Using pigments is a great way to add a variety of weathering effects and textures to your scale models. And while there are many products available for weathering, pigments represent one of the easiest to use, and can also be a very affordable option.
As with any other modeling product, there are a few things that can be helpful to know if you’ve not used them before. While nothing about their use is difficult, being equipped with some basic information will help you get started quickly.
There are plenty of options for choosing pigments. Most modeling product manufacturers have them as part of their product line. In general, I’ve not found that any one brand is better than the other. I’d suggest simply picking what is the most affordable, easiest to get, and meets your requirement for color.
And don’t forget pastel chalks, either. These are a great and affordable way to get a wide range of colors at a very low price. Once shaved off of the chalk stick, they are no different than the products from a bottle.
Durability is always a consideration, so choosing a binder will be essential. There are many that are available. These include acrylic and enamels. But commercial binders aren’t a necessity. I’ve used Vallejo washes and thinned white glue many times, and those both work great.
Application is generally easy, and is simple for the beginner. They can be applied dry, and then a binder put over them. Or they can be mixed with a binder ahead of time. This forms a “paste” that can then be applied to a model. More dry powder can then be applied over a wet application. This adds to the muddy, dirty effect.
Once dry, they can have a final clear coat applied to seal it all in.
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