Used and Abused: Weathering

One thing I’ve noticed when scrolling through Facebook and Instagram is that those of us who make model cars, be that static, slot or RC, tend to make them clean and in pristine condition. That’s fine but in truth a race car is very rarely in such pristine condition, especially at the track!

Take for instance Natalie Younger’s PS13 drift car (Thanks for the pic Natalie I’m about to make you super self conscious about your car!):


A normally well kept machine yet at this juncture has a taped up rear light, missing rear bumper and side skirts. Obviously for you RC peeps companies like Pandora and D-Expert make a lot of under-bumper kits to allow you to model a car without the bumper but for slot and static modellers this could be an interesting challenge to try to create this look from plasticard.

I’d also like to point out the exhaust. I’m sure a tonne of people, myself included, just paint their exhausts flat silver yet on this car we can see it has discoloured over cycles of getting hot and cooling off again. You can also see black marks around the outside of the tip of the exhausts caused by unburnt fuel igniting within the exhaust itself. The black from over fuelling is more relevant to front engined open wheel car of the 1920’s and 1930’s where the exhaust would exit the side of the bonnet and run down the length of the car such as the Bluebird. Look at the muck around the exhausts!


Another thing I’d like to point out on both of these cars is the dirt on the tyres. Obviously this isn’t as relevant to the RC and slot car modellers as the tyres on those models are actually used. It could be interesting to try to achieve a realistic dirty look on a static models tyres though, especially like this Bluebird which has a kind of dusty vibe going on on its’ tyres.

Dirt and muck aren’t restricted to just tyres though. Mud likes to spray itself up the side of a car in a variety of ways and a variety of modelling techniques can be used to recreate the mud from airbrushing to dry brushing to simply coating it on haha!

This look sported here by James Fiddimore’s green E36 and this would be best achieved with an airbrush. Note the thick mud on the wing fading into a dusting as it goes up the door and the dusting on the bumper would be very hard to achieve with a regular paint brush.


The same could be said of this E46 photographed by Aaron of MySquareWheel. the mud is fairly inconsistent and almost goes to a dusting up toward the window. Much easier to achieve that effect with an airbrush!


On the other hand the thick coating on Richard Gladwin’s Escort here would be easier to do with a brush as the mud is so thick and consistent.


With the mud on Natalie’s car one could even mix up some polyfilla to apply to get that thick lumpy texture. You could literally do anything modelling mud!

So automotive modellers get out there and start making stuff look messy! I quite fancy doing a weathering tutorial in the summer with something. If you would like to see that be sure to let me know!

Thanks for reading and as always be sure to follow me on Twittube and Faceagram!

Twitter: @Garage_RFrancis
Instagram: @motorsport4mentalhealth

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