Lester Bursley’s Wash Recipe and Tutorial (repost).

With a recent video from Midwinter Minis (who I usually enjoy) essentially reiterating Les Bursley’s medium recipe and disingeniously calling it “Midwinter Medium” without any acknowledgement or credit to Les (or that others might have done it first) I thought it appropriate to reblog this post from a couple of years ago – so apologies to those who have already seen this one….

Here’s a Wayback Machine link to Les’ original blog post, since the live one has now expired.

Azazel's Bitz Box.


This is a cut-and-paste repost of a post made by Lester Bursley on Dakka, back in 2009. Some of the links may no longer work, but all of the information therin is still relevant, and incredibly useful. While I do buy  range of commercial washes from Games Workshop, P3, vallejo and others, I also make my own using Les’ recipies and based off of Les’ recipies. I also keep a bunch of dropper bottles of ready made medium – just waiting on the ink for when I need to replace or make something new.

This is why I’ve reposted this today. I actually thought I had all of Les’ notes saved, and then could not find them…

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12 thoughts on “Lester Bursley’s Wash Recipe and Tutorial (repost).

    • Yeah, I mean – it’s far from impossible for two people to arrive at the same conclusion or invent the same recipe, but given how long Les’ recipe has been floating around online in the hobby community, I’m not sure that substituting a drop of dishwashing liquid for flow aid as a surfactant really makes it a new thing that precludes a nod of credit to the original and instead naming it after yourself. /eyeroll

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I go back and forth on Midwinter Minis. The “How to Play 40K” video has me actually wanting to play the game again after a near-30 year break, but the blatant clickbait videos like “I STAYED UP 24 HOURS AND PAINTED A ZILLION ORKS” are just crap. But to present a recipe without crediting the original is just terrible; you’re effectively claiming it as your own.

    I’ve seen a similar recipe on Black Magic Craft, and the guy does credit Les in the video description and provides a link to Les’ video.

    Liked by 5 people

    • He seems like a nice guy, and I do enjoy a fair few of his videos, but there are certainly some issues. For me, this has been the worst of it that I’ve seen, as it’s essentially very close to plagarism, mostly due to not crediting the original source in any way. If he’d done that, I’d have been totally fine with it, even if he’d gone as far as “I put my own spin on it with dishwashing liquid, and have named this new version Midwinter Medium!”
      I will say he comes across as far less arrogant and full of himself as a few of the other members of this new batch of “hobby youtubers” that have come up. There are some real positives, though – Goobertown has a great attitude, and Eons of Battle, while not always posting stuff to my taste also comes across as pretty genuinely nice – and without his head stuck right up his own arse!

      Liked by 3 people

      • Unfortunately it seems a bit of arrogance is a prereq for being a youtuber. Almost all of them have made me bristle at times. Whether it’s clickbait, spreading wrong info (with their patreon fans just going “oooh ahhhh!”), or not crediting where they got things. Still, I owe a good deal of my knowledge to those who have helped share their info and techniques via YouTube. Without the blog community and you tubers, I’d have some damned ugly minis! 😉

        Liked by 3 people

      • Well, there’s confidence versus arrogance.

        Some of them tread a fine line, there are (just) a small few of the newer batch that haven’t managed to make me bristle at some point (Goobertown, Black Magic Craft, EoB, Vince Venturella), a fair few that are often good but stray a lot further into arrogance and dickheadedness at times but still have some good info mixed in, and then there’s a few that I just can’t watch because their heads are so far up their own arses, even when they’re spouting incorrect information.

        Granted, I don’t really count Luke’s APS in this lot because he’s not one of the newer batch. Nor Tabletop Minions – but I like both of those guys a lot anyway and TTM is more about discussion than actual techniques. And then there are some real Douchers in the older school as well..

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I made my own batch ages ago. “Bah, it’s not like GWs stuff!”. So it sat awhile. But then I was working on a few terrain bits “Do I really want to buy a case of Agrax to coat this?!”. So out came the Les wash, and it does wonders for terrain for sure! I still haven’t used it for minis much, but who knows. I find I keep going back to stuff that didn’t work for me initially and trying again. With more experience and knowledge, it’s easier to figure out why those things didn’t work and what you can do to rectify that.

    Liked by 4 people

    • That’s the thing – it’s another tool. I use Lahmian Medium all the time – mostly due to it’s near-transparency – so I can see what I’m doing (kinda useful when painting) and break out Les’ medium at times when it’s less important to get the colours perfectly right. Terrain, vehicles, big models with less than perfectly defined details…. 😀

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Very sorry to hear about the plagiarism. That is just plain irresponsible but I wish I could say I’m surprised. I don’t watch many Youtube videos on painting and most of the people I do watch aren’t super popular because they don’t pander to the Youtube audience. Myself, I just want to see content that is concise and the people who make it are genuine. You don’t have to try really hard to be funny and all that to make great content. Well that and some of these people making tutorials know less than many in our blogging community do so that doesn’t help much either!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s a thing, I guess. To be fair to the YouTubers, a lot of them have some pretty good ideas and techniques, and it can be useful not only to see new ideas in action, but even hearing some of them talk about stuff in a certain way can be useful just to get thinking about things in different ways.

      Liked by 1 person

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