Post-fading and post-shading are methods that I’ve employed for years to give my models a greater depth of finish. The two techniques can be used together, or independently. In a way, they’re a bit of a “Schmoo” in that they can be used for a variety of effects.
Post-Fading and Post-Shading
The most common way I use them is to help impart a more weathered look to the models.
Post-fading uses lighter, highly thinned paint to produce a faded effect to the base paint. If mottled on to the surface, it creates a more distressed, worn effect. It can also be streaked on to create an appearance similar to the oil dot filter method.
Post-shading will impart a darker look to panel lines and detailing, helping add volume and weight to the model. Unlike pre-shading, it is far more flexible, and can easily be applied over multiple colors, decals, and other base applications.
Additionally, the same methods and paints used for post-shading can create exhaust, cordite, and fluid stains quite easily and quickly. They can be enhanced with later applications of acrylic, oil, or enamel products.
My favorite paints to use for these techniques are Tamiya acrylics. While I have used other paints, there is one factor that makes Tamiya especially appealing.
Because the technique requires the use of very thin paint applied at lower pressure, many of the thinners used will quickly “spider” or pool up. However, with Tamiya acrylics, I am able to use 91% isopropyl alcohol. It works quite well as a thinner, and its fast evaporation rate means that the issues with other thinners are far less of a problem. With practice, a modeler can quickly master the application of these techniques without making a hash of it.
If you normally apply pre-shading, give this a try instead. And if you’ve not used either technique, grab your airbrush and give a go!
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