Sunday, December 8, 2013

Step by Step Tutorial - Part 2 - Weathering Powders for the Rest of Us

Well here is Part 2 which is more of a weathering powders tutorial.

Here's where we left off.

These are the first miniatures I tried powders on. They came out pretty good, but the powders were a little too bright for my tastes.

I used these powders only on them. Afterwards, I decided it would be better if I had more colors to use.

I invested about $6 USD in this Pastel set.

First I grounded off a little brown. Even this is way too much by the way as a little goes a long way.

I then liquified the powder with mineral spirits, mixing in some of the orange rust powder residue. I wasn't sure at this time if you could mix colored powders. Luckily it worked. I have been told that turpentine also works as a liquifier.

Without powders.

After the powders are applied.

Liquified powders on the breast plate.

I then made some green for the brass areas.

Liquified green pastel powder. Next time I will be a little more gentle scraping at the Pastels to avoid the big chunks.

Green Powder applied. Next time I will mute this green more as it was a little too much.

A yellowish tan powder for the base.

I ended up blotching the tan and the brownish red liquified powders on the base. Here the applied powders are still wet.

Here's the reddish brown after it fully dried for a half hour or so and I went back and dabbed on some of the Secret Weapon Rust Orange. It's important to note that the colors will dry much brighter after the mineral spirits dry.

Blotches of Rust applied and dried.

I went over some of the dried areas with a brush dampened in spirits to smooth out some of the spots where the pigments dried a little too  abruptly. The dampened brushing along the edges created a smoother transition. I noticed there was a little powder bleed over into some of the areas I didn't want. This was an easy fix, with spirits and a little lining with a black/brown wash in the grooves of the mini.

And here's the finished model in better light, after a little clean up.

So what did I learn?
Powders are pretty damn easy to use.
A little does go a long way so start slow, you can always add more later.
Powders dry much brighter than they look going on wet, so be careful.
You can make cheap powders with grounded down pastels.
You can mix your powder colors. The Secret Weapon powders mixed just fine with the ground pastel powders.
You can clean up your mini afterwards with brushed on spirits and some fine lining work.
Finally (I learned this last time) a sprayed on matte fixer doesn't seem to effect your completed work.

So give them a try!
With a set of pastels and some mineral spirits or turpentine you too can have a go.


  1. It looks very good mate. Not gone down this route yet. Feels a bit out of my comfort zone. No doubt I'll try it at some point mind.

  2. So you spray it with a Matt farnish and that seals the pigment?

  3. Thanks Simon,
    If I new it was so easy, I would have gave them a try a long time ago.

    Rob S,
    Yes, I use a spray on matte varnish that seals the pigments.

  4. Very nice work on the colors...

  5. Tried using pigments a while back, but couldn't get thermsealed without turning into a mud like substance. Might try it again with a a matt varnish as you suggested. Something like Testors dull coat?

  6. the one,
    I have only ever used Krylon Matte Finish 1311 spray.

    It went over the pigments fine and did not distort them at all.
    It has never given me a problem and I have used it on hundreds of miniatures over the last few years except once.
    I used a really old can, with only a little bit left in the bottom of it. I probably should have shook it up more as well.
    It left some white spots on the minis that weren't terribly noticeable that eventually went away.
    I highly recommend it.

  7. Some more good tips. I bought some pastels awhile back, but have yet to try them out. I also forgot to mention that I too am a devotee of craft paints and wet palettes. I look forward to reading more posts from you.

  8. Helpful. Nice to hear about the Krylon spray too. Thanks.