Weathering With Pencils – A Guide by Barry Hark
Welcome to another how to customize diecast cars guide from another amazing customizer and contributor to the 1:64 diecast community. Actually Barry dabbles in many scales and has an amazing skill for detailing his models using nothing but coloured pencils (and extreme skills obviously) and you can see more of his amazing work by following him on Instagram @BarryHark76
I asked if he would be willing to share his techniques with the MCH community and he was not only kind enough to agree he also went one step further and sent me a detailed guide along with the images to help explain how to create that aged and naturally weathered “barn find” look on our next custom creations – because whilst many of us do not have access to some of the tools and mediums required to get that rusted and weathered look on our customs, we all have access to coloured pencils!.
Ok that’s enough from me now, I’ll let Barry have the floor now 🙂
How to Create a Weathered & Aged Patina with Pencils
Here is an easy guide to show you how to weather, shade and highlight using a different method as to the usual approach.
Using pencils to weather models isn’t a widely known fact, and is used more so in the Armour modelling community to get those little streaks and grime spots on oil spills rust streaks and grime.
Its a very easy and enjoyable process as you are basically drawing on your models.
You don’t need expensive pencils to do this, most coloured pencils will work that are sold in Art Shops, Shopping malls and centres, news agents and of course eBay and Amazon.
I use Caran D’Ache, Faber-Castle, Steadtler and Derwent. and all of these are available in some form from the outlets I mentioned.
In the above photo you can see the standard artists pencils either in coloured case packs, usually 12-16 pencils per case of various colours.
Or in the case of photo 3 (which Alex so rudely decided not to include) in some art stores you can buy single coloured pencils. so all you need are a few various shades of brown and a black.
This will keep your cost down and only buy what you need, and that’s the point. this is cost effective, easy and fun !
Tools Required (other than Pencils)
- Other items are a decent pencil sharpener…….which you will need to use a lot as sharp pencils will keep your work fine and accurate. And a good Eraser.
A good idea is to take one of the eraser and with a hobby knife, cut one end to a point as this allows you to be very accurate if and when you need to correct and rub out any mistakes with the pencils.
And that’s the great thing about using pencils, not only is it easy but if you make a mistake and you don’t like it, just rub it out and start again.
- Now to the most important item of this whole exercise, The Mat spray Paint. In photos 4 & 5 you can see a spray tin of MAT clear spray paint. this is very important that it has to Mat! Think of it as drawing on paper, you need a smooth mat (or is it matte?) finish for the pencil to take hold and draw on the surface. The difference is paper is a less dense surface, its a softer material to draw on and so you can get the nice surface shading when drawing. The model surface is more dense and hard, so you will need to go lighter when drawing on the surface, plus your drawing on a 3D object so that can take a little getting use to to start with.
I use Humbrol Matt Acrylic Varnish here in the UK as I have found it to be easy to get hold of and perfect for spraying models with nice thin coats “which is all you need” don’t spray to heavy, just enough to lay down a mat surface. I have bought Tamiya Matt Acrylic spray paint on line and that is just as good. I buy Humbrol because it works just as well and I can buy it easily.
in the US Testors would be a good equivalent. If i’m right, in Australia you can get Rust-Oleum Crystal Clear Mat finish and Humbrol, Probably Testers and Tamiya as well……The US and Australia should be pretty good for paint options.
Now Let’s Get Started…
Once you have sprayed a nice thin layer of Mat paint on your model. Leave it to dry properly !
Don’t rush this part, leave it until the next day to start drawing on the models as you want the paint to fully harden…..if you are in a warm climate, 3-4 hours might be enough. the paint needs to be hard and fully dry. the sharp pencils will drag the paint of the model if the paint hasn’t had time to cure properly.
And if you’re in a cool or cold climate, take your time with this. also you may want to try putting the spray tin into a bucket or bowl of Hot tap water and leave it in there for ten minutes to warm the paint up. cold air can make spray paint, especially clear varnish Plume. Pluming is when the air is cold or moist and makes the paint go misty and white on your model. When mixing paint you can add an inhibitor to stop this, for instance if you use an airbrush or spray gun. If you don’t, you need to warm your paint up.
You can do very simple streaks and grime with the pencils like the models in the photo below:
And another trick is to multi layer the pencils, spray a coat of mat clear, when dry you draw on a dark shade of brown. Then spray another fine coat of mat clear, and when that’s dry, add some lighter shades of brown and orange for the fresh rust. This method adds more depth to the model.
In the next 2 photos you can see I first draw a line onto the surface and then use my finger to drag the pencil. This gives a good fade on the pencil line when you want a long streak with a fade.
In the below photo I sometimes use black to add grime, oil or to darken the brown in built up areas.
As well as adding weathering rust and grime on to your models you can also do another trick to really bring out the panels and shapes on a model. You can take a lighter shade of the body panel, for instance like this blue here in the next 3 photos…
The lighter shade of colour can be drawn on to edges around the panels, doors, window frames and wheel arches as a highlight. It enhances each section and makes the weathering stand out even more with the contrast between the two shades of blue. Of course this requires more fine coats of clear mat (matte) varnish if you do this. but it does add that little extra to your model.
Its up to you how far you go with this technique, a small amount just to add that little something to your model or completely cover the model in various shades and add lots of depth.
As shown in the below photo, Coloured pencils can be used for many various methods on almost any model and genre.
I Hope you guys find this helpful, but most importantly………enjoy it and have lots of fun drawing on your models.
Scale Model Creations by Barry Hark @BarryHark76
Here are some more Images using Pencils to weather the models.
The Scratch built HMS Nelson built from Poly-carbonate and Styrene and a scale of around 1/2000. It was set into an Acrylic sheet and then waves made using a soldering iron to “sculpt the waves” by heating up the plastic and melting it into wave shapes, The bow wave and surface wash is done the same way. Adding strip styrene against the hull of the model and across the wave surface, and sculpting and blending with soldering iron again to give that wash/wake effect from the hull as it breaks the waves. It’s a very small scale model of a superb WWII Battle Ship. the highlighting, weathering and drawn on deck planks are all
done with coloured pencils. Being such a small scale, A good sharp pencil helps with getting the fine details down on the model Surface.
The Sci-Fi Aircraft Model was a concept for a TV advert back in 2003.
Built very quickly but never used as they turned to CGI instead. It’s Built to a scale of 1/72 and scratch-built apart from the cockpit pilots and canopy which are from an F-15. The model body is made from MDF wood and all of the wings and stabilisers are sheet styrene. The surface detail is paper stickers ! cut to shape and stuck down, Then a good coat of spray primer to seal them in. and once the colour was finished, it was weathered with coloured pencils. I also drew on extra panel lines with an F grade pencil. The silver paint scratches were done using a silver coloured pencil.
And no article published here would be complete with some custom Hot Wheels! – Here are just a small sampling of the amazing work Barry does when he applies this skill to 1:64 diecast cars 🙂
The First few models all being weathered with pencils including all of the Apocalypse Vehicles. Some repainted Batmobiles in a custom built Bat Cave and a Bladerunner inspired model made from a Rouge Hog.
And the having a play in front of the TV with the model, and adding lighting effects in Photoshop.
Thanks again Barry – this was an awesome guide and I for one will be stealing my daughters pencils tomorrow and trying my hand at some weathering 😀
This last part (below) was obviously not intended to be printed as it was just a message from Barry to myself but I thought it best to leave it in as it speaks volumes for the sort of bloke Barry is AND the sort of people that we come across in this most awesome hobby of ours. The fact he says some nice things about the website has absolutely nothing to do with it at all…..honest….. what? :p
Hope all or some of the Info helps you Alex, and if you need any more, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Your web page is FANTASTIC and its great to see someone like yourself out there giving an outlet for the hobby.
and its my pleasure to give you a little help with some tips for others.
Keep up the good work as its always a pleasure to go on the website and see whats new…..and look at the builds for inspiration.
as we tend to all inspire each other !