Painting rust the easy way (part two)

Once you have your metallic base colour and you are happy with it comes the fun part. Ruining it. A nice heavy wash of rusty orange-brown is in order. Apply liberally and donít worry if it pools up in natural recesses in a model. Rust does that.

Rusty badger with extended crew space

This badger shows the primer effect particularly well on the door panels.

With this first application of rust I tend to go for a darker, browner rust than the traditional orange, as rust that has been left unattended for a while will tend to collect a layer of generic filth, unlike fresh orange rust. My personal preference is to apply washes just thinly enough toleave a metallic sheen to our brownish mess. The desired result here is to create something that looks like it will give you tetanus if it breaks your skin.

Once you have created a suitably horrid block of fatigued metal itís time to apply some paint. That is actually paint on the areas of the model you intend to have remnants of a paint job on. The key here, which I really do swear by, is primer. Paint is rarely just applied to a surface without primer, but more importantly a layer of primer below your final colour will create a nice contrast and add depth and richness (or something arty like that which Curt once told me). I have a tub of pre-mixed primer colour. Itís a sickly mix of khaki green and an off white, roughly the colour of bone. However you might wish to experiment with different primer colours that will maintain a contrast, if you intend to paint a particularly light colour over your rust.

When applying the primer I use a very light stippling effect around the areas on which I think paint would remain and fill in the gaps with normal strokes. It really helps to think about what kind of stresses your surface would be under, what would be scuffing or striking it, and where rust would occur. Using the example of the truckapillar model I never leave much paint around bolts or rivets, in the recesses of any dents, on areas where passengers are likely to embark or stow equipment, or around moving (scraping) parts like door handles or couplings. Another top tip is to leave little random spots of rust in the midst of otherwise smooth painted areas to simulate the unpredictable nature of corrosion and weathering.