LaLD Hobby Corner: DIY Model/Diecast Liquid Weathering Medium in 4 Easy Steps
Borrowing techniques from fine art, gaming miniatures, & model railroading, to create custom weathering effects for models, diecast & dioramas.
Let's face it, weathering washes/media for models is expensive. Especially in the Coronavirus economy, lots of us can't afford to buy the pricy Tamiya, Vallejo, Testors, etc. media that many of us swear by. Here are 4 easy steps to create your own liquid weathering medium for less than the cost of the hobby shop stuff.
First, we start with getting assorted rust, earth and black tone acrylic craft paints and oil or chalk pastel sticks in assorted shades. I got these at MECCA in Eugene, OR https://materials-exchange.org/ , but any store with a craft section will have these, as will Michaels, Hobby Lobby and art supply stores.
Step 1: Get materials together. Brown, orange, yellow, green, white & black pastel sticks, and acrylic craft paints in earth tones, grey & black. Use earth tones with little or no black/grey for rust, dust, grime or clay soil mud/dirt, use earth tones with black & green for fungal growth, or use black with a hint of rusty earthtone, white and green to simulate petroleum, coal or soot staining. Use black with blue and green to simulate creosote.
Step 2: Put pastel sticks in a heavy ceramic or metal bowl/cup or a pestle. Crush/mash to powder with a mortar or something like the handle end of a hammer. Blend and continue to mash large pieces until the medium reaches a consistent texture and color.
Step 3: Carefully put mashed pastel powder in small, secure containers such as baby food or spice jars, pill bottles, or small condiment/sauce jars. Add acrylic paint to suit until there is a marshmallow-sized mound of different colors on top of the powders.
Step 4: Add tap water until the level reaches just below the neck of the jar. Stir until it reaches the approximate consistency of tomato juice; it can be thinned later as-needed or when applied to a palette. Add some to a palette or paper cup and thin the paint further with tap water to use as a wash. Seal and shake periodically to distribute the powders and keep the weathering paint thin. Use like any other weathering paint (commercial or otherwise), allow a drying time of at least one hour.