THE WORKSHOP – F_SEBS “Rusting with gusto”

Today we have an all new workshop from F_Seb who many of you may be familiar with from his fantastic modeling, painting and character customization work. He’s gonna hold your hand and guide you through the steps he took to get some killer looking realistic rust fx on his BA custom bot. (Which had me asking, where’s the tutorial on THAT?) I know you’ll enjoy it and I think you’ll come out the other side a little more enlightened. Cheers!

– Knives

Hi all!! Before starting this custom, I had never successfully created any rusty effects as we can see on some tutorials. I’d read and tried the “salt layer” trick once a few months ago and the result was bad. I couldn’t get it to look right. I screwed up somewhere along the way I think. So on a whim, I decided to try a similar technique, but this time with sand..

Why?? I don’t really know why. At first, I didn’t think the result would be what I desired, but in the end it didn’t seem like such a bad idea. I’d made a few modifications to this little Armstrong, so it was necessary to paint it to make it more seamless.

1.I used spray paint (mtn94 is my favorite, low pressure) for the base layer. I wanted a brown color as you can find in rust. I waited a little bit until it’s completely dry and used hairspray to stick the sand. The sand I used is the same of that you might find in a Japanese garden for interior design, it’s very thin and perfect for the scale. I did several spots of hairspray and then applied sand to it. You can choose to put as much sand as you like. Variety of amount here will give you variety in texture later.

2. Once the sand is fully dry in place, I painted another layer this time in light grey. This is the color  the bot might have been when it was fresh off the factory floor/clean. Note: If you have different base colors for different parts of the bot (ie: red arms, blue legs) just paint those parts accordingly.

3. Alright, let’s go to make-a-the-rust, or something like that!! So, here I used only two colors, Vallejo Clear Orange (70.956) and Liquitex black mars to get various browns and oranges. I then stamp on some more sand with a flat pencil to make irregular spots as well as do some dry brushing on the edge of the rust zone. Don’t forget to do random mixes of paint, it’s more beautiful with nuances.

If you’re wondering why I started by painting the whole bot brown in the 1st step, you should start to see the reason for it here.  As the sand gets knocked off  while  you dry brush and stamp you’ll notice  under the color is the nice rusty brown giving the effect of rusted steel. You can knock bits and pieces of sand off  where you please to make little spots of under painted brown rust. Again more texture, more variety.

4. OK, here I use Tamiya paint X26 orange clear and the same mix of paints I did for the rust spots (Vallejo Clear Orange (70.956) and Liquitex black mars) To get the runny rust look, I take a round pencil and I drop a tiny bit of water to make “roads” running down the body of the bot. Immediately afterwards I drop a gout of very diluted paint. It will follow the road, leaving just a little color. Redo that step until it gives you the desired effect. Note: starting with a clear water “road” instead of simply using very diluted paint ensures that the drip goes where you wish without any risk of  it running over something you didn’t intend it to.

5. Now you can do some dry brush with a metallic paint (for me Tamiya chrome silver) which gives a nice scratched metal effect. You can also experiment with different ideas that mimic real world aged metal. Burn spots, oil leaks, etc..  Apply your paints in light layers and build them up until you’ve reached the desired look.

We hope you enjoyed the workshop. You can check out more of  F_Sebs amazing work on his blog: We’d love to hear from you here, on our Facebook or Twitter page. Let us know how we’re doing and what kind of workshops you’d like to see.

Happy rusting folks 🙂

8 thoughts on “THE WORKSHOP – F_SEBS “Rusting with gusto”

  1. Great and Awesome tutorial!! very informative since im a noob on repainting, drybrushing etc. if you don’t mind, can you post some tutorial on how to weathered the 1/6 clothes 3A styles? thank you


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