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Rusting, Chipping and Weathering

time for some real color
The best part!!! PAINT!!! I have decided to use a 2 color system of painting. This means that I will lay one layer of paint, chipping fluid and salt again and then paint with another color. This will enhance the depth a lot.

Using Tamiya's Medium Blue first, I laid down a coat making sure to be a little heavier in the areas I wanted shaded darker, and a lighter coat to just a dusting in the sun bleached top and flat surface panels.

You can see in this last shot that the salt does react a bit with the paint and has a slight faded appearance. This will actually help me later.

Next I will be adding more chipping fluids, in the same placement as the first time.

While still wet, I applied a little more salt to some areas.

Now it is time to add the second layer of paint. For this stage I decided to use Tamiya's Light Sea Grey. This was laid down where I wanted to accent and/or highlight panels and mostly top surface panels and areas that would be bleached from the sun.

Up next I will be removing the salt and exposing the multi layers of paint and rust. in this next picture we see the doors before the salt is removed, and the hood. I chose not to salt the hood. I will hit this section with a stiff bristle brush to show this effect.

Up next I will show the removal of the salt and some heavy chipping to the hood.

With a good, stiff bristled brush to brush and somewhat stipple the granules of salt away. If they become stubborn and problematic, a damp (not wet) brush should loosen it up and knock it away.

Next, I do want to more or less wet the area I want to chip and scrub.

Using the stiff bristled brush again, I stipple, scrub, stab pick away at the paint as the water softens the layers of color.

In nooks and crannies you will need to detail the water into the crevasses. If the paint is being stubborn or it has been a day or so from the time of painting, some aggressiveness will be needed. I suggest mixing some standard alcohol with water 50/50 for starters. With a fine tip brush use it like a pin wash on the area you wish to remove. Then a little scrub with a cotton swab (bud) or stipple with a brush and the lovely rust color will begin to show through in the crack.

With a nice collection of unsalted model pieces I chose to run a filter of sorts over everything. This blends some colors and brings others out, not to mention cleaning up the whole salting mess. Remember that you want to apply just a filter, not a wash. This is thinner than a full strength wash. You can always run more coats if you think it is needed. I only applied one using AK's Brown Blue Wash. I did not fully mix the contents. You can get the same result from mixing oil paint with thinner between 60% and 80% thinner to paint. You are just blending the color with this coat.

This is what this looks like with the chipping complete and one filter applied.

Here is a mock up to check if I am on the right track here.

About the Author

About Todd Michalak (TRM5150)

I am building what I like, when I like and how I like it; having fun doing it. I have been building and finishing models on and off my whole life but the past ten years things really exploded. Just about anything goes when it comes to hitting the bench, but wrecked armor, rusted hulks, ships or ...


Finally I got the time, to sit down and read this feature thoroughly. The SBS is very well writen and the work OUTSTANDING. Thanks Todd, for taking the time to do this brilliant feature.
AUG 27, 2012 - 09:09 AM
LOL...only off a couple weeks here Jesper...sorry bout that!!! Thank you for the kind words, it is most appreciated!!!
SEP 22, 2012 - 09:07 AM
it's been a while since I've done done heavy rust effects and enjoyed your approach and presentation very much.well done sir! Chris
OCT 18, 2012 - 07:45 AM
Great Job thank you for showing us this!
OCT 30, 2012 - 08:21 AM
Excellent tutorial, great photography as well
MAR 22, 2013 - 11:56 PM