A Beginner’s Comprehensive Guide to Model Weathering!

There’s nothing more exciting than completing your very first model project. The sense of accomplishment that comes after putting the pieces together and crafting something unique is truly remarkable, especially when you are a newbie. But even after finishing your masterpiece, you might think about adding an extra touch of reality. That’s where weathering comes in.

It’s a magical technique that can transform your model into an actual work of art, even if you’re just starting.

Therefore, to learn more about this technique, keep reading.
In this guide, we’ll delve into the wonders of weathering and discover the incredible effects you can achieve. We’ll be sharing some valuable tips with you on making the weathering technique look as authentic as possible and will also reveal the essential tools you’ll need to embark on this creative journey.

Join us on this adventure, and you’ll turn from a weathering beginner into a weathering expert. The path to becoming a weathering pro awaits you, so read until the end and explore the rest of our guide now.
Let’s create a real masterpiece!

Model Weathering!

Weathering: Why Do You Need It?

Weathering plays a vital role in model-making by using various techniques to create a realistic appearance that looks like the real effects of the environment on the subject. Over time, weathering has gained popularity, especially in armour modelling. It is done along with other techniques to simulate natural ageing and wear, such as dirt, fading, spills, paint wear and tear, rusting, and more.
However, weathering is no longer a final step in modelling; it has become an integral part of the entire process, along with construction and painting. This is a positive development, as weathering allows for creativity and artistic expression, making it one of the most enjoyable aspects of building model kits.

4 Common Model Weathering Techniques for Beginners!

To get started with weathering, you must know about these most common techniques that can help you, as a beginner, give your model special effects. Let’s check them out:


Washes is a beginner-friendly technique for adding realistic effects to your scale models. This technique is applied after the base layer of paint and has a thin, translucent consistency. Further, it is divided into two types: pin washes and overall washes. Pin wash focuses on applying small details to the model, while overall wash enhances the overall surface.

You can wash or buy pre-made ones. You must apply them using capillary action and remove the excess with cotton swabs. With the help of the wash technique, you can also simulate fuel, oil, stains, and rust. Thus, washes reveal details, create depth, and make your models look real.

Dry Brushing

Dry brushing is a technique used to bring out the details of your model and make them stand out. It is done using dry paint and dedicated brushes. In this technique, you must apply a small amount of colour and remove most of it by dabbing it on a cloth or paper. Then, you have to lightly brush the paint over the raised areas of your model in quick back-and-forth motions. It takes some practice to get it done properly, and you will see impressive results.

Be careful not to overdo it, as too much dry brushing can make your model look overly textured. Remember, practice makes perfect when mastering this technique.

Pastels & Pigments

Pastels and pigments are great tools for beginner modellers to add muddy and dusty effects to their models. Weathering pigments are pre-made and come in various colours and textures. On the other hand, pastels are colours like black, burnt umber, and yellow ochre.

To apply them, you coat the flat surfaces of your model using a brush and different strokes to create textures and effects. Using these, you can easily simulate dust and dirt on your models. For this, the pre-made pigments are more convenient, while artist pastels can blend custom colours.

In short, pastels and pigments offer versatility and help you achieve realistic weathering effects on your models.

Chipping & Scratches

Adding paint chippings and scratches to your scale model kits is fun and easy. You can get this effect by simply using a fine brush or a sponge. To get started, apply metal colouring paint lightly for subtle scratches. Alternatively, you can use a microfiber sponge to create a scraping effect.

On the other hand, for chipping, use the brush to paint tiny chips or touch the model with a paint-dipped sponge. Now adjust the angles for a natural look. Remember to exercise restraint and avoid overdoing it. Additionally, you can apply powders with a soft brush on a flat surface to enhance the overall effect. Modellers can also experiment with different brush strokes for varied results.

4 Tips to Make Weathering in Models Look More Realistic!

Realistic model

As a beginner in weathering, you may be wondering how to make your models look more realistic. Here’re some basic tips to help you achieve this:

Find Inspiration: The best way to get started is to look at pictures of the real-life subject you’re modelling. It’ll give you an idea of the colours, textures, and patterns you should recreate for a lifelike appearance.

Start Small: Begin with subtle weathering effects and gradually add more if needed. You must remember that less is often more when it comes to weathering. Also, you must not overdo it and make your model look artificial.

Mix It Up: Don’t limit yourself to just one weathering technique. Combine methods like washes, dry brushing, pastels, pigments, chipping, and scratching to achieve diverse and realistic effects.

Practice Adds Perfection: There’s an old saying– ‘practice makes a person perfect’. It can also be applied in the weathering process. It is a skill that improves with practice.

For instance, you can experiment with various other techniques, make a few mistakes and learn from them. The more you practise, the better your weathering skills will become.


Now that you know about these weathering tips and techniques, it’s time to start. Choose your favourite models from Model Universe and start applying your weathering skills. By combining the techniques and tips above, you can make your model look authentic, realistic, and lifelike.
Remember, practising is the only key to success if you are a beginner. So get ready with your brush in hand.
Happy building!

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