Had a chance last night to crack open the one of the latest offerings from our friends at AK interactive
and give it a test run. I had the ‘All in 1 Set’ Engines and Metal Weathering set, item #087, that I couldn’t wait to break into. The fine folks at AK have been showering us in the modeling community with a relentless procession of products to weather our military models with for a while now. Rather than slowing down it seems as if they are adding products at an ever increasing rate; how-to videos, filters, washes, stains, weathering effects, books, and now even delving onto the world of pigments.
This set comes with five bottles of product packaged in a very sturdy blister pack. The set comes with no real instructions but a quick perusal of the AK interactive website (AK interactiveUSA
) may be helpful for the novice modeler. Also, if anyone has any questions about how to use any of these products posting a question here on one of the Armorama forums will almost always result in some quick, friendly, and helpful advice.
Each of the bottles hold 35 ml of product so you get a healthy amount that should last through many projects. Two of the bottles are for different engine effects, two are pigments, and the last bottle is a wash. The labels of the pigment are done in white which contrasts nicely with the other weathering products in their ubiquitous 35 ml bottles for quick and easy spotting on the model work bench (well, at least it does if yours is always cluttered like mine is!)
The two engine effects are ‘Basic Engine Grime
, AK#082’ and a glossy finish ‘Engine Oil
, AK #084’. I painted up a resin copy of a Maybach HL 120 engine that I had from the now defunct Cornerstone Models to use as a base in trying out these new effects. I can say that I was sufficiently impressed with both, but especially the engine grime. The grime is kind of a gunky dark gray color that looks a lot like, well the gunk that builds up around any engine, sort of a mix between oil, dirt, and dust. When I first applied it I was a bit worried, it appears so thickly opaque that I was afraid it would obscure the painting and chipping I had already done, but it quickly developed a bit of translucence that was quite effective. Being an enamel it gave me a bit of working time to use some white spirits and a clean brush to back of the effect in different areas to give a better overall appearance. The grime effect remained workable for a good thirty minutes, even on a warm summer night, which should be enough time to manipulate it any way you wish.
The glossy engine oil is a brownish, glossy mix which does a good job of replicating fresh oil. I used it around the valve covers and a few other spots where oil might be spilled in the normal course of engine maintenance. I like the way the effect retains its high gloss as well as a bit of ‘body’ to it so that it appears to be more than simply glossy paint that has been applied.
The next victim was a length of Tiger I track from a DML kit I had built several years before which made a perfect subject for a quick run through the track weathering parts of the set. The ‘Track Wash
, #083, is a fairly thick, deep mahogany colored wash, okay, well I am calling it a mahogany color because it reminded me of several wood stains that I have used in the past and I thought it was pretty close to that color, but your mileage may vary. At any rate, it is a very deep dark reddish brown, hope that helps. It goes on easy enough and does indeed give a first rate base color from which to begin weathering tracks.
After that had dried I applied the ‘Track Rust
, AK#085’ pigment. I applied it dry and scrubbed it in to the nooks and crannies of the tracks. You can see in the pictures the track at its rustiest state before the application of the next pigment. I liked this pigment, it had good adhesion qualities and tended to stay where it was placed, but I think it would work even better if it were applied with a bit of white spirit or pigment fixer.
I have saved the best for last, ‘Dark Steel
AK#086’. This is a phenomenal pigment that can really give the appearance of metal to anything it is applied to. I used it first on the engine and was treated to a real “wow” moment when I dropped a bit onto the lower parts of the engine and gave it a couple of quick passes with the brush to see what it would do. What it would do is give a great metallic look, the more I brushed, the more metallic it looked, almost as if I were buffing or polishing it out. I hope the photos to the right do it justice because it did a fabulous job. I then turned to the tracks and it did the same thing there, almost like a very shiny graphite powder but with better adhesion qualities. Needless to say I was impressed with this new pigment.
As I said earlier I hope my photography does this set justice because I can foresee this set becoming one of my favorite ‘go to’ weathering products on my workbench. Frankly, these guys just plain know what they’re doing when it comes to putting together products for the average to advanced modeler. Nice big bottles with deep screw on caps that resist leakage, great washes and effects, and now pigments, what’s not to love! Highly recommended.