Weathering a truck

Discussion in 'The Academy' started by spitfire, Jun 27, 2003.

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  1. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

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    The original model was a Brekina WWII US Army canvas-topped stake truck. It was army green of course, but the main reason I bought it was that the canvas top was removable. It had a Mercedes Benz logo as a hood ornament and that was the second thing to go. I just snipped it off leaving a little bump which I would deal with later.

    In my case I wanted the truck to be a more prototypical dark blue, so the first step was to remove the wheels (easy on this model), mask the windows with liquid frisket and airbrush the whole thing with thinned Polyscale.

    To paint the wheels their first coat of blue, I just use a brush. It's easier than masking the tires and looks fine. I also use a brush to add rust and mud.

    Once dry I airbrush the undercarriage with Polyscale Mud, or whatever you've established as your dry earth colour. This is the single most important step in getting the dusty well-travelled look. Turn the vehicle upside down and spray from below. Turn it a couple times so you get every angle. You don't need to be an airbrush wiz for this to work, just keep your spray light. What happens is that overspray gets onto the sides of the vehicle in exactly the same physical way that it would in real life. If you do nothing else to the model this produces a great effect.

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  2. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

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    The next step was the strategic application of rust. Next time though I am going to do this before I do the dirt spray, because realistically the rust layer would be under the dirt layer. However because I didn't have too much dirt on the sides of the truck I was able to get away with adding the rust later. For my rust I use various combinations of Engine Black and any red I have around - Oxide Red, Boxcar Red, Daylight Red - any of these work. New rust is more of a brown. Severe rust more red.
    I like to pool a wash in the areas where water would logically settle, but I also like to think about the places where paint would get worn or dinged off as possible sites for rust. Sometimes I paint a dark grey spot showing worn off paint first, and then just rust part of that area. That's a little more complicated but it looks great if you don't overdo it.

    (I should mention that I made a mistake on the left front fender as you can see in this shot. A little too much paint trickled out from the wheel-well as I was turning the model. It looked OK to me though, so I left it. I do that a LOT!)

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  3. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

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    Now for the one part that is kind of finicky. To add the brightwork that was covered by the first spray coat, door handles etc. I use this handy-dandy little metallic marker pen, in the finest tip available. I find the colour is more truly metallic than any paint I've tried, and will not damage the plastic.
    Make sure you don't let your kids play with this pen. They can't seem to resist pressing too hard, and once that's happened you will get unexpected blobs of colour! Yikes! Ruining a model at this stage is quite depressing!
    This is when I put a touch of silver on the cut off hood ornament.
    If my hands are feeling particularly steady, I might also lightly touch over the windshield wipers. Warning: this can easily go awry, so don't do it if you're not sure.
  4. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

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    oops! forgot the pic. Here it is. The figure is from a Preiser set of unpainted truck drivers. It's neat because a lot of the figures have separate arms you can position the way you want. This guy took a lot of cutting before he would fit in - I find that a lot and it makes me wonder about the scale of most vehicle interiors.

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  5. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

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    Just one more thing about this particular model. The driver's window had to be cut away so it would be "open" and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the cab was designed to be pried off and the clear plastic insert was only held with a rubber-y glue that gave quite easily. All in all a really well designed model!
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