by: Rick Cooper [ ]
More good stuff from AK interactive, this time in the form of a set specifically geared toward weathering green vehicles. The three effects are all enamels and do require some type of ventilation to be used safely.
The set comes packaged in a small plastic blister pack containing three bottles of different effects and a generic ‘How-To Guide’. The guide has 4 step instructions with photos for washes, mud effects, African dust, and streaking grime, all of which are helpful in seeing just what can be achieved by a master modeler (which I am decidedly not!) with the AK interactive products, and hopefully by the rest of us mere mortals. For more information AK Interactive also runs a blog by Mig that also has helpful tips, hints, and step-by-step instructions on many of their products.
Each of the bottles holds 35 ml. of the respective washes and effects which is a generous amount that should last most modelers through a good number of projects. Perhaps the effect from the set that will see the most use is the ‘Dark Brown for Green AK 045’, I used it on a Sherman hull that I have been using as a test bed for different products and effects. It went on without any issue, perhaps a bit thick but that may be more personal preference than anything. It dried to a nice even finish.
One of the problems I have had in the past with creating my own washes from oils is that often the pigments will pool up, particularly toward the lowest point of gravity on whatever I am working on. I am happy to report that the Dark Brown Wash had none of these tendencies, a solid benefit in my opinion. I have included photos of the hull in question, one has nothing applied, the next photo shows the wash applied to the hull and the forward station for the bogie assembly but not to the second station. I hope that the photos have done the wash justice because it really does a good job of deepening the tone.
The second bottle I worked with was ‘Dark Streaking Grime AK-024’, an effect I have been anxious to give a try. It seems to be a bit thicker than the wash but still goes on very easily. The directions are to apply it in vertical streaks and then to use white spirits to back off on the effect leaving a subtle streak when done correctly. The photos show both the effect as applied and then how they appear after they have been blended and backed off. AK does sell a bottle of white spirits, AK-011, that I would imagine is formulated specifically to their product and would probably do a better job than the generic turpenoid that I used, but nonetheless the product still performed as advertised.
The final bottle in the set is the ‘Light Rust Wash AK-046’. I used this on the other side of the hull which already had some weathering applied to it in the form of some initial stages of creating a derelict hull. The rust wash gave me a bit of pause as I thought it would turn out to be a bit on the heavy side and not at all ‘light’. However, my fears were unfounded as the wash dries to a much more subtle shade of rust than I would have thought. Again, the photos that I have included show the rust wash applied to some areas and not to others so that you can see the contrast between the two. Also, I have included a close-up photo of one of the bogie stations with the wash applied.
While all three of the effects are available separately I am glad that AK has packaged them together as one. For the modeler that would like to try out some of these effects this is a good place to start. I really liked how easy they were to use and how well they spread without the pigments pooling. The medium is fairly benign and didn’t harm the base coat in any way. Recommended.