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Hello everyone, 


I’m working on painting and chipping and cant seem to get it right, I’m using hair spray but I’m not against ordering a bottle of the chipping liquid if that works best? If any one has advice that could help me out that would be awesome. Thanks!



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I may well be alone in this, but I have no clue about the subject of your inquiry. 

The best I can imagine is that your area of interest is steel Navy or merchant and it is an older vessel with an uneven multi coat paint job that is being simulated.

If this is the situation, the guys who do plastic models and whose focus is on the finish instead of the structure are probably a more productive resource.

For me, and I suspect many others who focus on wood, paint and the finish are a necessary evil.

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You may wish to try rubber cement.

First paint the wood with whatever weathering effects you want to show underneath (faded older paint, weathered board, dry rot etc.). Wherever you wish to show chipped paint, brush on a dab of rubber cement. Apply your top coat when the rubber cement has properly set. Finally, when the paint is dry, rub off the cement with your finger. You can finish the area off with a distressing tool (like a paint brush, but with metal bristles). Hairspray or chipping fluid won’t work as they are likely to be absorbed by the wood, where rubber cement will just clump on the surface.

Thr best advice is also to experiment on some scrap pieces until you get the results you desire. 


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As far as I understand the hairspray technique just involves

1 (Primer first) Then A base coat of the colour you eventually want to show through as chips (eg rust red for a vehicle for eg)

2 Spray hairspray lightly on.  Note some hairsprays perform better than others, may need to google online best versions)

3 After allowing to dry paint the final coat of the main colour of the subject.

4 Once dry, use a stiff bristle brush/toohpicks and with Water, scrub and scratch where you want chips to appear.


With wood wear effects I prefer painting a seires of different paint colours and washes gradually building up to a good wood looking effect.  Mostly I apply this technique on plastic/metal.  For the final chipping effect I would use lighter and ligher sand colour paints such as Vallejo Iraqi sand just subtely along the edges.  Sone good tutorials giving the sequence of paints to use, I have a cheat sheet somewhere which I can provide if anyone interested.

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  • 3 weeks later...

On plastic models, where I want to simulate paint having flaked off, I will use a number of techniques based on how big an area I want to flake off. Usually, it will be a small piece of masking tape for larger flakes, and then grains of thick-grain demerara sugar stuck on the model around the larger spot, to simulate smaller spots of flaking. You spray paint your paint, wait for it to dry, then peel off the tape and remove the sugar grains with your x-acto. Works a treat on plastic models, and I am sure the sugar would work well on wood too. I would seal the wood first with a cellulose dope or similar.

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