Weathering a model can be an intimidating experience, after all the time spent building and painting the ‘perfect’ miniature this is the step that many feel will ‘make or break’ the finished model. Beginners, intermediate and experienced modelers benefit from any tips and techniques that they can acquire from the internet, books, live demonstrations and, now, DVD videos.
DVD instructional videos are fast becoming a common sight in modelers’ home libraries as it is much easier to learn a new technique when you can see the process in motion. Realistic Armor Finishing Techniques with Marcus Nicholls, one of the DVD’s in the Expert Model Craft series produced by Compendium Films, focuses mainly on the weathering process.
An established modeler, and editor of Tamiya Model Magazine International, Marcus Nicholls shares with us some of his finishing and weathering techniques. With a short introduction and closing by author/modeler Richard Windrow, the DVD is rated for all regions (worldwide) and runs approximately 95 minutes total, with the main program at about 57 minutes.
Navigating through the DVD is extremely easy, menu screens will bring you to the area of interest and the main chapters are further broken down into sub-chapters. An index is also included to zip you to a specific section for a quick refresher lesson.
is the first area covered and Marcus walks us through this procedure from color choice, thinning the oil paints to applying the wash. While the wash is being applied he explains the effect we are trying to achieve. This topic is quite a long one as it also includes pin washes, streaking, camouflage and sealing the model to get ready for some more extreme weathering.
is next, and Marcus shows the materials he uses and how to apply the chipping. This is all done by brush and the narration gives us an idea of where to apply chipping. Products, colors and mixing different shades are detailed.
Rust and Staining
is the third chapter and starts off with an example of fuel stains using both oils and acrylics for different effects. Then onto pitting the metal and applying light rust with pigments, and finally heavy rusting using acrylics and pigments. These techniques can be used on various areas of the model for some great effects.
is a subtle, yet important, part of creating a realistic looking model. Here we are shown a quick and easy method for duplicating this effect and various areas to use it. A light sheen to very shiny effect are shown as well as different areas to apply it.
is a quick chapter on the painting and weathering of the wood tool handles and metallic finish of the tool heads. This is a very convincing look as is or can be weathered further for a more extreme look.
German Panzer Gray
is the final chapter in the main program, and one of my favorites. This shows a couple of ways to handle the mono tone gray and make it come alive. The techniques here, as in all the techniques shown, can be mixed and matched for various effects. Also, by varying colors, this can be used on other one color paint finishes such as Olive Drab and Dunklegelb.
With some DVD’s it is necessary to view the extra’s section through a PC, in this case it played fine through my DVD player.
is the first extra chapter and covers Fabrics, Tracks and Rust
. Marcus shares a simple way to weather cloth, which can be used on seats, tarps, clothing etc.. This is a quick and easy process which can be left as is or further enhanced by using other techniques.
The track section shows how to finish tracks in a few different ways, depending on the material and style used on the model. Track rusting is also covered here and once again the amount of wear and tear can be varied using a variety of techniques.
Correcting Common Mistakes
will instill confidence in the modeler, showing that everything is not irreversible. Throughout the video, Marcus will at times make a mistake purposely to show how to correct it and this section goes a little further. Mistakes will happen to all of us, and this shows how easy it is to fix most of them.
Profile of Marcus Nicholls
is a short section on how he started in modeling and where it has brought him.
is a view of close-ups and overall shots of various models, no music or narration in this section.
is a list of the various products and manufacturers that were used throughout the video.
First off, on the DVD jacket and on the websites, the ‘hairspray technique’ is listed as being included which it is not.
Watching this video over and over to write this review I found that there were sections that continued to hold my interest, other areas that once was enough and some I could have done without altogether. All in all this video contains a lot of information, though it is not, the ‘do all be all’ of armor finishing. And as clichéd as it sounds, nothing replaces practice and experience. For the newcomer this will be the start of a solid foundation to pulling together those final details.
Weathering can be a personal and creative side of modeling, with many different techniques and materials to use, therefore peoples’ opinions on techniques and finished product will vary. If you are fairly new to weathering or have questions about certain techniques, this DVD will be a great start. Others may pick up some new ways to achieve a finish and be able to merge some techniques in with their own to bring their models to the next level.
My thanks to Casemate Publishing
for allowing me to review this for our readers.