Rust on dozer blade, step by step painting with oil paints

How to: paint rust with oils (advanced level)

I’m a great fan of oil paints as they are the most versatile weathering product ever. On one of the previous ‘How to…’ articles I’ve already shown you how to create an easy rust effect with just a couple of oil colours. Here I’d like to present to you a more elaborate step-by-step guide which hopefully will give you some more interesting results. Apart from oil blending I will use other techniques like hairspray chipping or speckling.

Check out the link below if you want to start from the basics:



The dozer blade I’ll use for this tutorial is a part of the Balaton DT-74 in 1:35. A full step-by-step guide for this model will probably follow sooner or later.

There’s a reason I’ve chosen the dozer blade for this tutorial. It’s basically a big plain surface with not that many details to work with. This will require us to apply some more sophisticated techniques to make the thing look interesting.

And here’s the oil colour palette for this project. From left to right: yellow ochre, cadmium orange, red oxide, raw uber and ivory black.

I use Talens van Gogh colours but any decent quality oil paints will obviously work as well.

Step 1:

Start with a medium rust tone sprayed on the entire surface of the part.

Some areas were masked out to get a different treatment later.

Step 2:

Apply some hairspray or a chipping fluid of your choice. After that spray an uneven layer of light grey paint.

I’m using Ammo acrylics here but other acrylic paints like Tamiya will work as well.

Step 3:

Now start scratching the grey paint off creating different shapes. The tinier the chips the better.

A needle is my favourite tool as it provides maximum control over the process. And no, as far as I know there’s no easy way around this. Just pinch the shit out of the surface.

The result is a rather random texture that looks like nothing at the moment but be patient. Also make sure to create different patterns – reference photos can help you here.

Step 4:

Oils time. Prepare a 50/50 ratio mix of yellow ochre and cadmium orange. Brush it around most of the chips but make sure to leave some areas untreated. Blend the paint around the edges.

Depending on the product you use, you may need to dilute the paint slightly.

Step 5:

Add 50% Light Oxide Red to the previous mix and repeat the last step. But limit the area where you apply the paint concentrating on the biggest chips.

Step 6:

We stick to the oils but we change the technique. Now add some Raw Umber to the mix and create a glaze – basically a very thin translucent paint (5% colour – 95% thinner).

Apply the glaze in layers with an upward direction. After each layer go a little bit up with your brush and apply the paint on a gradually smaller area. Remember to wait for the paint to dry completely before applying next layer.

I needed about 10 layers to get a solid result.

Step 7:

Add some black to the mix to get a very dark brown colour. Create some dark spots or spatters by flicking a loaded brush off of a needle or a toothpick.

Concentrate on the upper area again. Masking out the rest of the part will help you accumulate the speckles in a desired place without making a mess.


Step 8:

Here’s what we have right now. Oil paint is very fragile, so it’s a good idea to secure it with matt varnish at this point.


Step 9:

Now it’s time to add the remains of the original yellow paint. You can use the hairspray technique again or paint some spots with a brush.

I did both to get a more interesting result.

Step 10:

Remember that the yellow paint should also be weathered so it wouldn’t stand out. Apply some rusty oil paint around the chips or scratches and blend it with a clean brush.

Step 11:


You can apply some dust or mud effects at this point. I decided to wait until I have an idea for a diorama.

Rust on dozer blade, step by step painting with oil paints


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