To My Dusty Uniforms Page.
I have made up this page to try to demonstrate how
I use tiling grout and pastels on my figure's uniforms.
I have to give full credit to Terry ('The Bhoy') for the whole idea about this
grout technique, see the bottom of the page. As he showed
me how to use the material on the uniform in the first place. Below are some
images of the uniform trousers in a sort of before and after, I brushed the
uniform with the grout to make them look both worn and
dusty. When I first saw Terry carrying out this technique I did have some doubts
about it, but after seeing the result I had to admit that it is a very easy and
simple way to detail my figures.
I feel that I have to point out the health effects that could be possible with
using any grout like material. Because it is a dust and also since a modeller
would be working very closely with it, I do recommend wearing a face mask to
protect yourself. This is a very good site I found for your health and modelling
these are just simple rules to bear in mind. (See the section on Masks)
The pictures below are of my bazooka paratrooper
figure, as I made him up without any detailing, just as the uniform and parts
came from the box.
These pictures show how I apply the grout to the uniform, it is
best done sparingly at first as I find it is better to sort of build it up in
layers, rather than just brush a lot on at first. As I have found it easier to
put it on the uniform than trying to take it back off, which can involve a lot
of rubbing with the brush or a cloth. I also place the figure on a piece of
card, that way I can re-use any grout that falls off the figure.
To use the grout I just dip my brush into the
container, tap lightly on the side and then brush onto the top of the
creases on the uniform. What I am trying to do is highlight the top of the
folds, and as it is gradually built it up, the insides of the creases will seem
to get darker adding to the effect. To get this effect in 1/35th scale figure
modelling, I used to have to use paint to add the highlights to the creases, and the
lowlights to the insides of them. But now with 1/6th scale figures, a
combination of PVA glue on
the uniforms to fix the folds, and this grout technique. I only have to add the
highlights to the uniform instead. In the pictures above, I have lost the gloss
finish on both the gas mask case and the bazooka, which to me is another bonus.
Here I am applying the grout to the boots of my
figure, and when compared to the first picture above left. To me it has added a dusty
appearance to them and brought out the detail. Another tip I found out by
accident is with Dullcote, and if you want to add scuff marks to the boots. The
picture above right, shows a pair of the Corbin Black boots and the toe cap was painted with
Dullcote. Once dry it was dusted with the grout to make it look dusty, which
helped to make the scuff mark stand out.
Another method for highlighting the uniform
creases I have just found out about by trial and error. Is by using some white
or cream coloured pastel chalks. I have found that after I have dusted the
uniform with the grey coloured grout, I can add another layer of highlights to
the top of the creases. All I do is lightly brush the pastel over the folds, as
in the first picture, then rub gently with a dry cloth over the top, this
removes a lot of the pastel. But again by building up in layers, and lightly
brushing I can make the crease top stand out even more. Which as I said before,
adds to the darkness and depth to the inside of the uniform folds. I have yet to
try out the grey pastel on a field grey German uniform, but I am expecting the
Here I have used the grout on the drop bag in the
above left picture,
and to me it does bring out the top of the folds better. But, just for a trial I
used the white pastel, making sure that I held it flat against the bag, the
result is in the middle picture. And the final one is after I have wiped over
lightly with a dry cloth to remove most of the pastel.
Note: A final thing is,
I have not sealed any of the parts or the figure above. As I do not know how a coat of some kind of sealant would react to the grout or pastels,
and I am not brave enough to attempt it. So, it is worth
noting that the dust will come off when you touch it.
I had a look at my .30 cal gun crew again today,
and after getting the results above, I had to do a touch up on these figures.
These are two pictures of the figure that Terry put together for
me, to show how he used the grout technique.
This is my Sepp Kiefer Falklands figure I made,
and because of the running pose I had him in, he gradually leant over to one
side. So after finally getting fed up with the lean, I changed the pose to the
one below. Plus, it also gave me the chance to update him with the grout and
The process for this figure was the same as the
instructions above, but I wanted to make the figure look like he has been in
action for a few days. So I used a brown pastel chalk on the uniform rubbed into
the cloth, paying particular attention to the seam edges, jacket bottom edge,
trouser bottoms, knees and elbows. To do this I rubbed the edge of the chalk in,
and then scrubbed with a short haired paintbrush. Which did remove some of the
chalk dust, but at the same time it rubbed it into the fabric. Once I was happy
with that, I then used the grout on the top of the folds to add the highlights
to the uniform. I also used the brown pastel chalk on the boots, for this I just
'wrote' around the seams, top and the soles and then scrubbed with the brush
Many thanks for the tip Terry and for your
permission to use this idea on my website.