Advanced. Weathering. Pastels

This is the place to get answers about painting, weathering and other aspects of finishing a model.

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Advanced. Weathering. Pastels

Post by TER-OR » Fri Apr 23, 2004 12:49 pm

Please use this thread to discuss the finer points of pastel use.
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Post by TER-OR » Fri Apr 23, 2004 1:12 pm

Recently I experimented with a new wash technique. I've used enamels and oil paints mixed into mineral spirits. Enamels must be removed with more mineral spirits - which makes them resiliant and durable, but not freindly.

Oils may be removed with a cloth or cotton swab. But they still require mineral spirits or turpentine to dissolve, and not all oils paints are fine-grained pigments.

I finally tried using pastels. Many thanks to Zombe for his earlier reports, which got me thinking. Simply lightly shave some dust from a chalk pastel into a container - a small cup or mixing well. Then add a bit of water, and a surfactant of some sort. I used Floquil's flow aid, simply a non-sudsing detergent. A rinse aid for the dishwasher reportedly works well, too.

Then I applied the wash in the traditional manner, allowing it to flow into panel lines. It worked great, and dried quickly. Small overapplications were easily removed via cotton swab.

I mixed various colors of pastels until I got the hue I was looking for. This let me make a grimy version of the base coat for realism.
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Post by Kylwell » Fri Apr 23, 2004 2:05 pm

I love working with pastels. It's has got to be the easiest way I have ever ran arcoss for weathering.

Get a soft fluffy brush, called a mop. Dab it in some white pastel dush, tap the worst off in your hand and run the brush lightly across the top of you model to get very soft hilights or go harder to get faded paint or wind blasted paint.
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Post by d_coombes » Fri Apr 23, 2004 3:53 pm

There is a reason why the cops use chalk pastel dust for collecting finger prints... so if you are dusting a model with pastels watch out!
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Post by starmanmm » Wed Apr 28, 2004 5:17 pm

A guy in my club is a big fan of using pastels for weathering. The thing he tells me is that what you buy in the craft stores are not too great. The pastel chaulks are to be of top quality (in my book meaning pricey). Very cream like in texture. Very fine dust comes off of the stick when you scrape it off the color stick.

I guess in the short end of it is that you buy cheap pastels, you get what you buy.

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Post by Balok » Sat Jul 10, 2004 2:54 am

Located said surfactant and mixed the concoction and applied it to an Ertl Tyderium kit. It makes a great "rebel scum" grime coat. I like that it dries fast, you can work it around a little like a glaze. Wish I'd have had it when I built 4 Ertl tie fighters last month, because the turpenoid I used in an oil wash bled over into the black area of the "solar" panels and stained them causing a lot more work. Another trick for the bag of tricks. Thanks TER-OR!
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Post by TER-OR » Sat Jul 10, 2004 3:45 pm

Glad to help.
But remember, very smooth glossy surface for panel lines. I just had to repair some bad lines on my Ventura. The surface isn't very good, so there was lots of pigment I couln't remove with the wet Q-tip.

I've got more to learn about this stuff!

It's easy to blend colors, though.
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Post by Balok » Sat Jul 10, 2004 5:39 pm

Yeah, its the same with oil, it gets into a flat surface. I did spray Future on first with the Tyderium. I'll send 1-0 the Lambda pix for next Friday's reader's gallery, so you can view the spendorous scum.
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Consistency ???

Post by dkeets » Tue Feb 22, 2005 11:24 pm

What kind of consisitency should this wash be? Should it be like 'dirty-water' or should it be thicker like paint?

Thanks

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Post by Lt. Z0mBe » Wed Feb 23, 2005 12:47 pm

When I first attempted this experiment, I made the washes like "dirty water" as you put it. The reason being is you want the wash to flow into fine areas.

That's why you add just a drop or two of laundry detergent to the mixture. It drops the surface tension and makes the wash flow better.

When you mix the stuff, add the pastel powder to a well in a mixing palette, then add just a bit of water. Mix thoroughly until all the pastel is wet, and the mixture is a little thick. Also, before you add the water, you might like to "grind" the dust a little to help it get nice and suspended - I use a piantbrush.

After you've made your initial soup, and the pastel is throughly distributed through the water, add more water, stir some more, and then add a drop or two of laundry detergent.

Does this help?

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Thanks !!

Post by dkeets » Fri Feb 25, 2005 10:23 pm

That is a perfect explanation, thanks Zombe.

What brand of pastel chalk do you use and is there an online source for it? I went to a couple art supply stores and all they carry are the oil-based pastels and I'm pretty sure these won't work for this technique.

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Post by TER-OR » Fri Feb 25, 2005 11:27 pm

You don't want the oil pastels. They're oil paint in a semi-solid media.

I've seen pastels at art shops, but I can't remember if I have seen them at the big chain shops like Michaels.
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Post by Kylwell » Sat Feb 26, 2005 12:07 am

Yes, stay away from the oils.

You may have to dig a bit to find the chalk pastels, as oil pastels are currently more "popular". Think I found my last set of grays on the bottom shelve wedged between Conte crayons and charcoal.
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Re: Thanks !!

Post by Lt. Z0mBe » Sat Feb 26, 2005 8:25 pm

dkeets wrote:That is a perfect explanation, thanks Zombe.

What brand of pastel chalk do you use and is there an online source for it? I went to a couple art supply stores and all they carry are the oil-based pastels and I'm pretty sure these won't work for this technique.
I have a full artist's set of "Alphacolor" brand pastels. I think they were made by a company called WC. But, it's hard to say since this set is about 25 or 30 years old. Seriously. They last forever.

But yes, you, Ter, and kyl are right. Don't use the oil pastels. They won't mix well.

In my earlier post, I meant to say I grind with a paintbrush handle, not just the brush itself. I do this in the palette like an old-fashioned mortar and pestil. Make sense?

I was just at Michaels today, and I saw some of the chalk pastels, but I didn't pay attention to the price, no pun intended.

But, when you get it right, and it's easy, you'll never go back to anything petroleum-based again. :)

I hope this helps.

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Post by justcrash » Wed Oct 05, 2005 4:37 pm

kylwell wrote:I love working with pastels. It's has got to be the easiest way I have ever ran arcoss for weathering.

Get a soft fluffy brush, called a mop. Dab it in some white pastel dush, tap the worst off in your hand and run the brush lightly across the top of you model to get very soft hilights or go harder to get faded paint or wind blasted paint.
What is the best kind of pastels to get? Chalk, I assume, but oil based?

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Post by Kylwell » Wed Oct 05, 2005 5:17 pm

Go down to the art store and find a cheap brand of chalk pastel like SMi or some such. No oils. Oils bad. I've got both a color set and a gray set. They run about $10 for a set that'll last years.
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Post by Stingray » Tue Oct 11, 2005 11:43 am

Chalk pastels are available at Hobby Lobby as well.

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Post by GYSGT Hartman » Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:44 pm

I swear by pastels.

I use Grumbacher soft pastel chalks. My set is pretty old...over 20 years, but they probably have 50 or 60 years left at this point!

I've simulated panel line weathering by dry brushing on whatever custom color I've mixed as described above, except without the water or soap ( if you go this route you MUST clear coat immediately as the weathering is delicate ) using post-it notes with the sticky side cut to the size and shape of the mask I want and then removing the mask.

It's a simple but effective technique for very subtle weathering on subjects like smooth starship hulls, etc. which have no molded-in panel lines.

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Post by Sparky » Tue Nov 01, 2005 3:34 pm

I have some clips of Ter_or sifi58 doing a pastel demo if anyone's <a href="http://kc6sye.no-ip.com/techmages_3_13_04.html" target="_blank">interested</a>. . .


Edit:
Link directs to another server slower, but with room for clips
Last edited by Sparky on Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
<a href="http://www.kc6sye.com/2_wheresaneatpart.jpg" target="_Sparky">Is this plastic thingy on the counter a neat part?</a> <a href="http://www.kc6sye.com/1_casting_inprogress.jpg" target="_Sparky">Let's cast it.</a>

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Re: Thanks !!

Post by justcrash » Wed Nov 02, 2005 7:58 am

Lt. Z0mBe wrote:
dkeets wrote:That is a perfect explanation, thanks Zombe.

What brand of pastel chalk do you use and is there an online source for it? I went to a couple art supply stores and all they carry are the oil-based pastels and I'm pretty sure these won't work for this technique.
I have a full artist's set of "Alphacolor" brand pastels. I think they were made by a company called WC. But, it's hard to say since this set is about 25 or 30 years old. Seriously. They last forever.

But yes, you, Ter, and kyl are right. Don't use the oil pastels. They won't mix well.

In my earlier post, I meant to say I grind with a paintbrush handle, not just the brush itself. I do this in the palette like an old-fashioned mortar and pestil. Make sense?

I was just at Michaels today, and I saw some of the chalk pastels, but I didn't pay attention to the price, no pun intended.

But, when you get it right, and it's easy, you'll never go back to anything petroleum-based again. :)

I hope this helps.

Z0mBe
Zombe, have you (or for that matter anyone) used this technique for doing windows and such? I ask because if I can eliminate using oils all together , I will! :D

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Post by nicholjm » Thu Dec 08, 2005 12:19 pm

Question: I apply a coat of Future, and I apply a wash to the model. My wash is done, so I apply a coat of clear flat to seal it in. Now, I want to weather with pastels. Will the pastel chalk show off any fingerprints on the model? How do I remove the fingerprints? After I'm done weathering with the pastels, am I done? Or do I need to seal the pastels with more flat clear? Won't the pastel chalk fall off over time? Does the presence of the chalk make it almost impossible to dust off the model in the future?
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Post by Kylwell » Thu Dec 08, 2005 12:24 pm

nicholjm wrote:Question: I apply a coat of Future, and I apply a wash to the model. My wash is done, so I apply a coat of clear flat to seal it in. Now, I want to weather with pastels. Will the pastel chalk show off any fingerprints on the model? How do I remove the fingerprints? After I'm done weathering with the pastels, am I done? Or do I need to seal the pastels with more flat clear? Won't the pastel chalk fall off over time? Does the presence of the chalk make it almost impossible to dust off the model in the future?
Some pastel's don't react well to being sealed. White, for instance, disapears under most sealers.

I try to touch the model as little as possible after being weathered with pastels, but there are usually pick-up points you can use that have no pastels on them.
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Post by Sparky » Thu Dec 08, 2005 12:27 pm

Ter_or says a light coat of flat to seal in the pastels, there is text in the link I had above, BTW I pulled the mpeg clips to save space.
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Post by TER-OR » Thu Dec 08, 2005 11:06 pm

Very light - as in spray some Dullcoat lacquer in the air and move the piece thru the mist....

...then do as little as possible to the model.
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Post by Less Than Super Ostrich » Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:51 pm

Two excellent (AND FREE) videos describing post-shading. They also have a great pre-shading video.

http://www.scaleworkshop.com/workshop/video34bg_1.htm
http://www.scaleworkshop.com/workshop/video35bg_1.htm

Pre-shading video:
http://www.scaleworkshop.com/workshop/video4bg_2.htm
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Post by Kylwell » Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:56 pm

I have never like the fist meathod of holding an airbrush. Lacks control I feel.

But yes, nice video on pre-shading.
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Post by TER-OR » Thu Feb 09, 2006 7:40 pm

ACK! It's Brett Green!
Someone get me a Fosters, fast!
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Post by Less Than Super Ostrich » Tue Apr 04, 2006 3:17 pm

Those Tamiya weathering kits in the SSM store are awesome. Just used them. They are a little stickier to get the tone to adhere to your model better. Great stuff.
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Post by Sdf-1 » Tue Apr 04, 2006 3:58 pm

Less Than Super Ostrich wrote:Those Tamiya weathering kits in the SSM store are awesome. Just used them. They are a little stickier to get the tone to adhere to your model better. Great stuff.
That's nice to hear, I ordered them both a few days ago. :D

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Post by Romulan Spy » Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:51 pm

The Tamiya powders also hold up well when sprayed with clear coat. They don't disappear like plain chalks do. The sponge applicator the sets come with works alright, but you can find small pointy sponges with handles at arts and craft stores (got mine at Hobby Lobby). I also like to use the super-cheap Testor's paint brushes (the white plastic kind with the black nylon bristles); just trim the bristles to a short stump. Works great.

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