Not exactly Shakespeare, but a valid question nonetheless. Rust gets everywhere, eventually, so it will appear on anything that can be modelled.
Some of you may have noticed my interest in this field of modelling recently and the attempts I have made to rust a few cars, and the odd tank, so I thought I’d give a little tutorial on it which some of you may find interesting or might inspire you to have a go.
So where do you start? Like any modelling project it goes without saying, choice a subject, something that floats your boat and or, that will look good with a bit or a lot of rust on it. I have chosen cars as they are known for being potential rust buckets. I especially like 50s & 60s America cars, they are so big and the potential for rusting is huge, also the internet is awash with images of these classics in various stages of rust and dereliction so getting reference material is pretty easy.
Ok you have chosen your subject, and collected reference material on the subject and you have an idea forming as to the setting it will be in, Junkyard, side of the road etc. – so what’s next? Depending on the amount of rusting or dereliction you want on the model. If it’s a slightly rusted look you want then you can get straight on to the build. If on the other hand you want damage and rusted through then get out your trusty Drimmel and start some destruction. The best way I have found to create the appearance of rusted through panels, is to thin the plastic behind the area to be rusted then come in from the other side, this way you get a more natural look, and any melting of the plastic is in areas that are not seen on the model.
Rusting cars is great as 90% of the rust is on the body, so you can quickly get a model built in a day and primed and ready for the next day’s painting or rusting. If you want to show it with the bonnet up or off then some work on the engine is need. Talking of the engine, modelling a derelict long forgotten car you don’t have to worry about aftermarket photo etch and resin kits to make the engine look real. Because, the engine would have had items stripped from it in real life, so cables, manifold covers, battery, anything that can be reused will have gone, in some cases the engine itself.