Making a realistic chipped paint

by  Patricio Delfosse  2004 Modeler Site

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My idea was to represent a vehicle used by some of the middle-east armies, with the paint faded for the desert weather conditions. To give the model this appearance I began applying to the chassis, a layer of Tamiya XF-61 dark green ( this color was used by soviet vehicles). The actual vehicles are painted in non defined sand color, which fades and chips very quickly because the continuous exposure to the sun. Then I airbrush with XF-59 desert yellow.
It's not very important to match the exact color, because the continuous erosion turns the original color to a mix of the sand/grey shades.
Then, on the desert yellow layer I made two upper lights mixing the base color with matt white, standing out the center area of the panels.
First I used a mix of 95% sand and 5% white, and for the second 85% sand and 15%white, I thinned this mix adding 30% alcohol.
Anyway this depends on the airbrush used and on everyone's decisions.


Once I was satisfied with the result, I began to make chips to the paint. I used the thinnest brush I have and thinned with alcohol XF-61 paint, I applied this mix on the edges, and I painted hundreds of tiny stains to seem chips on the paint. The matter was to show the background.
There are no precise rules to make the chips, but following our judgment and looking at photos of the real vehicles we can achieve good results.

Once the paint was dried, I clear coated with bright varnish, which prevents that the white spirit removes the paint, and facilitate the washes.
The first wash was made using very diluted dark gray, to give a dirty appearance. After it was dried I wash again with dark brown, but only in the recessed lines, rivets and hinges. Finally I applied a final coat of matt varnish until the brightness had completely disappeared.

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