Usually for my tanks and such I’ll give a drybrush of brown paint to simulate mud and gunk that will pick up on the wheel guards and treads. It’s a simple technique that gets a decent effect. I never really dabbled in weathering pigments much. Then I heard about this nifty line of products for washes from Modelmates.
Modelmates translucent washes come in a variety of pigments that are really nice. A big plus for me is that they can be diluted and cleaned up in water. So I decided to pick up a bottle and try it out. I got the mud brown color wash. They come in plastic containers with a small bead inside to facilitate mixing. The top has a sloped funnel lid to allow excess paint inside the lid lip to drip down back into the pot. The manufacturer recommends trying out the wash on a section first for testing if painting on plastic, as the wash themselves have a little solvent in them. Apparently for some plastics this can be an issue. I think for the typical plastic used in model kits this isn’t a problem, as I didn’t get any peeling of paint or pitting of the model surface.
I dabbed a bit over the wheels and let it set in, followed up with a matte spray coat. I’m really impressed with how the weathering wash looks and it’s a breeze to apply. Here is a bren carrier I’ve been working on. The carrier on the bottom had just a drybrush of brown for mud, with the carrier on top also having a coat of Modelmates weathering.
I would certainly have a lot of water on hand and use a crappy brush. I’ve heard that while it’s water soluble, it can gunk up your brushes and will dry pretty quickly as the solvent evaporates. So having water nearby to rinse out your brush every tank tread or so would likely help in keeping the brush intact. With weathering, it really added a lot more depth to the basic treads modeled on the side of the carrier.
I’m really happy picking up this weathering wash. Likely I will check into picking up other shades, especially if working on an African-theater platoon, as the dust colors look really nice. They are a super easy way to dress up a basic paint job. Best of all they seem easy to work with and cover well over acrylic water-based paints.