Model Rail (UK)

Steve’s Top Tips


I usually work with an airbrush, with the air set at quite a low pressure (10psi or slightly less) allowing a better degree of control. But this does mean that the paints generally have to be thinned (water for the Liquitex pigments used here) and need to be applied in several thin layers, although I think this is an advantage. I wouldn’t use any acrylic paints in my airbrushes without thinning, and it’s worth considerin­g a flow improver, which helps the paint flow and reduces clogging around the needle. I like to use acrylic inks for airbrushin­g: the pigment is very fine and dilutes easily and with a drop of flow improver it rarely clogs in the jet. The grey colour of the primer, as it stands, is a great base for the weathered wood and paint effect I was aiming for. I can’t stress enough the importance of having photograph­s to hand of what I’m working towards. Needless to say, the internet is a great source of inspiratio­n and visual reference if I can’t take pictures myself. I try to build a timeline into the weathering: not everything happens at once. Dust will overlay rust and rot and new rust may appear fresh and clean. This means that I may return to areas to reapply fresh rust or oily stains after a fine misting of ‘dust’ or powders. I usually leave things to dry fully for a couple of days before returning to it to re-touch or modify any areas that don’t seem right. Remember though: these things are usually only seen from a few feet away at the nearest, so don’t get too hung up on details – the camera shows up everything.

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