How to Paint Weathered Brass
Unless bare metal is fresh off the line and in a controlled environment, there is a very good chance that there is some corrosion present on it. So it only makes sense that our metals aren't pristine and clean. Especially when it comes to statues.
For this tutorial, we will be looking at how to paint weathered/ corroded brass. This will also work well for copper and bronze. But for steel and iron, you'll need rust instead, which is a completely different process. I may get to doing that one eventually.
Today I'll be using Children of the Zodiac: Libra from Reaper Miniatures for my example piece. This mini will be the centerpiece of the Fountain for my Frostgrave table.
- Citadel Chaos Black spray
- Vallejo Old Gold
- Citadel Rhinox Hide
- Citadel Sotek Green
- Citadel Warboss Green
- Citadel Ushabti Bone
- Citadel Runefang Steel
- A couple notes before we get started.
- Make sure you thin your paint. Painting straight out of the pot will eventually clog details with successive layers. Multiple thin layers always win vs. a single thick coat.
- I thin all my paint with Liquitex Matte Medium and water. There are other additives you can use as well, you've just got to play with it and see what works for you.
- Not only does Liqutex Matte Medium help thin the paint, it also makes your supply last longer. I go through a lot less paint now-a-days than I did in the old days. Since the matte medium stretches the supply a little with each mix.
- My mix is usually 2 drops of paint, 1 drop of Liquitex and 2 drops of water, depending on paint brand. Each brand has a different consistency so dilution mix is dependent on brand.
- I prime my minis with Games Workshop's sprays, but you could use a different brand. Be wary of Rustoleum and Krylon, I've had mixed results. Sometimes the chemicals in the spray react to the plastic of the mini, slowing dry times or damaging the mini.
Primer Coat - Chaos Black Spray
Once the mini is all cleaned and the mold lines are taken care of, it's time to give it an undercoat with Black. I used Citadel Chaos Black for my primer coat.
Base Coat 1 - Brass: Rhinox Hide (1:1)
With the primer now dry, its time to lay down a heavy drybrush of Brass and Rhinox Hide mixed 1:1.
Base Coat 2 - Brass
Follow up the previous drybrushing with a slightly lighter drybrush of straight Brass.
Wash 1 - Sotek Green: Warboss Green (3:1)
Mix Sotek Green and Warboss Green, mixed 3:1. Dilute the paint very thin with water to make a wash and cover the entire mini. Allow the wash to dry fully. Don't panic that you've now covered all of the brass that was drybrushed in the previous steps.
Wash 2 - Sotek Green: Warboss Green: Ushbati Bone (3:1:1)
Mix a small drop of Ushabti Bone into your wash and again cover the entire mini. Allow the wash to dry fully.
Highlight 1 - Brass
Drybrush the mini with a light coat of Brass
Highlight 2 - Brass: Old Gold (1:1)
Mix Brass with Old Gold and drybrush lightly again.
Highlight 3 - Brass: Old Gold, Runefang Steel (1:1:1)
Add a drop of Citadel Runefang Steel to your mix of Brass and Old Gold, then drybrush only the highest areas for highlighting.
Highlight 4 - Brass: Old Gold, Runefang Steel (1:1:3)
I forgot to take a picture of this step, but basically, add 2 more drops of Runefang Steel to your mix and with a regular, small brush pick out more highlights where needed. These should be used to accentuate high points where the sun would reflect.
But you can see the last step in the final pics below.
And that's it! We now have a believable brass statue that looks like it's been out in the world for awhile. If you want more corrosion you can skip a few of the highlights and play with some black, brown or green washes too.
As always, feel free to comment below. You can also find me on Twitter, @ryglore, pretty much any time.
Thanks for reading!