Monday, September 8, 2014

X-Wing tutorial : Repainting the Millenium Falcon

Would it help if I got out and pushed?

Starting from this line, I knew that to properly represent the Millenium Falcon I would need to push my weathering techniques to the max and get away from my confort zone.

Here you can see the various paints I used:
Main hull:
- pro-color white
- atronomican grey
- ceramic white
- chaos black
- shadow grey
- scab red
- codex grey

Cockpit :
- dwarf flesh
- Fluorescent orange

- mars black (oil)
- burnt umber (oil)
- raw sienna (oil)

The first step was to block out the main colors. On a black undercoat, I airbrushed pro-color white at an angle to keep some shadows, insisting on raised areas. Then I took my trusty raphael 1 brush and painted the colored pannels in scab red and shadow grey. The access holes and engines received a coat of chaos black.



Next came the weathering. Dipping a torned bit of foam in white and various shades of grey I painted a pattern of small dots on the hull:

The second step was the oil wash. The model was varnished with satin varnish then I prepared my usual mix of black oil paint + lighter fluid and applied generously:

Using Q-Tips damp with lighter fluid, I then removed the excess wash on the panels.
Sorry for the lack of pictures here.

I then highlighted the top edges of all panels with ceramic white:

Then I threw caution out the window, and started experimenting with oils directly on the model.
I first mixed a bit of umber and black to create a dark brown color that I applied lightly with a brush to the area close to the engines (use a special brush for that folks, you do not want to mix oil into your regular acrylic brushes!). You can be a bit sloppy here as the next step will cover mistakes. You should use a dabbing motion more than brush stroke.

Using a lighter fluid damp Q-tip, then I went over the oils, gently fading the edges:

I did the same on the bottom edge of the open access panels. Then painted the canopy with dwarf flesh fading to black toward the front.
At that moment the model was a bit too blue and lacked the characteristic rusty spots of the Falcon so I decided to try some oil filters. I applied raw sienna in small dots to the hull at random points:

Then gently worked them in a general rust stain shape with a dry Q-Tip:

If the rust stain is too intense, you can go over it with a lighter fluid damp q-tip to blend the edges.
That's when I decided it was good enough! Letting the oils dry over night, I varnished again the model with matt varnish.
To give bit more contrast to the canopy I finished by blending fluorescent orange to the rear areas then varnished it with gloss varnish.

I then posted the paintjob online and got quite a few positive returns, but with several saying that the weathering was not pushed enough, that the Falcon was too clean.

Challenge accepted!

First using a mix of chaos black and scorched brown I added lots of water stains, starting from the top of the panels and small details and going toward the edge of the ship. Then using the previous oil technique, I added a dark stain around the central round panel.

Now it really looks the part!

Hope this helps, don't hesitate to ask if you have questions in the comments.

Time to reload,


  1. The water stains really make the falcon. Looks fantastic! Absolutely lovely falcon

  2. Looks nice and gritty like a smuggler's ship should. Outstanding work, sir.

  3. The water stains are brilliant, it's amazing the difference they make to the overall look of the model. Bookmarking this for future reference :)