Painted weld marks, ZSU-57 by TAKOM

How to… make weld marks

I’ll be extracting some ‘How to…’ tutorials out of my full SBS projects. I realized it’s not really convenient to browse through a long article just in search for a quick tip. This way I will also be able to add some more comments on the subject. So here it goes: the weld marks SBS which comes from my ZSU-57-2 project.


Step 1:

Get yourself a two-part modelling putty. I use Milliput Superfine but products like Green Stuff or Magic Sculp will also work.

Shape the putty into thin rolls.

This kind of material is pretty sticky when it’s fresh. It’s better to wait a bit till it hardens. Then it’s just easier to work with. I wait up to 30 minutes with the Milliput.


Making weld marks with Milliput, ZSU-57 by TAKOM

Step 2:

Place the roll on your model.

It often helps to moisten your tools (tweezers, hobby knife etc.) with water so that the putty won’t stick to them.

Step 1 of making a weld mark, ZSU-57 by TAKOM

Step 3:

Shape the putty with a tool of your choice. Do a series of gentle dabs. I used a blunt hobby knife, but a simple toothpick will work as well.

In real life the weld mark is basically a line of molten metal blobs. But in scale modelling it’s better to make some hard edges. It will help during the painting.

Step 2 of making a weld mark, ZSU-57 by TAKOM

Step 4:

Let’s jump to the painting.

I deal with the weld marks after I finish painting the metal plates.

Load the airbrush with matt black paint and paint a thin line surrounding the weld mark. Be precise! If you paint to wide the effect will be ruined.

This is the recreation of the surroundings being burned by the welding torch.

Painting the weld marks, ZSU-57 by TAKOM

Step 5:

Dry brush the weld marks with a light metallic shade. I used silver.

Make sure the paint for the dry-brushing is very thick – don’t dilute it.

Painting the weld marks, ZSU-57 by TAKOM

Step 6:

Here are the weld marks on the finished model.

There’s a rumour that the weld marks don’t rust. It’s not really true and you can paint them in rust colours. But there is something really appealing in the contrast between the matt rusty metal and a shining weld mark. So I usually prefer to paint it that way.  

Painted weld marks, ZSU-57 by TAKOM

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