No. 03 in action! (zero tex)
Pigments produce varying shades, vibrancy and coverage depending on technique and binders used. Showing you just the powder in a jar is not enough. For your convenience we made a presentation of the applied pigment so that you may better assess what to expect from it.
ZERO TEX IN JAR
BASIC DUSTING NO BINDERS
EVEN COVERAGE WITH WEATHERING LIQUID
EVEN COVERAGE +
DUSTING ON TOP
POINT WET EFFECT
PARTIAL WET EFFECT
No. 04 in action! (textured)
Below you can observe textured pigments used in standard scenarios - mud and earth accumulation. The advantage of textured pigments is ease of micro-structure formation. Particles are micronised and up to scale!
COARSE TEX IN THE JAR
COARSE TEX DRY
COARSE TEX PARTIAL
COARSE TEX WET
How to produce even coverage effect? (matt finish)
Mix your pigment with either Alkyd or ENML 2.0 binders "standard" type. Apply resulting weathering liquid with a brush as if painting. Evaporate the solvent using hair drier and that's that! One dry you can also apply raw pigment on top of the layer for lighter shade - use bigger brush and rub the pigments into the layer. You can use hair drier to expedite things.
How to create pigment wash?
Procedure is as for even coverage. Apply a layer of pigment using either Alkyd or ENML 2.0 binders "standard" type. Use hair drier. Once a layer is dry use UNIVERSAL weathering carrier to liquefy it again and remove portions of pigment. Remove as much pigment as you need leaving it in places you deem appropriate. Doing it this way, using binders first, introducing carrier (thinner) later ensures your pigment job is permanent, classic washes with just the thinner are not durable.
How to create dry mud accumulation?
Mix your textured pigments with either Alkyd or ENML 2.0 binders "standard" type. Apply the resulting paste and use hair drier to get rid of the solvent. Dry Alkyd based paste can be manipulated up to 9h before it permanently cures, no extra solvent is needed for manipulation! ENML 2.0 based paste cures quickly and needs solvent (VMS UNIVERSAL weathering carrier or equivalent) to be brought back to life. Introduce carrier to be able to work with a layer. Use hair drier to "freeze" it in place again - it works like real life mud!
How to create wet effects? (with Acrylics: quick way)
Mix your pigments with VMS "structuring" acrylic binders. Apply the resulting paste (textured pigments) or liquid (zero tex pigments). Once it's dry apply a thin coat of VMS "finishing" acrylic resin to increase the gloss. Acrylics dry quickly and are permanent! If you are using them for the first time please conduct trials on a dummy model first!
How to create wet effects? (with Alkyds: slowly but with more control over the process)
Mix your pigments with VMS Alkyd binders "gloss action" type. Apply and model the resulting paste (textured pigments) or liquid (zero tex pigments). Leave to dry for 3h. The pigment job will turn matt as the pigments absorb the binders the first time you mix and apply them. Don't worry about the matt finish it's supposed to work this way. Next step is to apply a thin layer of Alkyd binders "gloss action" over the pigment job you just created in order to enhance the gloss. You can add an additional layer every 3h until you are happy with the finish - gloss level. You can apply "gloss action" all over or just locally for more variation. You can apply gloss action over pigment jobs made with other variants of alkyds provided they are 24h+ old.
How to create wet effects? (with ENML 2.0: quickly + pigment job is reversible at any time)
Mix your pigments with VMS ENML 2.0 "gloss action" type binders. Apply and model the resulting paste (textured pigments) or liquid (zero tex pigments). Use hair drier to get rid of the solvent. The pigment job will turn matt as the pigments absorb the binders the first time you mix and apply them. Don't worry about the matt finish it's supposed to work this way. Let the pigment job breathe for about 1h for a better sealed and more durable layer. Next step is to apply a thin coat of ENML 2.0 binders "gloss action" over the pigment job you just created in order to enhance the gloss. You can add multiple layers for a "dripping wet" effect. Use hair drier between the coats for quicker results. You can apply "gloss action" all over or just locally for more variation.
How to create textured partial effect?
Mix textured pigments with Alkyd binders "standard" and create paste. Apply it in the wheels, over the hull, wherever you want it. Apply excessively as you will be removing some of the pigment later. Use hair drier to evaporate the solvent. Don't worry your paste will remain live for 9h. Now use brush and/or a toothpick to remove portions of the paste. When done removing gently brush over an entire pigment job with a bigger soft brush to remove some loose pigment chunks. Leave to cure for 24h.
How to create point wet effects?
For damp point effect with medium gloss (satin finish) please use Alkyd or ENML 2.0 "colour extenders". Simply apply the binders with a precision brush wherever you need them. Apply binders sparingly and apply heat (hair drier) right after application to maintain the contrast and prevent running. For high gloss wet effects please use Alkyd or ENML 2.0 "gloss action binders" or "finishing" acrylic resin.
How to create partial wet effect?
Apply your pigments using ENML 2.0 or Alkyd "gloss action" types binders. To remove the gloss where needed use Universal weathering carrier, use damp brush to wipe excessive binders, use hair drier to check the result. If still too glossy do some more wiping, you may introduce a bit pigment along with the carrier to reduce gloss better. To create a smooth transition from gloss to matt, allow the carrier to flow freely between the both areas, soak it up with your brush (without wiping) and finally use hair drier to check out the result. You can also introduce a second coat of pure binders over "wet" areas later on for a dripping wet effect.
Alkyd, ENML 2.0 and Acrylic binders what's the deal with these products?
VMS offers specialised pigment binders for creative modellers! All binders fix your pigments but they do so in different ways. Alkyds cure slowly (up to 9h manipulation time after the solvent is gone!) and allow you to remove portions of pigment without using additional solvent, once cured they are permanent. ENML 2.0 binders cure rapidly and are fully reversible - very safe for your model, you can always remove them. Acrylic binders cure very fast and have top sealing capability but are not reversible, these are best for quick wet effects. You can use the binders not to just fix your pigments but also create your won weathering liquids and pastes! Please visit Pigment Expert page to learn more about the binders.
When to use textured pigments?
Whenever you want to reproduce accumulated earth and mud (paste) or make spatter and splashes with pronounced texture (liquid). This applies for both dry and wet finishes.
When to use a paste when a liquid?
Make pastes if you want to reproduce heavy mud accumulation - microstructures; deposits. Liquids are for thin even layers of pigments, washes and spatter.
How to tell the good stuff from colourful dirt?
It's simple really. Good pigments have the colours up to scale (toned down) and easily cover the surface when applied as weathering liquid (mixed with binders and spread over the model with a brush). Even coverage is the case when grain size is in order, cheap pigments and fillers alike have big grain size which causes all sorts of problems in modelling. Poor adhesion and coverage issues are the main concern.
On the left VMS Spot-on EU brown earth on the right generic "sienna". Not only is the colour way off but look at the grain size and uneven coverage of "sienna' generic colour! We used the same binders and technique, gritty pigments will always lose to finer powders!
One of my VMS pigments sticks better than the other
Zero texture pigments stick best - have the best adhesion. Textured pigments have lower adhesion as added texturing material has bigger grain size. It is supposed to work this way. Low adhesion is a plus when you are creating thick mud deposits with Alkyd media. The technique requires you to first apply a lot of mud and then remove it for natural appearance. This would be impossible with zero texture pigments as they stick too well and can't be easily manipulated. When working with Alkyd pastes low adhesion is a plus. For techniques involving dusting and making weathering liquids please use zero texture pigments.
I want to make thick deposits of cool looking mud on my tank's wheels and hull but fixing via capillary action doesn't work that well, pigments "melt down" into a pile of goo...
Using capillary action to form microstructures of pigments is tricky as you need to introduce binders with a fine brush very very carefully, if you overdose the binders pigments will clump up and form an ugly soup. :) To remedy this problem VMS created textured pigments that will allow you to create great looking mud deposits with ease. Tex. pigments don't clump so readily and are a very easy to use, we made sure everyone will succeed with them! Overdosing fixative (binders) is not and issue with textured pigments. Try using VMS textured pigment variant even if you are master of capillary action, you will do the weathering much faster and easier and the result will be stunning!
What's the deal with natural and synthetic pigments?
Contemporary pigments used in modelling fall into two categories: natural pigments or simply “earth” pigments which are ground minerals and synthetic pigments obtained by chemical reactions. Earth pigments have crystalline structure, while synthetic pigments have microcrystalline structure. Both types have their strengths and weaknesses.
Crystalline vs. Microcrystalline?
Crystalline earth pigment particles are slightly bigger, they adhere a bit worse but they allow the light to pass through and a result they produce more vibrant and natural effect. Microcrystalline synthetics have smaller particle size, they easily form tightly packed clumps and don't let so much light through. As a result they produce dull layers but adhere better. We determined that best results can be achieved while using blends of two pigment types rather than sticking strictly to earth or synthetics. VMS Spot-On pigment blends get the best of two worlds as they combine crystalline and microcrystalline pigments.
What are fillers?
Fillers are cheap white powders with grain sizes much greater that those of pigments'. Smaller pigment grains surround and stick to a bigger filler grains. The volume is increased, less pigment is needed to fill a jar, price is reduced but so is the pigment's quality and the final result - your weathering job. If some pigments you came across seem surprisingly cheap this might mean that fillers are involved. Fillers include treated plaster and chalk variants.
How do fillers affect my pigments?
Remember those grainy pigment that wouldn't stick to your model? Addition of fillers makes pigments lose vibrancy and fall off of your model easily as the grains size is out of order and don't fill the micro pores on your model so easily.
What about conserving my pigments by using plaster? My mates at modelling forum say it's OK.
You are free to add fillers like plaster to your pigments to conserve them, the problem is you may find it difficult to properly mix it in - white clumps of plaster may appear later on as you spread your weathering liquid or paste. Another drawback is the loss of vibrancy - colours will get washed out and present bad finish. Therefore we generally don't advocate the use of fillers such as plaster. To ensure that Your creative process is unhindered we offer bigger jars of the real thing and more affordable textured pigments. If there is pigment shortage and you are in a dire need of it you may add from 10+15% of plaster and be safe. For creating mud deposits; increasing volume use textured pigments which form realistic structures more easily than pigments mixed with simple plaster which lacks texture.