Painting wheels in five steps

by Patricio Delfosse © 2004 Modeler Site

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This is a very advantageous tip to give wheels of any vehicle a worn out and dusty look. Wheels accumulate dust or mud in the recesses, and this is what I intend to represent here. All paints used are acrylics from Tamiya, each reader will replace these references by the ones of the brand he decides to use.

Step 1

I painted the entire wheel XF-57 Buff or any other very light beige, for example XF-52 + XF-1 White (50/50).


Step 2

With a circles template mask, I painted the tyre its definitive color.


Step 3

I gave a shade just where the wheel limits with the tyre using XF-49 Khaki. You may also use the same Buff darkened with green or grey.



Step 4

Then, with the help of my finger tip, I rubbed black pigment all over the tyre, an unbelievable mucky process but the best way to spread the pigment evenly  :-)


Step 5

After wiping off the excess of pigment by using a hard brush, I stained all the wheels recesses so to avoid so much contrast between the light an dark areas.

This tip is ideal to represent an overall dusty appearance, but if we intend to give the wheels the look of running a certain ground, you’ll have to adapt the color used in step 1 to the color of the ground.

For example, if the vehicle moves in Vietnam, which ground is frequently reddish, you’ll have to add to the Buff with some drops of XF-9 Hull.

If you want to intend a vehicle moving in the dessert, you should add a less amount of grey pigment, leaving the Buff color in the tyre visible.

An important detail is that the surface of the tyre in contact with the ground must show different shade than the one of its sides, i.e.: If they were light, you’d rather give a darker tone to the contact surfaces of the tyre and vice versa.

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