Recipe foR a DaRk Wash
start with one part future floor polish, plus four parts
distilled water. Then add 1/4 part black acrylic ink and
1/4 part brown paint. You’re aiming for a semi-transparent
warm gray—not pure black. a brownish black with a hint of
rust is perfect. Then to really make this wash flow into every
nook and cranny, add a couple of squirts of my special supersecret ingredient: Tilex shower cleaner. i’ve been using this
stuff for years to improve the flow or runniness of water-based paint. please note that Tilex is only compatible with
water-based paint. Tilex eliminates the surface tension of
water, so it becomes super runny. after applying the wash, i
usually blot the area with a rag to wick away excess shadow
wash. Let dry before continuing.
become quite noticeable. To get your brush to cooperate
with this technique, it shouldn’t be good brush. Mine looks
like it has been in a fight! The fluffier and more splayed out
the bristles, the better. Think “makeup brush.” Dip the
brush (just a bit of it) in an off-white (I use Model Master
Acrylic Sand), gray, or a lighter shade of your base color,
and fan and dab the paint-loaded bristles on a rag until
you barely see any paint coming off. You are now ready
to highlight. Quickly fan the bristles over the area you
want to highlight as if you are putting out a fire. You should
immediately see a subtle effect with your raised areas.
With the shading/wash and the highlighting, what
you have done is really pushed the depth of the detailed
pieces more, and with the highlighting, you pulled out
the higher parts just a little more. This makes up for the
smaller size of the elements in our scale models and
forces it to play with the light in a more dynamic way, just
like its full-scale counterpart.
The deeper down in the cockpit, the darker your painting should be.
Subtle weathering in and around the cockpit also gives your model
that lived-in look that’s so important to any scale warbird. This F4F
Wildcat is the work of Lee Watkins.
The overall effect using paint to add gradients, dark washes, and highlights adds tremendously to your
model’s realistic appearance. Steve Forrest built this great F4U Corsair and added the scale Pappy Boyington
from Best Pilots.