Hairspray Weathering

Hi all;

Well I’m back, after a lengthy time away.

So I thought I’d treat you all to an easy(ish) tutorial for doing great weathering on miniatures, in this case using a common addition to the bathroom cabinet… namely hairspray. Below is a list of what you need to create the effects I will be showing you in a series of pictures.

  • Hairspray (obviously)
  • Spray Undercoat
  • Spray Varnish (any will do, though I prefer Matte or Satin over Gloss)
  • Cotton Wool buds (Q-Tips for my US friends)
  • Hot Water

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So first off, undercoat your miniature black, there is a reason why, as is standard. In my case its the Imperial Knight Titan from Games Workshop. I wont post pics of that, because if you don’t know how to do basics then read my other tutorials first, as this is fairly advanced.

Paint the entire thing Silver, something like Leadbelcher paint from GW is perfect for this. There is a reason for doing this, and that will become fairly apparent soon enough. It’s also the reason why you undercoated it black, it makes the metallic colour slightly darker than what it would be normally.

Once its dry liberally use a dark wash, in my case I used Army Painters Dark Tone, this darkens up the metallic paint even more. However it should still be a metal colour, the last thing you want is it to look like you’ve covered it in old engine oil. Now leave it to dry.

Now onto the technical stuff…

Get hold of your can, or bottle if you prefer using an airbrush, and spray a thin coat of varnish on top of the washed metallic. This you are going to repeat several times, and I don’t mean 4 or 5 times, I mean several, leaving it to dry inbetween coats. This will then, once completely dry, protect the metallic paintwork underneath, a bit like a lacquer spray you get on cars.

So once its dry, usually I leave it for a good few hours before the next step, you are going to use the hairspray and spray it all over the armour plating. Yup, guess what, leave it to dry… hey I never said it wasn’t a time consuming process… for atleast an hour.

Now you are ready to start actually painting your miniature, be it a tank or titan or even a standard marine. So go back to step one, this time, in my case, spraying over the top with white undercoat. The reason I use white, is because I’m doing Death Guard, and the basecolour is white.

This is the bit where it now gets wet and messy, having your mug/bowl/container with hot (NOT BOILING) water in it dip your Q-tip into it. Now comes the fun part, and that is to use the Q-tip and start rubbing it on the paint you have not long sprayed on. As you can now see, the white is lifting off and leaving the silver underneath all those layers of varnish behind. So once you’ve taken off the paint in areas, like edges of panels, step areas etc, you can dab away the excess water and let it dry before continuing with your paint scheme.

So once finished it should look something like this, but obviously in you chosen colours rather than mine.

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Now a small tip…

If the water also rubs off the silver paint underneath, which can happen, then refill in the areas with Leadbelcher (or paint of your choice.)

Completed Miniature.

And part of my army that one GW: Bedford’s Army of the Month for April

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