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Hobby: Rust Effects

4 Minute Read
Aug 16 2010

I had a few requests for some articles that focused more on some of the basic hobby techniques I use.   I thought this was a great idea, because I would always get fired up myself when I was reading a painting magazine and they would just skim over a crucial step for something I wanted to try.

First up is the rust technique I used on my Looted Imperial Guard Army. It’s very basic and requires no messy powders or sprays, but still looks great in my opinion.

To start off grab some foam (a single pluck of Sabol Army Transport Foam will do nicely), and rip it so that the tear kinda forms a wedge shape.  This will be your basic tool to apply your rust effects. You may want to tear a few pieces up, just so you can bounce from color to color quickly.

The colors you will need for this project are Bestial Brown, Hot Orange, and Fiery Orange. Take your wedge of foam, and dab it into the Bestial Brown.  Now dab it off some on a paper towel like you are dry brushing, but stop short of taking the majority of paint off.  You want to be able to lightly dab the foam onto your model and have the paint transfer over.

Now apply this basecoat of rust in a wide pattern on the vehicle where you think the paint would be naturally weathered, or worn off.  You can apply as much as you want or as little, but keep in mind you have two more “highlight” coats of oranges on the way. So you want to leave room for a progression of color, but not obscure the whole vehicle in rust.

For the Hot Orange highlight you will want to apply paint to the foam wedge the same way, but this time pinch the foam some to form a finer point as you dab.  You can apply this color both on raised edges, or in random splotches to simulate rust as you see fit.  Just remember to leave about 1/3 of the Bestial Brown “basecoat” showing.

This last highlight of Fiery Orange is a little tricky. You want to pinch the foam wedge even more this time to make a fine point, almost to a paint brush itself.  This way you can transfer the paint over in smaller individual blotches that really pop the whole effect.  Be very sparingly with this coat because it looks better when it is not over done.

So there you have what I think is a quick and easy rust effect.  Now if you look at this effect under dim lighting you may not see that last highlight, and it may even look more like mud all over your model lol.  If this is the case, you can experiment with taking the effect up one more color by mixing in either some yellow or white to the Fiery Orange.

Here’s the before and after pics of a Looted Chimera with this effect.


Which do you prefer rust painted on, or in powder form?

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