How To Rust Modern Armour Plating
By Charles King
More about Charles HERE
First published by www.modelgeek.com
Copyright ©2008 by Charles King. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are
those of the author(s). All rights reserved. Originally published on: 2006-03-17
Published here by BigScaleModels.com
how to make modern armour plating
I decided to write this article to show everybody how to achieve that rusty armour plating seen on some of
those heavy modern equipment pieces like the M1074 transports seen in Iraq. With the insurgency that has
been occurring in Iraq, US military personnel were forced to protect themselves using methods deemed
necessary to avoid being easy targets for surprise road attacks on their vehicles. I’m sure there are many
ways to get the results we’re working to achieve here but this is just one of them.

things i used to get the job done
1. Any old pair of scissors
2. Apple cider vinegar (you can get this at any food chain store. I think Bragg sells this under their brand name – Bragg is a US brand, I think.)
3. 1 to 3 mm thick, non rust-free metal plate (remember the thicker the plate the more difficult it will be to cut with a normal scissors).
4. A sharp blade or knife (only if needed).
5. A small bowl that will fit the pieces needed for the required project.
6. A spray bottle with water.
I’m sure there are many ways of achieving this effect but this is my own. Others may have a much easier or better method but like everything else, it’s up to the individual modeller to find, what works best for them. I will now try and take you through a couple of short easy steps using my methods.
step one
The first thing to do is to decide on the design of the armor plating by making a sketch of it on a piece of paper. When done, cut it out according to the scale you want it to be.

step two
Now take the sheet of metal and cut out a piece that you will need for the required project. Take the pattern that you have made and place it on the sheet of metal. Now using one hand to hold the pattern and the metal plate take a pair of scissors and cut the metal according to the paper pattern you had just made. When done, the results should be similar to the paper pattern you made.

step three
When you are satisfied with your design pattern, then you are ready to age your armor plating. Pour a reasonable amount of apple cider vinegar in a bowl, so that when you put the metal in it, it will submerge covering the entire surface of the metal. Now leave the metal piece submerged in the apple cider vinegar for about 30 minutes .
step four
When the 30 minutes are up, remove the metal and place it on it’s side to dry so that the rusting process can begin. Now you will have to help the process along by spraying water in between drying intervals. This way the rust will build up layers as the effect gets stronger. It takes awhile but the results are worth it. You can also lay the metal piece flat and spray a couple of squirts of water to get the rust build-up to settle in one area. Just spray and let it dry.
Remember! Spray in intervals. This way the first layer will have time to develop and settle.
The pictures show the results between a 5-10mins interval of spraying, after it was removed from the bowl 3 hours ago.
You’ll notice that as long as you leave the metal submerged in the liquid, the metal will remain in its original state and therefore will not rust.
If you want more rust effect just spray some water on it. You can see how long it takes the plate to reach a more desirable effect than normal. The idea is to build the rust up in layers.
step five
When the metal has rusted and you are satisfied with the look then it is time for a bit of weathering. Where the metal had extremely settled I’d take a sharp knife or blade and scrape away at some of the rust at various areas of the metal. Again, this method is only required if the rust has settled hard on the metal plate.
Otherwise this method is not required.
Usually this is when the plate has been left sitting for days after been taken from the bowl and had been sprayed between intervals; which by then, the rust had hardened. Personally, I like the plates fairly rusty so to get different shades of the rust at different levels. By scraping away at certain areas around the metal plate I get different shades of colouration that gives me a livelier look than it being just one plain shade. Of course this is totally up to you as everyone has a preference and therefore I will leave it up to you to decide the outcome of the end results.
step six
This last procedure is not a must but does blend everything in with the rest of the model. I use three shades of powder pigments; black, grey and burnt umber. Brushing on a little of each tends to work for me. It may not work for you; again, it’s a preference thing. I say use what you are comfortable with to get the job done. In the end it’s your model and you must be the one to decide if it works and looks right in your eyes.