How to Blackwash

The Blackwash technique can give any diecast model an unprecedented level of realism. It is also a great way to add a realistic look to a diorama element like a wall, a figurine and etc.

The technique is really easy to do and gives superb results. The main goal is that it will give the model the feel of depth, it can accent the lines and shadows as well.

So what do you have to do in order to treat a diecast model, element or a figurine with the technique? First a few things to consider.

Blackwashing usually features the use of diluted in water black paint, hence the name. But in reality you can use any color as long as it is a couple of tones darker than the original.

Second, blackwashing will make the washed areas darker so it’s best to apply it only in certain areas.

How to Blackwash

There are several schools of thought for how to achieve the desired results. First we have to mix the wash. Start with mixing small amounts of water into the paint and mixing it well. Repeat until you get a consistent mixture reminding you more of colored water. The goal is to flow easily like water and be almost transparent but still colored.

The model should be already painted, cleaned and dry. Soak the paintbrush into the blackwash mixture and drag it across the cracks and depressions you want to cover. Use small amounts as you can always add another layer if needed but it will be quite difficult to fix if you put too much on too early.

Another way is to use the natural flow and gravity. As the paint will be heavily diluted it will naturally flow to the lowest points of the model. Thus they will accumulate the most wash and will look darker than the rest of the washed areas. That’s why it is best to wash the item in areas and not the whole at once.

Some pour the mixture on the model and don’t use a brush. This is also an option but can get way too messy and it is suited for bigger areas which makes it harder to control the flow and covering of the wash.

Thus, as with many other aspects in the hobby, patience is key in order to achieve great results.

What can we use the technique for in diecast models? Well, there are several great possibilities. One of the most popular is to add greater realism to the front grille, exhaust pipes and even wheels.

Other uses are for accenting the contours of the body panels, exterior trim, nooks and crannies into the model and etc.

As a whole the technique is a very useful skill that will be of use for every collector that likes to work with their models and/or dioramas, figurines and etc.

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