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Old 23rd March 2006, 17:39   #1
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 946
Default hminky's - Making Styrene Look Like Aging Wood

- Making Styrene Look Like Aging Wood

(Click image
to enlarge)

This is an HO Atlas
Trackside Shanty. It is being built to represent an 1870's oil pump house.
It has been weathered with Kilz2 acrylic primer and a wash of black Liquid
Dye. Its construction will be covered in another piece.

The look of wood gradually
aging has been added using the following technique.



use a brass grill brush to give the styrene a dull texture

Simple roughing is best done with sandpaper.
Additional roughing can be applied with a hobby knife

Kilz2 acrylic primer is used to give the plastic "tooth" for the staining
with black Rit Liquid Dye. Drawing Ink in raw and burnt sienna will represent
the fresh wood, this is Koh-i-noor. Mark one brush with tape to be the black



The lustre
is taken off the styrene with either 220 grit sand paper or the
wire brush. There should be no original finish.


Add grain
to the plastic, this is 50 grit sandpaper. Additional knots and
checks can be added with a hobby knife.


Paint the
plastic with the Kilz2 primer. It will be slightly off white and
have a texture. Make sure to cover the entire piece.

Kits can be
primed after assembly and weathered.


Add a drop
of Rit Dye and water to the surface and scrub it around. Try to
make bubbles as they will add texture


If the plastic
is too light add more dye to the wet surface and swirl it around.


If the plastic
is too dark add more water and suck the excess up with a brush.


The plastic
when dry will look like weathered wood. The dye can be manoeuvred
around for other effects, but this is the plain vanilla effect.

Since the primer is stained by a small portion of the dye, the remaining
pigments can be redistributed for other effects.

This is the basic styrene to weathered wood technique.


To add the
effect of gradual aging raw sienna drawing ink is brushed along
the area representing the original wood. Mainly under the eaves
out of the sun and rain.


A tissue
is used to lightly smear the raw sienna ink downward. It will remove
the water soluble fabric dye. This gives a randomness to the procedure.


The light
area is the raw sienna. Add a little bit of burnt sienna. About
one eighth of that in the picture. Add a little water to the burnt
sienna and feather it about the raw sienna area.

The sienna moving it the black is colored with that dye and makes
a natural transition.


If you aren't
taking pictures and use less burnt sienna it will look better than
this picture. The burnt should add a subtle orange and not be so
distinct in its line. This dried too quickly while I was taking


Add some
black dye and gently feather it into the sienna. The black may need
to be readjusted since it is water soluble it can be reworked again
and again. The ink is permanent.

The finished
look. It probably needs less burnt sienna unless you are representing

This technique only
works on styrene. Wood is too porous. I have not tried other white primers
and black stains. I am sure that other combinations will get different results.



Original article by hminky -

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