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Applying a Wash

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  • Member since
    August, 2018
Applying a Wash
Posted by Jared867 on Wednesday, August 08, 2018 11:25 AM

Greetings from South Carolina, USA.

I started modeling many years ago but life got in the way and i had to stop. My main focus previously was always balsa aircraft (kit and scratch built)  However I have always wanted to build armor and other scale military kits. Now at 51 yrs old I am starting to build again and this time I am focusing on plastic scale models.

My first kit is a Tamiya M41 Walker Bulldog. At thsi point it is built and primed (krylon grey from a rattle can) I have set the kit aside whiile I research some of the techniques I want to use for finishing the kit such as chipping, weathering and apply a wash.

I practiced some of these techniques on a cheap ($2) kit of a 1/6 scale M4 rifle.

I soon learned what issues I was going to have with my Walker. I tried to do a wash and it removed some of my paint. It didnt even seem to darken the recesses and lines on the rifle. I have obviously done something wrong.

I used an odorless thinner, which I bought from Walmart. It was not a mineral spirit I am pretty sure. I mixed black oil paint with it but was unsure of how much paint to add. I thnk I may have not had enough paint but I cannot be sure.

I would really appreciate some help on how to do a proper oil wash on my armor and other kits.

Also is oil wash the best type of wash?


Thank you in Advance, Jared


M41 that is on hold while I learn weathering and detailing techniques

Tags: oil wash , wash
  • Member since
    June, 2016
Posted by Murphy's Law on Friday, August 17, 2018 6:27 PM

Greetings fellow sandlapper.. I’m in the upstate close to Spartanburg. I’m no expert by any means but I think the first thing is to make sure what thinner your using. If it’s not mineral spirits that may be your problem. Also some of the really cheap oil paints won’t give the greatest results but should still be satisfactory for a wash. If your not seeing much as far as darkening it may just be way too thin. Don’t be scared to add some more paint just don’t make it so thick that it has trouble flowing in all the nooks and crannies. Also don’t worry about putting too much on because you will wipe most away anyway. Also make sure what you wash with doesn’t interact with your base paint, I mostly use acrylics so mineral spirits doesn’t bother it but if I use enamel paints I would use acrylic washes or I would seal first with an acrylic clear such as future and then oil or enamel wash (which I prefer). Practice on junk plastic first until your happy. By the way the tank is looking good. I do mostly planes and autos but am starting to get interested in WWII armor. Hope this helps and good luck.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, August 17, 2018 6:48 PM

Murphy's Law

 I would seal first with an acrylic clear such as future.

That is the key. Turpenoid won't dissolve acrylic, plus it protects the decals too.

And, if you really screw up, (ahem), it's even possible to rub off the Future with ammonia and start over without attacking the enamel color coats.

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Friday, August 17, 2018 8:25 PM
Murphy,I'm near Asheville,looking at that IPMS show in Inman on 9/15,any good,have you ever attended.

  • Member since
    June, 2016
Posted by Murphy's Law on Friday, August 17, 2018 8:43 PM

Murphy,I'm near Asheville,looking at that IPMS show in Inman on 9/15,any good,have you ever attended.

Never have but hopefully I’ll get to go to this one.

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Friday, October 19, 2018 6:47 PM

Hi Jared

We lived in Simpsonville across from Greenville SC for about 4 years, It’s a beautiful town.

Back to modeling, you cannot use a solvent base wash over a solvent type paint. You need to either use an acrylic paint or an acrylic clear coat to act as a barrier over the enamel otherwise the wash will lift the paint.  

If you want to accentuate sharp details like hatches, screens, bolts then you need a gloss coat that will make the wash settle around these details. If a flat coat is used then it acts as a filter darkening the paint as it gets absorbed. 

You can use the dot oil technique over a flat acrylic clear coat to produce tonal changes and streaks and rain marks.




Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!


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