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Thread: General Weathering Questions

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    Default General Weathering Questions

    Hi,

    Iím new to the forum. I started modeling around 2005 but then work got in the way and I stopped for a few years. I got back into it last year after retirement but due to the years of neglect nothing worked so I ripped it up and started over. I have started putting together some buildings and I hope someone can answer a few weathering questions I have.

    1) When weathering with India Ink what do you dilute it with and to what proportion? I read one post where the author had used India Ink, Alcohol, and Rust color paint to age Steel. I wasnít sure the proportions of each and if it mattered if the paint was enamel or acrylic.

    2) Plastic models are very shiny. What do you use to dull them down? Similar with a model that is painted. Unless you want that new house look what do you do to dull them down?

    3) If you weather with pastels do you seal it afterwards somehow or just leave it?

    Thanks.
    Warren

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    Welcome!

    With india ink, a little goes a long way. I usually have a 1/2 teaspoon or so of water that I add a small drop of ink to. That will be plenty to sink into the cracks. You might have to do one side at a time if gravity fights you, allowing each side to dry as you go. If you put too much on, you can suck off excess with a clean brush or a little paper towel.

    To finish a paint job or to dull a shiny surface, use some sort of dullcoat. This is usually a spray that leaves a clear matte coat over your model. This can help bare plastic models, but may not be enough. There's sometimes still a translucency with bare plastic models. I prefer to paint them, even if it's a similar color. Paint should stop that translucency and give something for the weathering to stick to.

    I don't use pastels, but I do use some weathering powders. I usually lightly brush these on last when everything else is done and dry. I don't usually seal them with anything. They stick on pretty well on their own.

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    Here you go. Some good weathering tips and the formula for an indian ink wash.

    https://lancemindheim.com/about-us/weathering/

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    I do things a little bit different, in that I use powdered pastels for weathering, but then I "seal" that by applying a wash. Thus far, I've been just using thinned black acrylic paint in water for my washes, but in theory an india ink /alcohol wash can work the same way. What happens is that the powder will move a bit when the wash "floats" it, such that it ends up accumulating in the nooks and crannies where you want it to end up. So, my initial application of powder tends to be rather loose and general, I don't spend a lot of time positioning rust spots prior to the wash.

    Once the wash has dried, the powder has much better adhesion to the surface and will stay put without any coating. The surface also gains a good matte "tooth", meaning that if you want to add specific fussy weathering details then the powders will stick readily. If you don't like the way a panel looks once dry, you can just take a damp brush and re-wet it, let it dry again. The process can be slow-ish in that you need to work on one car side at a time, holding it level while it dries (otherwise the wash will pool at the bottom, an effect that you might sometimes wish to exploit), but the actual application of chalk/pastel powder and wash can be very quick and easy.

    I've done more tedious methods such as oil washes and fades, and those can give very compelling results, but my quick "chalk-wash" method gives what I consider satisfactory results in a lot less time, and when doing a large freight car fleet that time savings matters. Once the chalk-wash has given the surface its tooth, one can paint on rust spots by dipping the tip of a damp brush right into the rust-colored powder; also one can use a dry brush to flick small amounts of powder onto a car side while its wash is drying (still with a wet sheen), and the chalk will adhere in tiny random spots.


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    India ink is mixed with alcohol , if you can get it the 90% alcohol , because it evaporates faster and thus is less prone to warping.

    Plastic kits you don't dull them , you paint them , with mat paint acrylic or enamel as long as it is mat. An unpainted plastic kit will always look like plastic no matter how much dullcote you spray on it.

    Weathering powder , Panpastels and the likes you fixate or not depending on if you are going to touch the item after you have placed it on the layout. Rolling stock you fixate , a structure that once in place isn't handled you can weather with powders and leave it that way, that also gives the advantage of seeing what the powders do , because fixating powders with for instance matt medium or dullcote fades the effect of the powders a lot, you sometimes have to do it 3 or 4 times before you get the color of the weathering as you want it.
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