Weathering Tutorial

After the last tutorial I posted was so well received, I thought I would share another one, albeit a bit more polished than the last one! For the month’s painting challenge, the task is to weather a project to the extreme! For my project, I’m working on doing a piece of Deadzone terrain. These pieces paint up easily and look great without much effort, and when properly weathered, they look so good! Weathering terrain, machines, and vehicles is one of my favorite aspects of the hobby, so it was only natural that I combined the two in this little tutorial. Without further ado, let’s get down to it!

I started by giving the door a spray of Vallejo Model Spray Gun Metal. The spray goes on evenly and smoothly without any issues, and I didn’t need a primer layer underneath either.

And now the fun begins! Using a large flat brush, I applied a layer of Vallejo Oiled Earth wash all over. Immediately you can see the effect it has on making the metal take on different tones throughout. I kept the layer thin, and avoided letting it pool anywhere--we’re using this wash as a filter more than anything.

To create add some depth to the weathering, I applied a layer of Vallejo Model Wash Black, again avoiding any pooling. Since we’re not going heavy, it doesn’t loose that metallic colour underneath, but definitely begins to look more and more realistic! Especially when you start to see the contrast between the individual slats of metal.

All we are is rust in the wind! I’ll be adding more rust later on, but in this set, I used Vallejo Model Wash Light Rust to begin adding faint rust patches all over the door. Later on we’ll use these areas both as a guide for future rust, but also without any additional layering to represent the start of the oxidation process.

For a bit of fun, I decided to apply a graffiti decal and weather it too! To ensure a painted on look, I applied the waterslide, dabbed with a cottun bud, and then brushed on a couple of thin layers of Micro Sol decal solution. It takes a bit to dry between applications, but the effect achieved is really neat! I think I’ll do some more graffiti on the rest of the building.

To help blend the decal into the metal a bit better, I took a couple of colours I felt paired well with the decal and carefully painted around the border of the decal. I used Vallejo Model Colour Turquoise, Blue Green, and Pale Blue, but you can use whatever best suits your decal of choice.

After the paint around the decal is dry, I try to incorporate some of the previous weathering over it, to give it some age in keeping with the rest of the door. The Vallejo Model Wash Oiled Earth works like a treat for this. And as a new step, I took a mechanical pencil and ran it at an angle over the slats to give the appearance of fresh metal and paint chipping from wear. You could opt to omit this step if you want the graffiti to look freshly applied. 

At this point you can stop and have a pretty cool looking bit of weathered terrain, but since this is my Weathering Challenge entry, I decided to turn the weathering up to 11! The above environment effects are totally optionl, but when used together, they produce some really nice results. The Vallejo Rust Texture is strongly pigmented and has a wonderful grit to it to simulate the accumulation of rust. Do note, however, that it’s best to apply with either an extremely worn out brush or a cotton bud as it will ruin a nice brush in an instant because of that grit. I also tried to keep this effect paint closer to the edges of the metal, with heavier concentration at the bottom of the door (which makes sense if it’s been in contact with water for a prolonged period of time.) To make the rust pop a bit more, I finally applied some of the Vallejo Game Effects Rust paint with the same cotton bud over the dried rust texture to represent fresher oxidation.

For the Vallejo Environment Effects Rain Marks, I used a brush with the longest bristles possible, and tried to drag the effect vertically, from BOTTOM to TOP, not the other way around to simulate the runnels of dirt that have accumulated with frequent rains. In tandem with this, I applied the Vallejo Environment Effects Streaking Grime from TOP to BOTTOM, focusing primarily on the top of the door, to represent grime and mold dripping down onto the door from above.

And with that, job’s a good’un! In the above picture you can really see the rain marks and streaking grime running down along the metal in all those random rivulets. For items like this where they will marry up with other pieces or sit side-by-side with other items, it pays to ensure you go all the way past a seam line or model edge so it blends in with the other piece. Mind you, the rest of the building isn’t painted beyond a basecoat just yet, but when it comes time to weather it, I’ll be taking the previous work into consideration.

While it might seem labour intensive, the weathering process is good fun and can really allow you stretch your painting skills without much effort. All it takes is not being afraid to make things look messy, dirty, or “wrong,” because that’s usually when you’re on the right track! So get out there and really get down to the nitty gritty everyone! Happy painting brushlickers!