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Winter White Wash Camo Effect


  • Winter White Wash Camo Effect

    Hello guys and girls, today I am going to be covering how to achieve the winter white wash effect I created on my Dust Tactics Medium Assault Walker.

    The winter white wash technique I am going to talk about is very much from the military modelling world, they have been using it for years and although I don't have an interest in World War One or Two vehicles I am fascinated with some of the fantastic models the military side of the hobby can create, so, quite often you'll see me pouring over the galleries of military modellers trying to work out how models and scenes have been constructed and painted.

    The tools you shall need are :-

    x 3 Brushes (one accurate paint brush, one soft wide paint brush and an old paint brush)
    AK Interactive Heavy Chipping Fluid (or hairspray)
    Light grey and white acrylic paint
    White oil paint
    White spirit (or turps)
    Liquin (not actually needed, but it's useful to have)
    Gloss (I used microscale micro gloss)

    So first of, get your vehicle 100% painted and finished because you wont be able to go back and make adjustments to the main colour once you've started. You will need to ensure that you spray a few layers of gloss on top of this layer to protect it from work later on.

    Above you see the main colour on the walker totally finished pre white wash, decals and all. I decided to paint it in a very saturated colour to help it stand out once the white wash was applied, it's painted in a zenithal lighting style.
    Next up you will need to spray you model with the AK Heavy Chipping Fluid, the chipping fluid is a new product to me, I would usually use hairspray for this technique, however the chipping fluid really appealed to me because I knew it would be reliable and I knew, because it's applied with an airbrush, I could be accurate with it. I sprayed the model 3 times with the chipping fluid, leaving each layer to dry before applying the next.
    Next I sprayed several light layers of GW Space Wolf Grey, I chose this colour rather than a neutral grey because of it's blue tone, I was looking to create a temperature contrast between the red and the blue (have a look at my contrast article if you want to know more!), also, be careful to make your layers very thin, slowly building up the colour, not only will this give you greater control but it will make removing that layer much easier.
    Next I moved on to using pure white, building up the colour either in important areas I wanted to draw a viewers focus to (like the turret and decals) or areas I would expect the white wash to stubbornly remain, like around nuts/bolts/rivets, between joints and connecting parts of metal.

    GW Space Wolf Grey

    Note in the pictures above how thin the layers of paint actually are, you are not looking for total 100% coverage, in fact, you want the opposite, you want an uneven inconsistent coverage of paint, this will help add tonal variation to the white wash, it will increase the depth of the model and make the paint job more interesting because the white wash is not the same all over. This is especially important with larger pieces (over 1/35 or 28mm) because the larger surfaces will need extra detail (if you are painting a large vehicle with this technique you might want to consider adding a 3rd colour to your white wash, a colour like GW Ice Blue)

    The next step is to sit down and really look at your model, consider where the rain will run down the model, consider what parts would be sheltered and what parts would receive the most wear and tear.
    Both the chipping fluid and the hairspray are water soluble, when water is applied to either they begin to become fluid once again and can be removed from the model with your brush, be careful with the chipping fluid as it can become very easy to remove large section if you are not careful. Also, if you are using hair spray instead of chipping fluid I suggest equal caution, in my experience I've found hair spray far harder to remove then the chipping fluid, stay patient and use hot water to make you job easier.

    Chipping Technique

    Now before you start to chip away the white wash it's important to have a quick think about how to achieve the best result. If you take your brush and make long, even strokes (like you would do when your painting) you are going to get a very unrealistic effect, it's going to look very unnatural and pretty awful, to get realistic chips your need to make a stabbing motion, ensuring your brush is about 90 degrees to your model and just lightly stab. Using this method will ensure you are using the very ends of your bristles rather than the sides, this will ensure you chip away many little dots of paint rather than large straight sections. Below is a quick mock up to show you the difference between the two, if you are a little unsure use it as reference as you chipping your model.

    Chipping Your Model

    Now, on to the fun stuff! Take a moment to consider what we were talking about before, identify an area that would receive a lot running rain water or wear, lightly dab water there and leave it for a few moments to reactivate your chipping fluid or hairspray (at this stage even though I was lightly dabbing water on to my model I started to chip away paint, the chipping fluid is very easy to activate, so be careful)

    Below are pictures of my walker at this stage, I ended up remove large amounts of the white wash to allow the red beneath to become more dominant, the amount you remove is entirely up to you, if this is your first time with this technique I suggest you look up 'winter white wash' on google to get an idea of how other modellers approach their vehicles. Just a quick note, the pictures below are of the white wash at about 95% done, I ended up missing a few bits and redoing others, the panel where the lights are at the back I ended up returning to and that is something you can do, if your not happy with what you have, respray the area with chipping fluid and try again.


    So next up is the white oil streaks, if this is your first time using oils honestly don't worry, they are very different to acrylics and it might take you a while to get used to using them, but, they are so much fun, they are very forgiving and easy to use, I absolutely love em and really need to use them more!

    Ensure you again seal the chipped layer with gloss.

    Take you white oil and place a small amount of it on a piece of kitchen towel or cardboard and leave it for about half an hour, this will allow some of the carrier medium to be absorbed, allowing the oil colour to dry quicker, at the same time you'll want to mix in some liquin (although I didn't because I forgot!), the liquin is a medium that will thin the oil colour and allow it to dry quicker.

    Once you've left the oils for half an hour transfer it over to a piece of plasticard, this will make it easier to thin your oils (whats the expression? Do what I say and not what I do, again I didn't transfer over a small amount of paint on to a piece of plasticard, but you should! It will make it a lot easier for your to deal with).

    Take a very small amount of paint on to your detail brush and gently apply a line of paint down from a piece of detail that you think a streak would form. Now take note, the line you apply should not be a nice perfect, straight line, like in the picture below you want actually want a bit of width and unevenness (just try to keep it roughly straight!).

    This step helps add realism to your streaks, because a streak, whether it be rust, oil or white wash will never be a perfectly straight thin line, it will have several layers that you need to mimic and you will use the oil colour's great range of opacity to create a semi clear layer to apply more opaque layers on top later. If your line happens to be too opaque, just use your wide soft brush or your old brush, ensure they are dry and just lightly dab the line, this will lift some of the oil colour away, thinning the line and making it more transparent. If you don't like the result just dab a brush in some turps or white spirit and remove the oil colour entirely.

    Next you will paint a much thinner neater line within the streak you have just created, note how most of my streaks are a strong white colour at the top but begin to fade as they travel downwards, I am using the oils opacity range to fade the streak using the dabbing dry brush method I used above, this is an excellent way to not only add interest but to mimic the many layers a streak would normally have.

    The next few images will show you the progression of the steaks on the leg plates, I came back to these plates quite a few times to adjust, tweak and add, the final picture isn't the final finish, but is certainly quite far down the line. Also take note that I actually added more chips in a few bare areas to add additional interest, this was done by just dabbing the white oil paint on to the model. Lines and streaks can be made neater or straighter by using a brush to move the oil paint around, you can also neaten up or straighten edges by removing paint using turps or white spirit.

    Next is is the step by step progression on the turret, again not the final product but quite close.

    The oils will stay workable for a good couple of days, so you don't need to rush the white wash streaks, just take your time and rework areas if you feel you need to.

    Below are some close ups of the white wash work from the finished model

    So that's it folks! If you have any comments or questions don't hesitate to ask!


    • Darklord
      Darklord commented
      Editing a comment
      Great tutorial, love weathering and this one looks worth a try.
      When I dabble for these sorts of things I rip up some blister pack foam, gives a nice random effect

    • infelix
      infelix commented
      Editing a comment
      Great tutorial indeed! Definitely something I want to tryout myself.
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