Friday, April 05, 2013

Tamiya Weathering Master: Enter the Dragon

DB filthily, and somewhat erratically conveys:

Product inspiration

While at a hobby shop the other day, this item caught my eye.

Ohayou Gozaimasu, Weathering Master.

A quick chalky aside: I've always loved browsing through the Aladdin's Caves that are art supply stores, and in one, about 25 years ago, I happened to spot some Faber-Castell coloured chalks that might suffice as the 'weathering chalks' that I kept reading about in the overseas model mags.

Did they ever! I sanded these down to a dust with fine paper (the dry chalky pastels, not the waxy crayony ones), applied them with a brush and was blown away by how good they looked on my models and although over the past few years I've tended to rely more on acrylic washes, chalks have always produced great dust and soot effects for those of us not licensed to use airbrushes.

A few challenges with chalks. Firstly, raw chalk doesn't stay put. If you put it on a matt surface it sticks fairly well straight away, but in time, fingers will leave prints and brush it off. So... you can seal it down with Dullcote or some other overspray, but that often makes your chalks either go many shades darker than you expected, or disappear completely.

Bragdon Enterprises came up with a clever mix of chalks and some sort of adhesive, so that when you brush their stuff on its stays put without an overspray which solves that problem if you can get the stuff. I stumbled into a set of black and three rusty shades about 10 years ago and I think that will last my lifetime.

The next challenge with chalks is how to apply it over a large surface without it going 'blotchy' where you dab with your paintbrush...

Slip this attractive compact into your wife's purse and let her inner beauty shine with our new Autumn colour range: Deathly White, Gothic Mist and Whiff of Faeces 
But be that as it may... Lets put that chalky aside aside now: for there were two things that caught my eye with this new Tamiya offering. One was that it said "semi-soft" on the back, which was intriguing and sounded like it might be a little smooshy and ideal for the sooty messes around exhaust stacks that my normal chalks seem too thin to do well. Secondly, it comes with a kind of a sponge on a stick to apply it with. Probably like the make-up sponges that weathering gurus and women use to create tasty models.

So how does it work? In a word: incredible.

Well this isn't NZ120 but if you stand further away from your screen, or stare through the wrong end of a pair of binoculars, it might look like it.

Calm down Gary, it's 1:64th. Never noticed that paint on the window before :(
They don't seem to require sealing and the shovel shaped applicator stick thingy works really well. You can pick up a light or heavy swipe of the stuff and use the pointy end for getting into tight spots or for thin streaks and the real bonus is the flatter faces, which are nicely shaped for covering larger areas with streaks or in a curricular motion with good control. I feel like I am reviewing a car. I think this will work well on things like NZ120 container roofs which are hard to do well without an airbrush.

Another aside: These have three colours per pack and there seem to be a few different packs. The one I selected has black, a milo-colored brown, and if you want those two useful colours, you'll also be lumbered with white. White? Who would ever use white to weather with?!

Just as I have been using 'Acrylic Gull Grey" as my go-to weathering wash for the past few years, look at what a sweet job the white did in 'sun bleaching' a few of the deep red side panels and roof of this ratty looking DE.

Phone camera adds 20 pounds

Tamiya Weathering Master. I think I'm in love.

p.s. just as I'm about to post this, I found this excellent product page on Tamiya's corner of the interweb. Anyone else use these products? I hadn't seen them before...


NZ120 said...

I have been using em for about a year now, the zm's Were simply painted brown & completely dry coated with the rust colour. They certainly work well with the double ended applicator!

Kiwibonds said...

Your pic of 5 ZMs look really great. I'll have to get a few more more and might kitbash some into ZAs as I like the move visible underbits on them.

When will the AKs be available?!

NZ120 said...

Cheers, Once I get more funds to order the next test prints, the design has been changed somewhat..