How to do weathering using enamel wash

January 31, 2013 at 18:25 | Posted in How-to | 8 Comments
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The enamel wash method will give your gunpla a dirty & weathered look while simultaneously filling the panel lines. What you will need is: enamel paint & thinner, paint brush, kitchen towel or cotton-bud.  Please note that the images below are not mine. I scanned them from Dengeki Hobby magazine. So here’s what you do:

1. Choose your color & thin your paint


When choosing a color, the main point is contrast. When the model kit is painted with light colors (white, cream etc.), I tend to use darker colors for the wash (e.g. dark brown); and for kits painted in darker colors, I use lighter colors for the wash (eg. yellow-brown). Next you would want to thin the enamel paint to a consistency similar to when applying panel lines.

2. ‘Wash’ your model with enamel paint


For this, you need a wide brush since you’re going to cover the entire surface of your kit with the thinned enamel paint. Doing this also fills up the panel lines.After applying the enamel paint, leave the parts for a minute or so for the paint to partially dry.

<Tip: I prefer to apply the enamel paint on each part separately, instead of on the assembled part like in the picture. This is because I had experience of the plastic parts becoming brittle and subsequently cracked after I applied the wash method on assembled parts.>

3. Wipe off the enamel paint


After the enamel paint is relatively dry, take a cotton bud and dip it in enamel thinner. Then use the cotton bud to wipe off the enamel paint. The key point here is to NOT wipe everything cleanly. You’re supposed to leave some traces and smearing of the enamel paint to give that dirty & weathered look.


The wiping direction when using the cotton bud is also important. You have to take into account the position of a particular part when the kit is fully assembled. A sideways smearing pattern looks less natural on a standing Zaku’s leg, for example. That’s why the wiping direction is facing downwards in the photo above.


You can also use a kitchen towel soaked with enamel thinner and dab on the surface to get some kind of pattern, like in the picture above.


And that’s all there is to it! You can see the effect of this method when you compare the ‘unwashed’ part (left), with the ‘washed’ part (right). The one in the middle shows how it looks like right after step 2.


Here’s just some of my own examples:

whogre-11 dwadge-13 mgdom-55





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  1. ohhh nice one! thanks for the information! =3

  2. Can this be done on unpainted kit?

    • yes you can

      • Ok, thanks! :)

  3. Can I use an enamel wash over Tamiya acrylics?

    • i never used acrylic paints so i can’t say for certain, but it should theoretically be possible. i recommend spraying a layer of gloss topcoat over your acrylic paintjob before attempting the enamel wash.

      • Cool, thank you for your help :) and quick reply

  4. Thanks man I’ll definitely try this as I’m doing a weathering challenge now for GBA.

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