Weathering With Pastels

By Jack Andrewson

There is more than one way to add weathering from engine exhausts or smoke from guns to your models. You could use your airbrush if you are really confident in your abilities with that tool. I prefer to use chalks. I have two sets of artist’s chalks. One set is a set of pastels and the other is a set of chalks from white, through many shades of gray, to black. I prefer the chalks because they are easy to work with and if you overdo it, you can clean it off and start over.


I start by rubbing one of my chalks on some sandpaper to get a small pile of powder. I like to use a small soft brush with my powder (see photo below). I imagine this method is very similar to using weathering powders, but I believe it is much cheaper.

I have two photos of a model F4U-1 Birdcage Corsair, showing the wing gunports and some engine exhaust ports on the bottom of the fuselage before weathering.

Just tough the brush lightly to the pile of powder and dab it onto the model where you want to show the effects of the smoke. Feather the powders back as the air would flow over the surface of the real plane. Go easy on this. You can always add more powder, or if you overdo it, you can wipe, or wash off the excess and do it over. You can’t do that with an airbrush. I like to be subtle with the effect. See photos to see the finished results. After you are satisfied with your weathering, you can seal the powder with a light coat of Dullcoat.