As with all my painting these days, I have limited time so aim to find techniques that both give a good result and are quick and simple to achieve.
Weathering is one of the last things you do in the painting process but can sometimes make or break the end result, so it is key that you find the right technique for you. Here I’m going to talk about the three techniques I employ, sometimes together, sometime separately.
Washes – I typically wash the entirety of my miniatures in Agrax Earthshade. This gives uniform shade over the whole miniature and ties it all together. It’s a colour that works well for both grey armour and pink flesh. Plus, I haven’t got time to apply different shades to different areas. In the more heavily weathered areas I sometimes apply two coats to give a darker shade.
My only advice with washes is to start from the top down and not to apply too much. If you have big pools anywhere, make sure you dab some off straight away, otherwise it dries funny. Otherwise, I would say that Games Workshop’s washes are a thing of magic. They can make any miniature look 100 times better and help hide many minor mistakes. I cannot rate these highly enough.
Sponging – I use this for both mud effects around the lower portion of the miniatures, dabbing dark brown paint, and scorching around gun barrels, dabbing black paint.
If the miniature is large, like a tank, I’ll also use black and silver around the miniature, where the paint has been scuffed or chipped to break up the clean lines.
I’ve also recently tried sponging the Games Workshop texture paints instead of just brown paint, which has given a really pleasing result.
The method involves tearing a small piece of sponge (I use spare bits from army carry cases), grip it with a pair of tweezers, dab it in the desired paint, then dab quite a lot of the paint off on to some paper (think dry brushing quantities here), then dab it on to the miniature. If you want more paint in any particular area, just repeat the process. Whatever you do, don’t load the sponge up too much or you won’t get any texture.
Weathering powder – probably the most advanced technique in my arsenal is Forge World weathering powder. I tend to apply these in the same areas as sponging, i.e. brown around the lower portions for mud and black to represent scorching or battle damage.
My experience with these is that more is less, it might seem like you’ve heaped the powder on but once you seal it with varnish (Testors Dullcote all the way!), it goes translucent. Powders give a nice transition between muddy and not muddy areas.
The other place I use these techniques is to help bury transfers. Sometimes if you’ve applied a white or gold transfer, they can seem very bright, so dusting them with weathering powder can help dull them down a bit.
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