Posts Tagged ‘Weathering models’

Just occasionally I manage to be moderately organised.

I’ve got a couple of projects coming along that mean I need to know how to make rust and weathering effects. Some concerted googling brought up a lot of sites and YouTube tutorials but most assume the use of airbrushes or quite smelly chemicals, neither of which are a good idea when making models in our living room.

Eventually I found some ideas how to get usable results that I could try without inadvertently redecorating the wall or causing an evacuation of the apartment, and these can be seen above. I’m not going to detail everything you can see on the basis that although I’m not paid to write it, neither are you paid to read it, so there are limits to even how boring I can be on here.

The main methods are pastels, drybrushing and the ‘Hairspray method’ which was a new one to me, but which I was astonished to find actually works even though I wasn’t using the ‘proper’ materials. I’m sure I’m the very last person in the model making world to hear about this one, but in case I’m not, the trick is to paint a rust coloured base coat, let it dry and spray hairspray over the top, return the hairspray to the bathroom before anyone misses it and leave the model to dry overnight. The next morning you paint over the hairspray with acrylics, and when that has dried, scrub away at the surface with a wet brush, and hey presto the top colour rubs off and leaves a realistic chipped rust finish. I got a bit overenthusiastic and ended up going down to the primer, but the principle works. There are expensive model makers sprays for this, but hairspray works just as well, costs a fraction of the price, and leaves you smelling better.

The other rust was made using a variation of this method I found on YouTube:

Don’t worry too much about the bits where he’s painting on black plasticard: I just watched where he is working on the railings themselves.

I also have no idea where to get hold of the paint he is using, but normal artists acrylics worked perfectly well for me.

You can also ignore the labels on my test sheet: it seems I’m still not organised enough to match the labels to the methods I was actually using in the squares.

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Now the exams are over for a while, but Beautiful Wife and daughter are off visiting family for the week so very little modelmaking can take place.

In a classic case of optimism winning over reality I’m trying to make my locomotive look as effective As this HO scale Ruston made by Phil Parker, or if I overdo it, ‘Peahen’. I’m also trying to achieve this by the Christmas holidays so I can do a bit more to the actual layout. To this end I spent my spare moments messing up the remains of my previous efforts some more to see if I could possibly achieve something similar without actually spending any money.

I’m actually fairly pleased with the results, although it turns out that washing with acrylic doesn’t give the same result as enamels, so I ended up drybrushing, and I needen’t have worried about the colours being too bright: the dark undercoat plus dark weathering gives a distinctly gloomy colour to the finish.

On the other hand, it turns out that brushing pastels onto the model has a similar effect to weathering powders. I only had some fairly light coloured pastels to hand so I’ll have to go and visit an art shop for a stick of black and dark brown, but the method shows promise as long as I can work out how to make them stay on the model. I’ve tended to use haispray when dealing with this sort of thing, but I suspect proper modelmakers use a real fixative. Any suggestions?

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