My rusty pickup

I recently finished this rusty pickup. I started it when I was in college but it became a shelf queen. WFSM did a shelf queen group build and contest. I didn't finish it in time for the contest, but it is finished. I'll describe the techniques below the pictures, but I don't have any WIP pictures. This is AMT/ERTL's 1950 Chevy Pick Up kit in 1/25 scale. I was inspired to finish this as a beater by my neighbor, who has a 1970s chevy pickup that is sitting in his driveway.


Base Rust

The base rusting effects started with a few coats of paint from AK Interactive's Rust Color set. First was an even coat of Dark Rust over the primer. I then un-evenly applied some lighter rust colors followed by an even mist-coat of Dark Rust to pull it all together.

I then sponged on various shades of rust from the same AK rust set and even threw in some sponge effects from Life Color's rust set. I followed this with another coat of Dark Rust to pull it together. The sponge effects can't really be seen except on the inside of the bed.

Once these coats were dried for 24 hours, I applied additional effects with oil paints. I unevenly stippled and blended several layers of burnt umber and burnt sienna from the Winsor & Newton 'Winton' line of oil colors. This process took several days as I had to let each layer dry for a day before applying the next. After letting all layers fully dry, I applied a flat clear coat to protect my work from the coming hairspray technique.


I applied two light coats of hairspray straight from the can. I then applied a coat of Tamiya flat white and chipped it with wet brushes and toothpics. Once cured, I applied another flat clear coat and let it fully cure. I then applied another layer of hairspray and a coat of Tamiya flat yellow, slightly lightened with white. This yellow coat was chipped, cured, and sealed as before.

More Oil Effects

Now the real fun begins. First, the filters. I must have applied at least a dozen filters to this entire model. I make my filters with oil paints heavily thinned with odorless mineral spirits. It was more like dirty thinner than paint. These filters were probably too thin, which is why it took so many layers to acheive the final result. Most filters were raw sienna with an occasional black filter. The drying process was sped up with a hair dryer.

After filters, I stippled and blended some AK Interactive oil rust colors. These stipples were much smaller than the ones applied to the base rust, and they were more transparent. I increased the transparency by mixing the oils with W&N drying Poppy oil. I applied the mixture with my finest brush and blended as usual.

Finally some rust streaks were added using W&N and AK oil paints. Again, I mixed some of the paint with the poppy oil to increase transparency. I originally planned to seal these oil effects with a flat clear coat, but that turned out to be unnecessary. I had thought that adding the Poppy oil would increase the gloss of the paint, but that turned out not to be the case.

Bumper and Grill rust

AMT/Ertl's kit came with some plated parts like the bumpers, grill, wheels, etc. I stripped the plating with window cleaner then airbrushed them with AK's Dark rust. I should have applied a clear coat at this point, but I neglected to do so. I applied some liquid masking agent to the bumper and grill in small, random spots. Once dry, I applied metallic paint using a unique dry-brushing technique I recently read about.  Basically, I loaded up a very scruffy paint brush with Testors Metalizer Aluminum plat. Instead of blotting the brush dry like normal, I let it air dry (which doesn't take long as the lacquer solvents evaporate quickly). I would never do this with any paint except a metalizer-type metallic lacquer. Once the brush is air dry, I rubbed the brush on the parts until an even metallic finish appeared.

I then removed the liquid mask revealing the rust colored paint underneath the Metalizer. At least, that's what would have happend if I had clear coated the rust before I applied the liquid mask. Instead the liquid mask pulled the rust color up too, so I had to paint the Dark Rust back in with a brush. I'll know better next time.


My rusty pickup

Very impressive Chris. If you neighbor's truck looks like this did you build this as a subtle hint.

Excellent job!

You did a great job bringing this shelf queen to life. You have definitely done a wonderful job of expressing what a well worn and rusting vehicle would appear like sitting in a driveway next to an old garage but possibly still able to amble down the road if needed. Great effect on the rust and paint separations. Nice write up tpoo explaining your techniques.

Great rust job

I don't think everyone appreciates how hard it is to make a model truck look junky and rusty. You did a great job on this one and I want to try this myself. Hopefully my results will be equally convincing.


Awesome build.Can explain the use of hairspray and the "chipping" of the paint? Thanks.

Much has already been written

Much has already been written about hairspray chipping, so I'll just link to a good tutorial for your information..