This concept for this project began quite a while ago, back when I borrowed a primed white Land Raider Crusader (previously destined for my Novamarines army) for my Black Templars. My BTs are snow themed, but without vehicles. BushidoRedPanda (also owner of a winter-themed BT army) looked at the white LRC with my Black Templars and jokingly asked if the LRC was sporting snow camo. The seed was sewn.
Inspired by Grey_Death's winter whitewash article, and the comment about multiple colored chips by Juahn F'rann, I set out to add another layer of weathering and see if I could get a good weathered base by combining layers of liquid mask.
I also realize not everyone is on the airbrush bandwagon, so I wanted to do this whole tank with spray paints as a quick and simple alternative.
Once again the star of the show: the masking fluid. This was my first time using the stuff, and I found the long skinny pieces of foam are great for dipping into the bottle. Be sure not to load up too much fluid, that foam will soak up a lot if you let it. I dipped and then dabbed off excess on a paper towel. The stick foam also works well with the multiple layers technique since you can just tear off the fluid-encrusted tip when it dries out. (I tried pulling the latex mask out of the foam, but that is an exercise in futility.)
Over the white primer I did a quick coat of Krylon in a nice rust color and Colorplace (cheap Walmart brand) grey just to cover the white primer.
And then I dabbed and brushed with the foam until I got good coverage around the bottom of the tank. This is a lot more rust than normal because I plan to do a big layer of mud on the skirt to match the rest of my army (that are all knee-deep in mud).
Once the mask is dry, the whole tank gets a quick spray of Chaos Black...
... and then a little more mask, this time focusing on areas where the whitewash would wear off from use.
At this stage I wasn't sure how good my whitewash was going to cover, so I hedged and did a light top-down spray of white Tamiya Fine Surface primer to give a little help covering the black.
To get a nice mopped-on whitewash effect, I used my pickup brush (brush I use to take paint from the pot to the palette) like a mop: pick up a big glob, splash it down on the model and them rub and smear it around until you need more paint. Normally people complain about chalky white paint, but for this whitewash I chose the chalkiest white I could find. I mixed 1 part Coat D'Arms white with 5 parts craft white paint and 1 part light brown craft paint. I wanted a slightly off-white color, so if you have a nice off-white craft paint that would probably work just as well. I then thinned down the mix to the consistency of milk; it was runny, but thick enough to not run down the sides of the model.
Now comes the hardest part of the process: removing all the latex mask. While using this technique with an airbrush and thin base coat calls for a gentle touch to carefully remove the mask and preserve the base color, using sprays calls for more serious tools. At this point the LRC has 5 layers of paint: white primer, grey/rust base, black second base, white spray, white brush-on-- not including the two layers of mask in there! So after gingerly picking at the mask with my fingernail and a toothpick, I broke out the toothbrush and started scrubbing this thing. But once the mask (or at least a majority of it) was removed, I was quite pleased with the results.
This last step is the most time-consuming, but the other steps of masking and spraying don't take much time. Most of the time is spent waiting for the layers to dry, so you can easily work on a squad or other project while you work on the tank.
Next time I'd like to try a more colorful weathering layer. This time I plan on using some rust pigments for a better look on the rust spray but I could have easily sponged on a nice rust effect as the first layer and even added some grey primer chipping on the upper portions of the tank for more depth once all the mask is removed. Overall I'm happy how it turned out, and pleased to see you can get good results with liquid masking using only readily-available spray paints.
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