Navigation Menu+

Salty Chips

Posted on Apr 17, 2010 by in Läsvärt | 2 comments


This time I will show a couple of more weathering techniques to inspire you once again to do some really beat up and rusty vehicles. For this piece I have used the salt method together with the sponge method and I have also used some of the techniques that you find in my previous post.


I start with a piece of plastic sheet in the size of 25 x 25 mm. First I give it a basecoat in a darker green color. Once the basecoat has dried I airbrush regular tap water to moisten the surface and while it is still wet I sprinkle salt over it. The salt sticks to the water and will act as masking for the next color. Take care when you do this because if you put on too much water the salt will start to melt and create unwanted effects.


Here I have airbrushed a lighter green color on top and once dry I take a larger soft brush dipped in water and start to remove the salt carefully. As I said earlier, the water melts the salt which is flushed away together with the color that was on the little grains of salt.


This is how it looks once the salt has been rinsed away. If you look closely you see some small halos here and there, these are remains of the salt and can be removed with some more water. If you compare this method of chipping with the hairspray method you get sligtly softer edges on the chips and it’s much more difficult to control where the chips should be but for making larger areas a little bit more interesting this is an easy and fast way to go.


And as on the cooking shows on TV, I pull this ready made Russian flavoured dish out of the oven. The finished piece has a few more techniques in it’s recepie and the most prominent one is the sponge technique which you can see in the white areas. This is also a way of doing random chips and it has a lot more control than the salt method which makes it easier to use. What I did was to tear of a little piece from a sponge which came in a box for a 54 mm figure. I dipped the sponge in some white Vallejo paint and dabbed it a few times on a paper towel  to remove some of the excess paint in the sponge. After that I started to ligthtly and carefully dab the surface of the plastic sheet. Since the sponge has a very irregular surface the sponge creates almost instant chips. The effect I was looking for was a more solid white with only a small number of chips I continued to dab the sponge until I reached the desired effect. The next step was to take the original base color (the dark green) and with a small paintbrush add a few larger chips here and there all over the surface. The final touches like the streaks and dirt was made with artist oils of various colors and the rust was made with pigments and Burnt Umber artist oils.

Well that’s it for now… I hope to see some very rusty wrecks from you soon!!!




  1. Hi Sven-Åke,
    Question: what kind of sponge do you use? A regular synthetic kitchen type sponge (Scotchbrite style), or a natural sponge, like water colour painters use?


  2. Nothing fancy really, I used the sponge found in most 54 mm white metal figure boxes that protects the parts inside the box.



Submit a Comment

E-postadressen publiceras inte. Obligatoriska fält är märkta *