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|From what I have seen of the layouts and information available on here so far I think it is fair to say that there is a wide range of modelling skills involved in contributing to the forum. From the pretty amazing layouts we can see demonstrating a stunning level of detail to the complete beginners such as myself we do seem to cover all standards.
For myself I am always open to learning new skills and, despite being a modeller in many different arenas over the years, I still think there are many of us including myself who could say that they would like to know a little bit more about the subject of weathering. It was with this in mind that I decided to sign up to a couple of courses at Pendon and consequently this last weekend I attended a day of airbrush tuition followed by a day of weathering with a paint brush to try to overcome my reluctance to have a go with the airbrush and finally get the thing off the shelf, brush the dust off it and have a go. Both days were under the tuition of Mick Bonwick, himself a student of Tim Shackleton, who many of us already hold in very high regard.
The first day saw us all being pretty much at the beginner stage of airbrushing skils and so the course was adjusted accordingly to best meet our needs. So, while we did not produce a great deal in the way of finished articles, we all learned a great deal about how to go about getting the best out of our equipment and consequently all gained a great deal in confidence and became significantly more familiar with the workings of the airbrush.
The second day proved to be just as much of an eye opener in quite a different way with us all developing a much deeper awareness of the benefits of washes, pigment application, rust effects and general brush applied weathering. Despite my own experience including a number of years of using weathering techniques to enhance my own model boats I still found the course very informative and a great arena for sharing ideas, techniques and general dos and don'ts of the practise. This day I was able to produce some surprisingly satisfying results with nothing more than washes and pigments and took me to the point whereby I cannot wait to try these out in conjunction with the airbrushing techniques learned the previous day.
For anyone wanting to gain a degree of confidence sufficient to enable them to have a go at some weathering or even to take thier own skills to a higher level I cannot recomment the courses highly enough. The room is extreemly well equipped and yet the course incorporates enough flexibility to enable you to try as much or as little of your own equipment as you want to gain that level of familiarity that you are looking for. Mick is always to hand and is always happy to offer guidance, assistance or even advise as and when required. Even to the point of letting you know exactly why the item you have brought may not be ultimately the most cost effective tool for the job!
After the second day I was able to produce an effect combining washes and pigments to produce this, which will further be enhanced with additional airbrushing and rusting effects as soon as I can get the gear set up:
This was a first attempt at using purely pigments but the over bright lighting has reduced the effects to the point where it actually looks a lot better in real life! Again further effects will be added to get it to an acceptable standard: