Friday, 23 January 2015

Post Apocalyptic Terrain Modelling Part 2

In my last post I ran through the development and construction of the Fuel Storage Tank terrain piece.

This time I am going to go through the painting and finishing process.

I mentioned in the previous article that I had already given the model a coat of MDF sealer. This is brushed on and soaks into the porous materials very quickly. It works well to stop moisture getting in to the model over time and also stiffens up the finish a little, it does however raise a little texture (on MDF in particular), so for fine models I would advise a light sandting afterwards. It wasn't necessary in this case though...

I started the painting, by giving the whole model a spray coat of grey primer. This is a great way to spot problems that you might have missed during construction. The even colour makes it a lot easier to spot things that you may have missed earlier in the process.

I want the finished to appear abandoned and left to decay, so there is going to be a lot of rust! Hunting around on Youtube I found several different techniques for producing a reasonably realistic rust effect. I also purchased a digital copy of The Weathering Magazine issue No.1 which concentrated on rust effects (I got this through the magazines Android Play App). From all this research I discovered the "Rock Salt" technique. The first thing to do is to paint the model with a rusty colour, I settled on a red-ish brown and gave it a brushed on coat all over. Next up I used a wet brush and sprinkled rock salt over the model. Unfortunately the only rock salt we had in the house was in very course granules. I tried to crush some down, which did work, but my advice would be to get a finer grade, if you are using this technique on more detailed or smaller scale models.

I now had to leave the model to dry, The rock salt sticks to the model, but make sure it is left in a very dry, and reasonably warm environment, as any moisture in the air will cause problems with the salt drying.

The next stage is to spray paint the model with the main colour. Keeping with a straight forward industrial feel I wanted a simple steel structure. I had a can of Chrome/Silver paint lying around so I used that. My first reaction at this point was, "what have I done, that is far to bright and shiny!" However, I knew I would be doing quite a lot of work on ageing the model so I wasn't to concerned at this point.

Also note, at this point the chain for the railing finally arrived and I spent over an hour threading it through the uprights...

Once the silver spray paint has dried, you simply take a stiff brush to the model and brush off as much of the salt as possible. This made a great difference to the finish, and left the whole model covered in blotches of rust. The pattern looked really naturalistic and I was very pleased with the result. I will certainly be trying this again on future projects.

 I wanted to brand my oil tank, to give it a bit more character, so I laser cut a fairly simple stencil.

I masked off the side of the tank and used a couple of spray cans (Red and Gold) to add the company logo to the side.

I could have spent a lot more time and effort getting all this detail spot on, but again, I know i would be ageing it down again afterwards, so this was perfectly acceptable.

I must admit, that at this point I was moving at quite a pace, and I forgot to photograph the final stages. So you will have to settle for the written description of the process.

Next I applied some rust coloured weathering powders (there are several companies that make these, MIG, Humbrol, AK Interactive, even GW Forgeworld). I mixed some of the powder with water, then brushed it on to the areas that I wanted to have rust marks on. Once this has dried the powder can actually be brushed off if you are not careful. However, I used a mix of Humbrol Decalfix and water, to spread the rust a little further, and also give it some extra adhesion.

I decided to add a few warning signs, dotted around the model. I search Google for a few photos of signs, or graphic images. Took them in to a photo editing software (my software of choice is Serif Photoplus, a much cheaper alternative to Photoshop, but with an excellent range of features), I aged them and resized them, then simply printed them on normal printer paper. I used PVA to stick the signs around the model.

 Time for some scenics. I used PVA to stick sand all around the base and also added a little on the top and on the walkway, then painted it brown.

Then I added various plants to the scene. I laser cut some green paper Ivy like vines. I also added several plastic plants that had come from artificial house plants, and finally some tuts of long grass that I got from a railway modelling company. This was all finished off with some scatter materials that were spread around the base and on various places on the model.

Please excuse the half finished figures in the photos, The Hasslefree Miniatures Hazmat Team seems most appropriate for the subject matter!


 For the waste pipe I glued a piece of wire into it, and then allowed some glue to run down it. I did this with the glue a couple of times to build the bulk up and then painted it with a glow in the dark paint. It's a very small area, so the paint doesn't glow much, however, for the following photo I found a UV light I had for curing resin and used that to help with the photos.

I'm very please with the final result. I think the finished piece works really well. The only real downside is that I feel that I will have to get the rest of the scenery up to this standard now...


  1. That is a fantastic piece of scenery; kudos sir. :)

    Great work at every stage and with the final results. :)

  2. Awesome project and very useful WIP - thanks!

  3. Brilliant piece of scenery. Would you mind if I share on my blog if I acredit and post a link back here?

    1. You are welcome to share it (With a credit of course)!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...