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Weathering : Airbrush Metallic Weathering for Blasters and Props

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Airbrush Metallic Weathering Tutorial For Blasters and Props
Lead Author: wmmbuzzkil
Edited by: MMCC Education Team

This Tutorial will show you how to create a high detail, layered, weathered metallic finish on plastic props and blasters using a number of different techniques in combination. We will be covering the general techniques to create the metallic finish, you may of course add any other additional details such as color patterns or otherwise as you wish, just include that in your first steps of painting.

Supplies Required

  • Prop or Blaster, primed and ready to finish
  • Airbrush setup
  • Small to Medium sized paint brushes
  • Paper Towels or Rags
  • 00 Steel wool
  • Masking Tape
  • Water Base Gloss Black Airbrush Primer
  • Water Base Metallic Pigment Airbrush Paint
  • Water Base Black Airbrush Paint
  • Rub n Buff Silver Wax Paste
  • Acrylic Paints For Washing (Black, Brown, Burnt Umber)
  • Paints For Details (optional)
  • Water for diluting and cleaning

Note, the specific metallic products used for this tutorial are Vallejo Acrylic Metal Color Burnt Iron, Vallejo Acrylic Gloss Black Primer, and Rub n Buff Silver Leaf

Remember to airbrush in a properly ventilated area

The first step is to take your primed piece, and spray a coat of gloss black primer onto it.
This glossy black base coat will give a nice shine through your layers going on top.

After allowing adequate drying time, take your 00 steel wool and very lightly scuff the black primer surface.

Next, airbrush on a coat of your metallic paint

(shown here, are three different types of metallic paint in the same paint line, Silver, Burnt Iron, and Steel

Next step is optional, but it's time to add the detail paints if you so choose. Mask off any areas that you want to accent colors, and airbrush or hand paint them in.

Next, is the first stage of weathering. Load flat black into your airbrush, and start to airbrush faint lines where you see creases, insides corners, crevices, or grooves. This creates a shadow effect that helps details to pop. This effect can be similarly achieved with dry brushing methods, but airbrushing creates a crisper line and allows your to place it more precisely.

Next, you're going to need to get your Silver Rub n Buff ready. There are many ways to apply it, we will be using 00 steel wool, paper towels, and a small chip/paint brush.

Put a small amount of Rub n Buff on your work surface, and lightly pick up some of it with your steel wool. Be sure to get most of the excess rubbed in to the steel wool, as having too much on your tool will not create the effect we are going for.

Now, start to lightly go over the high spots of your piece with your Rub n Buffed steel wool. This will create a light silver effect on the edges of the high spots, creating a light shine that brings light to details. One of the benefits of using steel wool is that it creates an irregular texture, as well as occasionally leaving behind little pieces of steel wool that add to the reflective effect.

Repeat the previous step, but substitute steel wool for paper towel with a little bit of water on it. The water helps to repel some of the wax paste, keeping it from getting as saturated and decreasing how easily the way bonds to your object in large areas. Keep hitting the high spots and edges, including ones that you airbrush shadowed before in black.

Repeat again the previous step, substituting paper towel for a small chip/paint brush. This will be more like a dry brushing technique. Apply a small amount of Rub n Buff to your brush, working in any excess wax. Using a brush lets your get the silver effect into some deeper details, as well as helps you create a scratching effect.

Next, take some fresh steel wool again and use it to very lightly buff the areas that you hit with the silver, being careful not to remove the paint layers. All this is doing is creating more texture and giving the silver a bit more shine.

Next, is effectively your last step, which is acrylic washing. This step lets your add the finishing touch by griming up your entire piece. Take your black acrylic paint and water it down slightly, and apply it all over your blaster. Get it in everywhere, don't be afraid to overdo it because you'll be removing it quickly.  You can use lots of different earth tones to achieve the look you're going for, be it rust or dirt, but for the purpose of this example, we are going for just a dark grime.

Wipe off the acrylic wash with a lightly dampened paper towel, don't clean it too well or you will just be undoing the previous step. once cleaned, step back and take in your masterpiece!

Other blasters finished using the same methods.


This technique is certainly not the only one to create a nice metallic finish on a prop, but it is one of the easiest methods to create a beautiful layered effect that allows details on high detailed blasters to pop. Remember that there is no one "right" way to create your desired effect. Let your creativity flow as your use this method and make your prop as clean or as dirty as you want, it's going to be a part of your kit, so make it to match!

--MMCC Education Team--

« Last Edit: Jul 23, 2019, 09:02 AM by Raestin Ke'Varek » Logged

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