Wednesday, October 29, 2014

SHOWCASE: Aegis Defense Line

After spending months on the last model, you gotta love a project that paints up start to finish in just days. I decided this time to focus on weathering techniques, as this is a model that's easy to fix if it gets screwed up. I learned a good bit on some of my tools. Check out the full results after the break.

I decided to do a pretty quick and easy paint job on this, imagining it as a pretty boring no-frills functional piece of armor that gets churned out by the Imperial factories. Just 41st century Ferroconcrete with a steel frame. The whole thing would get sprayed in one lazy coat of non-descript grey and then immediately flown off to the nearest conflict zone and used and abused until it fell apart.

Last week I showed the greys. This week I got cooking on the weathering. I started off with my Modelmates Rust. Up until now, I'd just been brushing it on and living with whatever effect I got. Spending a little more time with it now, I've learned to control it. Turns out the stuff is really water dependent. If you put it on straight out of the bottle, you tend to get the dark crusty rust. If you mix a little water in, you can get some of that nice orange color when it dries.

By the end I was getting really good with it.  I'd start by brushing on some water along the bottom edge, keeping it fairly wet, and then dab a little drop of rust in to it and let it bleed off the brush naturally. Once dried, that gave it a fantastic rough random edge that you can't get from a dry brush and it's probably more realistic than you could ever do by hand.

Next up I took some Leadbelcher and hit the areas where there would be wear from battle and the soldiers manning the line with scratches and damage. That meant a lot of the corners that they'd kick and hit with their guns and equipment, and then the top edges and windows where they'd rest their guns while firing. Basic day to day wear on the steel structure. If I was going to do it again, I might start with the scratches and then do the rust, but I was careful and it worked out OK in this order.

Once it was all looking nice and cruddy I needed to dirt it up. It was a little heartbreaking to cover up that beautiful rust but it had to be done.  I started off with airbrushing light coats of Bugman's Glow (which looked almost pink) and then Gorthor Brown in patchy areas to lay down a dusty base. It was important to get a couple of different colors to add depth and make it look like it had been used on a lot of battlegrounds on different terrain over time.

That done I moved on to the powders. I tried a little bit of different stuff on it this time. Previously I've just brushed the powder directly on the model. I found what worked best for a natural look was to dip the brush in the powder and then tap it above the model to let it fall more randomly and then stab at it with the brush to kind of grind and spread it in. It created some mottled patches that were nice and uneven and natural.

paints and powders

For a final layer of realism with the powders, I grabbed a brush and dabbed water along the bottom so that the it would get a wet muddy look and leave a definitive line between the mud and dusty upper area.  As a happy accident, it also made the underlying rust more visible.

Water damage

All these effects were looking pretty good, but the natural cycle of things wouldn't be scratch, rust, dirt.  It would be an endless cycle of those things repeating.  I put a little more rust on top of the dirt in the parts that would really sit in the wet and get messed up.

All that done, I clear coated and immediately regretted it.  It had to be done because this is going to get used a lot, but it completely muted the dust. Ah, it was looking too red anyway. Good news is I just did a post on nice dusty stuff so I knew how to touch it up. And that's it. One nice dusty, rusty, crusty, beat up Aegis.

Now on to some more firepower!