Steps in Weathering

thanks to Jamie Degenhardt

First published in the April 2009 AMMS Brisbane newsletter

I thought the members might like to have a read of part of a thread posted on the Tricks and Tips forum on Missing Lynx in early March. A question was posed by a forum user regarding the steps modellers took in the weathering process. One of the responses was from Michael Rinaldi. I’m sure many of the members are familiar with this guys work. In my opinion his work is outstanding and he is certainly very thorough in his approach to weathering. Anyway, for those who hadn’t seen it on Missing Lynx I thought it may be worthwhile for inclusion in the AMMS newsletter.

The fact he has listed 21 steps does make you realise how involved weathering has become and the approach for many these days is a far cry from base coat, decals, wash drybrush, pastels - put it on the shelf. He has certainly emphasised the flexibility in when these steps are done in relation to other steps, it’s certainly not set in stone. The final steps do emphasise his thoroughness and attention to detail - go back over the model and touch up with most of the steps already mentioned. In other words don’t treat it as a check list ut keep tinkering with the techniques and steps until you are really happy with the final result.

The full thread can be found at

The text has been included as is and has not been altered in anyway.

Here is a rough outline of steps. Keep some steps flexible, because not every model adheres to a strict guideline, and some techniques will dictate other steps in a certain order (ie. the relatively new hair spray method).

1) Primer
2) Base coat (acrylic preferably), you can pre-shade prior to if you want
3) Camo (if applicable)
3a) Color modulation (if applicable)
4) For hair spray - seal, use hair spray and then top coat of white, etc.
4a) chip and scrub off hair spray (if applicable)
5) markings
6) seal decals if necessary (I use spray templates as masks as much as possible with armor)
7) detail painting such as tools, rubber tires, tracks, etc.
8) pin wash (w/enamels) around molded detail, color should be neutral brown/gray mix depending on color scheme
9) oil paint fading or airbrush post-shading, or a mix of the two (this step can be moved around a little)
10) chips and scratches with thinned acrylic vis small brush, or sponge
11) filter - overall to unify the scheme and basic effects
12) more oil paint fading if applicable for extreme examples, or rain streaks
13) any details that need fresher colors like exhaust and periscope glass can be hit again
14) pigments for chassis and tracks
15) pigments for hull areas and turret
16) detail washes, darker colors for hatches, etc.
17) redo any chips to be newer looking, (if applicable)
18) oil and fuel stains on wheels and engine, or service areas
19) graphite for edges, hatches, MG's, etc. (if applicable)
20) another layer of dark pin washes just for primary examples like engine hatch areas
21) re-layer chips, scratches, pigments, pin washes, oil paint staining, etc. for final look and effects

I usually jumble around the last 6-7 steps as I see fit, many times repeating the steps over again until the desired results are had. You can be really strict and do the order in the way it happens in real life (like you theorized on the other DG), but this will take time and proper planning, and not all products play along as you'd like. Such as I prefer stains on top of dust pigments, but too much thinner might give a different result than intended. It honestly takes a lot of patience and practice to fully realize the potential in each step, so some models will be more to your liking than others. The theater and levels or dirt applied will make a lot of difference to what you can and cannot do to it.

I also often practice on smaller OOB kits to keep fresh and stay current. If I was you I'd get a Tamiya 1/48 Porsche Tiger II and play around with the finish before I really committed my efforts to the 1/16 kit camo and weathering, you be surprised at some results. A not-often talked about subject, but something that can save a model from disaster, more than some guys think. Practice like music and golf, you can never do too much.