Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Tutorial: Sand Weathering With a Tamiya Weathering Stick

Even under a layer of caked desert-dust, I could still see the symbols on the side of the passing Rhino APCs. When I closed my eyes, yellow serpents curled within my conciousness, and glowing moons laughed at me. All I could do at this point was hide. I doubt the Overseers are looking for me now...

Players are often split on the concept of weathering tanks. Some like theirs fresh from the factory, and at the other end, some want the look that their war-machine is long overdue for a power-hose. Personally it is best to be weathered, but reserved. I don't like over-doing it, but I do like to show where my Thousand Sons have been doing most of their fighting: a desert world.

I've decided to use a Tamiya weathering stick. For those who don't know, it is essentially a weathering 'pen' which contains a semi-wet compound that is rubbed onto a tank, thus weathering it. Whilst I have been enjoying the use of Forgeworld weathering powders, I feel that much of the sand powder gets blown away when it comes to the clear varnish spray.

For this tutorial, you will need but a few items:

  • Tamiya weathering stick (I'm using sand, but I imagine this would work just as well with a mud stick)
  • Standard sized paintbrush
  • water (clean)

To start off, paint up your tank as you normally would. Add any damage (such as scratches) before applying the weathering stick.

Next, begin 'painting' on the weathering substance. You can do this by drawing lines, or dabbing the stick on until you get the right amount. Apply it thicker to nearer the tracks as this is where the build-up of dust will be greatest. Use real tank photographs as references. Allow the weathering to dry.

Now, at this stage it doesn't look as 'realistic' as the stick says. This is where the water comes in. Slightly dampen the paintbrush, wiping off any excess water. 

Slowly begin thinning down and changing the substance. You don't want to make it runny, just wet. Stroke the brush downwards and dab the brush when working on the dust to get interesting effects. Mess around with the mixture and patterns until you are happy with the results.

And there we have it; a battle tank fresh from a desert skirmish. As a little secret, the tank I've been working on today is the Deimos Rhino I finished building a few weeks ago. I might show you it completed on the last post before Christmas (Dec 22nd).

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