Step-by-step Guide: Easy Worn Metals

Metallic paints are great, but often using them on their own can feel a little bit flat. I wanted to share a new for painting gold which is super easy, but gives you a really cool aged/dirtied effect with a lot of contrast. This sort of thing is flexible enough that it would work well with any model in either a colourful setting or gloomy cavern. Here’s my guide to easy worn metals.

Step-By-Step Guide: Easy Worn Metals

First we’re going to prime the model. You’ll probably want to use whichever colour you’re using for the rest of your model. If the majority of your model is going to be painted up as metal, then it might be quickest for you to prime with those same metallic paints.

Step-By-Step Guide: Easy Worn Metals

In order to get some visual variation on this model, we’re going to use a combination of two metallics. The logic here is that we want to cover all of the larger flat areas with this first colour, and then pick out the trim and important details in our second colour.

Ideally you want this main layer to be a little less saturated than the colour you use for the next step, so Runelord Brass works perfectly.

Step-By-Step Guide: Easy Worn Metals

Next, as mentioned, we’re going to add our second metallic colour. Retributor Armour is a super saturated yellow gold which works perfectly for this. It looks a little bright right now, but our next few steps will start to neutralise the colour a little.

Step-By-Step Guide: Easy Worn Metals

This is my favourite step, as it contrasts with the gold and gives the final result a lot more visual interest. Essentially we want to try and add a little discolouration by adding a pale green or blue to the recesses, almost like a patina effect starting to creep in. The logic here is that you want to add the colour to the cracks and crevices that wouldn’t get rubbed or touched by people or the elements.

You don’t have to be too tidy with this effect, but just be conscious not to go to overboard. Just a few splotches and dots here and there can make a big difference.

Step-By-Step Guide: Easy Worn Metals

Now that our base colours are in place it’s time to start adding some contrast and calm those colours down a little. I like to start with Nuln Oil to add black to the recesses. You’ll instantly see that our metals look a little more believable.

Step-By-Step Guide: Easy Worn Metals

Before our next step, it can help to go back in and highlight some areas back up to our original colours. This will add even more contrast to the end result, and also lets you guide attention towards the most important parts.

This is a subtle effect, but is noticeable in the end result, especially when you’re seeing the miniature in person.

You don’t need to do anything with the blue discolouration we added. If you did want to strengthen that effect however, you could add some very small dots within the original patches.

Step-By-Step Guide: Easy Worn Metals

Finally, you want to go over all of the metals with a brown wash such as Agrax Earthshade. While Nuln oil was great for the first wash, Agrax has the added benefit of helping to mute our metal colours a little more, which helps add to the worn and dirty feel we’re going for here.

Step-By-Step Guide: Easy Worn Metals

And that’s it. Finish up the rest of the model and you’re done. Check out some of my other Step-by-step guides if you’re not quite sure how to finish up the rest of the model or it’s base.

If you give it a go, let me know! Leave a comment here or tag me on Instagram at @ajb_minis.

Did you enjoy this article? You could always tip the author with a coffee (or something stronger). If you want to pick up any of the paints used in this guide then check out Element Games. They have great deals on a wide range of minis, paints and basing materials. Finally, make sure you’re following us on Instagram to stay up to date and get involved in our community!

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