I never heard of the word “weathering” until I was in my mid-twenties. Believe it or not but until that time, if I observed a stray dust particle on my model, I freaked out! A fingerprint, which was worse, sent me up the wall! Even a slight sheen or a different nuance in paint, drove me borderline nuts! I wanted “factory” new looking models.
Gradually over the years and by attending model shows, I started to notice that an accentuated panel line or a simulated oil fleck in the proper spot didn’t look all that bad. Slowly and very gently I eased into the world of “seasoning” the projects I was working on. I must admit that this opened up a whole new dimension for me, where I could avoid that my model would generate the same curb appeal than an ornamental door of a Turkish bathhouse!
I started to look more carefully at photos of the real object and developed a bigger sense for detail. It taught me how to inconspicuously divert a critical eye away from a mistake I made, by simply daubing a few simulated specks into the right corner.
I learned by adding some oil streaks and drips, applying pigments or simply “rub-on, rub-off” a wash, would bring your model to life. If you do it right, that is.
These days, there are so many products and how-to videos on the market that will give you the right tools and help stimulate an absolute perception of how to turn your model into true eye-candy! Vallejo has a whole range of washes and weathering products that will make it easy for you. Same thing goes for oil paints. Abteilung 502 oils are an almost necessity to have on your workbench and AK Interactive enamel washes will perfectly harmonize with acrylics without spoiling anything. The availability of prodigious, ready-to-use weathering commodities should take away a lot of anxiety if you would like to dabble into the realm of flavoring your neatly airbrushed armor piece or airplane.
From our part, Squadron recently took things to the next level with releasing quality in-depth videos, where everything is visually explained in its entirety. Here you’ll first hand experience, how to manipulate every weathering medium and the ease of its application. All that, combined with years of expertise is the main thing we want to share, so modelers can benefit from it without having to worry for things to go south. You can find these videos by clicking HERE.
Now looking back and the way I have fine-tuned my skills over time by using all kinds of mediums, a finished weathered project does give me so much more contentment and adds an extra level of satisfaction when reaching the point of reality, when it stops looking like a toy.
So, I guess it’s up to the modeler him- or herself, if he or she wants to create a piece of true history or craft a model just for the fun of it. Both choices are fine as long as you’re happy with the outcome.
But myself, I start to look at my projects more and more like a canvas where I can go all in to envisage as close as possible, the authentic nature of the beast, called realism.
Sure, I completely understand the fretfulness of slapping half a tube of raw umber onto your Heinkel or smear streaking grime to the side of your Sherman after you have spent 6 weeks building and painting it!
But then again, where would we be if we didn’t take a risk once in awhile!
So, just give it a try! If it does go south…. you can always build another!