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Mike Maynard
52 articles

Dozer in Decline-An Experiment in Weathering

June 23, 2015 · in Diorama · 18 · 1.3K

I scratch built this crawler tractor a few years ago for display on my outdoor train layout. For some reason I wasn't pleased with it's "look" and it sat on a shelf with all my jars of nails and screws. As time went on the model took a few swan dives off the shelf to the work bench and bits and pieces fell away from the rest of the model. Last winter (after the model's 12th or so crash on the bench) I decided to repair it and experiment with an air brush weathering technique. There are a good number of internet "how to weather" articles and, after viewing a few, I felt this "dozer" was a safe choice if my tecnique went wrong. I photographed each step, made all sorts of notes and was satisfied with it's look. As I cleared off the work bench for my next project, I managed to toss my notes in the trash and have a vague idea of how I arrived at this weathered "finish". The tractor was already sprayed gray so I airbrushed a mix of flat red and flat brown as a "rust base". Next I sprayed the entire model with cheap aerosol hair spray. It wasn't even "dry" and I airbrushed a flat yellow on the model. Using a hair dryer I "expedited" the drying time of the yellow paint. I think I counted to 60 and immediately began removing the yellow paint with an old tooth brush dipped in mineral spirits. I alternated scrubbing from top to bottom, allowing the paint to dry in certain areas a little longer. I then did some dry brushing with acrylic paints to bring out a few details. One of these days I'm going to try a ship model with this method, hopefully I won't "go overboard" with the weathering.

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18 responses

  1. Nice one Mike, I really like how did you achieve weathered look.

  2. Looks great to me! I love the springs poking through the seats also - very nice touch!

    • Thanks Greg for noticing. All the "car guys" that build an abandoned car always use that "spring though the seat" trick, it adds to the run down look of the piece.

  3. Well it certainly "looks the part", I must say. Very nice effect you achieved there. Out of what did you fashion that seat? It doesn't appear to be plastic.

    • Thanks Craig for the comment. I used a piece of scrap balsa wood, covered it with tissue paper, coated the paper with some thinned out Elmers glue. When dry I drilled some holes to place the springs in, sprayed the entire piece flat black and tried different shades of black/gray with a brush...

  4. Hi Mike, very nice weathering, I love the effect you got, great work.

  5. A very well weathered machine there.
    Looks so abused...

  6. Now I know what to do with those spare springs I seem to have collected over the years! Anyway, you seem to have achieved a very realistic weathered finish, I just hope you can remember how you did it!

  7. Greetings :
    A very interesting project ( experiment ), as a result I must say the results are very outstanding. The choice of a bulldozer makes this very unique, many would choose a automobile ( nothing wrong with that, only see it as a personal opinion, especially the junk yard scene ).
    Very good work.

  8. I didn't catch the scale, but it looks like a 1 to 1 scale and few tons of steel, so my conclusion is, "a job well done". Good work Mike !

    • Thanks Terry for the comment. I forgot to add the scale is "about 1:29", the scale of my G Scale railroad. I used a plastic 1:29 figure as a guide to a prototype size.

  9. Mike, you've applied some basic yet well honed modelling skills and achieved finishes often associated with specialist 'distressing' products. Just my sort of thing. Very nice.

  10. said on June 24, 2015

    Great weathering job on an unusual subject.
    Hats off!

  11. first class weathering

  12. Awesome Mike! That is some really impressive weathering. I hope your happy with it now, I would be!

  13. Thank you gents for all the nice comments, they are always appreciated!

  14. Looks completely realistic, excellent build and weathering !

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