Diorama and vehicle weathering coherence

Hi everyone,

In real life most armored vehicles are covered with dust and mud. I haven’t built many models yet but I have managed to replicate dust on a Tamiya M1A2 Abrams. I consider myself to be a beginner so at my level I was satisfied with the outcome. (I did that using chipping fluid and then removing very lightly sprayed Tamiya acrylics.)

However, I feel absolutely lost when trying to make a diorama base which actually harmonizes with the weathering of the armored vehicle. For example, if I make a diorama base using some acrylic paste I find the best way to make it dusty is to apply dry pigments but I find it extremely difficult to mix a pigment colour that actually matches the dust that I made using arylics on the tank itself. This is just an example. I am an absolute beginner when it comes to making diorama bases.

How do you guys make the weathering of your diorama bases match the weathering of the models?

Any suggestions are welcome.


The trick is to use the same medium on both. In the example you give above, take some of the pigment you are using on the base, and apply it to the tank, especially on the running gear and lower part of the tank. This will help to blend it or “harmonize” it with the base. You don’t have to change the color of the tank, just enough to blend the two together.

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There’s a danger of sometimes making this too complicated, but I must also confess to being a somewhat lazy modeller; I simply use Tamiya Buff – first sprayed on the model as I see fit, especially the suspension, then a run over the base, depending of course on what the base represents, but as my models are normally depicted on training areas ie dusty/muddy tracks, or say grass (and even if I utilise a grass mat I will still blend it all together with good old Tamiya Buff). I should just stress here that proprietary products such as grass mats come ready- coloured but I will always re-colour them. For some reason the colours they arrive in don’t, to me, seem to work. Even once I’ve coloured them Tamiya Buff knits the whole – or at least for me.

Admittedly, this only works if you wish to replicate the training area/dusty track scenario, anything more complicated than that I’ll leave to others.

Here’s an SP gun on a typical training area/track-type base:

And this is what I mean about threating the grass (although this is static grass not a mat):

Good luck - assuming this helps(!)

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@Csaba Pataki, have you seen Martin Kovac’s Uncle Night Shift video’s? He excels at blending various vehicles with different back grounds using several techniques. Here’s a link to check out his YouTube.

Making a Simole Scenic Base for Your Armor Model

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