Friday Quick Tip: Liquid Masking Tank WhiteWash
One of my favorite finishes for armor has to be the World War 2 style white wash. It's always had a special spot in my tread head heart since the first photos I'd seen looking through library books when I was a kid. It just holds so much story for the vehicle, the crew, and the environment. When I made my first steps into wargaming, I always knew I'd love to do a tank in that manner, and luckily it's a cinch to achieve the effect!
To get started, you'll want to paint your base color. This is your vehicle's typical summer pattern. You could start with any color, though usually you'll get a more visually pleasing look with a bit darker color choice. I went with VMC Brown Violet for my base, painted on using an airbrush.
The star of the show for today's tip is Liquid Mask. You can typically find this at any arts and crafts shop and it won't run you too deep in the pocket. My applicator is a simple piece of blister foam, with the edges ripped up a bit for a nice random effect.
Apply the mask as heavy or as light as you want, paying special attention to high wear spots like hatches, flat surfaces, lower quarters along the side armor. If you think the crew would be around an area often they would likely wear away the whitewash around it.
Here you can see the dried mask. This make goes on white and dries clear, but I've seen other mask that goes on different colors or stays a color. Be a bit delicate when in this stage, as you don't want to prematurely rub the mask off. It's rather easy to remove!
When it comes to liquid mask, I've found that it comes to painting over it for removal later, thinner is better. You don't need an airbrush to get thin paint for this step. So if you're without one, take your time, water your paints down, and do it in layers. If you have thick paint on top of the mask when it comes time for removal you're going to be pulling up big chunks of paint around the mask that you didn't mean to!
For my whitewash I've used VMC Off White painted on lightly using an airbrush.
When it comes to removing your masking you can use a few different tools. I have used a hard eraser before to good effect for this. For this tank, I've gone with a ball of sticky tack that worked like a dream. To start removal, just rub your finger along the surfaces to pull up the big spots. Remove as much of the mask as you can this way, and when you get to working in the small details break out the sticky tack. Be sure to loosen the tack up by ripping it apart a few times and mushing it back together. Don't push into the model too hard though, as you'll end up removing more than just the mask!
You can also use a light scratch with a fingernail to add some streaks of pulled up paint along the sides or rough up other areas a bit more. Again, just be careful not to push too hard or you'll end up pulling your base color up as well.
The effect is extremely easy to achieve and relatively quick. A bit of detail work as well as some additional weathering, and the tank will be ready to deal its death to those who oppose it!
There are a few other methods for whitewashing vehicles that I hope to cover someday in the future, but I'll leave it up to you, the readers, to figure out what works best for your vehicles!