Thoughts on model painting.
I was in the process of priming some new details and realized this is a topic I haven’t said much about. My preference is to use black under the majority of my models. This allows the use of a couple of techniques that work out from the black, allowing it to become a shadow. When painting to get the look of weathered wood I start with black and then drybrush several different shades of brown until I end with a very light grey. I will show some pictures of the end result in an upcoming post on the remaining cars for the Backwoods Work Train from Sierra Scale Models. I only have a few details left before I will post them up.
Occasionally I will undercoat with white, but usually only when the end color is very light. A grey primer can also be used if you want a lighter effect.
Drybrushing is a technique that I use a lot; basically you dip just the tip of a fairly stiff brush into the paint, usually a lighter color than the main color below. You then go to a surface (cardboard, paper towel, or typing paper) and brush out until almost no color is left and then use it on the model. If you layer a couple of different shades of a color it gives a very cool effect that really gives a sense of depth. I also usually drybrush a final layer using a light grey or an off white. This layer needs to be very light, its only purpose is to provide a slight highlight on whatever detail is there and makes it pop. This is a technique that is very easy, but takes a bit of practice to get it to look right. It is very easy to do too much, so I would start with a cheap kit and be prepared to repaint it a couple of times until you master the technique.