Desert Stormtrooper Armor Weathering

Realistic weathering can be achevied using Woodland Scenics' Earth Colors Liquid Pigments. We recommend purchasing 4 oz. bottles of Raw Umber (mfg. part # C1221), Yellow Ocher (mfg. part # C1223), and Burnt Umber (mfg. part # C1222). We recommend you but pigments directly from Woodland Scenics.

The pigment goes on as a liquid and dries, within minutes, to a dust that sticks to plastic. However, it can be removed without hassle and it won't damage ABS! Even after prolonged exposure the pigment can be wiped from the armor with a damp cloth.

Woodland Scenics' Earth Colors Liquid Pigments

You will also need Fuller's earth in natural color (a dusty tan color) and grey. A 3lb container of each color will weather several suits of armor. A little fuller's earth will go a very long way. We recommned you buy fuller's earth from the Cine' Shoppe.


Choose a piece of armor to be weathered. Make sure it is clean. For this example, we used the breast plate.

The first layer we apply is Raw Umber as it is the darkest color we will use and we want it to be toned down by the layers that go over it. Dab pigment over the surface of the armor using the tip of the sponge.



Pat the pigment with a piece of crumpled paper towel to spread the color out, blend it together and give it a random appreance.


AThis step may seem odd, but it is VERY important! Allow the pignment to dry and then take a second crumpled paper towl and gently wipe of most of the weathering. The pigment will naturally stick better in some areas than others. make sure very little is left. We have a lot of layers to go, and this is the darkest color so we do not want very much of it. As you can see, the pigment REALLY brings out any scratches in the armor.


The second layer used is Burnt Umber which is more red in color and lighter. While we covered the entire breast plate with the first coat, we apply the Burnt Umber a bit more sparcely.

Again, allow the pigment to dry and then take a crumpled paper towl and gently wipe of most of the weathering.
We leave a bit more of the Burnt Umber than we did the Raw Umber. You can actually begin to see the weathering effect now.

As the chest is a heavily weathered areas and the particular trooper we are replicating had a dark streak of grime on his right breast, we made a second layer of Burnt Umber.

Again, the Burnt Umber is removed with a crumpled paper towl but even less is removed than previously. We are beginning to see the weathering patterns that will define this piece of armor.

We now add a layer of Yellow Ocher to tone done the umbers. The Yellow Ocher is applied in a very spotty pattern, only covering about 50% of the breast plate.

Once again a good deal of the Yellow Ocher is removed with a crumpled paper towel.

To tone down the pigments and give the armor a dusty look instead of a muddy appearance, a light layer of natural colored Fuller's earth is applied with hair spray and a sponge brush. After that a bit of grey Fuller's earth is applied to the right breast area to appropriately darken it. Finally a soft bristled paint brush is used to take both Fuller's earth and the pigments off od the high spots of the armor. As the armor is worn it will continue to maturally "weather" and more clean spots will appear in the areas that get the most wear.

This is a very tedious process. We recommend you have a friend help you. If done correctly, the weathering of an entire suit will take approximately 1 full day from start to finish.



Last updated: January 8, 2007 8:46 PM EST