Pastels, Airbrush, fine brush or a mixture of everything? Which is best?


New Member
Hi All,
As some of you may know. here in the UK there is a magazine that is just starting whereby each week you get a small section of a Millennium Falcon Model that builds up each week to create a full model. The problem is, that each issue is £8.99 and there are about 100 issues which, at a total cost of £900 (about $1350 USD) you can imagine is a substantial investment for anyone and not one i could justify!
so I went down a different route and have now purchased the ERTL cutaway model of which I'm sure you are all aware. I'm really looking forward to starting it and really want to make a good job of it so am busy doing all my pre-research on colours, weathering techniques, mods etc - it's a minefield and a can of worms all rolled in to one!
so my FIRST (of many) question for you guys is what is the best medium for the 'colouring' processes of all the parts?
I've purchased an airbrush and compressor as i really want to get into that anyway, so i will def be using that for some of the outside weathering but i was wondering if i would be better off using, say pastels for some of the interior of engine parts from the cut away section. I'd be really interested in any advice on colour schemes, makes and shades of paint or pastles and any tips for, well, basically, anything really! ive never used pastels before so not really sure on the process for that. I know there is a MASSIVE amount of info here already regarding mods and i don't think i will be changing much since this is my first EVER build but i would like to get some fibre in there somewhere at some point.
As i mentioned, im in the UK so any UK builders with recommendations for paint/parts supplies is greatly appreciated. I realise it's going to be a VERY long project for me (not least because I'm sure the wife will want me to crawl out of my cave at least SOME evenings!!) but really looking forward to getting into this..
I will, when i begin, keep you posted with photos and hassle of course!
Try it all. I've had some experience with pastels, and they work very nicely, but I find I haven't really used them much in about 15 years. I got into the habit of just weathering with paint and brushes (not air-brushes, mind you--hair on a stick). I like the results I get, but other people get excellent results with airbrushes and or pastels. My advice is to try it all out and see what fits your style best.

Good luck!

A airbrush is a must for main painting especially when you mask small section and paint small details, for weathering I really like pastels not oil base soft ones you need to get the hard which feel like chalk , you just grinded into a powder using sanding paper and apply with a brush on model, its easy to control but you need to seal the model afterwards with a dull coat or the pastel will just come off, there's also Tamiya weathering masters kits which I used on my Tydirium shuttle to make the streaks these will work really good on the falcon which has tons of streaks. there's many tutorials on Youtube about weathering
Last edited:
Prestodigitator, what you mentioned are all important. They are all part of the model building process. In the colouring/weathering process. You will start with an airbrush. Then some brush washes. Then pastel. Then seal coat the whole thing with an airbrush again.


  • mpc11.jpg
    83.7 KB · Views: 103
Check camouflage makeup....look for it in Ebay or Amazon. A great variety of colors, basically the same as some pricey weathering systems at less than half the price.
The MF and a lot of the original models were actually painted with a variety of methods. Paint, airbrush, chalks, scraping paint with an xacto knife, drybrushing, using a brush to flick specs of paint........ Every method, used sparingly, will produce amazing results. The trick is to know when to stop. I like to let my models 'cook'. They sit for a while and I go onto other projects. When I come back to them, its with a fresh eye.
I find the thing with pastels are they always LOOK like pastels. I do weathering with the airbrush or normal brushes.
I find the thing with pastels are they always LOOK like pastels. I do weathering with the airbrush or normal brushes.

To each there own (respectfully)... Airbrushing has its on unique "flavor" which sets it apart and is clearly recognizalbe, and for me a bit to "nice"...

Pastels all the way baby!

R2 002.jpg (
Last edited:
Definitely to each their own. I still prefer just brushwork.

I just finished this last night. It's a 1:270 game piece for the FFG X-Wing Miniatures Game. All done with acrylic paint and brush.



These pictures display way bigger than the actual model. I'm pretty happy with how it looks in person (and on the game table.)

Fantastic paintjob on your falcon, what is the base color you used?


I used a very light grey acrylic custom mix over the top of a white primer. You might as well just call it a white base cause it looked white. The color comes from some washes and the pastel streakage. There are also about 10 different shades of grey panels on there too.
Airbrush, brushed graphite, pastels, paint - you name it, use it.

Rely on your eye - as Lear60man - said because if you do everything by checklist then the result is almost always contrived.

Stunning work on that Falcon jake88 mate. Pitch perfect.

This thread is more than 8 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. This thread hasn't been active in some time. A new post in this thread might not contribute constructively to this discussion after so long.
If you wish to reply despite these issues, check the box below before replying.
Be aware that malicious compliance may result in more severe penalties.