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Armor/AFV: Techniques
From Weathering to making tent rolls, discuss it here.
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Texturing Armor
JPTRR
Staff MemberManaging Editor
RAILROAD MODELING
#051
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Tennessee, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2020 - 03:24 PM UTC
Hi Group,

So, I have some cast hull tanks I'm preparing to build, and want to simulate the roughness of cast armor. Below are four Armorama threads on the subject.

Here are two of my attempts. Trying to avoid using and stippling liquid glue, I used different products on the side armor and the lower hull. I look forward to your thoughts.


Which one do you think looks best? Do either look good?

http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=253302

http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=184312&page=1

http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=87931&page=1&ord=1

http://armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=187454
mudlark
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South Australia, Australia
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Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2020 - 05:59 PM UTC
I would try to look at the actual armoured vehicles if you have a decent museum handy or search online for good walkaround photos.
Also be aware that the "rough" surface you're looking at might be years of accumulated paint.
PanzerKarl
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England - North West, United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2020 - 07:39 PM UTC
To me it looks far too rough,are you using Mr Surfacer?
JohnTapsell
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United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2020 - 10:46 PM UTC
With very rare exceptions, cast armour is nowhere near as 'rough' as you might think.

Using products like Mr Surfacer, or painting the surfaces with liquid glue (not stippling as that can create a similar result to what you have here) works better.

Alternatively you can try gently bouncing a mini drill bit across the the surface of the plastic to create subtle (very subtle) pitting here and there.

The texturing you've created would be good for replicating anti-skid coatings on modern AFVs but like the others have said, not really appropriate for cast armour.

John
barkingdigger
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ARMORAMA
#013
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2020 - 11:02 PM UTC
Hi Fred,

As has been said, cast armour isn't always very rough - we're just too used to seeing 70-year old outdoor exhibits where every decade they paint on another coat over all the previous chips and bubbly rust. US armour in particular is very smooth at a distance equivalent to 1:35 scale viewing distances, but Soviet tanks could be a bit more rough & ready. I prefer the old glue & stipple method (with ventilation!) because it roughs the surface without thickening it by adding an extra layer the way paint does. Most of the time I concentrate on casting seams (where the sand mould parts meet) as these areas show the most "texture" including odd smooth surfaces from angle-grinding. But of your two examples for a very pebbly cast surface similar to Soviet stuff I prefer the armour over the hull.
Namabiiru
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MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
#399
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Rhode Island, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2020 - 11:09 PM UTC
Have to agree with the others that the texturing looks very out of scale. At 1/35 scale, any roughness on plate steel would be just about undiscernible. The only place I really add much for cast texturing is on oddly shaped things like Russian turrets, etc. For that, I stipple on Mr Surfacer 1200 with a stiff brush and give it a few minutes to set. Once it's skinned over I go over with a rag or something else to flatten out the surface. It gives a rough, uneven texture, but it is more subtle and doesn't leave behind a lot of big peaks. It's probably still out-of-scale, but once painted and weathered, it blends in with the over all effect.

Here's an example of what it looks like with some primer on it, although I admittedly got a bit heavy-handed on the rear of the turret:


This one of my earlier attempts and of course I've contradicted myself by doing this on plate steel, but I was experimenting.

Good luck!

vettejack
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Florida, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 12:17 AM UTC
Your KV-1 texture is just about right.
panzerbob01
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Posted: Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 02:56 AM UTC
When in doubt, ALWAYS consult pictures of the real things.

Where possible, adjust the size of a pretty sharp picture so that the subject is near to your scale model in size as viewed at a pretty close distance.

Casting creates rough surfaces - at 1:1 scale. The casting processes use sand or materials made from sand as the molds - the sand may be a bit coarser or finer, but its NOT gravel - particle sizes are likely to be sub- 1.0 mm. So the size of the cast surface granularity is likely measured in under 0.03mm on a 1/35 model surface. Realistically, you may be talking a surface "relief" of perhaps 1/1000 inch!

Rolled plate likewise appears rough in 1:1, but while its 1:1 relief may be 1 - 3 mm, again you are talking only 0.03 - 0.1 mm (1 - 3 x 1/1000 inch) on a 1/35 model. Factor in that paint "smooths out" this roughness, and you mostly should not expect to see a lot of "distinct stippling or other roughness" on a model.

But again, looking at the clearest photos you can find of your chosen subject is likely your best guide as to how rough you want to make your styrene surface.

Cheers! Bob
JPTRR
Staff MemberManaging Editor
RAILROAD MODELING
#051
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Tennessee, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 03:29 AM UTC
Bob, John, Karl, Mark, Tom and Tony:

Thanks for the guidance. For 1/35 I will stick to the kit's molding. I am avoiding excess exposure to liquid cement. I haven't tried Mr. Surfacer yet but I think it is time.

Quoted Text

... for a very pebbly cast surface similar to Soviet stuff I prefer the armour over the hull.

Tom, thanks. I have a T-34 begging to be roughed up (and not by a Tiger).

Quoted Text

So the size of the cast surface granularity is likely measured in under 0.03mm on a 1/35 model surface. Realistically, you may be talking a surface "relief" of perhaps 1/1000 inch!

Bob, good point. I don't know how prevalent it is for armor modelers to accentuate rough surfaces on armor but up until now, I have believed that it wouldn't be noticeable in 1/35.

Men, thank you again. The M4 will just be roughed up by my bad airbrushing!
Biggles2
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Quebec, Canada
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Posted: Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 03:32 AM UTC
This is where "artistic license" comes in. Granted, cast texturing would not be very visible or evident on 1/35, much less 1/72 scale armor, but it just looks wrong if you leave it a smooth plastic surface, even if you do make it somewhat exaggerated and out of scale.
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 04:50 AM UTC
The surface roughness of the average matte/flat hobby paint is usually more than the casting texture on the real thing scaled down to 1/35
Links to images to be able to see them in their full size

Non-slip surface on a Merkava I
http://data3.primeportal.net/tanks/david_lueck/merkava_mk1/images/merkava_mk1_019_of_126.jpg

Cast (??) surface of turret, with some non-slip
http://data3.primeportal.net/tanks/david_lueck/merkava_mk1/images/merkava_mk1_044_of_126.jpg

Rolled armour on T-34 turret
http://data3.primeportal.net/tanks/dmitry_kiyatkin/t-34_76_1941/images/t-34_76_1941_005_of_158.jpg
Smoother than a satin paint surface in 1/35 ...

Cast surface on T-34 bow MG cover
http://data3.primeportal.net/tanks/dmitry_kiyatkin/t-34_76_1942/images/t-34_76_1942_100_of_104.jpg

T-34 turret front
http://data3.primeportal.net/tanks/dmitry_kiyatkin/t-34_76_1942/images/t-34_76_1942_101_of_104.jpg
and Russian are supposedly the masters of rough castings ....

Rolled glacis plate and cast (a bit rough) MG-cover
http://data3.primeportal.net/tanks/dmitry_kiyatkin/t-34_85_2006/images/t-34_85_2006_08_of_83.jpg

Rough casting on T-34/85
http://data3.primeportal.net/tanks/dmitry_kiyatkin/t-34_85_2006/images/t-34_85_2006_12_of_83.jpg
the other side is smoother though ...
http://data3.primeportal.net/tanks/dmitry_kiyatkin/t-34_85_2006/images/t-34_85_2006_11_of_83.jpg
Exhaust covers
http://data3.primeportal.net/tanks/dmitry_kiyatkin/t-34_85_2006/images/t-34_85_2006_79_of_83.jpg

IS-2 tank
http://data4.primeportal.net/tanks/carrey/is-2/images/is-2_19_of_83.jpg


The Battlefield at Prime Portal is well worth a visit
http://www.primeportal.net/the_battlefield_armor.htm

Namabiiru
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
#399
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Rhode Island, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 10:52 AM UTC

Quoted Text

This is where "artistic license" comes in. Granted, cast texturing would not be very visible or evident on 1/35, much less 1/72 scale armor, but it just looks wrong if you leave it a smooth plastic surface, even if you do make it somewhat exaggerated and out of scale.



I'm rather with Biggles on this one. A certain amount of artistic license is needed to make it look less like a plastic kit even if it is not perfectly to scale. Isn't it the same principle with pre-and post-shading paint? 1:1 tanks didn't get that treatment, but in a scale model it makes it look more believable.

Just my $0.02...

vettejack
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Florida, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 06:45 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Bob, John, Karl, Mark, Tom and Tony:

Thanks for the guidance. For 1/35 I will stick to the kit's molding. I am avoiding excess exposure to liquid cement. I haven't tried Mr. Surfacer yet but I think it is time.

Quoted Text

... for a very pebbly cast surface similar to Soviet stuff I prefer the armour over the hull.

Tom, thanks. I have a T-34 begging to be roughed up (and not by a Tiger).

Quoted Text

So the size of the cast surface granularity is likely measured in under 0.03mm on a 1/35 model surface. Realistically, you may be talking a surface "relief" of perhaps 1/1000 inch!

Bob, good point. I don't know how prevalent it is for armor modelers to accentuate rough surfaces on armor but up until now, I have believed that it wouldn't be noticeable in 1/35.

Men, thank you again. The M4 will just be roughed up by my bad airbrushing!



I second the use of Mr. Surfacer...of which you've got 3 grades: 500, 1000 and 1200. Depending on the vehicles you need the surface treatment, will depend on the 'grade' used.
JohnTapsell
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United Kingdom
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Posted: Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 07:44 PM UTC
You're right Fred - if you're trying to avoid too much exposure to liquid cement then Mr Surfacer is probably not an option either. My other half is very sensitive to the fumes from the various modelling lotions and potions I use so I've changed the products I use over the years. If traditional liquid cement is an issue then limonene-based adhesives may be an option? (both Tamiya and Mr Hobby offer them).

The mini drill technique might be worth a try. I use a very small dental burr and have the drill rotating at very low speed - I always work on the basis that too little is better than too much.

The other 'rule' I always follow really relates to how much weathering to add but it is just as relevant for this technique: Keep adding the texture in small increments and when you reach a point where you think 'just one more application' - stop before you do it!

John