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weathering


alecras234
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Hi my name's Ash, im 43 and i'm disabled and use a wheelchair.   I enjoy building scale models but recently i've found that i'm better at building AFV'S.   I have a Panzer IV to build in 1:35 scale which i'll get around to soon.  I use acrylic paint and use a paint brush not an airbrush.   The thing that's worrying me is the weathering, i've been practicing on an old SU 100 tank where i apply two thin washes of green, then this is where im having problems, applying highlights, i just brush yellow here and there, it doesn't look right, then after varnish i applied a dark dirt wash then when it was dry wiped some wash off, and applied chipping.   How else other than dabbing yellow here and there can i highlight areas?  Do i have to highlight or can i go straight on with the wash?   Thanks.

 

Ash

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Personally I would let the washes and pin washes do most of the heavy lifting and just pick out the more prominent bits, nuts, bolts, handles etc with a lightened version of the base colour. Occasionally I'd do a bit of dry brushing with oils to highlight some of the edges. 

Others surely will use different methods so it's a case of finding one you are happy with. 

All the best. 

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Hi can you explain more please?  So you're saying let the dark wash do most of the weathering, is that right?   After the base coat which is green, brown or something do i then put varnish on then the dark wash, then after the dark wash what do i do?  Thank you

 

Ash 

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Hi Ash.

 

I recommend you get some weathering powders or pigments. Not only are they great for applying general dust and dirt effects but you can also use them in a way similar to dry-brushing with paint.

 

Load up an old brush with a light sand or grey colour, work it in a bit, and then flick over the raised surfaces of the model. I also find it works on figures to achieve highlights on clothing. And the good thing with pigments of course is they can be washed off easily.

 

With armour it's also sometimes more effective if you 'highlight' the raised areas with a darker colour, to reflect dirt and dust being rubbed off edges. This is what tends to happen in real life anyway.

 

Best wishes, 

 

Ian

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Hi guys im sorry to ask this again but i want to get it straight in my head.  I use acrylic paint and a brush, not an airbrush.   After painting my Panzer tank, should i give it a very light filter and then add a dark clay wash then wipe the wash off followed by chipping?    Do i use the weathering powders for the wheels and tracks?  Thanks.

 

Ash

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A  very quick and easy way to add highlights to almost anything is drybrushing with Naples Yellow oil paint.  This was a Verlinden trick from the stone ages of the 1970s when we were only just beginning to think about washing, highlighting etc and there were zero specific products available.

 

I don't know what it is about Naples Yellow but it is fairly universal on most base colours.  Don't use the new water-mixable oils: those are hopeless.  Get a tube of good quality oil paint from an art supplier: Rowney, Windsor & Newton etc.  Those might be hard to find or access in the current situation - hopefully improving in a couple of weeks - but surprisingly The Range stock oil paints and other artists' products.  They have stores in many places and are open.

 

While you're at it get yourself a selection of soft flat brushes in different sizes, a small pad of cartridge paper or a tear-off paper pallete pad and a plastic palette knife (or metal if you prefer).  Some turpentine substitute might be a good idea too.

 

Apologies if you know what follows already but.......  Squeeze a blob of the paint onto one end of the pad/pallette and flatten it out with the palette knife.  Sometimes, especially when the tube is new, you will get brownish oil base liquid coming out.  If so, keep squeezing until you get solid paint and throw that sheet away. Once you have a flattened blob of solid paint, leave it for a while and you will see some of the oil base wicking out into the paper.  This is good. 

 

Holding your brush upright just gently brush it back and forth across the paint a few times to pick some up.  Then test on the paper to see that you haven't picked up too much.  If you have, drag it across the paper a couple of times to take some off.  If you haven't picked up enough, go over the paint again until you have enough.  Then, using the same upright action, lightly flick the brush back and forth across edges and details on the model.  You should see a light deposit of the paint.  Keep repeating this process until you have a pleasing effect across the whole model.  If you're too heavy-handed you can remove excess by going over with a dry brush or one just slightly damp (only!) with turps.  Better to start light and build up than to be too heavy-handed.

 

You can also use Naples Yellow to add simple fading and streaking.  Again, it seems to work on most colours.  Drag the brush horizontally down vertical surfaces and keep doing that until you get the effect you want.  Oils remain workable for quite some time, usually a few hours at least, so there's no need to rush at it.  To add a specific streak just put a tiny dot of the neat paint at the top end with a fine brush or a cocktail stick and then drag a dry flat brush downwards through it until you're happy.

 

From this "easy start" you can move on to using other colours to add more effects.  Abteilung 502 do oil paints in rusty, sooty and oily shades as well as some matched to specific base colours.  Their odourless and matt effect thinners are very good too.

 

But don't forget that you can rub off what you've done by handling the model before the paint has fully dried, so be careful as you work.  When you've finished, put it aside for at least a week.

 

I hope this helps.

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I will give you the same advice I give to all the people who come into my shop and want to start modelling.

I tell them all to follow these basic steps to getting a model to look the way THEY want it to look.

 

  • First concentrate on getting used to the instructions, it pays to stick to one manufacturer for a while, you will get used to how they mark things and set them out. Do what it says, read and study the instructions, and understand them before opening the glue pot.
  • Once you are happy doing that, then you can move on to painting.
  • For good weathering it's important to get your base coats rights, if they are wrong what you put on top will be wrong.
  • Don't try to get too complicated straight off, start off with basic weathering, a shade or two shades lighter is all you need, and white is not always the best way to make a paint lighter, learn the colour spectrum.
  • Practice on bits that don't matter, most kits come with spare bits, if not use bits of sprue, or even venture out to a general store, ( The Range or B&M in the UK) and buy a pack of plastic knives, spoons and forks, these will replicate virtually every surface you are likely to meet on an AFV.
  • Watch YouTube videos ( Not Andy's Hobby HQ, ( I have my reasons))

Finally remember even the best of us make C*ck ups, take a look at my Chally 2, totally and utterly over weathered !

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Posted (edited)

Hi what's the best method of weathering a tank in acrylics, hand brush painted?  I'm still having difficulty.   I've tried painting the tank green, adding yellow here and there for highlights then applying a dark clay wash and i've even tried adding water on top of the base later so that when i drop yellow it'll spread and blend in, nope didn't look right.   Do i have to weather, is it essential?  Can't i just use a dark clay wash to bring out panel lines and leave the wash here and there?   By the way,  I do watch you tube videos on weathering tanks but they are all airbrushed which is no help to me as i hand brush paint.

 

Ash

Edited by alecras234
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There is nothing wrong with factory fresh or parade ground vehicles, especially peacetime subjects.  Every miltary vehicle looks like that at least once in its life!  So no, it isn't essential.  IMHO it is better to do that reasonably well than to weather badly.

 

If you want to depict a subject in an operational scenario then yes they will be dusty, muddy, sun and rain weathered with worn and scratched paint.  Matt paint in particular gets scruffy quickly, which is one reason why the UK went with a semi-gloss finish for much of the 50's and 60's, even into the 70's.

 

There is sadly no straightforward answer to your question, and there is most certainly no "best" way.  There are myriad ways and very many personal preferences as well as a whole marketplace of products.  But you definitely don't need an airbrush to "do weathering": you can do everything you need by hand.

 

Acrylic paints have significant limitations for weathering as they dry too quickly and are essentially unworkable once applied.  Most weathering techniques will use enamels, oils and pigments/pastels.  Products that dry more slowly and that remain workable once applied, even when "dry".

 

Rather than looking for YouTube videos might I suggest that you get hold of some good books, which are much easier to refer to when working.  The Weathering Magazine series is good, focussing on individual subjects in each issue.  Books published by product manufacturers such as Vallejo, MiG and AK Interactive understandably always use and advocate their own brand products.

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My advice to you first. Watch weathering tutorials at youtube. Even we explain a lot here, thats just words. Better idea is you watch some videos first about how to do it. A lot of videos are available at youtube.

Good luck.

Best modelers for weathering are Mig Jimenez and Martin Kovacs aka ,, night shift,,.....

Edited by Harry Callahan
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If you haven't seen his work yet then I would look at @PlaStix models he makes on this site. They are handpainted and he gives step by step guides on colours and paints and how to use them. Well worth a read through and pick as many tips up as possible.

 

 

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Hello, Ash; welcome to the asylum.

 

A couple of acknowledged masters of the art of weathering, and who produce excellent, detailed, videos on their techniques, are Night Shift and Plasmo.

 

I have often sought inspiration, and gained knowledge, from their presentations.

 

Have fun!

 

Panda Commander

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On 30/03/2021 at 20:12, alecras234 said:

Hi my name's Ash, im 43 and i'm disabled and use a wheelchair.   I enjoy building scale models but recently i've found that i'm better at building AFV'S.   I have a Panzer IV to build in 1:35 scale which i'll get around to soon.  I use acrylic paint and use a paint brush not an airbrush.   The thing that's worrying me is the weathering, i've been practicing on an old SU 100 tank where i apply two thin washes of green, then this is where im having problems, applying highlights, i just brush yellow here and there, it doesn't look right, then after varnish i applied a dark dirt wash then when it was dry wiped some wash off, and applied chipping.   How else other than dabbing yellow here and there can i highlight areas?  Do i have to highlight or can i go straight on with the wash?   Thanks.

 

Ash

Hi Ash,

I have just got back into modelling after very many years, did my first diorama with weathered wagons, first thing I did after they looked factory fresh was to lighten the basic colour with white about 50% and using an old nail brush just flicked it on, especially front hull which takes a beating all year round, this looked pretty good for light dinks and scratches then added brown chipping into some of the lightened bits and around wear edges such as track guards raised bits etc fir heavier chips,  one thing helped me a lot was mig ammo light dust wash, I just daubed it on in places and let it run around areas that dust would build up, that made a pretty good base for then adding mud etc. 
 

Hope it helps

cheers

Mark

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Posted (edited)

Hi guys thanks for all your replies with advice.   I was watching this guy on you tube, he's a wargamer and he builds tanks, he uses acrylic paint like i do, he was showing how he paints his 1 72 scale tanks.   He primes them in black then dry brushes brown all over until the model is covered in brown but the dark shadows and panel lines show through because of the black primer underneath,  he does this dry brushing until the whole model is covered in a camo scheme.   I thought it would be good to preserve the shadow areas on my builds but would his technique work on larger 1 35 scale?

 

I was also thinking maybe weathering powders are the way to go.   Am i right in thinking that to create highlights i dab on a light weathering powder and then i could dab on rust powder here and there?      i'd rather use washes though.

Edited by alecras234
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I think you're at the point now where practice is required, rather than instruction. Have a play with washes, paints and pigments and see what happens. Maybe stick a cheap kit together and use it to test techniques. 

 

You'll soon see what works and what doesn't, what you like and what you don't. Experimenting is half the fun. Don't forget to look at photos of the real thing as well as other people's models. There are many interpretations of realism!

 

And please post some pics of your finished projects so we can have a look. 🙂

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  • 3 months later...

Hi, Ash !!

Everyone starts somewhere, and even the best struggle at times.

There are some very fine works in progress, on the site, that show how many of the modelers tackle the paint stage.

 

Each of us probably take a differing  approach, and use different media, oil washes, pigments, acrylics, etc. 

 

I usually start off with a base coat, and once happy I use a lighter variation of the base color to highlight high spots. 

My weathering consists of probably four or five colors/types, at most, because I'm lazy :D

 

It may help if some of the artists here post a "step-by-step" photo essay, for you, so you can see what you like.

 

ATB.... 

 

Lee. 

 

 

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As an afterthought....

 

Have you seen any of Will Pattison's videos on You Tube ?

 

Will took up modeling following a severe spinal cord injury, which led to a drastic drop in dexterity in his hands.

 

He has an excellent channel on the YT.

 

 

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Hi i'm thinking of giving up on m y model making because they don't go right for me.   I can get paint on ok now but i don't know how to weather.  I have used a clay wash on my panzer iv buti didn't like the look and with my hands found it difficult to remove with a tissue as i brushed it on all over the model.   I saw my mate's models and he uses black primer and then the black shows through the paint here and there, so i thought that looks nice but i don't know how to get that effect with a paintbrush.    He uses an airbrush, i use a paintbrush, i don't want to use an airbrush.

 

I'm sure there are lots of techniques with a paintbrush, i just wish i knew them.

 

Ash

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Hi Ash,

dont give up on it, I think the way your mate does it is called pre-shading. 
the few that I have made are airbrushed for base colour but all weathering is by hand, one  thing I use is mig ammo dust filter, works great, also around front of afvs esp tanks, mix base colour 50% white or light grey, and flick on with stiff brush small amounts at a time, replicates nice light paint scuffs can be quite heavy on hull fronts, then use a dark Brown chipping colour, and add to edges tool holders anywhere where things get battered, for mud, get some soil from garden and add, with some water, will harden, very diluted will do splashes, or get ready made acrylic products. 
 

try those see how it goes

cheers

Mark

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1 hour ago, alecras234 said:

Hi i'm thinking of giving up on m y model making because they don't go right for me.   I can get paint on ok now but i don't know how to weather.  I have used a clay wash on my panzer iv buti didn't like the look and with my hands found it difficult to remove with a tissue as i brushed it on all over the model.   I saw my mate's models and he uses black primer and then the black shows through the paint here and there, so i thought that looks nice but i don't know how to get that effect with a paintbrush.    He uses an airbrush, i use a paintbrush, i don't want to use an airbrush.

 

I'm sure there are lots of techniques with a paintbrush, i just wish i knew them.

 

Ash

OMG - no no no!!!

 

keep at it. adapt different ways. model making is such a varied hobby no one can justify giving up because one way, subject, or technique, didn't pan out.

 

try some goofy stuff to break up the monotony of attempting a "contest winner". sad as it is, some of my best results have never been planned or duplicated! i was simply puttering around and things just happened.

 

for some economical respite, try  some "found stuff" modeling which if gets botched, no big deal:  

 

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5 hours ago, alecras234 said:

Hi i'm thinking of giving up on m y model making because they don't go right for me.   I can get paint on ok now but i don't know how to weather.  I have used a clay wash on my panzer iv buti didn't like the look and with my hands found it difficult to remove with a tissue as i brushed it on all over the model.   I saw my mate's models and he uses black primer and then the black shows through the paint here and there, so i thought that looks nice but i don't know how to get that effect with a paintbrush.    He uses an airbrush, i use a paintbrush, i don't want to use an airbrush.

 

I'm sure there are lots of techniques with a paintbrush, i just wish i knew them.

 

Ash

If Edison had given up on the lightbulb....

 

Look Ash, I know it’s frustrating, but keep going. 
You can achieve a lot with a brush. 
 

I think @PlaStix uses a brush...

Check in with him. 
 

Lee. 

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Weathering takes practice. There isn't a magic formula that works for everyone but cast around and look at lots of differents styles until you find a process that works for you. As others have said, practice techniques on scrap plastic, old models, plastic cutlery or whatever you have available. Build your confidence over time. It is likely that your early attempts may be poor and you'll think about giving it up - my early attempts certainly were and after 40+ years, I still don't get it right every time.

 

The one piece of advice I would always give is be gentle and subtle with whichever techniques you try and be prepared to repeat the stages more than once to build up the weathering effects - always better to under-weather than to over-weather. When you reach the point that you think 'I'll just give it one more application' - don't do it!

 

John

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As other folks have said, please don't give up, my friend.

 

NO model-maker in history has had excellent results straight out of the gate - any that claim that are simply lying. I would regard your first 5 or 10 models as test-cases / experiments and move on from there. 

 

I have read a number of stories of model-makers giving up after they've made a few kits and stating "It's not for me!" The reason for this is simple. They look at the superb representations they see in model-magazines, sites like this and elsewhere and they aspire to achieve the same standards after a few months. THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE! The great kits they are looking at have taken THOUSANDS of hours of mistake-making, experimentation, refining techniques. and gallons of blood, sweat and tears.

 

The only way that you'll get really good is to persevere.... If you are not happy with your end results, but you have learnt a valuable lesson, then the kit was NOT a waste of time.    

 

Good luck, mate. 

 

Chris.  

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