Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Venerable's Weathering Tanks Guide...

It's actually Old Stuff Day today... so I'll try again lol!! 
We are going with an old weathering guide for tanks that I am quite proud of..  


This is what we want to achieve.

How do we do it?

I'll tell you.

I'm so nice.

Stage One:

Spray your vehicle. Easy right?

Yes. It is. That was rhetorical.

Stage Two:
Drybrush magic. Using a large flat drybrush apply the following, ensuring that each coat has very thoroughly dried before getting stuck into the next.
1) GW Scab Red
2) GW Red Gore
3) GW Blood Red
4) Either P3 Khador Red Highlight or GW Blazing Orange.
Progressively get lighter with your brush strokes and narrow the 'sweep' of the brush, concentrating on the corners of the vehicle as you get lighter, this will create a 'well' of depth - dark and sinister at the centre of each panel. It will also create a good looking set of natural looking highlights...
oh, and its dead quick so if you are running a mechanised army and are looking for an easy to replicate recipe...

Stage Three:

Using GW Scorched Brown and a regular brush with a good tip, create the outlines of scratch marks all over the vehicle. Remember that these marks should appear in a random pattern to appear less 'designer', but that you should adhere to true life weathering. Stick to edges, corners, protrusions etc. You want quite alot as when the final stages are done, it'll break up the dust and give yet another layer of depth to the paint job. Clearly the older the vehicle the more worn it'd be so for example on a venerable dreadnought compared to a Razorback (a newer STC adaptation still now 'frowned upon' by some chapters...whatever fluff monkey) there would be more battle damage.

Stage Four:
Within the brown outlines create the 'metal' underneath the paint. Using GW Boltgun Metal paint inside to create the final layer of depth to the battle damage.

For more recent battle damage, you can add a tiny touch of GW Mithril Silver. Tiny touch, you hear? It is very shiny!

Stage Five:
Now you can skip this stage if you don't want to spend alot of money on pigments.

I use MIG Pigments (available here)

The Forge World ones are I think created by the exact same people, they just have a different label on them...I think they are marginally cheaper than MIG too...

So, using the Acrylic Resin (white gloopy-stuff here) and the appropriate 'mud' powder (I use Dark Mud) mix it up till it looks like the below photo...or very runny mud consistnecy, it really is not rocket science (thank god, I'm a teacher and I can do it so...)

Now, I add in some GW Modelling Sand into the mix to create a more gritty texture.

You can whack in whatever you like. Twigs, real mud....

Once it looks like this, apply some liberally to your old, knackered drybrush...or your sparkly new one if you insist...

And..... cover the bottom third/quarter of you vehicle, all the way around with the mix.
It'll take a good hour to dry, ensure you give it this time before moving on to the next stage.

Pay special attention to tracks etc as they are running literaly through the mud, they will pick up the most rubbish. As you go further up the tank make sure you get a little smoother and lighter in the application.

If there are any ladders or ramps, such as the side of the rhino/razorback where the troops disembark, that'll have hit the mud a few times, get some on the 'securing prongs'.

Stage Six:
Using the 'dry' form of the MIG Pigment or Forgeworld Powder and you trusty ole' drybrush, apply the powder in an overlapping pattern with the previously applied mud. By overlapping I mean that the powder should be applied a single centimetre above the dried mud, and 50% on the top 1cm of the mud. This will create a far more natural looking dried mud dust.
Whilst the concentrated dust/mud will be applied to the middle third of the vehicle (height wise) it should spread up and over the tank/vehicle. As the vehicle zooms along through the various alien world the diruption to the earth will send dust clouds up and around the tank. The top of the tank should not be clear, just less dusty than around the tracks.

Using the next, lighter stage of dust (I use MIG's Europe Dust, although African Earth is a wicked colour too....see here) around the bottom of the tank (see picture) we apply the 'fresher' mud. Same stipple/smudge technique with the drybrush to apply the dust.

To 'stipple' - apply the powder/pigment to the tank by using the brush as a carrier and just drop it onto the surface, then stipple by pressing down on to the surface and twisting your brush as you go.

Our final result.

For me, just 4 Predators, a Rhino and a Vindicator to go...whoop!

Clearly this technique would not work on the more alien races with smooth sleek lines, although I have seen some wicked weathered-back Tau vehicles at ATT (Advanced Tau Tactica)

The pigments can be bought from MIG or from Forgeworld. Both are coolio.

Have fun! I am really not a painter/modeller and far prefer to play even with pure grey to acheive these results, which I think are pretty cool so excuses anyone!

That is of course, if you want to do it...



  1. I'm just gearing-up to build/paint my first rhino tank, and I think I'll follow your tutorial for weathering. Very informative & presented in a clear, well thought-out fashion.


  2. Thanks man, really hope your Rhino turns out well...let me know, would love to see the finished article!

  3. ROFLSNORT! twin lascannons :P

  4. oi! leave it out... these were early prototypes and not converted yet! lol.

  5. haha, they look great, which is far more important.