How to: make seats with torn fabric

I’d like to show you another technique that will work great on heavily weathered projects. Tanks are generally made of metal so we want this material to look good on our models. But non-metallic elements can also be taken to the next level. So take a look at this tutorial and maybe it will inspire you to make some cool effects.

Just FYI, I didn’t invent this technique. I saw other modellers use it before but I don’t know who should I give the credit to. If you do, please let me know.

Step 1:

Prepare your tools. All you are going to need are: aluminium foil (the type you use in your kitchen or thicker one), sharp hobby knife and some CA glue. 

Step 2:

First paint the filling of the seats.

I used a dark orange base and some lighter colours applied with a sponge to simulate upholstery foam. 

Step 3:

Take care of some basic weathering.

A dark wash will be enough unless you want to expose huge parts of the filling. In this case some additional effects may be a good idea.

Step 4:

Wrap the seats in aluminium foil, cut the excess with a fresh hobby blade and then fix the edges with some CA glue. 

I know, this is easier said than done. One mistake and the foil is damaged. And this will instantly ruin your work. But trust me, you can do it.

Step 5:

Paint the covering the way you want and then start making holes in the foil.

Again, be extra careful while doing this as the foil is fragile and can easily be torn apart. The best technique is to make a small cut with a knife and then reveal the hole using tweezers. You can also use a needle to create smaller holes. 

Step 6:

Paint the edges of the holes to hide the cuts.

I usually use a colour that is a little lighter than the base.

Step 7:

Weather the seat using techniques suitable for you project.

For damp environments I like to use dark green colour to recreate moss or mould.

Step 8:

After some final touches the seat is ready. Attach it to your model. 

Step 9 (optional):

Accept the fact that after a shitload of work, the effect will barely be visible on your finished piece.


  • Christoph Holowaty

    11 February 2023 at 03:30

    Hi there from Germany,

    I just discovered your website and as I am about to start a Toyota Wars project I jound your hints with the seats and also the wipers. I am not an absolute beginner, but what you are doing is out of this world.

    Thank you so much for sharing your work – this is extremely helpful and inspiring!

    Happy modelling,


  • Shane

    16 May 2023 at 02:15

    Your tutorials led me to rekindle back this hobby after 10 over years.I completed a Meng Toyota pick up based on the tutorials and I think it came out OK…
    Your models are awesome!

    • ScaleDracula

      21 May 2023 at 00:04

      Dude, I’m so happy you’re back and that I had something to do with that. Have fun and send some pics of your Toyota.

  • Waikong

    9 June 2023 at 00:10

    Excellent technique! Just discovered your great blog, appreciate all the knowledge. Tremendous work all around. That rusted bulldozer blade was beautiful.

  • Damir

    20 November 2023 at 05:12

    I just came across your blog and I have to say it’s just awesome. I’ve been modelling and weathering 1:24 car models for about 2 decades now, but this blog makes me re-think many of my skills and processes 🙂

    Just a thought: Would it make it easier, if you painted the foil on the inside before you glue it to the seat? I’m referring to step 6 on this page.

    Keep up the great work!

    • ScaleDracula

      26 November 2023 at 23:01

      Thanks a lot, man. As of your question: it might help but modelling paints generally don’t stick very well to metal. So it’s likely the paint would crack and start falling off even before I manage to attach the foil completely. But it’s a good idea, maybe I’ll try that next time. Thanks for that.


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