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Salt Weathering Technique Tips


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I suppose I actually meant, before the final coat of future, (prior to the salt weathering), or after the final flat coat on top of the salt weathering. I'm going to go with after for now.

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  • 11 months later...
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Wow thanks for sharing Chuck... Scary indeed, will have to try it on one of my old models!!!! I'm surprised that you can rinse the enamel with water after such a short time, anyways it definitely has an awesome realistic affect....

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Your CF-18 is stunning. The decals look like they are painted on. I have to try this on my newest build an F-8E Crusader. I really like the effects that you get with this salt weathering. It does look a little daunting but with everything I have learned here on ARC I think I can handle it. I still have never used future all over the model though. I have only used it to lay the decals down. Why is it so imperitive to future the model before laying decals down. I would assume its because the decals lay down better on a shiny surface. Im just not a big fan of shiny aircraft as I refuel them everyday and none of them are shiny. Another question I have is how do you achieve the results of your weathering. Do you use pastels, Washes, which kind of washes (sludge with acrylics or do you use enamels). Your Models look phenominal and I really would love to build something of that class. Thank you for sharing this aproach to weathering to.

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Your CF-18 is stunning. The decals look like they are painted on. I have to try this on my newest build an F-8E Crusader. I really like the effects that you get with this salt weathering. It does look a little daunting but with everything I have learned here on ARC I think I can handle it. I still have never used future all over the model though. I have only used it to lay the decals down. Why is it so imperitive to future the model before laying decals down. I would assume its because the decals lay down better on a shiny surface. Im just not a big fan of shiny aircraft as I refuel them everyday and none of them are shiny. Another question I have is how do you achieve the results of your weathering. Do you use pastels, Washes, which kind of washes (sludge with acrylics or do you use enamels). Your Models look phenominal and I really would love to build something of that class. Thank you for sharing this aproach to weathering to.

Thanks. It's important to have Future all over your model because you likely want some weathering effects all over your model- and you want to have an "escape" if you don't like what you see. With a good coat of Future, you can wipe everything off with solvent and start again.

All of my models start out looking very shiny and all of them wind up looking more dull and natural with a sealing coat of Dull Coat at the end of the painting and weathering process. I then selectively use Tamiya pastels to get local staining, like greasy hinges and other stain marks.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another salt weathering victim! A Tamiya F-4E in 1/32 scale. For this model I changed things up a bit, using lightened colors first, followed by misting coats of darker colors over the salt. Before I started, however, I made sure all the panel lines and rivets had a good wash of ProModeler black. This stuff is only good on a good gloss coat of Future, so once I hit the surface with rough paint, you'll never get it off...

Almostdone1.jpg

Then salt mask.....

Almostdone2.jpg

and voila! Weathered paint....

RearTop11.jpg

FuselageDetail16-1.jpg

RearTop5.jpg

FuselageDetail11.jpg

FuselageLarge3.jpg

Edited by chuck540z3
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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks for sharing this technique. I want to try this on my Chinook project. Any advice? Are you saying enamel should be used for better results?

Not at all. As long as you have a good Future coat between the original paint job and the post-salt coats of paint, everything should be the same. However, I don't know how you acrylic guys remove paint from areas like decals after the fact. Windex? All I know is that for enamels, paint solvent works very well.

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Not at all. As long as you have a good Future coat between the original paint job and the post-salt coats of paint, everything should be the same. However, I don't know how you acrylic guys remove paint from areas like decals after the fact. Windex? All I know is that for enamels, paint solvent works very well.

I wonder if just the salt residue will be enough for weathering on a dark green color. Won't that discolor enough for a realistic faded effect without painting over the salt?

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I wonder if just the salt residue will be enough for weathering on a dark green color. Won't that discolor enough for a realistic faded effect without painting over the salt?

If you want something that looks good from 3 feet, maybe, but the salt residue is very rough, so you always want to remove it entirely.

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If you want something that looks good from 3 feet, maybe, but the salt residue is very rough, so you always want to remove it entirely.

I see. So, I'm thinking I should mix the color just a bit lighter than the base coat for the first wash, remove and reapply the salt and then add a grime coat? I didn't know you could spray Future, I always brushed in on. :bandhead2:

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I'm planning on doing something similar for a USAAF fighter based in New Guinea, here's what I have in mind:

1. Spray severely faded OD.

2. Use your salt technique with regular OD.

The idea is to use the salt to mask off areas that should be faded, like the wingroots and control surfaces. Would this approach work?

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I'm planning on doing something similar for a USAAF fighter based in New Guinea, here's what I have in mind:

1. Spray severely faded OD.

2. Use your salt technique with regular OD.

The idea is to use the salt to mask off areas that should be faded, like the wingroots and control surfaces. Would this approach work?

It should, but just make sure you're using enamels with a good Future base coat, just in case you don't like what you see when finished. With a little paint solvent, you can wipe everything off and start over. With acrylics, I don't think you have this option.

BTW Guys, I now have a new method for applying the salt. Whereas I used to spray the whole model with water then sprinkle the salt on, I now have a small jar of salt in water that I just brush on. At a certain concentration of salt, the crystals won't dissolve any more and they remain suspended, so I just brush on the crystals to where I want them, with the super-concentrated salt solution forming a thinner "halo" of salt around them. This allows me to concentrate the salt mask on things I may not want to get new paint on, like decals and other items. Here's an example:

Before, with coat of Future after decals

Decal1.jpg

Promodeler wash....

Wx1.jpg

Salt application with brush....

Wx4.jpg

Salt weathered look

Wx11.jpg

End result. The salt worked wonders on the titanium areas as well, using a variety of Alclad colors.

RearTop16.jpg

Edited by chuck540z3
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  • 8 months later...

I've been also intrigued to use this technique on F4U-4 - looking for soft weathered look - not chipping paint. I've been using Vallejo acrylics so hopefully will be ok. I've got a couple of questions and really hope to be answered.

First, steps of technique (just write OK if it's OK:))

1.) Primer

2.) All blue navy scheme

3.) Future

4.) Panel line wash

5.) Future

6.) Water mist

7.) Hard grinded kitchen salt

8.) Let it dry and than another coat of blue navy scheme

9.) Rinse under warm water

10.) Future

11.) Decals

12.) Future

13.) Pastels, smoke,...

So here comes the questions:

A.) At what point should I apply decals? Before salt watering or after? If doing it before, woudn't I cover them with paint after second coat of blue navy scheme? Or you just spray carefully over crystals and not the whole model?

B.) Should I lighten the navy blue at stage number 2.) or number 8.)? Is the second coat of paint thinned?

Thanks for anyone who's able to give me some answers.

Greetings from Slovenia!

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  • 1 month later...

Another version of salt weathering on a 1/32 Tamiya NMF P-51D, with Alclad Gloss as a base.

Unlike my prior salt weathering sessions, this is the first time I haven't done it on a Future surface and this is the first time I applied the salt crystals as a paste, rather than wet the aircraft and just sprinkle salt on. To do this I just mixed a super concentrated saline solution of 50% warm water and 50% salt. Since the concentration of salt is so high, not all of it will dissolve, leaving you with a salty paste instead. Using a soft brush, I just randomly spread it on all the surfaces including the bottom. Besides random staining, it gives the bare metal a more realistic look as the aluminum corroded at varying levels. Here's how it looks after the salt has dried and it's ready to paint. To speed the drying time, I used a hair dryer on a low setting....

Salt11.jpg

A closeup....

Salt10.jpg

To stain the surfaces I used two different Alclad colors: Steel and Transparent Smoke. This overcoat must be SUBTLE, so I used very low air pressure of about 10 psi and I gently misted all the surfaces, using Steel on the metal surfaces and Smoke on the painted aluminum wings. Bare stained aluminum has some dark shades in it, hence the dark Steel, while I wanted a different color for the painted wings that would give them a bit of a dirty look. Although the Smoke worked fine, I could have used Steel for everything, because the color contrast isn't that obvious.

When the Alclad dried for about 1/2 hour, getting the salt off was a real chore, because unlike my jet fighters that I carefully put under my kitchen tap with a slow stream of warm water, this model has way too many cavities that the salty solution can get into, like the gear bays, rear of the cockpit and gun bays. To remove the salt, I carefully used a soft wet cloth I kept dipping in warm water then rubbed the salt off gently. It was a real mess and getting all the salt out of every nook and cranny took 2 hours or so. I got it all off though, with no scratches to the paint and as far as I know, no pools of salt where it shouldn't be. This revealed a nice blotchy look of weathered paint and metal, at least to my old eyes.

Next up is a ProModeler weathering wash.....

Weatheringwash1.jpg

Once I got the right amount of rivet and panel line detail in various locations, I used Alclad Matte to really knock the shine down on the wings, while gently reducing the metallic surfaces. Basically I used about 3 times as much of it on the wings as the other surfaces, masking them off with a piece of paper as I moved around the model. Decals and enamel painted surfaces got a little extra too.

Once that was done, I applied some oil staining and exhaust stains using artist acrylic paint in black and some Tamiya pastels here and there. Here's the results so far, but please keep in mind that photographing this model with all the shiny surfaces under harsh light is very hard, Under some light, the shine is too harsh, while in other light, it may look too dull. All I know is that all looks good to my eyes, so here goes....

Almostdone7.jpg

Almostdone5.jpg

Almostdone9.jpg

Almostdone3.jpg

Almostdone6.jpg

Edited by chuck540z3
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  • 5 months later...

Hi there.

I realize this is a bit of an older thread but I'm looking at trying this for the first time on a 1:48 RAF FGR.2 Phantom in 3 tone camo and was hoping for some clarity on one point.

So Once I'm at the point where I've applied the salt, the question revolves around the overcoat.

1. As it's the light grey, dark grey, and green camo pattern, do you just let the salt work on the clear coat and then wash it off?

2. Of if there's an overcoat, how thin do you make this? I'd imagine it should be extremely thin (ie 90% thinner with only a hint of the colour)?

Sometimes I'm reading this and I get the impression you're just leaving the salt on to effect the undercoat, other times you mention you're over spraying with a lighter version of the base coat (which I would think would over paint the decals)

So just wanted to clear that up.

thanks

David

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  • 2 weeks later...

@RiderFan: SInce it is just like in the real world, I stick with this order: thin primer, metal if needed, primer (not modelprimer, but anything that resembles the original bird's primer coat, paintjob, seal it with future, apply decals, seal if you need to or like to. Now you have a bird out of the factory/paint barn as the real thing and can start to add dirt, wear and tear etc. and the salt. Just like in the real world: recreate mint condition and age it. Edit: decals would be part of the paintjob in the real world, so there is no difference: regard them as part of the paint when all is cured and only then start with the rest.

Edited by I.Illes
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Hi L.lles

Thanks but that doesn't really answer the question. I understand the process of weathering. It's more involved than building mint and aging, you have steps along the way like preshading and metal chipping that are done as part of the whole process.

What I'm after is information on the layer you paint over the top of the salt layer. How thin do you make this? Many of the examples I see are single colour aircraft (all Light Ghost Grey for example). For multiple colour schemes (like Chucks Phantom), do you still apply a top coat of a single light grey? Or do you have to basically redo all the camo in extremely thinned versions of the base colour?

thanks

David

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