Skip to content

Scale Modeling How-To: Dot Filters Explained

In the scale modeling hobby, there are more varieties of techniques that can be applied to our plastic creations that could be practically listed. Some are quite easy, others a bit more difficult.

What I have found in the models I’ve built is that quite often the biggest “barrier to entry” is often not how to do something, but rather when and why. This has been especially true for the technique called “dot filters”.

In this video, I try to dig deeper into the theory of the technique first, and then go through demonstration. While the model I use is a Bandai Star Wars AT-AT, this technique can be applied to Gunpla kits from the Mobile Suit Gundam universe, Maschinen Krieger models, Macross/Robotech, Battlestar Galactica, or any scifi or military models. It’s very cross genre!

And the supplies needed are fairly simple too. Artists oils work fine, or modeling specific products such Abteilung 502 oils, Weathering Oils from Wilder, or Ammo of Mig’s Oilbrushers – all work equally well.

So check out this video, and give the dot filter method a try!

If you’d like to see more videos like this, please subscribe to my Youtube channel, and click the little bell icon to be notified when new videos are posted!

4 thoughts on “Scale Modeling How-To: Dot Filters Explained”

  1. Thanks, I learned a few things in this video.

    I thought it was interesting that the placement and the density of the dots is a critical variable, something that wasn’t obvious to me before. I’ve seen dot filtering used on models on youtube, but haven’t yet tried it myself.

    For coloring, I tend to be acutely aware of a color being either “warm” (red’ish) or “cold” (blue’ish), and if a color is more neutral like a gray. I remember how the original Millennium Falcon models apparently were painted with some Airforce Light Gray, which looks more warm than cool, so I’ve been careful not using a cool gray for my Fine Molds Falcon.

    Speaking of paint and colors. The people that build the large 1:350 Enterprise NCC-1701A refit from Polar Lights, can use some taxidermy paints that has been called ‘pearlescent’, but I think is sold as ‘irridescent’. These paints shift hue depending on the viewing angle. This type of paint was also used on the original Enterprise model used in the Star Trek The Motion Picture movie. I have the paint guide, but haven’t yet gone far with my Polar Lights model, and I haven’t bought any paint as of yet. I want to make a custom stand in metal, but I will be requiring a blacksmith so, that whole project was put on hold some time ago.

  2. Hi Jon,

    Thanks for a very useful video! Do you varnish the model once you have streaked it and if so is it still ok to use acrylic varnish or do the oils cause a problem with that?

    1. Thanks for watching and for commenting!

      It all depends on what I’ll be doing next, and how much time I have to allow the dot filters to dry. If the rest of the weathering is acrylic, or I have plenty of drying time (at least a week), I will only add a clear varnish of the follow on effects need it.

      If I don’t have a lot of drying time before I need to continue, or if I’ll be using other enamel and oil based application (and thus the associated thinners) I will seal with an acrylic varnish.

      Hope that helps! Thanks again. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: