Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What Do YOU Think: Verdigris Bases my Freebootas have the lips of their bases painted with metallic brass, like so:

... I went with brass because I felt it had the most "nautical" feel.  One thing I considered doing with the bases was a verdigris effect - verdigris is "...the natural patina formed when copper, brass or bronze is weathered and exposed to air or seawater over a period of time".  Most of you are probably familiar with the appearance, even if you haven't heard the term - here's an example from Google:

...I tried recreating the effect with washes, but was unsuccessful.  I found some excellent tutorials on how to paint verdigris, but to be honest I didn't want to invest that much time (my Freeboota army is 100+ models).  While I was browsing around for something else entirely, I found out that Vallejo makes a Verdigris Glaze in their Model Color range:

I ordered a bottle and grabbed a base from the spares I had painted for my Freebootas:

I applied a few intentionally blotchy coats of the glaze:

...and here's the finished base, side-by-side with a plain one:

(Click to embiggen) I decided to ask you guys - what do you think?  Is it obvious what I'm going for here, or does it look like a mess?  I should probably mention that I'm planning on adding more details to the bases (treasure chests, rum barrels, cannonballs, etc) to really play up the "pirate / nautical" theme...


  1. It's pretty obvious that it's meant to be verdigris - but this particular one doesn't look so hot to me. Might be worth googling about the glaze to see if anyone has any tips on making it look more realistic.

    I'm wondering if maybe a bit of sponge-work (like blister pack sponge) with the original bronze to make it spottier would work?

  2. I see what you have done and I like the Idea. But I think you have applied to much as you have lost almost all your bronze which I think is not the effect you are after. Plus it has gone very blue. When bronze is left for along time it goes green which is were it has started to oxidise and decay, in other words it's like rust on steel.

    Just an idea have you thought of watering it down slightly and adding a little bit of a green wash. Apply thin coat's let it dry and build it up slowly.

    I hope I have helped and can't wait to see the end product, I think they will look great.

  3. I like it, especially with the planks, but you know...everyone else beat me to the 'tips' part of the comment. You're on the right track for sure.

  4. I agree that it's not worked quite right yet, but I like the idea. If you look at the clock faces then there are deep grass green areas, with brighter turquoise in places over that and then bright brass shining through. How about using a ragged sponge to sponge deeper green onto the brass, and then highlight with deep turquoise in places, then highlight up to lighter pale blue?

  5. Thanks guys, lots of good feedback here - sounds like everyone likes the idea, I just need to work on the execution.

    I've found a few good write-ups on tweaking the Vallejo Verdigris Glaze, and I remembered that I had Emerald & Turquoise washes that I made according to Les Bursley's recipe that I think could be promising - I'll keep working on it and update on my progress soon!

  6. Here is a cool site I came across via a different blog.

    It has a brass acrylic paint you can brush or spray on with real brass in it. Then while wet you spray on the patina solution and wait for it to dry. Over a few hours it comes out with the look you are trying to get. It looks awesome.

    I watched his Youtube vids for demos, etc. Plus the blog I saw with this link painted a plastic dome with copper and then the patina and filmed it. It works. Looks authentic!

  7. Hastur3x -

    Hey, thanks for that! I knew such products existed (Rustoleum makes something similar under it's "American Accents" line) but all the ones I've seen were in spray cans - which isn't really workable for models that are already assembled & painted, plus the final results with the spray-on type always looked too "severe" to me. Being able to brush it on would give me a lot more control over the process - I'll definitely consider it...

  8. Hey man, you could try mixing it with Vallejo glaze medium before application. That may give you something closer to the effect that you're looking for.

    Alternatively, you could try a very light green mixed with Vallejo metal medium instead of the verdigris.

    That's just a blind suggestion for my part. I've never tried to paint verdigris. I just like to experiment ;)