We are supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no extra cost for you. Learn moreLast update on 27th February 2024 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

Hey there, are you tired of your models looking flat and uninspiring? Well, I've got just the thing for you! Let's dive into the exciting world of painting rust, chippings, and distressed metal. Trust me, adding these textures will take your models to a whole new level of realism and visual interest.

So, why is it important to add these textures? Picture this: you're looking at a beautifully painted model, but something feels off. It's missing that touch of authenticity, that weathered look that tells a story. That's where rust, chippings, and distressed metal come in. They give your creations character and depth, making them truly captivating works of art.

Now, let's talk techniques. One handy tool you'll want to get your hands on is chipping fluid. This magical substance helps you achieve those realistic chipping effects that make your models look like they've been through the wringer. And hey, if railroad and tank modelers are stealing techniques from this world, you know it's got to be good!

Speaking of techniques, there are so many brands out there offering different products for this kind of painting. It can be overwhelming, I know. But fear not! We'll guide you through it all, step by step. We'll provide you with valuable tips and instructions that will help you achieve those incredibly convincing results you're after. Trust me when I say, you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

So, are you ready to transform your models into captivating art that tells a story? Get your brushes and paints ready, because we're about to embark on an epic journey of creativity and craftsmanship. Together, we'll unlock the secrets of painting rust, chippings, and distressed metal, and you'll become a master of this art form. Let's get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Adding textures and distressed effects to models can greatly enhance their visual interest and realism.
  • Chipping fluid and stealing techniques from railroad and tank modeling can be used to create realistic chipped paint effects.
  • Different brands of chipping fluid are available, but hair spray can also be used as an alternative.
  • By layering paint, applying chipping fluid, and adding rust effects, a natural and realistic rusted and distressed metal effect can be achieved.

Importance of Adding Textures to Models

To achieve realistic and visually captivating models, it's crucial for you to understand the importance of incorporating various textures into your painting process. By using weathering techniques, you can create realistic metal surfaces that add depth and interest to your models.

Textures such as rust, chippings, and distressed paint can bring your models to life and make them stand out from the rest. Adding these textures not only enhances the overall appearance of your models, but it also adds a sense of authenticity and realism.

Applying Chipping Fluid

To achieve realistic and visually captivating models, incorporate chipping fluid into your painting process. This will allow you to create the effect of distressed old paint and heavily chipped surfaces. Using alternative techniques, such as comparing different brands, will help you find the perfect chipping fluid for your needs.

Here are four key steps to applying chipping fluid:

  1. Start by using an airbrush to spray a generous coat of chipping fluid onto your model. This will create a base for the chipped paint effect.
  2. Create the effect of distressed old paint and heavily chipped surfaces by impressing the next layers with a basic modulation of lights and shadows. This will add depth and realism to your model.
  3. Clean your airbrush thoroughly after using water-based chipping fluid. This will prevent clogs and maintain optimal performance for future use.
  4. Use a toothpick to create small and controlled damages. This step adds an extra level of detail to your model, making it more visually appealing.

Adding Layers of Paint

Start by applying a second layer of chipping fluid once the first layer has dried. This will create more opportunities for the paint to chip and peel, adding to the weathering effects on the metal surface. After applying the second layer of chipping fluid, it's time to start adding layers of paint. Start by spraying a lighter color on top of everything, leaving a thicker coat of paint in the highlights and a thin transparent layer in the shadows. This technique, known as dry brushing, will help create depth and dimension on the metal surface. To further enhance the weathering effects, use a violet ink mix to enhance the shadows. Finally, add extreme edge highlights to complete the scale of values.

To engage the audience and provide a visual reference, here is a table showcasing the steps for adding layers of paint:

1Apply a second layer of chipping fluid after the first layer is dry
2Spray a lighter color on top of everything
3Leave a thicker coat of paint in the highlights and a thin transparent layer in the shadows
4Use a violet ink mix to enhance the shadows
5Add extreme edge highlights to complete the scale of values

Creating Rust Effects

Begin by working on the backpack boiler to create a rust effect. To achieve the desired texture and visual interest, you can:

  • Work with different types of chipping fluid: Experiment with various brands to find the one that suits your needs. Each type of chipping fluid will give a unique effect, allowing you to create realistic rust patterns.
  • Experiment with hair spray for texture effects: Don't limit yourself to traditional methods. Hair spray can be an alternative option for adding texture to your model. Spray it on specific areas and observe how it interacts with the paint, creating interesting and unexpected effects.
  • Use very thick paints to create a physical volume of rust: Apply thick layers of paint to simulate the buildup of rust over time. This technique adds depth and realism to your rust effect.
  • Spray with reddish brown to create a base for the rust effect: Start by spraying a base color of reddish brown. This provides a foundation for the rust effect and sets the tone for the rest of the process.

Fine-tuning the Rust Effect

Once you have achieved the desired rust effect on your model, further enhance its realism by fine-tuning the details.

To ensure accuracy, check reference photos to maintain coherency in the lights and shadows.

Start by stippling the surface with a big brush using a dark tone of rust. This will add depth and texture to the rusted areas.

Next, mix colors to add body and tone down the hue of the rust, creating a more natural appearance.

Use a smaller brush to stipple areas that are more exposed to light, such as raised edges or protrusions.

Additionally, use a small pointy brush to touch edges and add microscopic dots and lines, mimicking the small-scale details found in real rust.

Can the same technique be used to paint distressed metal and non-metallic metal?

When painting distressed metal, it’s crucial to use the right technique. However, the tips for non-metallic metal painting can also be applied. Prepare the surface, use a primer, and apply thin layers of paint. For distressing, use sandpaper or a dry brush technique for an aged look.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Some Common Mistakes to Avoid When Applying Chipping Fluid?

When using chipping fluid, common mistakes to avoid include applying too little or too much, not allowing enough drying time, and not cleaning the airbrush properly. Here are some tips and tricks to ensure success.

Are There Any Specific Techniques for Creating a Realistic Rust Effect on Larger Metal Surfaces?

To achieve a realistic chipped paint effect on metal surfaces, start by creating a rust effect on smaller metal objects. Use thick paints, reddish brown sprays, and stippling to create irregular patterns and layer different tones of rust for a natural progression.

Can You Use Chipping Fluid on Non-Metal Materials, Such as Plastic or Wood?

Yes, you can use chipping fluid on non-metal materials like plastic or wood. However, keep in mind that chipping fluid works best on smooth surfaces and may not adhere as well to porous materials. Experiment and consider other weathering techniques for different materials.

How Long Does It Typically Take for the Chipping Fluid to Dry Before Applying Layers of Paint?

The drying time of chipping fluid before applying layers of paint can vary depending on environmental factors like humidity. However, an ideal application usually requires waiting for the chipping fluid to fully dry, which can take a few hours.

Are There Any Alternative Methods for Creating a Rust Effect Without Using Chipping Fluid?

One alternative method for creating a rust effect without using chipping fluid is to apply thick paints to create a physical volume of rust. Stippling with reddish brown and layering different tones of rust can create a natural progression.


In conclusion, incorporating textures such as rust, chippings, and distressed metal can greatly enhance the realism and visual interest of your models. By using techniques like applying chipping fluid and layering paint, you can achieve convincing and captivating results.

Creating rust effects adds authenticity and tells a story within your creations. With the step-by-step instructions and valuable tips provided in this guide, you can elevate your models into captivating pieces of art that truly stand out.

Similar Posts