Shading Questions

So I recently remade my thighs, shins, and codpiece out of foam. Previously they were made out of fiberglass. On my first build I did shading after I put on a layer of enamel. I did what I saw in a couple videos where you take really watered down black paint, put it in all of the crevices where light would normally reach less, then wipe/smear it with a towel. And while this worked ok, I am thinking maybe there is a better way, or at least an alternate method I haven't seen or thought of.

So my question is this. What did you all do for shading? What was you method? How did it turn out?


Sr Member
The technique you mentioned is known as a black wash. This is the easiest and quickest way to dirty up a fresh suit of armour.
To add a little more depth, do more than one wash. You can either use less water or use brown (pronounced burnt umber). Make sure wash has completely dried before applying next layer. If you don't there is a chance of washing off the previous layer.
SKS Props has a video on how he does his washes. He recommends using a heavy body paint to get nice coverage.


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Another way of black washing is "Dark to Light". Take whatever you are using, whatever color that is, and make extra of it. Every time you do your next layer as PaiganBoi indicates, you add a bit a white into the mix to lighten it up. This way each layer is uniform but distinctly different than the previous layer. It gives it a bit more depth.

Another tip is going back to my scenery modeling days. Liquid shoe polish is a great black wash. It's the same method as using watered down paint. Apply, wipe away, let dry, repeat. Adding white to this will not work though. There is also ink paint. These work well in conjunction with paint. The black, dark browns and dark blues work best.


405th Regiment Officer
If you are spray painting your initial colours you can also duotone the paint by using your primary colour then quickly spraying from a distance your secondary colour.

I'll be showing off this technique on my helmet when it is time to paint (videos will be provided). What this does is lets the secondary colour droplets gather on the highest surfaces in larger numbers. You have to be extremely careful with this technique as if you apply too much paint in your secondary colour it it will wash out your primary colour. It also wastes quite a bit of paint because of how far away you have to spray from. I personally recommend only doing this with similar colours, I'll be doing it with a satin olive green and a slightly lighter more metallic green. I'll be doing a black wash over it all as well.
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