Chipped Paint Technique


Having made model aircraft for many years, I have used this VERY realistic technique for creating a "chipped paint" effect on AFV's. Yes, painting the usual base colour and then applying the scratches afterwards with a silver pencil or dry-brushing underlying colours does look good and is fast. So why try something else?? Well, This technique is for those who require something a little bit extra in the realism department.

The Process

To do this, you will need: A bottle of Johnson's FUTURE floor polish (Johnson's KLEER in the USA), colour paints for your base and top coats (Enamels is best), a roll of low tack masking tape (SELLOTAPE &TAMIYA are good) and your trusty airbrush.

1. Begin in the usual manner by washing your parts in soap & luke-warm water to remove any oily residue from the moulding processes and allow them to dry naturally, or cheat and put them in the airing cupboard.

2. Next, airbrush your parts with the base color, Panzer Grey for early WWII armour or Dunkelgelb for later AFV's. Allowing the parts dry for at least a few hours.

3. Apply your usual method of pre-shading. Again, allow to dry sufficiently.

4. Next, spray two coats of Future. These coats are applied to protect the base colour. Allowing the Future to dry in between coats and then in total for about 24 hours. Should set hard and highly glossed.

5. When you're reasonably sure the Future has dried completely, begin airbrushing your top colour (Afrika Korps sandgrun or whatever) over the top of the base colour, covering all the surfaces completely with your top coat. Allow the top coat to dry for only an hour or so, just until it is slightly less than tacky. I usually wait for between 1 hour and 1 1/2hrs for enamels.

6. Tear off a small amount of masking tape and roll into a ball (tacky side out) and using a dabbing motion, pull off some paint. Begin with small areas at a time, in realistic places, movable stowage lids, door edges, wheel arches, handles, nuts, bolts, engine covers, etc. Having done this correctly, the masking tape pulls "chips" of the top coat to reveal the base colour underneath! To pull off larger areas, use the masking tape "flat". This process does not remove pre-shading, but beware removing paint in recessed areas as this is not realistic.

7. Apply your usual method of weathering with pastels / oils etc.

If you are going to use this method, then I suggest that you complete any camouflage painting in one sitting fairly quickly, so make a quick plan of action....and enjoy!

You can, of course use this method on aircraft also..

Cool eh? Happy modelling!

Martin Wilson U.K.

Copyright 2002 - Text by Martin Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

Have you tried this Technique? Or do you have questions about it? Talk about them in the Forum.

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