My last build was the HG 1/100 Tallgeese, which I wanted to be a nice, clean build. Luckily, it turned out pretty well and was quite clean compared to my previous works.
For some contrast, I decided to make a weathered kit next. The HG 1/100 Chaos Gundam would be a nice kit to try some real weathering techniques on. The only other weathering I had done previously was on the NG 1/144 Gunner Zaku, before the days of airbrushing and other techniques.
Originally I just wanted some minor weathering, but as I continued to build and experiment with different techniques, I made some errors and those turned into more “weathering”. In the end, it’s a pretty weathered and battle worn kit, but I still like the effect all the same.
At this point techniques such as seamline removal and airbrushing are not too difficult, so I won’t be mentioning those from this point on.
I originally wanted some textured surface, similar to an iron surface. To add texture, I mixed putty and thinner and applied it. This resulted in a very rough surface (like mold growing on a tree) and I had to end up sanding it down some. Perhaps too much putty.
Other weathering effects were done using a soldering iron or rotary tool. The soldering iron has the same effects as the hot nail as used on the NG 1/144 Gunner Zaku, but it’s simply easier. The rotary tool was used for dents and chips on the surface.
After painting, I used the Tamiya Weathering Master set to add a little bit more color around the weathered regions.
I topped the kit off with decals, which were rubbed with my knife blade to make them look aged as well (don’t want new decals on a battle worn kit!)
In addition to the previous techniques, I did some very minor modding just to practice using pla-plates. I added some detail to the feet similar to how others have done, and I added some pla-plates to the bottom of the damaged shield. Furthermore, I added some half-round pla-plates (painted silver) to the middle of the front legs using a technique seen at zerogunz.com. I kept the mods pretty simple on this kit and only tried a couple effects I had seen elsewhere rather than experimenting myself.
Overall, I was satisfied with the result of this kit and my first real weathering experience. I love a weathered kit and hope to improve my weathering skills in the future. Luckily, it’s hard to go wrong with weathering. If you mess up, it just ends up being more weathered than expected! The difficulty comes in getting it just right.
But, if you are like me, you may be a little nervous taking those first steps in chopping and chipping your new kit. I was pretty nervous when I started this kit afraid I was about to ruin it, but soon after the feeling went away. Just dive in and do it!
- It is difficult to mess up when weathering a kit. While it can be hard to get the perfectly weathered kit, do not worry too much about messing the kit up. If you mess up trying to dent the kit or chip a certain part, it will be ok. It’s a weathered kit after all. The end result might be a little different than originally expected or more weathered than intended, but errors are harder to notice on a weathered kit than a clean kit.
- Mixing putty + thinner and applying to the surface can make a really rough texture. If you want a really aged Gundam (perhaps rotting in the ground), this might be a good technique. However, in my case I thought it was too much and had to go back and sand some away to make it less rough. Test on smaller parts first to get the right ratio between putty and thinner.
- When using pla-plates, slice several times and then break. If you try cutting all the way through your hand will get very tired very quickly. They break with a clean edge without too much work.