Thursday 22 February 2024

Car unwash

I've acquired a couple of road vehicles for Hexworthy, a ubiquitous Transit van and a Land Rover Defender. Both are nicely detailed models by Oxford Diecast, with interiors, UK number plates, and rubber tyres, but they are rather too shiny and clean...

So I disassembled them, which is easy as they are simply screwed together (I've drilled out many rivets under toy Hotwheels cars for my Son to customise!). Removing the wheels, glazing, and interior allows weathering as follows:
  • Rubbed down the paintwork with very fine emery and a fibreglass pencil to tone down the shine
  • Cut off the mounting screw mounts under the Land Rover, as its high ground clearance made them visible
  • The Transit van got dry-brushed rust (enamel) paint around the wheel arches, sills, gutter, and some panel edges - not too much, just a hint suggesting a long life
  • Plastic bumpers were painted, almost black on the Land Rover and dark grey on the Transit van
  • Window recesses were touched in with black paint where not already painted black
  • A dark brown wash was applied and partially rubbed off, filling panel gaps and toning down the paint slightly. A black wash was applied to the wheels. I've started using Vallejo washes, they're convenient and work well
  • A muddy brown was then airbrushed along the sills and around the wheel-arches, and up the rear of the vehicles from below, plus a little on the tyres
  • Finally, the bodies got a spray of Testors Dullcote (with headlights masked) before being re-assembled

The Transit van is on 1989 plates so I gave it heavier weathering with touches of rust showing through, and faded bumpers (the black plastics of vehicles of that era seemed to fade to grey very quickly). I also painted the interior a darker shade of mid-grey as it seemed a bit pale. It is lacking wing mirrors which I may have a go at making, but they would be rather delicate. 

The Land Rover is on 2012 plates so much newer, consequently I was much lighter on the weathering. There is still a light wash to bring out the panel gap shadows and mud behind the wheel-arches as befits a vehicle that is presumably used on country lanes a lot. The black wash on the wheels has filled the "blind" holes in the alloys, improving their looks.

I'm very pleased with the results, they've lost the deep glossy finish and look more realistic, with signs of real-world use and different ageing. 


KCD said...

If you take a look at the English detective series "Vera" you can get a good idea what a proper weathered "Defender" Land Rover looks like

Paul B. said...

Nicely done. So many die-casts on layouts are over-weathered I feel, especially when it comes to panel washing which can over-emphasise the door gaps.