Tutorial - How to create real rust pigments

by Roman aka jar

posted by roman, jarhead, kong

As i told you - back again - still a lot to do do - sorry to all waiting from me - i'll do my best, but ... why i am writing here. I did prepare something i wanted to share with you really spontaneous. This one is about...

How to create real rust pigments

First, this technique has been shown to me by the Chapuchin, Raffa my man. Thanks for sharing your experience with me. Socialising rocks! Now comes a really short tutorial...

Starting Thoughts

There will be a bigger Tutorial for working with colour pigments. I am sorry about the fact that this doesn't go in the perfect order but crawling with the muse isn't controllable :)

I just want to show you here how you can create your own rust pigments for your miniature weathering.

What you need

- Steel wool
- Water
- a container

What you do

Put steel wool in the container, put water in it. Bring water in as high that the wool is completly under water (i am saying more to this later on). Next wait for about 5 days or something around that until the water did disappear by air and the wool did rust to dust - now you have rust pigments which are best stored in a small container which you can close.

If you don't put enough water in your container, while the steel wool rusts in parts there will be little pieces in the end when the water has disappeared, but you know also this can be intresting.

This is how it looks after several days. The water did run dry and i had to give some more water into it. I'll keep you informed when everything is fine, haha:

In the end - rust pigments:

If you now want to filter your pigments from rests of the steel wool, simply use a magnet:

What good may this be

We often use this sort of thing for creating rusty effects on display miniatures which are not for gaming. Using real rust makes your result... uhm... look real :)

Take care when bringing them up. You can do a glaze of pigments and they will dry out dusty again (good for tanks for examples or to only bring them to lower areas on your model), for sure you can use them massive on a base for example or mix them up with something else you'll find while having a dirty moment at your workbench. Trust me, they will dry out as they had been before again - dusty and rusty.

Another way to bring them up is dry with an old dry brush getting them up and dab them up your place of wish. It will change this area, bringing a dusty subtle touch to it.

If you brought them at place and go over it with a liquid wash of something you want to bring on the area because the muse says so, then be warned, the rust works again, when being confrontated with water again - just get it on with some experiments.

Another tip while preparing your own real rust is to have multiple containers. One for the normal use of this procedure, another one for having water mixed with some colours for example to make greenish rust. Ok, enough - it is up to you to get it on.

Some problems occoured while doing rust pigments all over the globe lately (check out the comments below). Lutz aka Oraldesigner has the solution:

Lutz says via comment:
"Hi, making some real progress. This is for everyone who´s having the same problems:
Before you "drown" your steel wool it´s important to wash it with soap. Wear some gloves while doing it, cause the nasty steel wool will byte you, at least it feels like it ;-).
After that: No problem with the rust, you can practically watch it "grow". I think it´s ´cause they must have put alot of grease/oil on the steel wool to prevent it from doing what we want it to: transform into rust ;-)
When you use pure Vinegar or even "Essigessenz"(german word)it works much quicker.
Tada, problem solved ;-)"

Always remember!
If you love the life you have you get way more done :)

Keep on happy painting!


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