Weathering is a technique used to simulate the effects of time and wear on a miniature, giving it a more realistic and natural look. It is often used in military models, but can also be applied to fantasy and sci-fi miniatures to add depth and character.
Here's an in-depth guide to weathering miniatures:
- Paints (acrylics, oil or enamel paints)
- Weathering powders
- Sandpaper or emery board
- Paper towels
Prep the miniature: Before you start weathering, make sure your miniature is clean and dry. Remove any unwanted paint, dirt or dust. Sand down any rough or sharp edges.
Basecoat: Apply a basecoat of paint to the area you want to weather. This should be a light color that contrasts with the color you plan to use for the weathering effects. Allow the paint to dry completely.
Apply the wash: Dilute your chosen color of wash with water. The ratio of water to paint will depend on the effect you want to achieve, but generally a 1:1 ratio works well. Apply the wash with a brush, covering the areas you want to weather. Use a paper towel to blot excess wash and create texture. Allow the wash to dry completely.
Drybrushing: Once the wash is dry, drybrush the area with a light color. This will highlight the raised areas and create a natural-looking wear and tear effect. Dip a brush in a light color and remove most of the paint on a paper towel. Brush gently over the surface, focusing on the raised areas. Use a light touch and build up the effect gradually.
Weathering powders: Use weathering powders to create dirt, grime and rust effects. Apply the powders with a brush or sponge. Use a small amount and build up the effect gradually. Apply a fixative to keep the powders in place.
Sanding: Use sandpaper or an emery board to create scratches and scuffs. Use a light touch and work gradually. You can also use sandpaper to remove paint from edges and corners, creating a worn effect.
Sealing: Once you're happy with the weathering effects, seal the miniature with a clear coat to protect the paint and powders.
- Practice on a spare miniature or piece of plastic before working on your main miniature.
- Experiment with different colors and ratios of paint and water to achieve different weathering effects.
- Use reference images to help guide your weathering, such as photos of real-life objects or scenes.
With some practice and experimentation, weathering can add a lot of character and realism to your miniatures. Have fun and don't be afraid to try new techniques!