DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS OR TRICKS FOR DRY-BRUSHING WAGONS?
Having been inspired by a number of George Dent’s weathering projects, I’ve decided to have a go at dry-brushing a rake of cattle wagons. Can he please give me some tips as to the best paints and brushes to use? N. Tanner, by email
George says: As far as paints are concerned, both enamels and acrylics are suitable, as long as they have plenty of pigment and aren’t too thin. As we’ll be wiping most of the paint off the brush’s bristles, we do need some of it to remain. Additionally, the paint must also be able to transfer to the model effectively. Over time I’ve come to prefer a small number of paint brands when dry-brushing – Lifecolor acrylics are my first choice. Alternatively, some Humbrol enamels can also be effective, especially some of the metallic shades for picking out areas of burnished steel. Sticking with your cattle wagon project, here’s a quick demo of how I treated a Bachmann factory-weathered version. With an application of dark weathering wash beforehand, to pick out the planking detail and relief, a dirty off-white shade of Lifecolor was gently dry-brushed over the lower body sides and underframe, to simulate the lime that was used on the prototypes as a disinfectant. By mixing in a little brown, a hint of general track dirt was also suggested. As for brushes, ‘flatties’ are by far the best option, preferably with soft bristles. Expo has just introduced a set of flat brushes with the bristles cut at an angle, specifically to help with dry-brushing. I was a bit sceptical at first, but they really do make a big difference! Dry-brushing takes a little practice to master, with an appreciation of how much paint is needed and the amount of necessary pressure exerted on the brush being the main factors. Remember to keep your brushes clean and in good condition, otherwise the stiff bristles will make the process much more difficult.
Expo’s special angled flat brushes are designed especially for dry-brush weathering work, allowing the bristles to glide over the surface more effectively, as well as working on awkward areas.