by: Rick Cooper [ ]
While AK interactive is still a relative newcomer in the industry, many of its products have become a staple on the work bench of many modelers. One of their newer concoctions has been a pair of green slime enamels packaged together with a bottle of fuel stain effect. They provided five bottles of new products to review in total, the other two bottles were a dust and a dark mud wash respectively.
First, the bottles for both green slimes, light and dark, are labeled as enamels rather than washes or stains. A quick test run will tell you that this is because both appear to be much more concentrated than the filters, washes, and stains that are available on the market. Despite this fact they are still somewhat thinner than a normal paint mix, when I shot them thru the airbrush they ran very quickly, almost like a metalizer. The AK bottles, while not the now quite popular dropper style bottle, are well designed with a nice deep plastic cap that provides a very positive closer on the bottle keeping everything nice and airtight. They provide reasonably good value for the money with 35 ml of enamel as opposed to the dropper style bottle which provides only 17 ml.
I wasnít really sure what to expect with this product, after all how often do you need to create slimy or moldy wood. Now if your modeling interest runs to small light, or wooden watercraft, this product may have greater significance for you.
When I applied it the first time I was expecting more of a wash or filter type response, instead it seemed more like dark green paint. In other words it felt like it completely overwhelmed what I had done. I did take Migís advice and used white spirits to back off the color; I used a lot of white spirits because I had a lot of backing off to do. When used judicially it is a pretty nice look, but Iím not convinced that the same couldnít be done with any thinned down green enamel.
The photos to the right of the wood stacked in the cargo bed of the old ZIS-5 model show the before and after effects of using the green slimes. The wooden stakes in the foreground of the after photos were created with the light green slime while the stakes in the background had the dark green slime applied.
The fuel stain enamel wash is an easy to use mix; shake well, use a toothpick to transfer one drop on or around fuel cap and your done. Neat, quick, and effective, it leaves that tell tale translucent oily looking shimmer that fuel stains often leave behind. Using the Academy M3 as a test bed I have added the fuel stain wash to both the fuel filler cap area and the stowed flimsies, I hope my poor photography does the effect justice.
The enamel dust wash is specifically designed to replicate the dust effects seen on vehicles operating in Africa but could obviously be used in a number of situations that featured light colored dust. I was much happier with this product; it performed more like the washes I have used in the past. I felt that it did a fine job simulating the heavy dust so synonymous with both the Middle East and the Mediterranean theatre. Once again the product gave a better performance by following the techniques recommended on the website (who would have thought that following directions was such a good idea?) and using white spirits to back the wash off selectively.
Using the same M3 Honey as above I added the dust effects. On this I have a few before photos and a few after. The turret was left untreated in order to provide another opportunity to see the difference between areas where the wash has been applied and where it has not.
The dark mud enamel wash is, well, dark. A nice deep brown, kind of a cross between a van dyke brown and a burnt umber with just a touch of raw umber, in short a rich, deep dark brown. I tested this one by using one of Migís recommended techniques of mixing with a little plaster in order to provide a bit of body to the mud mixture and using the airbrush to provide the spray and spatter effect. I think it was a very effective, easy to accomplish technique that turned out fine and made the weathering process just that much more effective.
I have been building a Kfz. 61 Einheitsdiesel telephone exchange truck for a build log in the armor forum and decided to use that as a medium for the dark mud wash. The technique Mig uses after mixing the wash with the plaster is to dip a paint brush into the mix and using the airbrush to blow across the bristles of the brush in order to provide a controlled splatter that appears random. The photos are fairly self explanatory, rear wheels, fenders, and the under carriage all showing evidence of the mud mixture.
Something of a mixed bag, I like the dust, mud, and fuel effects, but the green slimes seem to be of very limited use. The green slimes could be used to help provide depth of color to green vehicles but you would need to experiment with it a bit beforehand. Of course, you could just use various shades of green enamel paint as well and probably achieve the same thing.