How to Weather Your Star Wars Vehicles: A Tutorial

Force charge your Star Wars Hasbro collection and own a screen accurate replica of epic proportions…

“ Star Wars has no points of reference to Earth time or space, with which we are familiar, and it is not about the future but some galactic past or some extra-temporal present, it is a decidedly inhabited and used place where the hardware is taken for granted.” George Lucas

Like most Star Wars collectors, the notion of unboxing one of my precious Hasbro vehicles is enough to send me into a wrestling contest against my conscience. Just the thought of opening the plastic, cardboard prison and revealing that glistening fresh plastic to the open air would trigger my apprehension and force me to reconsider the concept. However, since acquiring a collection of spare vehicles; the idea has become more appealing and the attraction has been proven hard to resist.

A recent tutorial by my friend Daniel Florez, host of the Dan-O Channel on YouTube has demonstrated the benefits of weathering our Star Wars collection to achieve a screen accurate collectable of model quality. His efforts resulted in an incredibly accurate rendering of the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Imperial AT-ACT Walker and inspired me to turn my artistic eye to an auxiliary U-Wing fighter.

View story at Medium.com

The results were breath-taking.

My finished U-Wing (before and after comparison)

The U-Wing looks incredible, and my opinion on the subject has been turned on its head, which has made me think; how many of my fellow collectors share my concerns for this process? The response to my “Weathering Star Wars” article, in combination with the positive comments I received in the aftermath of its release has inspired me to reach out to my fellow collectors and share my passion for the process.

Now to be clear, I am not suggesting you unbox your super expensive deluxe Imperial AT-AT Walker or Legacy Collection Millennium Falcon but should you find yourself in possession of a spare X-Wing Fighter or U-Wing, why not give it a try?

My Tutorial:

With this article, I thought I’d serve as a voice of inspiration for my fellow collectors and afford you a tutorial designed to reveal how I achieved my results so you can attain the same success. For this piece, I managed to procure a spare Star Wars: Rebels A-Wing fighter, which I discovered hidden on a popular high street retailer shelf.

For this process, we won’t need any substantial art supplies or high-end art studio facilities; all we will need is tube of cheap black acrylic paint, a selection of acrylic brushes, paper towels, water and an inexpensive Tamiya Weathering Master kit. The latter is readily available from many high street retailers and for the purposes of this article, I procured mine from my local branch of Hobbycraft.

The Process:

  1. Our first step is to mix a small amount of the black acrylic paint with enough cold water to dilute it into a light wash.
    2. Once mixed, select a brush (here I have chosen the largest from the pack) and proceed to paint the wash across the first panel of your vehicle.
    3. After a duration of no more than a minute and applying minimal pressure, wipe the wash from the fuselage to attain the desired look. You will find the wash has penetrated the gaps between the panelling and afforded the vehicle an incredibly realistic, authentic look. Repeat the process on all panels and sections of the hull ensuring the wash does not penetrate the interior/electronic parts.
    4. Allow at least a few hours for the treatment to dry before reaching for the Tamiya weathering Master kit.
    5. This is where your creativity comes into play. The Tamiya Weathering sets come in a range of colours and here I have selected sets B and C, a palette blend of soot, rust, orange rust, silver and gun metal tones. It is entirely up to your discretion how much, or how little weathering you apply to your vehicle but from my experience, the more you blend the colours together the finer the detail becomes.
    6. Using a combination of both rust and orange rust, I proceeded to add blemishes to the fuselage in all the areas I would expect to find wear from space flight and blaster impacts. The blend of tones affords the exterior a pleasing rusted effect and once I added both the soot and gun metal colours, the blemishes transformed into an incredibly accurate series of carbon scoring disfigurements.
    7. Repeat the process until you achieve your desired effect before allowing the vehicle to dry for a few hours. Once dried, your vehicle should be ready to handle and add to your collection.

Conclusion:

The finished A-Wing looks outstanding and when incorporated into my diorama display alongside my weathered U-Wing, the vehicle really comes to life in delightful way. Alongside the characters of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, both vehicles afford the display an aesthetic realism reflective of the ambience created in the film itself; an addition that has truly heightened my collection.

This process is not awfully time consuming but yields a fantastically detailed result and can be applied to any vehicle in the Hasbro range. Whether you have a spare Millennium Falcon, Republic Gunship or even Slave-1, the process will make any vehicle looks screen accurate and ostensibly, affords you a vehicle more reflective of the detail found on a model over a Hasbro “Toy”

Check out these step by step images:

I hope this tutorial has inspired you to weather your spare Star Wars collection. The results have inspired me to seek out doppelgangers for all my vehicles; just so I can create screen accurate versions ready for when the photographic bug bites. Should you choose to give this a try, I’d love to see your results. Feel free to drop me a line and share your images. The top five will feature in a future article and will be published on our site.

Also, don’t forget to check out the Dan-O-Channel on YouTube. It’s presenter Daniel Florez, hosts a regular segment where he opens the latest Star Wars action figures and vehicles and reviews them for the fans. Thanks for the inspirational video Dan, without your efforts this piece would not exist.

Until next time; get paining and as always…

May The Force Be With You

Phil Roberts

Co-Editor-In-Chief and Daily Content Manager for thefutureoftheforce.com • Star Wars Mega Fan • Novel Writer • Writer for @CineNationShow • Cineworld Unlimited Member • Movie Lover • Lover of all things Marvel and DC, Star Trek, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Universal Monsters, Ray Harryhausen and Batman 1966 • Husband to @Cool2Zoe & Cool Dad!

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