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Dry brushing
England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: September 24, 2007
KitMaker: 26 posts
AeroScale: 24 posts
Posted: Monday, April 14, 2008 - 09:41 PM UTC
Hi all. Has anyone got some tips on dry brushing? Such as what to use, what kind of paint, techniques etc. Alternatively has someone got a link to an article about this?


Scotland, United Kingdom
Joined: February 07, 2008
KitMaker: 1,699 posts
AeroScale: 1,384 posts
Posted: Monday, April 14, 2008 - 10:12 PM UTC
I watched this guy. I got the link somewhere in aeroscale.
Lots to pick up on here. But you see him dry brush and wash the cockpit of a p-47.

United Kingdom
Joined: January 16, 2007
KitMaker: 1,218 posts
AeroScale: 633 posts
Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 - 09:34 PM UTC
I expect thereís other articles all over Armorama, but here are the basics:

Type of paint: any, really, although enamels often work better than acrylics because of the greater pigment density.

Type of brush: flat, with short bristles (shorten them if you canít find one short enough), and above all old. Dry-brushing knackers your brush in pretty short order so thereís no point sacrificing a new one. You need a short brush because that makes it easier to control where the paintís going - you donít want loose ends flicking paint where you donít want it.

Technique: you need, er, a dry brush. This means getting a small amount of paint on it, then wiping it away until it looks as though youíve removed it all. There will still be enough to do the job. Application: whisk it back and forth across the part to be painted. All the raised edges and surfaces will magically pick up the colour that you thought had vanished. Go gently: itís much easier to add a layer than to remove one. (Some people use the sludge at the bottom of the tin - I avoid this because of the risk of using too much paint at once. Also it reduces the amount of pigment in the tin, which thins the paint.) With practice you can make dry-brushing look almost like a sprayed dust coat, and itís possible to blend colours even when theyíre dry, since the coverage can be made so thin that itís almost translucent.

One warning: dry-brushing can be quite hard on the object being painted, since youíre flicking a short brush (without much give) repeatedly across it. Some items, like small bits of photo-etch, may not appreciate the treatment much.

A good surface to practise on is the part numbers on sprues - theyíre generally raised.

United Kingdom
Joined: June 13, 2008
KitMaker: 12 posts
AeroScale: 2 posts
Posted: Friday, June 20, 2008 - 06:56 AM UTC
As a wargame modeller originally I am used to drybrushing with acrylics, specifically Citadel (Games Workshop). The technique described above is spot on so I'll only add any extra thoughts.

I dry the brush off on dimpled kitchen towel, that way I can see how much is likely to come off onto the model as it drybrushes the towel.

When highlighting by drybrushing, don't only use white to lighten your base colour, it can make the model look chalky. I add light colours, such as grey for black, beige or flesh tones for red (adding white just makes pink!), yellow and white for green.

Smooth surfaces don't take drybrushing well, it works best on detail and edges.

Games Workshop sell specific brushes for drybrushing which are made of tougher bristles so they don't get destroyed in the process (a sable brush might only last two or three vigorous sessions).

Hope that helps.