A Quick Guide to Silver Metals – Method 2

In this week`s article, I’ll be walking you through a different approach to creating a silver metal that will give your models a depth with a tinge of darkness.  Last week`s method started out with a brighter aluminum colors, but today we’ll shake it up a bit.  We`re going to start from straight black and actually use the metallic color as the highlight.

Before we begin, here are the following materials I’ll be using:

Metals Method 2 - J.Richards-1

AK Interactive’s Streaking Grime, AK Interactive’s True Metal Gun Metal, AK Interactive’s True Metal Gun Metal Vallejo Rust pigments, a flat drybrush, and a Warhammer 40k industrial base.

Today’s subject will be this Warhammer 40k industrial base.  I started by priming the model black with Badger’s Stynylrez Primer.  I let the primer full cure for at least a day before touching it further.

Metals Method 2 - J.Richards-2

With the primer completely cured, I took AK Interactive’s Streaking Grime and liberally applied it to the entire base.

With the Streaking Grime applied, I would normally let the model sit for several hours to ensure that the wash dried thoroughly.  However, being comfortable with the product and its properties when both wet and dry, I decided to break out the hairdryer and speed the drying process up.  The trick was to ensure that the wash dried but didn’t fully cure.  If the wash cured, I wouldn’t be able to mix the wax metal with the wash to create subtle, yet effective blends.

Metals Method 2 - J.Richards-5

After the wash was fully dried, I took a larger, flat drybrush and loaded it up with AK-Interactive’s True Metal Gun Metal.  Kendon normally uses True Metal’s Iron, but I didn’t have any and so I used True Metal Gun Metal since I was in a pinch.  Before putting the brush in the paint, I made sure to dampen the brush with a hint of mineral spirits.  The key is to have a hint of moisture in the brush from the mineral spirits.  This will prevent the metals getting that signature dry-brushed look as you work the wax metal.  I then loaded the wax metal up on my drybrush, removed 95% of it, and then began to lightly apply it to the areas that I had applied Streaking Grime to.  The key at this step is to be patient and to work the wax metal evenly around the surface of the model.

Metals Method 2 - J.Richards-6

I was sure to keep the brush strokes light enough that the paint would be applied but also hard enough that the Streaking Grime would actually mix with the Gun Metal a bit.  The cool part about this method of painting metals relies on the chemical properties of the enamel-based Streaking Grime interacting with the wax-based metal.  The metal will actually blend with the Streaking Grime to give a nice effect as shown here:

Metals Method 2 - J.Richards-7

Once I was finished applying the Gun Metal, I began adding subtle highlights of True Metal’s Steel.  I worked the Steel paint in the areas I feel would experience the most wear and would achieve a bit of a polish.  At this point, I set the model aside to dry for a while and to allow the steel color to cure a bit.

Metals Method 2 - J.Richards-8

After the metals were dried, I went about applying Vallejo’s Rust colors with water.  Normally I would apply the pigments with either an enamel thinner or with another enamel wash, but I had to be careful with the properties of the wax metals.  The catch with the wax metals is that you cannot use mineral spirits over them once they’re applied unless you seal the metal with varnish or apply another medium (such as a water-based product).  If you apply another product over the wax metal that does use mineral spirits, do so at your own risk. You can actually reactivate the wax metal and you’ll end up with a ton of mica chips floating around your model. It’s impossible to clean up and you can actually ruin your model that way.

Metals Method 2 - J.Richards-9

Here is the base with the pigments applied and drying:

Metals Method 2 - J.Richards-10

With the pigments dried, this stage of the model is completed.

Metals Method 2 - J.Richards-11

That’s it for this week’s tutorial.  This is a fun and alternative method to creating darker metals that aren’t too flashy but pack enough contrast.  Until next time, keep weathering.


Leave a Reply