Weathering Concrete

Discussion in 'Weathering Forum' started by railBuilderdhd, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. I was looking for some help on how to weather concrete. I know many say you just buy concrete color paint and your done. I don't recall concrete allways looking like it came out of a can of paint. Any help on how others or you have modeled and weathered concrete would be great.
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Did you get any response to your "weathering cement" thread?

    I think there are a number of possibilities here, not all to do with making realistic looking concrete per se.

    1. New or nearly new concrete. Sometimes paint right out of the can is not so bad...! I also have a bottle of "aged concrete" colour, which isn't bad, but is a bit yellowy for my liking. But not bad over all, and probably where you want to start for any of the other various treatments you will inflict on your concrete surface.

    2a. Standard weathering. Add dirt, water, smoke, mud, or other "weathering" with my favourite techniques - washes and dry-brushing. Because concrete starts out as a fairly light colour, you need to be careful that a wash of (for example) black does not simply "muddy" the concrete, rather than making it look weathered. You might try washes of light colours, like grey, yellow, tan, beige, or even white. Dry brushing with similar colours in a random way may give a pleasing effect and break-up the complete monotone of the initial coat of "concrete" colour.

    2b. You might want to try a bit of chalk mixed in your paint, to simulate the dust that often accumulates on the surfaces of concrete, especially if it is protected a bit, like inside a loading dock, or the lee-side of a pillar where the rain does not wash the surface clean.

    3. Forget the concrete - cover or replace it ;) I like this option, because for me, it's more visually interesting. I have bricked in windows in concrete buildings, or "stuccoed" over it with a textured paint or lightweight spackle. You could have spots where it is worn away, exposing steel beams or rebar. You would see the aggregate inside the concrete in this instance. These visual "interruptions" draw your attention away from the large slab of concrete, which then has to be less realistic. You mind will fill in the details.

    One other option here (although not as suitable for my era) is graffiti. A large unblemished area of concrete often becomes a large area of colourful "artwork", so you might consider that too...

    Hope that helps.

  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    One other option for "covering" occurs to me...

    There's an whole lot of concrete out there that has been painted over, whether to seal it, protect it, cover graffiti, or simply because people think it looks better that way. And that coat of paint is in a wide range of repair - some pristine, some faded, some flaking away. So again, any weathering you'd do for any other surface can come into play here.

  4. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I havent had much luck with concrete, especially plastic painted to look like concrete.

    But the thing is, it weathers in so very many different ways. To start with, freshly poured concrete tends to have a medium gray color, and almost a satin finish. WIthin a few wekks, it turns to light gray, and the finish turns dull. Around here, the concrete will often get coated with a white, chalky residue that may persist for years. In other words, a highway overpass around here made with plain concrete and between 1-20 years old will be liht gray with a very slight whitish patchy coating in places.

    Concrete older than 20 or so years seems to be more light tan, and even older it seems to turn into an even darker tan.

    I havent tried weathering concrete for a few years, but if I was to try right now, I would first decide how old of concrete I would wish to simulate. Then, I would choose the approprate FLAT gray or tan base color, and spray it on the model. Next, I would think about all the areas that could have external staining by things like rust, water, organic material, soot, pollution, etc. I would choose appropriate colors for the staining materials and probably apply them either by drybrushing or a thinned wash.

  5. Andrew,
    Thanks all for taking the time to read/reply to repeat posting of the same question. Being so new, I really want to dig for info as I learn. I did get a few replies that were good, one was a how John Pitts did his concrete weathering and the second was buy the concrete color paint from Floquil and there you are!
    These are great and I’m glad they sent me this info but, as I mentioned, being so new at modeling I wanted to hear of other ideas to try as well. I want to learn as many different ways as I can so I can see what style may be good for what application. I think everyone can appreciate that.
    So here I am, I thought I would ask again at the risk of annoying everyone.
    What I have done thus far is mix some colors to look like ages concrete with a tan/white/gray color and I did mix in the color with chalks for a texture. I thought you may not see the texture of the chalk but it would add the shadows you would see even at a 3’ distance. Even though you may not see details at a looking distance, I feel textures such as concrete will effect what you do see.
    I like your #3 option as I was thinking to add details of age to the concrete. This will as you say take the eye away from the main slab of concrete and add the details that make the whole model look real. I want to show age but not such age that the building is condemned.
    Tank you an all that have helped me learn these new techniques. I’ll keep you posted as I progress on this project as well as others.

    Kevin –
    You make very important point that must be thought out before you model the materials of your structure. I’ve learned this and for this model I’m trying to get a look of very old concrete from years ago.

    One thing I’ve done so far is create a mold of the plastic steps and will try to cast the concrete if plaster or some sort of material.

  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    The thoughts keep trickling in...

    You could cast your piece of concrete out of anchor bolt cement - a very fine cement that has the look of "scale" concrete - i.e the texture is right. MR had an article within the last year or so on casting culverts with this material.

    Also take a look at Chris Lyon's blog - Lyon Valley Northern - for some of the buildings he has done. He's painted concrete silos with the Krylon "camo" spray bombs. To me they look very dirty, but they are very effective, and quick, cheap, and easy.

  7. Thanks for the link. I like what he's done but I agree the concrete is dark like the same color as the steel color on the siding of the building.
  8. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    Too bad I found that concrete painting and weathering tutorial after having painted and weathered the concrete road on my switching layout.
    So here are 2 pictures about how NOT to paint and weather concrete.
    I used some ( too dark ) Tamiya acrylic for painting the road and a black wash of diluted India ink.

    But the tips from this thread are not lost for me because in a few days I'll paint and weather the concrete roads on my oval layout.

    Thanks everyone for the information and suggestions.




  9. csxnscale

    csxnscale Member

    Can't give you an Orval nor a Duvel for this road color Jacques, you have to do better than that (lol).

  10. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    I agree, a crappy job just deserves a crappy beer : Corona beer from Mexico or Bavaria beer from Brasil

    I decided to repaint and reweather the concrete road shown on the picture to make it looks better. First I'll use another color such as light gray and I'll dilute my China ink wash with more alcohol.
    If the concrete road looks better after that, I'll post other pictures and treat myself with a Trappist beer.

  11. e-paw

    e-paw Member

    I like to first texture the surface of the "concrete" before I paint it. Then either hand or air brush Polly Scale concrete or aged concrete as a basse cote. Then use a variety of earth colors ,browns and tans, to make streaks and smudges in places that would make sense like tire marks, mud splashes etc. The next step is to put rust streaks near any steal fittings attached to or on top of the concrete (just keep water and gravity in mind so it looks believable). Lastly I like to use CXS TAN from Polly Scale to add highlights where the surface would be sun bleached in thin washes. You can also add moss and ground foam for overgrowth. Give it a try, it works well for me.
  12. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    e-paw, could you please give more information about how you texture the surface ?


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