US Staff Car

Rust and weathering on a US Staff Car

After spending 6 months on my Martin Machine project I did get a little bored and decided to do something completely different. The answer was a half price Tamiya 1/48 US Staff Car model from the local model shop. I decided to trawl the internet for some military modelling techniques to try those out. I discovered some amazing modelling, spent some money on a new airbrush and compressor as my old ones were not easy for spraying a quick small coat. I now have an Iwata Eclipse CS which has a top loading cup and a compressor that is small enough to live out in my modelling area for use whenever. The old bottom jar fed air brushes took so long to clean and couldn’t spray small amounts so I just never bothered… Now every thing is set up for immediate use which makes me use it more…

I also bought some MIG pigments and a couple of Vallejo paints – they sprayed beautifully when mixed with an equal amount of water and a few drops of Windolene (the window cleaner spray). I wanted to try out the hairspray and salt techniques so had great fun trying them all.

I built the model as per the box but did beef up the door handles and add a stripped off trim using Grandt Line NBWs. I left the windows out and the dashboard out as it goes in after the windows. I used Halfords black primer straight from the can. I then used two Vallejo browns to put on a coat of base rust. The aim is to have quite a rusty car with patches of paint left on round the edges. The car below has the first patch of brown which I stippled on with a brush.

Brown paint

Here’s the first rust coat on. I then sprayed a coat of dull cote and then 3 coats of cheap hairspray:

Dulcote and Hairspray

I wanted to try the salt technique but it ended up more as a filter/mask as I piled it on:

Salt layer

The picture I was using as inspiration was rusty across the top with a strip of undercoat and then the top coat beyond it. I used Vallejo US olive drab and ivory white (the model shop was out of plain white) to make up a greyish colour. I used my new airbrush to spray on a thin coat. The model below has had the salt washed off and you can see it is still dripping wet.

Olive drab

I took a brush to it and wiped off some of the paint to the pattern wanted:

Brush chipping

When I was happy I sprayed another coat of dull cote and then another couple of coats of hairspray and then I piled another layer of salt on. I used a bit of water to keep it in place and used a wider coat to cover some of the undercoat to act as a resist:

More salt

I sprayed Vallejo US olive drab as a top coat and rubbed it off with a brush and some water. I wasn’t totally happy with the transition being soft enough so I tried some really dilute white oil paint to feather out some of the grey somewhat:

Brush chipped second coat

I tried out my new MIG pigments using the light and standard rusts as well as vietnam earth. I tried the MIG pigment fixer too.

Next layers

I sprayed a coat of dull cote to get rid of some unfortunate shiny spots from the hairspray – they’re still there so I’ll see whether it need another coat. I put in the windows and here it is resting on the lower level. I had filed the front tyre with a crease like it was flat. The hub caps needs pigments and I still need to detail the inside.

Front tyre flat

I’ve finished it off with a few interior boxes and buckets and a ripped interior roof lining:

US Staff Car

US Staff Car

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