Friday, 5 February 2016

How to Paint Battle Damage......

.....using nothing but a scruffy old brush and some cheap hairspray! Well, and paints too. I thought I would post a more detailed look at the technique I used on the killa kans, as I am working on some terrain and it's the ideal vehicle (ahem) to explain the method.

Primed and base coat applied
Stage 1 : Spray prime a suitable colour. Usually I prime white, very occasionally black, but this time around I used Army Painter English Uniform to get a good start on the sand areas. Then down to the real business of the undercolour of your subject. In this case, it's a plate metal colour on the ship, though it could be anything really. I left this to dry overnight - I tend to do this with metal paint and varnish coats.

Stage 2 : Wash the base colour to give some definition. I mix black and chestnut together to give a murky brown, then add some matte medium so it flows into the crevices. You don't have to be too careful here, all this will be covered by another colour at some point, but I mopped up any pooling with a clean, damp brush, especially on the base.

Stage 3 : If you want rust, now is the time to lay the foundation. Add browns and work up to orange, or use pigments, or whatever you usually favour as rust. Again you do not have to be too precise as all this will be concealed, but I tend to work it into the panels and around rivets, plus a few random places. Once this is dry, apply varnish. I used vallejo matte varnish using a big soft brush and then left it to dry overnight.

Stage 4 : Spray hairspray all over the model. I am using the local supermarket's firm hold variety, it's the cheap and cheerful stuff. You might want to step outside to do this, otherwise you will have a sweet, sticky residue all over your work area. Let it dry naturally, until it's just beyond tacky. This will depend on the hairspray, temperature, etc.

Main colour applied
Stage 5 : Apply your main colour(s). On this piece I have decided to paint a white colour (been playing Star Wars Battlefront recently). I rarely use pure white and so I mixed a little light grey into the white paint - this also helps because white tends not to cover well. I just paint this on with a brush, trying to avoid filling in panels and crevices but not really worrying too much if this happens. Because it's white it takes two coats, but I use this to my advantage as the first coat is almost a shading undercoat while the second coat is a psuedo highlight.

Battle damaged
Stage 6 : The magic stage! Immediately after the previous stage, get an old brush and dampen it with water. Lightly rub along the raised edges. The varnish (and paint) will lift off, leaving the under colour visible. There's no right or wrong way to do this stage. I first go over the model taking off most of the squared edges and any raised rivets. Then I look for areas that would be naturally more worn - round access hatches and doors, the nose of the craft in this case, but without being too precise. A few random areas get brushed too. If any revealed patches are too large, I simply dot the over colour on again to fill in the patch.

And that's all there is to it. After the last step I might go back and fill in some of the bigger patches, it really depends on how much damage you want. There's still work to be done, shading and painting in the details, a matte varnish to remove the hairspray sheen - but the battle damage is now complete.

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