Being a huge fan of painting and weathering of my models I am always on the search for products that will help me obtain the best results I can get when it comes to rust and weathering. Recently I had the opportunity to have a close look at Vallejo
’s Rust and Steel Acrylic Colors Weathering Set. Of course one cannot just look at these sets, they really need to be test driven to show what they can do. In this review, I will show what comes with this set, follow the manufactures provided instructions as well as take a turn off the beaten path and test the potential of this set.
The Rust and Steen Set from Vallejo
contains 7-17ml bottles of Model Colors paints, 1 bottle of pigment, 1 – 17ml bottle of Wash and two brushes.
- 70.863 Gun Metal Grey
- 70.869 Basalt Grey
- 70.941 Burnt Umber
- 70.940 Saddle Brown
- 70.818 Red Leather
- 70.981 Orange Brown
- 70.956 Clear Orange
- 73200 Serpia Wash
- 73.108 Brown Iron Oxide Pigment
- P55004 Toray Drybrush (Flat)
- P54001 Toray (Fine Point)
As an all-inclusive set, each component included should give the modeler a choice of options in obtaining rusty finishes where needed. The step by step applications defined within the instruction uses the dry brush technique of painting. This is where a sparse amount of paint is applied lightly over the surface of a painted object to highlight and accentuate features to give tonal variations and depth. The bry brush method is not a new process to painting and has been used by many modelers over the years. Vallejo
has combined all of the components to paint a rusty steel finish with the dry brush method into the Rust and Steel Acrylic Colors Weathering Set.
Typically I am not a big fan of the dry brush method of painting; however, there is certainly the time and place for any techniques when it comes to painting and I never wish to rule anything out….ever. There is only one way to know how well a set of paint will work. This is to try it out. I chose a couple different applications to fully test drive this set and see some of its potential.
In looking at the brushes that come with the set before I get into the review I will say these two brushes, the liner, or pointed brush as well as the flat brush are of high quality. This is a nice touch to have the brushes added to the set and should get plenty of use with and without this set. Both brushes can be used in the application of the paints, washes and any pigments in full strength and the flat brush is ideal for the dry brushing technique.
Following the instructions a base coat of Gun Metal Grey is needed to be applied to your piece. Here I have chosen two different small pieces to try this out; a scale section of industrial piping and some flat stock that could represent some steel plating. I both cases, I have applied the Gun Metal Grey to the surface. On the pipe section I used the flat brush supplied with the set to paint on the color. True to form, the Model Color paints cover exceptionally well leaving a smooth, almost brush stroke free finish. The flat stock of styrene, I chose to thin the Model Color and use my airbrush to apply the color. Again, this leaves a smooth, clean base coat.
To weather the steel look to the finish, the instructions call for an application of Basalt Grey using the dry brush method. After wetting the brush, I lightly press the brush onto a clean towel to remove almost all of the wet paint from the bristles. With light passes over the surface the Basalt Grey highlights the Gun Metal Grey finish by accentuating the natural highpoints on the surface. This leaves a decent appearance of weathered metal to the pipes. Again, I chose to shoot paint onto the alternative plates I have made using my airbrush. A somewhat random application gave the plates a nice finish as well.
Moving forward, the application of dirt deposits can be created by using the Burnt Umber color. Again this should be applied using the drybrush method. For variation, heavier application via second and/or third coats can be done
Adding a rusty appearance to the piece will encompass the use of the final colors in the set. Darker rust can be obtained by using the included Saddle Brown color first, either from the beginning or over the Gun Metal Grey color. After the base is laid down, drybrushing using the Red Leather, Orange Brown and Clear Orange colors will add layers of aged rust to the piece.
I chose to apply some of the light rust colors using a sponge when it came to the plates I was making. This technique is similar to the drybrush method used with the brushes, substituting a sponge for the application tool.
Once the coloring of the pieces is completed, the next step is to add washes to the finish. The supplied Serpia wash can actually be used a number of ways other than what is defined within the instructions. Using the wash as is, straight from the bottle will give a dark dirty appearance to corners and various surfaces as seen with collected dirt over time. The wash is thicker than most washes and can easily be diluted with water for more accurate pin washes and filter type washes. In addition, the wash can be mixed with the pigment and/or even the paints to add tonal change to its color.
Finally there is one jar of Iron Oxide Pigment added to this set. This can be used in adding a multitude of rusting effects to any piece. Stand alone, mixing the pigment with a little water and applying will give a nice scaly rust effect. The same application but brushing away some of the heavy deposits after it dries will give an equally impressive rusty coating. This pigment can be mixed with the paints and wash to broaden the application of the product even more.
I typically shy away from hand painting after using an airbrush for so long, but I have to say that the Rust and Steel Acrylic Colors Weathering Set would make a great asset to anyone’s bench. Each and every piece to this set will aid in giving realistic color and depth to anyone attempting to shoot for an aged metal finish; collectively the set works fantastically. The layered effect of the paint adds a nice showing of depth to the finish.
The bright oranges are a bit strong but with light applications and mixing with other paints to tone those down a bit will help. The washes added afterwards alone can reduce the brightness factor by half almost.
I would have to give the Rust and Steel Acrylic Colors Weathering Set a Grade A mark for overall use. The colors are great, the paint is the quality we have come to expect from Vallejo
and the possibilities to this sets use are more or less boundless and the price is spot on for what is included in this set. The paint contained in this set are Model Color and intended to be brushed on but as you can see from my “alternative” workings of this set the paints can be thinned for use in an airbrush. This is a recommended tool for the rusty enthusiast.