Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Weathering concepts: Stage-of-life-weathering | Part One

Weathering in scale modeling

A first try of a concept of mine

All scale modelers have to deal with scaling effects and problems: we are building miniatures and replicas of real things and try to make them looking »real«. A vast number of techniques have been developed by talented modelers and several different schools have developed from »artistical« to »realistic«, from »northern« to »southern« schools.

My ideal replica looks both realistic and artistcal. I have an scientific education and I have an interest in regularities and processes. So, when studying authentic photos of, e.g. a Bf109, I try to »read« the history of that Bf109 like I try to read the history of a rock or fossil as a geologist.

The history of each modeling subject can be split in successive life stages determined by the circumstanes of its nature and operation. The life stages are also influenced by regularities that have their origin in operational and technical reasons as well as in nature itself.

The following diagram shows a succession of life stages for a given modeling subject, e.g. a WWII fighter aircraft. The dark blue spiral shows the time line and evoluton of the single life stages (orange-red boxes). Over its entire life span this aircraft is subject to several specific processes (see light blue boxes), e.g. formation and interim removal of exhaust stains. All these different processes can be contemporary and effective over the entire life time resulting in a complex and interleaved finish where several generations or layers of exhaust stains, oil streaks, dirt and grime, paint chippings and many more are present.

I think this results in a »realistic« and »artistical« replica that has a story to tell!

First try: Stage-of-life weathering

Interleaved finish of several generations of exhaust stains,
oil stains, dust, dirt, scratches and scuff markings.

Most effects like exhaust stains are made of
several generations of application, partial removal
and re-application to recreate the life stages
and processes that occured in the life time
of the original subject.


  1. Your Approach opens up the way to a whole new thinking about how a model should be painted.

    I guess that is the reason why your models "demand to be looked at", the reason for the great pleasure to look at it and your way of giving a thing a life.

    I'm curious for more :)