Friday, 14 July 2017

Nurgle Rhino [WIP - Weathering Metals, Part 1]

Things are slowly gathering pace as I move on to the more juicy bits of the weathering process i.e. specific detailed parts on the hull. Just a little bit of excitement if you will before I swing back to more mundane stuff like rust stains, streaks and pools in order to tie the colour scheme up in a realistic manner. And after that it's on to the tracks (more weathering) and miscellaneous equipment e.g. spotlights before everything gets a final dust and dirt deposits. But I'm getting way ahead of myself. First, a short tutorial on how to achieve a rusted and decayed metal look on plastic parts. 

Nurgle is all about decay, hence the weathered metal pieces on the Rhino transport

To recreate a weathered metal look, I used Acrylicos Vallejo acrylic paints and textures. I started by basecoating the 'metal' parts with Vallejo Model Color (VMC) Black. In my opinion, VMC black is not very resilient as it can easily rub off if not allowed to dry sufficiently. So after letting it dry overnight, I followed up with a layer (or more) of Vallejo Environment Rust Texture which perfectly recreated an underlying dark rust texture. Subsequently, the rust effects were brightened with VMC Orange Brown as well as Light Orange/Mahogany Brown hues. Lastly a VMC Light Rust wash was applied on the 'metal' parts to create a smoother and unified rusted colour scheme.  

Step 01 - Apply a black basecoat on the 'metal' parts of the model kit and allow it to dry overnight
Step 02 - Apply a layer of Vallejo Environment rust texture, completely covering the basecoat 
Step 03 - Dry brush an orange brown hue to simulate the beginnings of a fresher rust effect
Step 04 - Dry brush light orange/mahogany brown at various mix ratios (more of former equals fresher rust)
Step 05 - Apply a light rust wash to tie up the overall colour scheme and smoothen transitions

To simplify the tutorial, I concentrated on a small section of the Nurgle Rhino's hull specifically the emblem on the left hatch door. The steps above are recreated in closeups as shown below.

Step 01: Black basecoat is the preferred hue of choice for metals, rusted or otherwise
Step 02: Dark rusty texture provides an excellent platform to build on, for the subsequent rust effects
Step 03: First dry brush layer of orange brown, an intermediary step between old and fresh rust
Step 04: Second dry brush layer of varying mixture ratios of light orange and mahogany brown
Step 05: A light rust wash which helps smoothen out stark contrasts between the different rust hues

Sometimes looking at the same process from a different angle can produce an aha moment in gaining understanding. That was my reasoning in presenting the following photos. If you are an experienced painter/modeller you will likely be bored to tears and for that I apologize. As with most how-to guides, this is what works for me and may not necessarily be suitable to your style of working. Also, there are always much better results to be had with additional steps but the ones I present here try to balance between the time constraints and the need to achieve realistic results in a timely manner.

Step 01 - Basecoat of VMC Black 70.950
Step 02 - A layer of Vallejo Rust Texture
Step 03 - A dry brush coat of VMC Orange Brown 70.981
Step 04 - Dry brush coats of a VMC Light Orange 70.911 and VMC Mahogany Brown 70.846 mixture
Step 05 - A wash of Vallejo Light Rust (VMC 505)

If you're an experienced hobbyist you may have noticed something missing from the weathered metals shown above. An actual metallic sheen due to exposure of the 'metal' underneath all that rust, just like what would happen in the real world. For the Nurgle Rhino, I'm reserving the said sheen effects for parts that will hypothetically undergo friction against other objects. More of what I mean in upcoming posts. Meanwhile, coming up in Part 2 will be a walk-around of the Nurgle Rhino as it stands with all the metal parts weathered. Until then, thanks for reading and have a great weekend. 


  1. Thanks a lot for the tutorial, the rust looks very much as it should in real life.

    1. Thank you, I was hoping that it would :)

  2. Looks excellent FEM! I was rather proud of the weathering on my stuff but yours will be just brilliant. Will you use filters on the main colour of the hull? Granted, not everyone likes their effects but imho the subtle variation they create can make for an interesting effect.

    1. Thank you Moiterei ^_^ You brought up an excellent point. You are absolutely right - filters can work wonders on monotone subjects. I was indeed thinking of applying some greyish-green filters on certain parts of the vehicle but haven't decided for sure yet. It will likely be limited in scale as there is already a lot going on for the hull. I guess I'll have to play it by ear.

    2. Maybe try it on the under side first? I'd actually go with a lightly bluish or even violet filter to get some contrast into the green hull.

  3. Superb, incredible rusty details!

  4. Wow! So good and such a detailed run through too, thank you.

    1. Thank you Michael! Not really a masterclass tutorial but I do hope it helps in any little way it can :)

  5. Replies
    1. Ha ha ha ... ^_^ ... you're are very very kind to say so, thank you!

  6. I'm seriously noting this down. Fantastic results.

    1. I'm really glad this mini-tutorial can help you in any way. But bear in mind this weathering process is barely 40% of the way in so there is lots more to go before it starts looking truly realistic. :)

  7. The weathering and rusted metal painting is simply superb. :)


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