I love weathering. I think it brings models to life and it’s really fun to do. Here are the tools I use for my tanks and infantry:
A dental pick, steel wool, a shitty brush, and some chipping fluid (also known as hairspray or liquid silicone)
Here’s a plow I’m going to weather. Before I get to this stage I’ve already undercoated it with a rusty brown color, varnished, and then applied liberal amounts of chipping fluid. Over the top of that I primed the model, basecoated it, and did some shading, acrylic washes, and highlights.
Apply a bunch of water onto the area you want to chip and let it soak into the paint for 30sec or so. Then go to work with a dental tool.
Gentle scratches take away the top layer of paint and leave you with the undercoat. Unlike sponges or toothbrushes you can create streaks that curve around and show movement. I think it looks way more realistic. You can also see all the physical scratches I made when I attacked the plow while it was bare resin.
Looks pretty good. Except… well, it’s a giant fucking plow at the front of a siege tank. I don’t think this is enough. That’s where steel wool comes in.
I’ve soaked the whole front end in water for about 1min. Steel wool is really abrasive so gentle repeated pressure and working in a single direction is key.
Now we’re talking. That’s some serious damage and it looks way more natural than just the dental tool.
Finally I went back with the dental tool and made some scratch marks that followed the newly chipped areas. Then I went to the sink and washed the whole thing with water to get the flakes of paint off.
It doesn’t have to be so crazy. Here’s the lower part of the tank where I expect it would hit a ton of rubble and get beat up along the edges. I soaked the area with water, used some steel wool, and then followed up with the dental tool to make some scratches that ‘followed through’ from panel to panel. I didn’t go crazy here.
Not bad for 1min of work.
From here I get to make scratches on the entire tank. When I’m done and its dry I’ll varnish it with gloss and then follow up by painting silver into the scratches and hit the scratches with oil paints. Then pin washes, more varnish, and pigments before a last highlight pass. When I’m all done, it should look something like this: