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Wash Techniques

With the following washes I used the same amount of media and the same amount of medium. You can see that ammonia, Future, vinegar and windshield washer fluid produce the same basic effect regardless of the media. If you are concerned about interaction with the paint, note the white Matilda is auto spray enamel, the ME-262 is Polly Scale acrylic and silver auto enamel, and the bulkheads are Model Master, Tamiya, Testors acrylics and enamels. I have noticed no detrimental effects of the mixtures and the paints. I usually apply the wash over a surface brushed/sprayed with water.

India Ink
An old weathering standby, India Ink is light fast and permanent, and also totally waterproof when dry. It dilutes with water and, used by artists for a variety of purposes, especially calligraphy, is very "wet" - flowing easily. India Ink is also available in many different colors.

India Ink + ammonia: when applied the wash covers everything. As it dries, the ink surrounding raised objects is pulled toward the center of the puddle creating a rough edged outline effect. Upon flat areas it settles uniformly.

India Ink + vinegar: vinegar pulls the pigments inwards but not as densely as ammonia. It leaves slightly lighter saturation of pigments around the periphery of the puddle. The wash dries uniformly and pulls the pigments inwards toward raised items, leaving a nice gradation of light-to-intense saturation.

India Ink + Future: as with vinegar, Future pulls the pigments inward, but settles a uniform saturation of pigments with minimum puddling. The wash pulls the pigments inwards toward raised items, leaving a nice gradation of weak to intense saturation.

Water Mixable Oil Colour, "Water-oil"
This is oil paint, yet thins and cleans with water. It gives many diverse effects and comes in many colors. As a wash, mix the water-oil thoroughly or you will find small gobs of the paint in the wash. This can be good if you so desire independent gobs that can mimic rusted chips or mud spatters. Beware that the buttery paint can lurk in your brush and deposit the paint on an edge where you may not see it until after the carrier dries. Usually your fingerprint is the first hint that it was there.

Water-oil + ammonia: the wash quickly begins drawing the paint inward to puddles, and 'roughening." When dry, it gives a rough edge effect, such as water that has attacked metal and left irregular areas of rust.

Water-oil + vinegar: the pigments lie in the wash more smoothly, and dry in a gentle gradation.

Water-oil + Future: keeps the most intense concentration of the pigments. The heavier Future pulls the wash off of raised areas.

Guache (Gouache)
Guache is finely ground pigment watercolor that is opaque and dries matt. It usually comes in small tubes.

Guache + ammonia: ammonia deposits guache with an edge.

Guache + vinegar: dries dark along edges, with a grainy texture.

Guache + Future: again the Future accentuates the intensity of the guache leaving an even coverage.
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About the Author

About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...


Fred did a lot of the tricky experimenting for us, so we can get right to the good stuff. Nicely done!
DEC 12, 2017 - 07:59 PM