Been working on this off and on the past week… mostly off though. Luckily though, the techniques I use for the dusting, mud and weathering are fairly simple. I started off with a filter then some discoloration with oils. (see my Millenium Falcon video tutorials for details) That gives the paint a nice aged look.
Next I sprayed a thin mist of AK-Interactive’s “Earth Effects” over all of the parts, focusing on where dust and dirt would accumulate. Over this I sprayed the “Africa Dust Effects” which is a lighter dustier tone. I then used a odorless turpenoid dampened “deer-foot” shaped brush and stippled (dabbed repeatedly) the surface to mottle and blend the dust layers. I prefer this to using pigment powders to do the general dustings as you don’t have to worry so much about fingerprints later.
Next I mixed up some pigments to match the groundwork with some plaster, Earth and Africa Dust Effects and a little of AK’s Odorless Mineral Spirits with an old brush. I used air-only from my airbrush to spatter this thin muddy mixture onto the underside and sides of the Dustbuster chassis.
Finally over the weathering I rubbed some “Steel” pigments (powdered graphite/pencil “lead”) on my fingers and onto some of the worn raised edges.
The last thing I need to do with the tires is brush on some thinned pigments onto the tread-edges that would contact the ground. Fairly quick and simple step.
Just for reference, here’s a 1/35 scale figure, a real 1/35 trumpeter AFV wheel, a 1/35 German wheel, and the massive Dustbuster wheel which is also 1/35 scale.
Also worked on the base. I filled the box with dense pink insulation foam, then layered on a mix of plaster and railroad grits. I waited for it to start setting up and started sponging it for added texture. The large rocks are plaster from some WS rock molds I have. I don’t have a pic, but over this I painted it a base sandy-dirt color, then using the same mud/pigment mixture as above for the spattering, I applied it with a stiff brush. The wires are to make the Dustbuster attach to the base on only it’s two rear tires to give the impression that it’s jumping.