- Rigger brush – long bristles to hold plenty of fluid and sharp point to place the fluid accurately.
- Filbert brush – soft, firm bristles shaped into a rounded but flat end. Holds pigment particles forever and a day, and the shape gives many opportunities for accurately placing them.
- Paper towels – to wipe the brush when you pick up too much pigment, and to clean up the mess.
- Glass dish – won’t be attacked by solvent and used to hold clean white spirit.
- MIG Productions Dark Wash – my favourite, but any dark coloured wash will do the job. I favour enamel washes as they always seem to work well, but you may prefer to use acrylic washes. If using acrylics, then any mention of white spirit should be read as acrylic thinners.
- AMMO by Mig black pigment A.MIG-3001 – good for replicating sooty deposits and as a base for other grime-encrusted areas.
The whole locomotive has been given a layer of Testor’s Dullcote so that there is a uniformly matt surface to work on. This exercise will be restricted to the upper surfaces of the tank and the cab roof. An image of the subsequently completed project can be seen on flickr:
The bare metalwork (chimney, valves, whistle) on the top of the locomotive has been given an application of MIG Productions dark wash, thinned with white spirit, to create false shadows and emphasise detail. This process is exactly the same as that used in the Janus grille exercise – dip the rigger into white spirit, dip the tip of the bristles into the wash and then just touch the tip against the target detail. If you leave a blob behind, don’t worry about it, just leave it for 15 or 20 minutes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
There are many makes of weathering powders (pigments) on the market, and some of them have been around for many years. My choices are made from more recent manufacturers who aimed their products at larger scale plastic kit builders – armour, aircraft, vehicles, etc. My impression is that the particles in these latter products are more finely ground, small enough to fall into the depressions in the matt surface.
Application of the pigment is done by dipping the filbert brush into the lid of the pot, rather than the pot itself. If there is nothing adhering to the inside of the lid when you open the pot, then just give the pot a shake and tap it firmly on the worksurface. Oh! Put the lid back on first. The thin layer of pigment on the inside of the lid is plenty for the task ahead.
Stroke the brush across the cab roof and the pigment will leave smears on the matt surface. Continue this until the whole surface is covered. It will take a little time, but you will end up with a layer of pigment that can’t be removed when you rub your finger across it.
Continue to apply pigment in the same way across the upper surfaces of the locomotive. One word of warning here. Well, several words, actually. Make sure that the wash has completely dried before you start working with the pigment. Here’s what happens if you’re impatient, but you may find that this is an effect you want to utilise.