Weathering the Raider

Weathering has always been one of my favorite parts of model building. As a result I often get into debates on what is feasible and what is clearly overkill. Bottom line, you can do research on a ‘real world’ airplane for example but then you’re imitating. Agreed that for most modelbuilders that’s the aim of the game, to replicate as faithful as possible a given subject. And I have the same problem when I build an existing machine, let’s say an AH-1 Cobra or a P-51 Mustang. I’ll be nitpicking every small detail and error on a kit. As a result, I keep going into puny details that take the fun out of finishing a kit.

But not with a Sci Fi kit.

This Raider is no exception. As mentioned before, I wanted a veteran Cylon Raider. In the Battlestar Glactica of 1978 the Cylon Raiders where there to be shot at, no matter how large number of Raiders the Cylons send up, the Vipers waxed those bandits one at the time. As a result, all Cylon Raiders look nice and shiny (the had ofcourse a complete week to produce new canon fodder 🙂 ).

I wanted to give my Raider a weathered and abused look, without going overboard. It needed to be airworthy and combat ready. So some chipping was needed. For this I used the hairspray method, apply the hairspray spray over the color and then the fun begins. Simply take some luke water, brush it on the model until you get bubbles (yup, you’ll get bubbles) and then simply chip off the paintwith the toothbrush. You’ll have the real deal in miniature. I found that, for me, this method is the easiest to control and also the most dramatic.

This is where the chosen base color comes into play. Take for example shiny silver and you’ll get a toy like appearance, dark grey and it will look badly painted. So I went for a contrasting color by using German Green (wich has a gray shine to it). I varied the location and intensity of the chipping to get an interesting result.

After this was done, I tackled the decals…. all two of them

Due to my preshading, I needed to emphasis the panelling. The only option I had was to cut the decal in tree according to the panelling. After these were cut I lightly sanded them with ultra fine sandpaper to get a worn look and placed them on the model. After that it was on to the protective varnish.

Once dry, I let go with washes, oil paints, pastels and all other known weathering methodes in the book. Always checking if the weathering wasn’t overkill, mentally checking for mistakes. And after a few hours this is the result :

That’s it for now, I hope you enjoy the pics.

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