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Space Hulk Diorama (8) – Tutorial: Salt-Masking

Hammock ‘Black Metallic’ 

Salt-masking is a technique for creating a weathered-effect. It has four stages: 1) paint an underlying colour 2) add salt 3) paint an overlying colour 4) remove the salt.

There are different methods for doing this – some painters use hairspray to attach the salt; but plain water works just as well. It’s much easier, too; though it takes a bit longer to dry.

Regular table salt is all that’s needed.

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First, however, paint the underlying rust effect. These were the colours I used:

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The first layer was Mournfang Brown, then a layer of Skrag Brown. This was then given successive washes of Flat Earth, Orange Brown, and Smoke to make it look variegated:

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When you’re happy with the rust colour, and once the paint has dried, brush over it with clean water:

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Then sprinkle salt onto the wet areas:

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Leave to dry:

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I then painted over this with silver. It’s best to use spray paint for this stage, as the salt+water bond is very weak; and comes off easily when brushed.

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Once the silver paint has dried, remove the salt using a brush:

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The results proved a bit underwhelming:

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So, I started-over; re-painting the rust effect, and adding heavier quantities of salt in patches:

 

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Again, it was spray-painted silver:

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Once the salt was removed, the effect was more vivid:

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This was washed with tank-brown/flat earth, to make it look a bit more natural:

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I then covered fairly arbitrary patches with masking fluid.

I painted the door using these colours:

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First, a basecoat of French Mirage Blue + Earth:

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Shade with a wash of smoke; and in the recesses, a wash of black:
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Highlight by stippling-on green grey, followed by stippling green-grey+rotting flesh, and then stippling rotting flesh as a final highlight:

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Add a rusted effect by washing patches and recesses with Flat Earth/Tank Brown:

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The masking-fluid was then removed:

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It looked a little bit too cleanly-painted at this point; so I added some glazes of smoke/flat earth/tank brown, to blend the rust-patches with the surrounding areas:

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Done.

 

Worth a look

A gloriously over the top colour-scheme & conversion (Tale Of Painters)

This year’s Golden Demon entries (Volomir)

Old but helpful rust painting tutorial (Ultrawerke)

Suspended tree sculptures (This Is Colossal)

Darkoath Chieftain by Max Faleij (Putty & Paint)

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One response »

  1. Very interesting and what a great look. I’m glad the salt was being “cooperative” too hehe

    Reply

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