“Novice needs advice”. Book about paint&weathering: Which?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Topo, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. Topo

    Topo Member

    Well, I realize that the best way for learn this things is the ol' “trial&error” method, but having a good guide can help to cut corners.

    There are twenty-many years that I don't paint a kit. The today paints and materials available are a bit different that the ones I was used and have more possibilities, so it's time for me having a “recycle”. :rolleyes:

    If you were to recommend a book/guide about the technics in painting & weathering model structures, which one, actually in print, you would choose? (having in mind that the “novice” is not a total beginner and have already some skill) :p
  2. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Javier I would suggest using chalks at first as they are more forgiving. I think the books by Dave Fary go into that.
  3. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Javier, when I set out to learn weathering techniques I got all my information from the internet. You could probably do a search right here on the Gauge and turn up lots of useful information. And if you still want a book, at least this will give you something to read before you decide.

    To summarize the main weathering techniques, they are:

    1. Chalks (as mentioned by Tyson above). They are ground to a powder and brushed or sprinkled on dry. Once you're happy with the results, spray with fixative. Weathering powders are much the same.
    Advantages: wide range of earth, rust and other colours. If you don't like it the first time, they are easy to clean off and try again.

    2. Washes. Take paint (or india ink) and dilute it with either water or, more commonly alcohol (for its fast drying time). Brushed on and built up gradually. Perfect for streaks running down of either rust or scale.
    Advantages: really mimics the flow of rusty or scaley water down the sides and into cracks and crannies. Disadvantages: once it's on, it's on.

    3. Make-up. Raid the cosmetics counter for eyeshadow. They come in a wide range of colours with many earth, rust and charcoal tones. You can use the applicator supplied, or a finer brush. Advantage: easy to apply, stays in place. Can be sealed with fixative after or not.

    4. Airbrushing. If you happen to have an airbrush this the best technique for getting a dusty, well-travelled look on rolling stock or vehicles. It really doesn't take as much skill as you may think - in fact it's downright easy! Just take a practice boxcar, remove or mask off the couplers, and load the airbrush with a thinned light earth colour (I use Floquil Mud). Turn the boxcar upside down so that the front is facing you and the car is tllted slightly front to back. Spray lightly along the bottom and the resulting overspray on the sides and front will look exactly like kicked up dirt. Do this only after you have done all your other weathering. Advantage: only way to get this look.

    Most effective weathering uses a combination of these techniques. I hope this information will help you get started!

  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    There is one more that you might try. I have been gaining some confidence and (dare I say) skill with dry-brushing. This involves taking a paint brush and dipping it in the desired colour (dirt, dust, whatever). You then proceed to wipe off most of the paint on a paper towel. You then use a sort of flicking motion to brush the dry brush against the thing that needs weathering.

    Do not be tempted to put more paint on at once! It will then be painting, not dry brushing. It takes a while to build up, but it is easy to avoid over doing it.

  5. Topo

    Topo Member

    Thanks, friends

    Thanks for the advice, Tyson & Val & Andrew !! :D :D

    Tyson: I will give a look to these Dave Frary books. ;)

    I plan use water-soluble Pollyscale paints. Can it be diluted in alcohol too?
    What's best for paint structures, water-soluble acrilics (PollyScale), or enamels (Floquil)?
    If they're water soluble, I cannot simply "wash" the mess? :confused:
    UH, OH!! :eek: :eek:
    Ma'am wouldn't approve that!!! If she catch me messing with her chemicals, I'm busted! :rolleyes:
    (Er, Uh... I realize... Do you mean that I could buy NEW of that eyeshadow thing, don't you? Well, that could work) :D :D

    Yep. You're right. I learned it the hard way. :oops: :curse:
  6. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member


    Alcohol is usually used to dilute india ink. I've never tried it with water-based paint, but I have tried it with real powdered rust and that works fine. Diluting with water is ok, it just takes longer to dry.

    I prefer acrylics for structures, in fact for everything (except metal stuff like vehicles etc). One reason is there's no worry it will react with the plastic, and the other is you can clean up with water, not costly (and stinky) solvents.

    Theoretically you should be able to wash off water soluble paints but in practice I've found it doesn't work. Some folks use brake fluid to strip paint.

    A neat way to get real rust is to take an SOS pad (used, minus soap) and keep it in a jar covered with water. In a couple of weeks it should deteriorate, and in a month or so turn to dust. It's very bright orange though and should be used sparingly.

  7. Topo

    Topo Member

    Thanks for the clarifications, Val. :) :thumb:

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