by: Todd Michalak [ ]
For a few years now, AK Interactive has been consistently providing modelers with painting and weathering solutions for their projects in the modeling community. Top quality washes and effects, pigments, numerous painting sets and more to help the modeler achieve amazing results with little effort.
Most recently, AK Interactive has added a new line of products geared to the Ship modeler; Naval Ship Weathering Sets Vol. 1 & 2 . These are enamel based products that can be used to add weathering effects to increase the depth to you painted model.
Contents of each set
Set 1 (AK 555) contains:
AK-302 Wash for grey decks
AK-302 Grey wash for Kriegsmarine ships
AK-304 Brown streaking grime for red hulls
Set 2 (AK 556) contains:
AK-301 Dark wash for wood deck
AK-305 Streaking grime for light grey ships
AK-306 Salt streaks for ships
Each set includes three 35ml bottles of the enamel weathering colors. Until this point modelers of ship, myself included, have had to resort to methods of mixing our own washes using oil paints as well as using oil paints to add different effects after painting the model. Now with these effects, just give the bottle a shake, open and add the effects. It is really as simple as that. AK Interactive has done all the work of mixing up washes and streaking effect for us. So each time you open the jar you are using the same color. No more mixing one part of this to one part of that and then having to thin out mixtures, everything is always ready to use.
After receiving my sets of the Naval Ship Weathering effects, I needed to give these try. Starting with my newly painted 1/350 Hikawa Maru cruise liner I decided to try out the AK-302 Wash for grey decks. Allowing this to dry for a few minutes, I was able to use a slightly stiff brush, humid with White Spirits, to work the area to blend the coloring.
Now I started to work my way around the ship attempting to weather the open deck areas. Using some of the Wash for Grey Decks, I was able to simple apply some to the weather deck sections of the ship around deck fixtures and edges. First applying some wash to the wooden hatchway covers. Using a fine pointed brush, I pinpointed the application to the recessed lines.
With all of the AK line of effects there is never a worry applying the product. Being enamel based, the products can be easily manipulated with White Spirits. If you put too much on, you can simple remove the unwanted excess and clean the area with the same White Spirits.
Moving forward, I switched to some Dark Washes for Wood Decks. I used this dark wash for decks above the weather deck. This will allow the weathering to still be darker in the corners and such without the grey effect seen on the lower deck from the salt spray.
I also tried out this wash on the decks inside the lifeboats. The wash swiftly ran into the recessed panel line giving some nice contrast to the tiny decking.
Ships are an interesting world unto themselves. On a lot of the deck sections and super structure parts can have regular maintenance, even while at sea. However, the exterior section of higher superstructure parts as well as the upper and lower sections of the hull cannot be maintained in the same manner. The water line section of the hull will show a buildup of oils, dirt, algae and salt. I needed to weather the hull section of my model. In never using these products before on a ship I decided to take the approach in sections. I started out with the Salt Streaks for ships.
Similar to all of the Streaking effects from AK, after making a demarcation for the waterline, I applied vertical lines random in length and spacing to a section of the hull. Thinking that I will require some blending between effects I decided to add additional colored streaking to the hull, beginning with one of AK’s products not in this set but the color was right, Slimy Grime Dark. This is a perfect color for the algae deposits along the water line.
Since the algae will typically grow at and above the water line, there is no need to make vertical lines with the Slimy Grime. Switching back to below the waterline it was time to try out the Brown Streaking Grime for Red Hulls. Again, using vertical lines and making them fairly random along the hull. It is time to blend and see how these colors all work. So, now I took a stiff bristled brush humid with White Spirits and stippled the brush gently into the demarcation line I made with the Salt Streaks and Slimy Grime. They colors blended superbly. I moved onto the lower section of the hull. Switching to a flat, wider brush humid with Spirits, I began to draw the brush downward lightly.
Slowly I began blending the different colors, all along wiping off the brush frequently on a clean paper towel. Repeating this process around the entire lower side, the effects I think speak for themselves. I finished up the weathering with a small amount of Slimy Grime Light along the demarcation line followed by some Streaking Rust and some touches of the Light Rust Wash all from AK Interactive. So far so good! These new Naval Effects from AK seem to live up to their name. They are easy to apply, easy to manipulate on the surface and some great results. Already there is room in the tool box for them.
I could end this review right here and say how these Naval Effects are great for weathering all thing nautical…..but I can’t. Never following the rules, at least from what my wife says, I needed to test these out on some other items. A little Salt Streaks Gundam Style. Using a Gundam figure as my canvas now, I feathered out the white Salt streaks and then applied some of the Brown Streaking Grime for Red Hulls. After I blended once again, this was sufficient to give a nice light oxidizing to the armor without going overboard.
Fortunately for me I happened to have 4 projects on my bench at the time of this review. Why not a figure next? This actually worked out perfect for me as I needed to finish a figure but was stumped on the legs. With a little “thinking outside the box” and some of the Salt Streaks, time to play. The legs were primed with a flesh tone already and all that was needed was some nylons. I laid down some heavy line of the Salt Streaks on the legs. I then used a flat wide brush to more or less, paint the effect, covering the entire area on each leg. Nice clean white nylons and in the right light the hint of the flesh tones beneath show through were the results.
Last but not least I guess this proves that no single effect from AK Interactive has only one sole use. While using the Naval Set on my ship, I realized that the Dark Wash for Wood Decks has a nice deep brownish umber feel to it. “So why not have a go at some pin washes” I said. Next on under the brush would be a Pz IV L/70(A) nearing the finish line. Recently I had applied some AK Wash for German Vehicles in Dark Yellow and other effects to the tank. I wanted to enhance the features a bit and will need to add some more pin washes. I took the Dark Wash for Wood Decks, only giving the bottle two or three quick, really light shakes I used the standard approach to the application of the pin wash. Please note that by only giving the bottle a light shake, the contents mix but not fully resulting in a perfect pin wash for any model.
Time after time AK Interactive has brought us an abundance of superior products for finishing our models and the Naval Ship Weathering Color sets are just two more to the ever growing list. The consistency of these enamel products ensures you get the same finish no matter when you use it even if you run out in the middle of a project, you can be sure that the next bottle will be the same as the last. These six naval colors are a huge asset to the ship modeling world for replicating real world conditions whether you like to weather you projects heavy or lightly, these are a must for any ship builders’ tool box. So whatever genre of building you prefer, not only ship building, these Naval Ships Weathering Colors are sure to please.