wash might remove the decals too.
The only problem with the wash is that it's hard to find! I picked mine up at SprueBrothers.com but it appears they are out of this specific wash. It also appears that Flory Models might be on vacation or something?
I'll update this if I find another source or brand of clay-based wash, but otherwise I highly recommend it!