I'm pretty happy with the results of my Minwax dipping experiment, and my subsequent home-brewed dip experiment (see below.)
So here are the Carthaginians, post-dip. After the dip, I painted the shields using a quick three layer technique (hard to see the shading, the photo washed out the white.) And finally I added a layer of matte varnish. I just used Krylon UV Protection Matte. I thought I might have to pull out the "big guns" of matte varnish (Testors) but it doesn't seem necessary. These are simple figures with a lot of mail, but overall I'm happy with the results. The only minor change I should have made was using a different color for the spears.
As a result of discussion of my attempts at replicating GW's Delvan Mud wash in the replies to my last entry, I took some anonymous advice and sought out a bottle of Ceramcoat Dark Burnt Umber. I found it at the local craft store for a whopping $0.79 and it is perfect. Far darker than any of the other browns I currently have, but a bit warmer than black.
I mixed up a batch of Future, water, DBU (dark burnt umber) and a bit of anti-shine additive and applied it to the figure below. It was a little two thin, so I added more DBU the the mix and gave it another coat before the first had fully dried. I probably should have used another figure, but I was impatient. So the results look good. I think I need to fine tune the mix a bit (maybe less/no water?) and apply it to a fresh figure. But I'm optimistic.
I have labeled the bottle with this mix, "Substance D" -- as in "D"evan Mud replacement (and "D"ark Burnt Umber.) But also because I am a Philip K. Dick fan, ans Scanner Darkly is one of my favorite books.
So here's my plan, then.... I'm going to try some more figures using both my Substance D and the Minwax. Then I hope to make use of "dipping" one some of the piles of rank and file troops that have backed up in my collection and get them on the battlefield.