how can i salvage a failed attempt at weathering a model with acrylics?
I’m not happy with my first attempt at weathering a diesel locomotive. Is there any means of removing the paint without damaging the livery? I’ve used acrylics, via an airbrush.
George says: Unlike enamel paints, which can be removed with white spirit even when dry, acrylics can be a little tougher to shift. It’s not impossible, although some brands are easier to remove than others. In most cases, an alcohol-based acrylic thinner, such as Tamiya’s, should be effective. Some forms of iso-propyl alcohol are also suitable, but there’s a risk that the formulation may be excessively strong, resulting in the factory finish being adversely affected. If in doubt, test the alcohol on a scrap model first. I wasn’t keen on a rushed weathering job I undertook a few months ago on a Class 37. A mix of Lifecolor, Vallejo and Tamiya acrylics had been employed and, after ruminating on how I could improve matters, it was decided to strip away the weathering from the sides and ends of the body. Care was taken to achieve a horizontal demarcation between the filthy roof and the clean sides, suggesting that the locomotive had received regular cleaning up to cant rail level. Cotton buds dipped in Tamiya thinners made relatively light work of the errant paint, although I did leave traces behind in recessed panel lines, grilles and around raised details. It’s by no means a quick process, so be patient and rub the damp swab gently over the surface using vertical strokes. In this way, any streaking left behind will look authentic, portraying gravity-induced staining. Swap to a clean swab at regular intervals to keep the process working and take care around delicate details, especially on the cab fronts. After removing the desired amount of paint, leave overnight to dry before any further attempts at weathering, using your preferred choice of paints.
If at first you don’t succeed... It took George two attempts to perfect the weathered finish on this Vi-trains Class 37.