Model Rail (UK) - - Know Your Stuff -

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.

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