selfmade weathering powder / pigments

In the last time I read some articles about using pigments for weathering models. And yesterday I found this wonderful article(s) at 'ultrawerke'. 
So I started reading some more about it and I decided to do this myself! But this month I have to save some money so I could not just go to my local hobby store and buy me some pigments from Vallejo oder MIG. So I came up with the idea of producing some pigments for weathering and to share this with you in this tutorial.
To be rigorous I should say that this tutorial will mainly be about doing a dust, some rust and a mud effect.
Notice: If you are interested in doing this yourself, always do a test-run first!

So here are the things I used:
1. a pencil
2*. a colored pencil
3. Vallejo Matt Varnish
4. Vallejo Thinner
5*. Water
6. Sandpaper
7*. a knife
8. some container
9. brushes
10. sharpener
* : alternative
It goes without saying that we need a model to paint on:
In this case I used a part of an old Rhino. It was only sprayed with Boltgun Metal and only the parts needed for this tutorial have been painted. Namely the exhaust pipes. (Just for the sake of completeness: it was drybrushed with Boltgunmetal, washed with Vallejo Humo+GW Badab Black, drybrushed with GW Tin Bitz and Vallejo Hammered Copper)

How does weathering with pigments work?
Usually one needs different supplies, one needs a thinner, for this task turpentine or white spirit is often used. And one needs a fixer and/or a varnish. There are different ways to apply the pigments, mixed with a thinner or dry.
To say this right away, I have not tried working with this stuff but I read a lot about it and I am just showing a cheap and fast idea how to do easy effects on your models. For more professional results one really should use the supplies named above. As soon as I will have them I will make a second tutorial. Nevertheless the results of this method are surprisingly good!

So first we need to make our pigments:
I used a pencil (HB) which has as we all know a graphite mine (which is is one of the allotropes of carbon - as diamond) and not of lead! 
It has a dark gray color. I also used a a colored pencil for some rust or mud, it has a light brown color. To make our pigments we first need to use a sharpener (or knife) to sharpen the pencil. Now one can either use a knife and scrape over the mine or -as I did- one uses sandpaper and runs the pencil over it and collect the pigments. 
To avoid wooden impurities one has to resharpen the pencil many times.

The pictures show how I used to make the pigments.

Applying the pigments:
I applied the pigments in different ways. For the dust effect on the exhaust pipe and the mud/rust effect on the chain I first applied some of the thinner
Now its time for the pigments. Use a dry brush to take them out of their container and put them on the thinner without blurring them much on the surface. I just dropped them on the thinner.
Notice: I am just showing the dust effect on this pictures, the mud on the chain works equivalent.
For the (spontaneous idea) rust effect at the 'door' I used a different technique: I mixed the thinner directly with the brown pigments and applied them on the surface.
Now wait some minutes to let the thinner dry. And maybe remove some not-fixed pigments.

Sealing the pigments:
Know we need to seal the pigments to make sure they stay where they are.
For this I mixed Matt varnish with thinner
and applied this now on the pigmented areas

I applied the varnish by dabbing it with the brush and tried not to blur the pigments.

Again let it dry. (And maybe seal them again later)

And here is the result:

So you may think "ok, why should I use pigments when I am able to do weathering with my colors too?"
The answer to this question - I asked myself the same - is very simple:
"They look amazing!" just take a look at some pictures in the further up mentioned article.
And most important they add structure to your weathering and look very realistic.
I am thinking of using this easy method on the barrels of my Space Marine weapons. I did it on my Heavy Bolter but since I am absolutely incapable of taking good pictures the effect can not be seen very good on the following picture
(seriously if anybody could tell me (via email) how to take good close up photos with my digicam I would be very grateful.)
Other possible applications would be the tank chains, dozer blades,...

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Blogger Dverning said...


Go read that regarding photos. It will make a difference.

Also, rather than sanding down coloured pencils, go to your local art store and pick up some artist grade chalk. Comes in chunks, is nice and fine and there's a plethora of colors.


18/9/09 00:27  
Blogger oni said...

Looks good. Especially the earth on the treads.

18/9/09 17:54  
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