Friday, December 30, 2011

Holy Rusted Metal, Batman! A Rust Effect Tutorial

I have been working for a buddy of mine for awhile now, doing some commission work for him.  I am painting up a Warhammer Fantasy Beastman army for him.  I posted some of his larger monstrous creatures that I had painted quite a few months ago.  You can see them here in my post titled Large and in Charge

Anyway, when I started the commission originally, I wanted to paint the army so that it looked unique, not your typical clean paint job.  So, what gives Beastmen their character?  Their are basically devolved humans.  Thus, they probably don't put a lot of emphasis on cleanliness.  Aside from my friend's desire to have greyish skin, I thought it would be cool to have dirty Beastmen who also had rusty weapons and armor because they didn't take care of them like normal humans. 

After experimenting a bit, I decided on a fairly easy technique to achieve a pretty decent rust effect on metallic areas.  It uses a method of painting called stippling to apply the rust and then some controlled drybrushing to apply metal where the rust has been rubbed away.  Check out my pictures of a recently painted model who we will name Bob the Beastman. I apologize for the picture heavy nature of this email, but I hope they prove to be useful. 

Here is Bob, ready for paint.  He has been primed black which I honestly think is a good color when working on a dark, dirty model.
The first step to apply the rust effect is to take a dark metallic color, in this case GW Boltgun Metal, and drybrush it on all metallic areas of the model.  From this angle you can see quite a few different areas that required this initial step from chainmail to armor plates to the head of his axe. Don't worry to much about neatness as this layer will be virtually covered. 
After the first layer of metallic has been applied, we begin stippling on our rust colors.  Stippling requires a well used brush, one that you don't mind treating poorly.  To stipple, you need to apply paint to the brush in a similar manner to drybrushing.  Apply paint and then wipe off the majority of it.  Then, press the tip of the brush firmly and directly onto the surface you want.  Do this repeatedly to cover all areas.  Above, you can see the first layer of stippling that I have done.  I used GW Red Gore for this layer.
In this next picture, I have actually stippled on two more colors, GW Dark Flesh and Vermin Brown.  Rust isn't every only red.  It is generally a mixture of reddish and brownish hues, though I have seen models with green as well.  For this model, I have used red, brown, and orange hues.  Together these create quite a nice rust look.  Again, don't worry about neatness too much.  Stippling isn't neat, so this portion of the model should always occur first.  This also means that you need to be careful when painting around the rusted areas later as it becomes very hard to paint over them if you mess up. 

There are four pictures above.  These show the application of the rubbed metal sections.  Basically, rust flakes off easily when rubbed and if it is rubbed enough "new" metal will show through as a result.  Thus, we want to take a light metallic hue and paint it on edges and high points of models.  An area that requires attention is the edge of the axe.  Obviously as it is used, the edge will show shinier metal from hacking at opponents.  Thus, it requires a bit of attention.  You can see it in the second and fourth pictures.  On armor plates, generally metallic paint is only applied to the edges, but some can be done on high points.  See third and fourth pictures for examples of this.  Finally, for chainmail there isn't too much of a strict procedure.  I generally look at the chainmail and imagine where blood, grime, and verdigris would gather.  That is where I paint the rust effects and then I apply the metallic, in this case GW Chainmail to other areas where grime hasn't built up. 
Finally, I have some pictures of Bob completed save his base.  The rusted metal effect really balances the blue-grey skintones.  My buddy also wanted red fabric in his army's paint scheme, so the hood/facemask accomplishes this. 
A side view.  His skin is done using GW foundation paints Fenris Grey and Astronomican Grey.  I mix the two for an intermediate hue.
The flayed skin is easily done using GW foundation Tallarn Flesh, followed by an Ogryn Flesh wash and finally Dwarf Flesh. 
A final side view. 

That's it!  Achieve a nice rust effect is fairly easy.  This model took me about 15-20 minutes to achieve the rust effect.  It is quick since you don't have to spend so much time painting carefully around areas.  The messiness of the process is kind of freeing! 

If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.  I hope you find this article useful as you seek to add a bit of extra detail to models in your army.

Other tutorials you might find useful:
Painting Halfway Decent Power Weapons
Tutorial: How-to Rock Bases on the Cheap
How to Paint White Part 1: Bright White
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1 comment:

Chris said...

Good looking effect, but you should know the best quote from a Batman movie is "Ice to meet you Batman!".

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