Battle damage

Damages really enhances your kits, they're easy to do but is also the easiest to overdo! Knowing when to stop requires some experience. The damages here are not comprehensive, but are the reasonable ones I can think of. Would definitely welcome cool ideas that you have.

The first type of damage, armor edge wear, was already covered before painting. It's repeated here for completeness' sake.

Mecha armor edges are subjected to banging and scratching. For example in 08MS team, a few of their static background shows these wear on their RX-79G, especially close shots of Shiro's banged up Gundam. And here I use a motor tool with a retangular engraving steel burr to scratch up the edge. Do that irregularly and in separated clusters; uniformly scratched edges looks fake. You can also cut the edges with a knife for a similar effect, I just find using the motor tool faster and safer.

The second picture shows the results on the right thigh of Ez8.

I defer any armor surface damages to after painting but before weathering because of decals. I'm a big decal fan and always apply them, and it shouldn't be the case that all damages escapes those decaled areas. Therefore I apply decals and damage the area later on. These armor edge wears however do not usually have this restriction.

The second type of damage is bashed-in/indented armor, created likely by collision into blunt objects or hand-to-hand combats.

For them I use a small spherical steel burr on motor tool to create a depression. To create a realistic depression, you need to feather the edges of the depression, otherwise the damage looks like a hole rather than an indentation.

After you feel you're mostly done, use a piece of sandpaper to smooth out the surface. The right hand of the Brutishdog was done this way. Depending on the cause of the damage, you can scratch off a lot of paint and drybrush silver in the depression, or may be some stones hit the armor after flying off from an explosion, or the mecha fell down on some blunt objects, in which case may be only a bit of paint is scratched off.

The third type of damage is bullet holes. The effects are different depending the type of ammo hitting the armor. Normal armor piercing bullets creates a simple scratched holes, but explosive ammo can cause some explosion and burn after impact and melt the surrounding armor, and/or out curling of the armor.

The first picture are a couple of bullet holes on NT-1's shield from amor piercing bullets. Use a motor tool to create a hole on the shield, then you can either use a knife to cut a jagged depression around the hole, or use the motor tool with an engraver. You can drybrush a little silver inside the jagged edge to simulate the paint scratch from the bullet.

The second picture shows the bullet damage on the Gouf's right leg. Here some of the surround armor is melted on impact. I created them using a motor tool with the engraver attachment. First create the hole, then move the engraver around. At high speed the plastic melts, and you get a little curl on the edges. Sometimes it's not easy to preserve the curl, it could get removed on further drilling, so practice a little first. These curls takes washes and drybrushing very well.

The fourth kind of damage is beam weapon damage. Soldering time! Soldering iron is the best tool for creating these damages, but use caution or you'll get scarred for life :( I picked up a low wattage (15W) solder and it's sufficient for the task, and gives me enough control to work on the styrene. Very high wattage solder can melt the styrene too quickly. And solder in very well ventilated place and wear a respirator - melted styrene is highly poisonous! When you feel a sore throat, you have already inhaled too much.

For beam rifle damage, I use a blunt prism soldering tip to first open up the hole, then moving the prism inside the hole in circular motion. This will melt the surrounding materials and they'll pile up, resulting in a pretty decent hole. Try to do this quickly because otherwise a lot of plastic will get melted, deposit on the solder and turn into a gooey mess, the hole will look pretty bad. Again practice on scrap plastics first.

For beam saber damage, you can use a soldering knife, or just tip with a sharp edge. My take on saber damage is that most of them are quick slices, so they melt the surface of the armor but never burn through it completely. Also they usually start or end from the edge of the armor. It's rather difficult to start a slice from the center of the armor and end somewhere in the center too. I start the solder from an edge, and gentally move the solder across the cut. Use a light touch, otherwise the solder will melt too much. After the first pass of the solder, you'll have a light groove. Make a few more light passes across the path to melt the plastic around it. Sometimes you may need to wriggle the solder around a bit to deposit melted, curled plastic around the scar. The scar should be wide entering the armor, but taper off where it leaves. The cut can be washed black for a smouldered look, or drybrushed silver around the edges. Even graphite (pencils) works pretty well.

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