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Weathering for the new age of modelers

Most modelers today rely solely on washes and drybrushing to weather their
models, and this saddens me. No vehicle has that manicured look of every tiny detail
highlighted and shadowed. Read on to learn new(and better) ways to weather your

Ah, Airbrushing

If you are fortunate enough to own an airbrush, it can be a great aid in the
weathering process. If you are like me and build desert vehicles, you’ll want to
achieve a very dusty and dirty look on the running gear and wheels. A good colour is
Tamiya’s XF52 Flat Earth (Acrylic) thinned quite heavily and sprayed over the
running gear in a patchy, cloudy pattern. For desert vehicles as I was saying, Testors
Desert Tan (Enamel) is excellent. If you add 1 part Clear Flat Coat*, 1 part thinner
and 1 part paint, you can get an excellent glaze which dries quickly and can be built
up in random clouds easily. But please note this effect is easily overdone. For aircraft
exhaust staining and gun blast staining, a mixture of 1 part Humbrol Flat Black, 1 part
Humbrol Leather, 1 part clear Flat Coat* and 1 part thinner is perfect.

*I use ModelMaster Acryl Clear Flat Coat, but Aeromaster, Tamiya and Humbrol
have similar items. I recommend any acrylic flat coat as enamels usually end up with
a semi gloss finish.


This is perhaps the best piece of advice you will ever hear. After learning from
Phil Stutchinskas of Military In Scale Magazine about using dust coloured powder to
weather models, I had to try it. He recommended Wilkos Exterior Filler powder, but I
discovered an interesting substitute. Cat litter. That’s right. Cat litter. If you have an
electric coffee grinder, then this is what you do. Take some CLEAN litter, not what’s
been in the cat box for 2 months, (the clay kind) and grind it for about three minute,
taking breaks so as not to overheat the motor. Now it should be a powder fine enough
to stick to your fingers with no grittiness. You sprinkle this onto the desired area and
wipe away the exess with a make up brush. You can “Further inhance this with your
finger.” (Thanks Phil) You can also rub your finger in this and rub it over the tires of
a vehicle (That have been painted Flat Black) to give it an amazingly realistic rubber
look. The resulting finish should be the dust trapped in the nooks and crannies. You
have to try this to believe how well it works.


First of all, you need a rust coloured paint. I use Testors Rust. (duh) Usually
rust forms where water collects, under bolt heads and whatnot, sometimes leaving a
streak. To achieve this, Take a OOO brush and drybrush on the desired area, being
sure to leave STREAKS, not blobs. There. That’s it.