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For automotive paint and finishing topics.
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Weathering Techniques for Auto Builds
AussieReg
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
#007
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Victoria, Australia
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Posted: Friday, March 08, 2019 - 11:56 AM UTC
A discussion was started in another thread about weathering techniques and philosophies and their application to our Auto builds. Rather than hijack that thread we will create a dedicated ongoing thread to use as a forum for discussion as well as a reference "library" that will hopefully evolve over time into a valuable resource for us all.

Weathering is a very personal choice and has created much debate on many forums. How much weathering, choice of colours, location and direction of streaks and chipping, oil and rust leaks and stains, but in my experience the discussion has been in the fields of Armour, Ships and Aircraft for the vast majority.

In our Auto word I see only two main schools, the showroom high gloss at one end, and the barn find or junkyard dog wreck at the opposite. Both of these schools are perfectly valid and there are thousands of examples of amazing builds, absolute works of art, for each, but what I rarely see are builds showing subtle weathering and the "wear and tear" present on all of our "daily driver" vehicles.

This thread is an open forum for all of us to discuss, explore, demonstrate, and share here are any and all thoughts, references, products, methods, tricks and examples of all levels of weathering relevant to our art. This is the finishing touch that can elevate a build to the next level, whether it is some subtle pin washes on the interior or engine, or half a ton of mud on a rally car or excavator.

The door is open, come on in and put your ideas on the table.

Cheers, D

AussieReg
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
#007
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Posted: Friday, March 08, 2019 - 11:51 PM UTC
I will get the ball rolling with one of my most commonly used weathering processes, the good old "Pin Wash".

This technique uses a highly thinned paint, in a contrasting colour to the base coat, the highlight or define the features of the part when used lightly, or to represent accumulated dark liquid and/or grime when used more heavily.

There are some basic rules that need to be followed to get an effective pin wash. Firstly, the coat prior to pin wash should be a satin finish at least, preferably gloss, to allow the pin wash liquid to capillary along the recesses of the surface detail without spreading out and creating the dreaded "tide mark". Most modelers I find have a preferred utility gloss finish that is used over the base coat as protection prior to pin wash. Most commonly used are Tamiya X-22 Acrylic Gloss or Alclad Aqua Gloss, but there are plenty of other options out there.

Secondly, the pin wash paint itself needs to be dissimilar to the base coat or utility gloss. If the base coat is a satin or gloss acrylic or lacquer for instance, then the pin wash should be enamel or oil based so that it doesn't reactivate or damage the base coat.

There are many and varied ready-made pin washes or panel line washes available off the shelf, both in terms of colours and material content. The most commonly used would be the Tamiya Panel Line Accent which is just highly thinned enamel paint, and a lot of people also make their own pin wash from high grade artists oils and thinners. The advantage of using the enamels or oils is that it is easy to remove any excess or error using cotton buds or q-tips soaked in the appropriate thinners. Even after hours or days you can "adjust" the finish to your liking.

Choice of colour for your pin wash is important. On an engine you would use dark red/brown/black mix to represent oil and grease. On body work and wheels you might use light brown to represent accumulated dust (or red here in Australia), or darker brown to represent mud or earth accumulated on rally cars or off-road vehicles. On the car interior I generally use a darker shade similar to the fabric colour to highlight the deeper recesses and represent a build-up of dirt.

Below are before and after images of the engine of one of my current builds. The base silver colour is Matt Aluminium Enamel, followed by a light coat of Alclad Aqua Gloss, and the wash was Tamiya Enamel Black highly thinned with X-20 Thinner.




Cheers, D
Littorio
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Saturday, March 09, 2019 - 09:08 AM UTC
Nice start to this thread D and informative.

I haven’t tried the pin wash yet myself on cars but have used similar on my ships and subs. Most of my cars builds I do intend to build in a ‘showroom’ finish however like a few have stated in other threads a junk yard find / restoration build is something I’d like to have a try at.
betheyn
Staff MemberSenior Editor
AEROSCALE
#019
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Posted: Saturday, March 09, 2019 - 10:53 AM UTC
I always add a wash to engines and such as it pops the details out, even doing it to the Alpine 110, that is supposed to be pristine, not that you will see the engine anyway.
I had to go out today and on my journeys I looked at road cars too see what the weathering would be like, and on the whole (as the weather has been pretty good round here lately) most cars were pretty clean. A few had some greyish/brownish coating on the lower halves of the cars, but the top halves were near enough pristine.
I think if you were to weather a road car, it would really need to go on a base with a bit of road under it, or it would (in my eyes) look rather silly.
A full blown rally car with dirt and such would look ok, but I would still be tempted to model it on a base with whatever you covered the car in underneath it, just to tie it all together.
Andy
AussieReg
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
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#007
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Posted: Saturday, March 09, 2019 - 12:27 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I always add a wash to engines and such as it pops the details out, even doing it to the Alpine 110, that is supposed to be pristine, not that you will see the engine anyway.


But as we always say "I know it's in there"

Quoted Text

I had to go out today and on my journeys I looked at road cars too see what the weathering would be like, and on the whole (as the weather has been pretty good round here lately) most cars were pretty clean. A few had some greyish/brownish coating on the lower halves of the cars, but the top halves were near enough pristine.


That is exactly the level of weathering that we never see on auto builds, I'm keen to explore it on a few of my future projects.

Quoted Text

I think if you were to weather a road car, it would really need to go on a base with a bit of road under it, or it would (in my eyes) look rather silly.


That exact thought crossed my mind, but I have no hesitation in putting a lot of wear and tear on an aircraft and sitting it on a glass shelf or a mirror, and we always see highly weathered and rusted ships sitting on display stands rather than water bases, so I'm trying to get my head around the concept. I plan to build a couple of bases that I can use for photographing my builds, with various typical road or parking lot surfaces.

Quoted Text

A full blown rally car with dirt and such would look ok, but I would still be tempted to model it on a base with whatever you covered the car in underneath it, just to tie it all together.


Perfect scenario to play with a few different techniques there Andy, a crossover into the Armour techniques for muddying up the tanks.

Cheers, D
md72
#439
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Posted: Saturday, March 09, 2019 - 01:33 PM UTC
That's quite the can of worms you've opened here D
Not actually having finished a car model in over 40 years, I don't have much to go on. I did weather an M8 last year, that was a bit frightening. I finished up up pretty well for me and then tried to put a winter whitewash on it


Scariest moment in modeling.

All that said, the possibilities are endless. Not just showroom fresh, concours d'elegance, rally cars, and off roaders. But think about daily drivers up north with road salts all over the sides, there's probably dozens of normal environmental hazards to model. I remember our old '51 Ford with the paint residue the came off on your fingers and the '60 Bug where the road salt ate holes into the chrome and turned the bumpers into cacti.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2019 - 02:59 AM UTC
As opposed to other model subjects, I don’t like to weather my automotive models much if at all. I prefer to view them as “showroom ready”. However there is one area on car models I always “weather”— the tires around the tread. Even showroom ready cars have some form of wear “where the rubber meets the road” so to speak. My favorite technique for vinyl or rubber is to use a bit of sandpaper or a sanding stick around the tread surface. If it’s a plastic tire, I like to use a slightly darker or lighter shade of “brown rubber”, “charcoal gray” or “dark gray” airbrushed around the tread portion of the tire, with a black wash in the treads. This really makes the tires “pop”. An alternative method is to carefully “dry brush” these colors on. I’ve tried pigments as well, but find they are more difficult to control.
VR, Russ
Littorio
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Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2019 - 05:09 AM UTC

Quoted Text



Quoted Text

A full blown rally car with dirt and such would look ok, but I would still be tempted to model it on a base with whatever you covered the car in underneath it, just to tie it all together.


Perfect scenario to play with a few different techniques there Andy, a crossover into the Armour techniques for muddying up the tanks.

Cheers, D



Now just to throw a swerve ball in there, what about your fully mud covered rally car returning to the service area on tarmac roads. Very dirty car on a clean road.
Dixon66
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Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - 08:33 AM UTC
I'm in rural Kansas on a business trip right now. They don't use salt on the roads but instead use sand. Every car here looks like a rally car after a gravel stage. You can see the difference in the way it accumulates behind the wheelwells due to the airflow around a pickup vs. a sedan vs. a Wrangler.
AussieReg
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
#007
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Victoria, Australia
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Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - 02:30 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I'm in rural Kansas on a business trip right now. They don't use salt on the roads but instead use sand. Every car here looks like a rally car after a gravel stage. You can see the difference in the way it accumulates behind the wheelwells due to the airflow around a pickup vs. a sedan vs. a Wrangler.



That is exactly the kind of detail (and techniques to replicate it) that we want as part of this thread. Any photos you could get would be great!

Cheers, D
Dixon66
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Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2019 - 01:09 AM UTC
I planned to, the unfortunate thing is that it started raining yesterday when I thought of this thread and all the cars have washed cleaner.

I've got a couple hour drive today to Wichita to fly home. Hope I can get some still.
Dixon66
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Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2019 - 08:12 AM UTC
I struck out today except for this Earthroamer I saw at breakfast this morning.




So, I dug into some military wheeled vehicles I've done and found some subtly weathered ones I've done.



Cosimodo
#335
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Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2019 - 10:36 PM UTC
Some useful stuff on here. One question I have, is it common for people to do panel lines on cars they way they do for planes. I haven't really noticed it on cars.

cheers
Michael
AussieReg
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
#007
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Victoria, Australia
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Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2019 - 10:58 PM UTC
I’m about to do it on my 911 Porsche so I will post some before and after shots
Szmann
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Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019 - 02:10 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Some useful stuff on here. One question I have, is it common for people to do panel lines on cars they way they do for planes. I haven't really noticed it on cars.

cheers
Michael



I do them. The lines between panels are usually shallow and the paint shows. Actually is a pretty easy way to tell a diecast from a "professional" made plastic model. You can see them in my Chrysler final shots ans also in my latest Porsche GB update, half done in this latest case.

Gabriel
Hwa-Rang
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Posted: Monday, March 18, 2019 - 12:01 AM UTC
I always do the panel lines, on my car models. I usually do this, with an acrylics wash, after I have waxed the model. This way, any excess paint is easily removed, with a finger or a piece of cloth.