Battle Damage (Physical) - Battle Damage (Visual) - Chipped Paint - Dry Brushing - Wash - Scribing
Battle damage is one of the most important things in Star Wars modeling. Most of it is merely visual, just a dark streak or smear. Some of it, however, is physical. A dent, ding, scar or chunk. This is most evident on the body of the Millennium Falcon. The best way to do this is with something hot to melt the plastic. I suggest an old soldering iron. Making damage on Star Wars kits isn't like on most other types of modeling. Most people would use aircraft modeling techniques but it really doesn't work. In aircraft the sheet metal is extremely thing. In Star Wars they have thick bulkheads surrounding the ships. There is no such thing as thin little sheet metal when talking about interstellar warships. With that said, the damage has to have some substance to it. It has to look thick. The ionized gas bolts of the turbolasers and other weaponry melt the armor on Star Wars ships. That is why I suggest melting the plastic with a soldering iron. It is basically the exact same thing. Start by practicing a LOT on scrap plastic. It takes some practice to get it right. To do it, stick the soldering iron right into the plastic and as it melts, push it outward in the direction the blast would go. Make small ridges off it around the damaged area. It should look somewhat like an impact crater. Be careful not to push too far because you can go right through the plastic. If that happens and that is not what you were intending to do, than you have to place a piece of sheet styrene underneath to fill the hole. That's pretty much it.
Visual battle damage is the most common type of damage shown on Star wars ships. These can be anything from dark streaks to subtle weather marks. The best way to make the dark kind is to use an airbrush. You can spray a mark in the direction that it would normally travel. It is important to not use black paint when doing this. I used to use black and it just ended up looking cartoonish. If you want an accurate look as compared to the original studio models, use a dark gray or just something that looks dirty. Also, when weathering an entire model using this technique, make sure that you vary the color as you go along. If you use one color over the whole model it will not look right. To make the lighter kind of damage you have a few choices. You can airbrush it, you can try the dry brush or wash technique described below, or you can use chalk. The chalk technique is attained by rubbing some dark artist chalks on sandpaper until you have a nice pile of dust. Then, take a very finely haired brush and run it through the chalk. It sometimes helps if the brush is just barely moist. This helps the chalk stick a little better. With the chalk on the brush, swipe it over the model like you would dry brush. Swipe in the direction of the mark. It takes a few tries to get it up to full color. Be careful, as soon as you touch it, it will disappear! If you are going to use chalks, do them last right before you seal the model with an overcoat.
This is one of my favorite techniques. There are
two separate techniques I use for this. The first is for when there is
not a ton of small detail that needs to show through the paint. I used
this extensively on the 1/6, 1/12 and 1/15 Boba Fett. What I do is first
decide what parts need to be chipped. I spray these parts with whatever
color I want to show through. This is usually silver because most things
are metal. This has to be done with a very hard enamel. I use Testors
silver in the aerosol can. This has always worked for me without fail.
I let that dry for a long time. After it has dried I paint my topcoat
on top of that. This has to be done in a soft acrylic paint. I use the
kinds that are used for Folk and Tole painting, brands like Delta Ceramcoat,
Apple Barrel etc. They are extremely cheap, come in almost unlimited colors
and can be found anywhere. This has to be painted by hand in several coats.
It will be thick so that is why I suggest only using the technique on
things that don't have a ton of detail. Let this acrylic dry and then
take an X-ACTO to it randomly. I suggest softly sticking the tip of the
blade into the soft acrylic paint and then pulling it away from the part.
The top color should come off to reveal the silver underneath. This takes
some practice to get right.
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