Today we’re going to paint something to look like painted metal which has received some scrapes and weathering along with a bit of rust. This is a simple version of some of the more in-depth techniques used in military modelling and used some more common paints and tools available to wargamers without having to buy specialist equipment and is designed tp produce a quick effect for tabletop miniatures and scenery.
You will need:
- A piece of terrain or a miniature to paint – This technique is great for all kinds of metal surfaces such as tanks, robots, warjacks, scenery etc.
- Paints (We use Vallejo Game Colour paints but you can use whatever you have available). In this tutorial we also used some Vallejo Model Air colours but these can be substituted for any paints you have available.
- Primer (we used white spray primer but you can use what you have)
- Surface colour (whichever colour you want the item to be. We used some green camouflage colours from Vallejo’s Model Air range.)
- Black (Vallejo Black)
- Dark Brown (Vallejo Charred Brown)
- Medium Brown (Vallejo Beasty Brown)
- Black Wash
- Brown Wash
- Sepia Wash
- Brushes – A small “detail” brush and a regular basecoating brush will be all you need.
- Sponge – We used a bit of sponge from a blister pack but any sponge will do the job.
After priming, the entire panel is painted with a simple camouflage scheme. We used an airbrush and some model air paints (Duck Egg Green and Armour Green) for this but you will want to use the colours of your choice or that match your army colour scheme.
We want our piece to look like some of the dark paint has chipped, revealing the lighter colour below. To achieve this, tear off a small piece of sponge and dip into the lighter colour. Dab the colour gently onto the dark areas, leaving the look of small chips in the paint.
Next, we want to simulate chips that have gone all the way down to the metal. Repeat the last step but this time use a 3:1 mix of dark brown and black paint. Dab the “chips” over the whole surface, concentrating on areas where you want the most weathering.
Now, using a small detail brush, paint a medium brown in some of the chipped sections to simulate a little rust showing through. Now is also a good time to “highlight” some of the chips. Use the base colour of the panel mixed with a little white to paint a thin line under the larger chips to make a more three-dimensional effect. Hit the whole piece with some matt varnish before the final step.
The final step is to add some washes. Wash all of the panel lines with a mix of black and brown washes. Drag your washes vertically down the panels in order to simulate the effect of rusty rain water running down the panel. Lastly, dab pools of sepia wash around some of the larger chips and panel lines to simulate the staining found when rust bubbles under the surface. Again, drag a few lines down the panel.
This tutorial is easy to adapt to any colour scheme, simply by changing the base colour. We hope you will find a way to use this tutorial in your painting. The effects can easily be enhanced with the use of some weathering pigments and oil washes to turn this simple method into something worthy of a show piece.
Thanks for reading. As always, drop a comment below if you like this article or wish to add any pointers.