Most modern armored vehicles feature anti-slip surfaces, keeping personnel safe from slips, falls and skids under the most extreme conditions. Anti-slip coatings are applied onto the metal surface using a spray gun, and usually contain small aggregates that ensure maximum traction and slip resistance.
Since model manufacturers tend to ignore anti-slip coating on their modern vehicle offerings, inventive modelers had to devise different techniques to replicate those rugged surfaces in scale... sanding paper, MrSurfacer, embossing powder, stickers, textured paint, etc. This review provides a description of a product from Pro Art Models which could help in recreating realistic anti-slip surfaces.
Metal powder is packed in a snap cap plastic container. The container features a label with Pro Art Models logo and address, indicating net weight (50g), hazard warnings and short safety instructions as well. For complete material safety data sheet check Pro Art's website (link
Opening the tightly sealed container reveals fine-grain metal powder. The powder could be utilized for simulating rough surfaces (i.e. rust) as well as for replicating anti-slip coating in scale. For the latter use, a short step-by-step photo tutorial is provided on Pro Art’s website and I included it in this review. One word of advice before starting the process… be sure to put the dust mask on and work in a well-ventilated room in order to protect your lungs from inhaling the stuff.
The protocol for application of metal powder to the model for simulating anti-slip surface includes:
1) masking the model, leaving anti-slip surfaces exposed,
2) spraying the surfaces with Tamiya X-22 clear coat (or any similar clear coat),
3) applying the powder to the surface while the clear coat is still wet,
4) removing masking tape,
5) spraying the surfaces with Tamiya X-22 clear coat to seal the powder.
The procedure is pretty much straightforward, although it definitely takes some practice to get optimal results.
The fine-grain powder is ideal for replicating subtle anti-slip coatings on modern US or British vehicles in 1/35 scale, while the IDF vehicles feature much rougher anti-slip which is, in my opinion, best simulated in scale using a bit coarser embossing powder.
I used to recreate anti-slip coating on my models with Cast-a-Coat. It was a revolutionary product which combined fine powder and setting solution for producing very authentic anti-slip surfaces in scale. However, Cast-a-Coat is no longer produced and I was trying several different products hoping to find a technique which would offer similar level of realism.
Pro Art Models recently released fine-grain metal powder for replicating anti-slip surfaces on scale models. The powder is easy to use and it doesn't take much practice to master the technique which then delivers unprecedented results in 1/35 scale... I would even dare say on par with Cast-a-Coat. Also, Pro Art's metal powder is not expensive, particularly since the packaging of 50 grams provides more than enough product for application on several vehicles.