Hair Spray Weathering

To go along with the tutorial on weathering my Imperial Fist tanks, I thought I would also do a quick tutorial on another technique of weathering I’ve tried. This technique uses hair spray to help create a chipped and worn effect on armour. I have found this technique is good for use on heavily damaged vehicles and armour, giving a much more beaten look than the sponging technique found here.

I want to use this technique on the vindicator siege shields because I want them to have a very beaten look to them, more so than the tanks themselves. This technique is adapted from ones in Forge World’s Modelling Masterclass books 1 and 2.

The first step is to paint the dozer blade. I started with warplock bronze and then airbrushed on layers of leadbelcher and mithril silver. After this was finished I airbrushed on washes of drakenhoff nightshade and leviathan purple (not that you can see any of that in the photo). Nevertheless, I find using the washes is an excellent technique for giving some life to metallic surfaces.

Base coated siege shield

Base coated siege shield

For this particular siege shield, I want the sides and the bottom sections to remain the existing bare metal, while the large flat area will be the same colour as the rest of the vindicator. This means the side and bottom areas need to be protected so they don’t get any more paint on them. I did this using low adhesive art tape, although you could also use blue tack. Once the areas you don’t wont to be painted are protected, spray the remaining areas with several thin coats of hairspray.

Protect the areas where you wont the base coat to remain uncovered

Protect the areas where you wont the base coat to remain uncovered, and then spray the remaining sections with hairspray

Once the hairspray is dry, airbrush the area with the main colour of the vehicle. In this case, I used tamiya flat yellow (which I’ve decided to use on the rest of the tanks because it’s easier to airbrush than the GW paints).

The main colour of the tank has been applied over the hairspray

The main colour of the tank has been applied over the hairspray

The next step is to use a brush dipped in warm water and gently rub it over the areas you want the paint chipped. The theory is the warm water dissolves the hairspray, and it takes the paint above with it.

Using a brush and warm water, remove the top layer of paint where you want the chipping to show through

Using a brush and warm water, remove the top layer of paint where you want the chipping to show through

It’s working!

The warm water dissolves the hairspray, taking the top layer of paint with it

The warm water dissolves the hairspray, taking the top layer of paint with it

I ended up taking a lot of paint off, as I want the dozer blade heavily weathered. Once you’re happy with how much paint you’ve taken off, the last step is to seal it with a matt varnish. Make sure you seal it with varnish, otherwise the paint will continue to chip.

Keep going until you're happy with the amount of chipping

Keep going until you’re happy with the amount of chipping

The final step is to go over the area with conventional weathering techniques, in particular oil paints and weathering powders. For more details of conventional weathering, see here

Front view of the finished Vindicator

Front view of the finished Vindicator

Hope that is useful, and as always if you have any questions, send me a message or leave a comment below.

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2 Responses to Hair Spray Weathering

  1. Pingback: Weathering Imperial Fists Tanks | Rusty's Workshop

  2. Modeliani says:

    Great Tutorial!

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