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Rusting, Chipping and Weathering

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A beginner’s guide to basic rusting
Hello all,
In an effort to simplify some techniques, I put together a small Step by Step (SBS) on rusting, chipping and weathering.

There are many techniques to attack painting, chipping and finally weathering different models to get the realistic feel we are looking for. We all learn these different techniques either from trial and error, reading articles and following builds online or if we are lucky enough, to have one or more of the so called "experts" show us some of the tricks.

Here is a "small" SBS on Painting, Rusting, Hair Spray/Chipping Fluids, Weathering in layers to help understand the use of some products and the applications of layers to help bring depth to a project. I am no expert by any means. I have only picked up some tricks here and there and want to help some who wants to learn the basics to rusting and weathering. So, if you wanted to try and rust an old model or tried and failed or just want to learn one more tool to help you get there, I hope this will help some understand a few processes in making, painting and finally weathering.

With that, here we go!!

First we need to build something quick...............

The Kit:

First thing that needs to be understood, and not everyone will agree with this, is that you do not always need the expensive kit that is loaded with parts and tons of PE to have fun and finally create something you can be happy with. This kit was given to me by a friend and I think he paid $5 USD. Worth it all day long!!

The Inspiration:

I found 5 outstanding shots of this truck online. With the old kit, some inspiration and some time, anything is possible. It is time to dig in and have at it.

Here is my starting point. Digging through this old kit is the first thing you will need to do. Getting familiar with what is there and planning your attack.

A couple of key features that stand out to me in these reference pictures I have are the cab, chopped chassis and the motor.

About the Author

About Todd Michalak (TRM5150)

I am building what I like, when I like and how I like it; having fun doing it. I have been building and finishing models on and off my whole life but the past ten years things really exploded. Just about anything goes when it comes to hitting the bench, but wrecked armor, rusted hulks, ships or ...


I know it's been a while since the last post here, but I just wanted to let you know that I still refer people to your tutorial Todd and they have yet to give anything but very positive feedback on it regardless of what hobby discipline they come from.
JUN 25, 2013 - 05:08 AM
Thank you very much Jeremy! I am happy to see it useful for some. Most of the techniques are really simply to use they just take some practice to get the feel down. Even better, is when someone takes something and adapts their own way, maybe even coming up with newer techniques or just improving on the old ones. Circle of learning!! Thanks again!
JUN 25, 2013 - 07:55 AM
any idea how to use AK Interactive Heavy chipping?
AUG 29, 2014 - 08:28 PM
Hello Richard, AK's Heavy Chipping Fluid works pretty much the same as other chipping medium layers: 1 - Make sure your base paint has been sealed with a clear coat. 2 - Spray on the chipping medium (Vallejo, AK, AMMO, Hair Spray...)and allow to dry (should only take a few minutes) 3 - Spray top coat of acrylic paint you desire to chip and allow to dry...not cure! 10 -15 minutes...enough to clean up your AB. 4 - Using a damp (Not Wet) with water brush apply a light single coat over the area you want to start in...typically no the entire model at once. 5 - Use any number of tools to aid in the removal of top coat paint to the desired effect you want; paint brushes, toothpicks, cotton swabs, etc It is best to test things out on an old shelf queen until you get the hand of how to obtain different looks.
AUG 29, 2014 - 09:38 PM
SEP 01, 2014 - 07:24 PM
I just spent a thoroughly enjoyable hour reading through this. Highly informative and well documented with word and pictures. J
OCT 25, 2014 - 04:35 AM
I seemed to miss your post. Ace in Sept Richard. ..thanks Thank you J. ..glad you enjoyed it!
OCT 25, 2014 - 05:35 AM
I realize this is an old thread. I was referred to it by a friend. There are several missing images on the first page. Is there a way you can edit the article and add the missing images?
AUG 15, 2015 - 11:22 PM
Thanks for the heads up on this Ivan! Not too sure what happened here as the pictures are loaded to the site's servers...I will dig a bit and see what I can turn up to correct his! Cheers, T
AUG 15, 2015 - 11:46 PM
Thanks Todd. Cool beans !
AUG 16, 2015 - 07:00 AM