In the last few years, pigments have become one of the major weathering tools, especially for armour models. Their matt finish allows a perfect replication of dust and dried mud, and they can be mixed with water, alcohol or white spirit for different effects. Usually they work better over matt surfaces, as on glossy bases they tend to form blotches when wet, or simply do not adhere when dry. They are useful also for simulating rust or soot around exhausts.
As for the paint, one of the tricks is variety. Using different shades in a more or less random way gives the best results. Thus it is good to have at least a medium range of colours to use directly or mixed. Due to their fine grain, pigments can be mixed even when dry, producing new tones. Hobbyworld presents a small box with 15 shades, including black, white and different tones of brown. On a single place we have all shades needed to add dust, soot, rust or mud to a vehicle.
The plastic box comes protected in a cardboard box with side flaps. The box is decorated with the same image and measures 10x15cm. Inside we have 15 round wells for the pigments. There is a hinge on the longer side that allows the box to open completely and lay flat, which makes easier to use it. It will not take a lot of room on your workbench though. There is also a latch to avoid accidental openings.
White and black pigments are in opposite corners, while the rest of the colours are randomly distributed. At first, the pigments look gloss, as they have been strongly compacted to stay in place. The first layer is a bit harder and needs a stiff brush to break the surface, afterwards is quite easy to load a regular brush with them. Once in use they are matt as any other pigment.
I have found that it is advisable to clean the loose pigments on each well after the session, to avoid unwanted mixing if you turn the box. Also when getting them out of the well, some care is needed if the brush is stiff, as they can jump to adjacent wells. A small drawback is that once you run out of a shade, there is no way to restore it. The box is sold as is, with no individual colours available. However some of the shades are quite similar so it should be possible to replace one with another. In any case I estimate that the quantity on each well should be enough for at least two vehicles, counting the amount needed for the undercarriage, which is way more than the ordinary weathering of the upper hull.
There are very good articles and videos out there explaining how to use pigments, just in case you do not already know so I will enter into details. As a reference, you can see on the photos how they behave, either dry, rubbed or diluted. Note that I have used a white satin surface for the tests, which is not the best option but was the only decent surface I had at hand. I have not found any difference using these pigments or any other brands. I have tried them straight from the box, rubbed, and thinned with water and alcohol.
The only issue was that one of the shades discoloured into a pinkish tone when dissolved it in alcohol, but water was fine. Pigment fixer worked as expected as well. The different shades can be mixed without problem.
A handy and practical set that provides you with a wide selection of earth tones plus black and white. Ideal to start using pigments, once you see the shades you use most, you can get a full size jar -while these ones will last a good time. Useful also if you need a compact set of pigments to take away from your workbench.
Highs: Enough shades for weathering a vehicle on a single box.Lows: No individual colours available.Verdict: Useful set, specially for starting using pigments or extend your range of colours.
About Carlos Martin (varanusk) FROM: SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, SPAIN / ESPAñA
My main interest is German vehicles and guns, and I like spending time researching the vehicle and the options for the camo once I have chosen a subject. Sometimes I go for specific and rare vehicles, of which only two or three photos are known so it takes me a lot of time to figure how everything w...