Gaijin Gunpla

Some people have asked what my method was for creating the wear and damage on my mecha. I will give a brief tutorial here. I don’t have pics for everything but hopefully my explanations will be sufficient.

1) Taking the piece I will be ‘damaging’, I take my dull hobby knife and tap it along the edges of the piece. For more damage I sometimes gauge out a chunk of plastic or so. This piece that is shown has only minor wear because it is the back of the shield. After the damaging I paint. Then gloss top-coat.

2)After the top coat has cured I get my enamels. I spray using Tamiya sprays which are lacquer based, so enamals are the best choice. I have black and gray for this.

and the brush I use for drybrushing is my old toothbrush. Complete with my DNA for the added touch.
3)I mixed black and gray because I didn’t want a complete black for damage. Having nothing better lying around, use a straw to get the enamels into the paint tray.
4)I take the brush and use it to mix the black and gray together. Then wipe the brush thoroughly on paper I have ready. ( you can see that in this picture). I brush over the entire piece completely. It is alright if you do it excessively because you will taking most of it off later.
5)I wait a day for the enamels to dry and then get my enamel thinner.
Using a q-tip dipped in the thinner, I wipe the entire surface of the piece. The enamel that has filled the scrapes and gauges will stay, as well as on corners. If it still looks too dirty I just use more thinner. I do go through quite a few q-tips, though.

Here is another piece ready for the same treatment. It’s important to top coat before using the enamel thinner as it can take off the laquer paint as well if you are not careful.
As for the Lucas Strike. He is complete now. I had to create a piece for the skirt armour because I accidentally threw it away, but it looks fine. The shield is built and ready for the final dry brushing (pics to come). The weapons are in the final stage of assembly and the extra hands were flat coated today. Just the IWSP remains.

Categories: Builds, Lukas Strike, MG, Tutorials

9 Responses so far.

  1. Tonzo says:

    Looking very good! Can't wait for the gallery on this one.

    Great technique BTW. I will be bookmarking this post for future reference.

    You have achieved a great effect. Similar to the heavy weathering that's common in store displays and I guess among modelers in Japan.

  2. The Red O says:

    That’s a beautiful, realistic weathering technique! Is it really necessary to use enamels? Can oil paints be a substitute? I still kinda get confused between which is better despite trying to do some research. Thanks!

  3. syd says:

    Hi The Red O,

    I use enamels because my base paint coat is almost alway lacquer and enamel can be safely used over lacquer. To be honest I don’t have any experience with oils but when it came to learning which paint was safe to use with other paints I found this link helpful. http://www.naritafamily.com/howto/paint.htm

  4. The Red O says:

    Syd,
    Thanks man. I didn’t expect you to reply this quick hehe. The site is very helpful indeed. Thanks again!

  5. MoTagz says:

    Hello syd, your gundam looks great! Maybe you could teach us advance techniques. I want to try it on my MG wing gundam zero and one more thing, how to do panel lining w/o damaging the first coating (acrylic). I always ruin the first coating. so that’s it! Thanks!

    • syd says:

      Hi MoTagz,

      If you look at the link I posted two comments above yours it will show you what is safe to use on acrylic and what is not safe. That chart shows that you should only use acrylic over top of acrylic which can be a problem because in order to do panel lines with thinner you would need acrylic thinner which will, of course, damage your acrylic undercoat. If you want to try to thin your acrylic for a panel wash, maybe lighter fluid would be the solution.

  6. ClayCannonII says:

    Hey Syd,
    Is this method safe for ABS parts, cuz I find using enamel thinner on ABS makes the piece brittle? Also what kind of paint dish are you using, I can’t find anything that small

    • syd says:

      ABS is tricky. I have been able to paint mostly with no problems, but I did encounter an issue with some very small frame parts once. They became very weak and fell apart. If you’re using enamels on ABS parts then maybe you want a lacquer coat down first.

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