Built Review
Engine & Metal Weathering Set
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by: Rick Cooper [ CLOVIS899 ]


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.

the set

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.
Highs: Great set of weathering products. The 'track wash' will be particularly useful for many modelers but the 'dark steel' pigment is the all-star in this lineup.
Lows: No instructions, slight learning curve may be involved for layering multiple effects.
Verdict: Highly recommended. Could prove to be a staple on many model workbenches.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: AK 087
  Suggested Retail: $27.95
  Related Link: AK Interactive USA
  PUBLISHED: Jul 04, 2011

Our Thanks to AK Interactive!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Rick Cooper (clovis899)

I have been modeling for about 30 years now. Once upon a time in another century I owned my own hobby shop; way more work than it was worth. I tip my opti-visor to those who make a real living at it. Mainly build armor these days but I keep working at figures, planes and the occasional ship.

Copyright ©2021 text by Rick Cooper [ CLOVIS899 ]. All rights reserved.


This looks like a nice universal set that can be applied to any type of machine. I'll be adding this to my workbench supplies. Thanks for the mini tutorial Rick
JUL 04, 2011 - 06:35 PM
Engine Grime - Define Engine Grime, Track wash - can be done with any artists oils, any colour you like. Fresh Engine Oil - same as above, if you so wish. Track Rust Pigment - Artists Pastel chalks, browns and oranges. Dark Steel Pigment - grab a pencil, rub it on very fine sandpaper, apply the powder to the tracks with your finger. Still a good set, sorta lumps everything together, I guess thats the point, but tbh untill stuff like this hits my local model shop, ie becomes available as an "impulse buy", I dont see the point, because I can just walk into my local Arts shop and buy stuff that does the same thing. Sorry if this sounds negative, was not meant to.
JUL 05, 2011 - 12:21 AM
To be honest Matt, I kind of agree with you However, a lot of guys like the ease and covenience of being able to just reach for a bottle of something that will do 'exactly what it says on the tin'. So long as a product fulfils that it will always be a valuable addition to someone's workbench
JUL 05, 2011 - 12:34 AM
I think Chris has hit the nail on the head in that this may not be for everyone but some will like the idea of a one stop product in a box Matt.
JUL 05, 2011 - 07:22 AM
Thank you for the feedback guys! Matt, you must take a look at these products. Not quite the same as mixing some oils & varnish -or- using the edge of pencil. I am not sure how to explain....I have used the edge of a pencil for many many years....not the same effect as the 'Dark Steel" pigment. This pigment is polishable and much brighter if you choose. Also, the "Dark Steel" pigment doesnt contain the metal speckle that othe steel pigments do. Consistancy is a very important factor in modeling as most modelers do not have time to complete a step, but rather will work for an hour at a time a few times a week. In this way, re-mixing all of your different effects can easily take up much of your bench time & also is inconsistant. Is very true that you can mix your own! No doubt. If you have the time & depth of art supply products available & the time to create your own effect. Trust me, I have tried. Took me far to much time & money! But Matt, I agree that your solution works & that it can work well! . There are many different ways and we offer just one. It is not the only way, just a very good one!
JUL 06, 2011 - 02:56 AM

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