How to Weather a Model Airplane Using Paint

Written by heath wright
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After you've painted your model aeroplane, it looks fresh off of the industrial line---if you've painted it well. While some modelers may seek this appearance, others may want a more weathered, battle-torn look. Give your model plane such a look by using an assortment of paints---mainly, earth tones and metallic shades.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Painted model aeroplane
  • Metallic silver model paint
  • Metallic bronze model paint
  • Teal model paint
  • Brown model paint
  • Black model paint
  • Model paintbrushes
  • Paper towels
  • Cup
  • Water

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  1. 1

    Define the parts of your model you would like to weather, such as the areas around metal bolts, creases in the metal, propellers and edges of metal panels.

  2. 2

    Insert your brush lightly into the black paint. Run the brush over the paper towel, wiping off excess paint. Lightly brush the paint over the area you wish to weather in a feathering pattern: gentle swipes all going in the same direction---known as a dry brush technique. Clean the brush.

  3. 3

    Prep the brush with the brown paint as detailed in Step 2. Repeat the same feathering technique over the black; leave a small of the black around the brown to create a layered look. Clean the brush.

  4. 4

    Repeat the dry brush feathering technique with the bronze, followed by the silver. The weathering should look like rust. If you wish to complete the look into a well-formed rust, make a one-to-one mixture of teal paint and water. Dot it gently into the heart of the rust formation, which will simulate the calcium deposits from rusting metal.

  5. 5

    To weather the metal bolts on the plane, make a one-to-one mixture of paint to water with the black paint. Paint it around the circumference of the bolt. Repeat the same process with the bronze and silver. Apply another one-to-one mixture of water and teal paint if you want the calcium deposits.

Tips and warnings

  • Weather the model only after you've painted the entire aeroplane.
  • Prime the model before applying any model paint.
  • To seal in the colours, apply a coat of matt varnish to the model after you've completed all painting.

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