Experimenting with Chipping Fluid

experimenting with chipping fluid

I’ve always had the notion to try out some chipping fluid and figured that it would look good for the renegade vehicles in my Traitor Guard army. This is a project that I’ve always liked the thought of since the old Lost and the Damned Codex and always wanted to do. The Renegades and Heretics army list in Imperial Armour 13 from Forgeworld was the tipping point for me. Over the past few years I have been squirreling away the odd tank or unit that I’ve either got at a good price, won on eBay or had as hand me downs from friends. I’ve carried out a little work on them to convert them up and give them a good renegade feel, as well as spending a little on the Forgeworld Renegade Militia upgrade kits and then ripping apart my old Cadians to make some proper renegade soldiers.

I had always planned to give my traitors a very beaten up and not very well looked after feel, complete with rusty, ill kept weapons and machinery that had seen better days. The idea behind this being that I wanted them to have a look as if they were forced to pull together whatever equipment and vehicles they could from salvaging wrecks and other battlefield debris.

Creating a Battle Damaged Effect with Chipping Fluid

AK heavy chipping fluidI came across the Heavy Chipping Fluid from AK Interactive online and picked up a bottle a few months ago. Having not had the time to carry out much hobby progress for a while it was pushed to one side and forgotten about until I recently decided to have a go and painting my tanks. These three chimeras and two Leman Russes would act as my testing models for the chipping fluid to see how well it worked before I continued on and painted up the rest of the vehicles.

The first step was fairly simple, after undercoating each of the tanks with Citadel Chaos Black primer I then airbrushed each completely with some Metallic paints from the Vallejo Model Air range. I then went over certain areas of the tanks painting parts of it with Brass Scorpion where rust was likely to pool. This would provide a nice metallic base to appear in areas of where the paint had been damaged and a nice mix of brass and silver colours that would show through the chipped paint.

Imperial Guard tanks undercoated with metallic paint

The next stage was to use my airbrush to apply a thin coat of the AK Heavy Chipping Fluid to the tanks, covering the whole model’s surface. This took about 20-30 mins to allow to dry completely at which point I applied a second light coat over the areas that I wanted to look a bit more damaged.

I then spent a while taping up the tracks on the chimeras, I had bought these second hand otherwise I would have left the tracks off and painted them separately. As this was quite a tedious process that took quite a bit of time. So much so that I didn’t bother to do it for the Leman Russ tanks (something I very much regretted later on).

The taping worked well and a few coats of Vallejo Dark Yellow from the model air range my tanks, especially the Chimeras were looking quite presentable, good but not the desired effect I was after. I gave the tanks a couple of light coats ensuring a nice even layer across the armour plating sections. The Russes required a bit of touching up around the tracks which slowed my progress. This was my first experience using masking tape on tanks, having only experimented with my Avenger Strike Fighter previously. It’s something I will definitely be making more use of in the future.

Creating the Chipped Paint effect on the Armour

This is where the fun begins, I had watched a few different youtube videos online just to make sure I knew what do do to get the desired effect. Following their instructions I armed myself with a toothbrush that I dipped in water and applied it to one of the Chimera turrets as my initial test and proceeded to gently scrub.

Traitor Guard tanks using chipping fluid  chipping fluid used to create worn effect on tanks

It took a little while to have any noticeable effect but quickly became apparent that I had used too much water and the paint just started to peel away. Concerned that it could end up wasting my tanks I dabbed the effected area dry with kitchen roll before starting again but this time removing most of the water from the toothbrush so that it was just a bit damp. This did require a lot more scrubbing on my part and after 5 tanks left me with quite a sore arm but it did give me the desired effect and a lot more control over the paint chipping. I found that handling the models was also rubbing the paint off of raised edges, which was fine as it added to the effect.

chipping effect on renegade Chimeras using chipping fluid

With the desired ‘beaten up’ effect applied to the tanks’ armour I left them overnight to dry so as not to take off any extra paint. The following day I touched up some of the metallic parts and  added some weathering to the lower sections of the tanks as well as around the gun barrels and exhausts etc. with this completed I sealed them all with mat varnish.

weathered and beaten up look for renegade guard tanks using chipping fluid

In Conclusion

I’m really happy with the finished effect, which turned out better than I had initially expected. It did take a bit of getting used to at first to get the right level of dampness on the toothbrush to get the desired effect. Though once I got the hang of it was very easy to do, I would highly recommend the AK Chipping Fluid if your looking to achieve a worn, beat up effect.

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