Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Weathering effects tests

I tried out some new products last night on some test pieces for my Imperial Fists Legion.

I chose to practice on the spare parts you get with a Legion Vindicator. I started by applying a red/brown primer followed by a mottled effect using a few different browns. The finished base coat was then varnished. The results can be seen here

After the varnish dried I sprayed the parts with AK Worn Effects. I found 2-3 coats worked best. I gave the parts a quick dusting of white once it dried to make the yellow pop a bit more (it came out a little dull straight on the red/brown), then mixed up some "Legion Yellow" and sprayed the items with this. You can see the difference the weathering has made comparing the inside of the door frame to the outside.

By using water applied with a brush to the prepared surface, I then used a stippling brush to chip away at the yellow. I concentrated on the edges and other high areas of wear. I then used a sculpting tool to carefully scratch away on the flat surfaces, being careful not to remove any of the primer.

Above you can see the difference between the Vallejo Chipping effects (left) and the AK Worn effects (right). The Vallejo produces a much greater worn effect than the AK product. AK also offer a heavier chipping medium however I did not have this on hand to test.

Once the water had dried off, I tried some other effects on the test parts. I used AK Interactive yellow filter to shade all the rivets and recesses on the panels. I then used AK Interactive Streaking grime and AK Interactive Rust Streaks to emphasize the worn and chipped look. By using some white spirits I moved the enamel fluids about to try and make them look more natural and blended. The AK Interactive weathering products I used are all enamel based so you need to be careful thy dont remove any of the base colour. I think I may varnish the layer first next time.

I'm fairly happy with the results so far, and found the methods a lot easier than I was anticipating. The Vallejo and AK Interactive chipping effects products are far easier and more controlled than the hairspray method once used. I did find that the AK Interactive worn effects was very hard to shift. I am not sure whether I left it to dry to long or put to little on. The resulting effect is better in my opinion unless you are after a very heavily worn look.

I will next try out some weathering powders on the above surfaces. I will be trying to achieve a dusty effect as if the vehicle had seen action on Mars, so if you have any advice or experience to improve my technique let me know!


  1. The AK enamels won't effect acrylic base coats, but when you've done chipping/worn effects you do need to varnish them prior to applying any further paints/washes, especially acrylics. Otherwise the chipping medium will still interact and paint will come off.

    Don't use a matt varnish before using the AK weathering products, they've been designed for use on satin finishes.

    And if you're using weathering powders/pigments its definitely worth grabbing some pigment fixer to lock them in place.

    1. I have been using a gloss varnish for the base coats so far. I need to get some Satin varnish for the finished layer.

      So you recommend Satin varnish instead of gloss for the base coats before the chipping medium?

    2. I use satin before my chipping effects but a a gloss will give you a bit more durability, as sometime you can chip through the primer as well.

      The thing to remember is that the thicker the chipping medium layer, the bigger the chips you'll get and vice versa.

    3. Yeah the extra durability was my first thoughts. Might do 2 coats of gloss and a coat of satin, best of both worlds.

      I found the Vallejo needed one coat and it achieved very heavy chipping, where I was struggling to get any chipping with 2-3 coats of AK. The surface is a lot smoother/cleaner with AK and I noticed a lot of pitting/cracking with the vallejo on the unchipped surface.
      Moving forward I think I will use both to get varied and targeted results. Going to tackle the Raptor tonight.
      Do you know if you need to do the chipping straight away or can it be left overnight/days/weeks?

    4. Yeah the Vallejo chipping medium is similar to the AK Heavy Effects fluid, it will chip easier & bigger than the worn effects fluid. I just use the end of an old brush with no bristles to do mine when I'm using it.

      You can also do it in multiple layers for a more detailed effects- start with heavy chipping fluid, then base coat & chip heavily. Followed by worn effects fluid, base coat and lighter chipping.

      I've left forgot one of my HH termites and left it for 2 months and it still worked but probably better to keep it to a few days or so

  2. Looks really good man, certainly "next Level" category that I can never quite push myself into.

    1. It is a lot easier than it looks, and results are very satisfactory for little effort. I was surprised myself and it only took about 1 hour to do it all

    2. Yeah, I have a base coat of laziness that prevents me from acquiring the material and doing the prep-work :(

  3. Hi - What product do you recommend to stop the Worn Effects from interacting with any future painting.

    Does the Worn Effects stop working and become hard after a period of time, or must you apply a protective coast before applying further weathering effects, etc.

    Thanks, WilloW