Engines, engines, engines

Hi all don’t know where else to post this (there doesn’t seem to be a tips section or a how to) some people have said they thought my engines looked very realistic (I think it helps in that most of my life I’ve been around or worked on either motorcycle or car engines) so I thought if anyone wants to know how I do any aspect of weathering an engine they could just ask or if it would help maybe I could try and post a video (pretty rubbish at social media)

Here is a random sample of the hundreds of engines I must have modeled over the years


Very nice work Ken - I like this theme. I think it would be great if you did a step by step how to do it !
Here are a couple of mine I built . One a model and one real - both run beautifully .

Single cylinder vertical steam engine machined from castings by Stuart Models .
1950 Norton ES 2 - 500 cc OHV single complete rebuild .
Sorry for the sideways pic - don’t know why and don’t know how to fix it . Help from Jim / moderators ?

Love the Norton and the Stuart, I put one of those in an rc PW (the Stuart that is)

@Kpnuts Ken,

Very nice work!

I would love to see a step by step. Especially of doing headers or a Chevy TPI manifold.

Hi all so the first installment, I’m basically the laziest modeler ever and if there’s a short cut or an easy way to do something I’m there.

So heres the first bit of aging an engine, since I’m working on an engine atm I decided to use that as the first example.

First requirement talcum powder.

Here’s our nice clean engine

I use enamels so in this case I dip the brush in white spirit before picking up some talc(you can use water but you would have to matt the engine first as the water will just bead otherwise) I then dab the loaded brush on the engine (really load it all up with the white spirit and talc)once that’s done flood with white spirit till it looks how you want.

I used gun metal from ABT

To highlight the bolt heads.

I then dust it all with Uschi powders

Then buff that with a soft brush

My ref pic

This is going to end up being a very long post as I have lots of stuff to add to it (assuming you want it)


Wonderful stuff Ken, I don’t think anybody here cares how long the post is (I certainly don’t)!

Cheers, D

Yes, go for it. I will be following because I never quite know how much it too little or too much when it comes to weathering.

Yes! Keep up this post. Your time, information and techniques will not be wasted.


Interesting weathering techniques for sure. I like how the cast block ages from use it’s physical age.

Just one question, I’ve seen a lot of Ford Cosworth engines including a few DFV F1 units up close and personal, but I’ve never seen one so worn as your reference especially. Do you know the particulars of that engine/car?


Surprising to me also - you would think that they would be pampered given their value and expected performance.

I’ve no idea on where the ref is from but I’ve seen quite a few more ref pics sent to me kindly by another forum member elsewhere, I have to concur so never fear that finish is quite easily removed so will do it as per my further ref pics.

Looking great!

I was a little worried that you would take my comments in a negative manner, which is the exact opposite of my intentions. As Richard pointed out, these F1 Ford Cosworth engines were pampered and expertly taken care of during their short life expectancy.


Hi all well I have been given lots of ref pics of this engine and none of them are as distressed as this is, so a bit of white spirit and a cotton bud and it’s looking more like it should.

So next method, here is the sacrificial engine for this example (and for most of the others)

OK as I said at the start of this I use mostly enamels so I can’t say if this works with acrylics (although I’ve found in the past adding washing up liquid to the solution tends to have the same effect as white spirit)

If you want an engine that looks like it’s been in a dusty environment (as in my mad to the max bike)

Get an empty tin or bottle into that pour some matt colour of the earth in the area your engine has been driving in ( for the mad to the max bike I used sand as it was set in a desert, for this I’ve used earth)

Add talcum powder to it and mix keep adding talc till you get paste like consistency then add white spirit keep stirring till you get the consistency of milk, add the talc to the paint first don’t thin it till you’ve added the talc as the talc doesn’t seem to take the colour if you thin the paint first.

OK so use a big brush and load it with this mixture and dab it all over the engine(really cover it so it gets in all the nooks and crannies, then load your brush with white spirit (this is the important bit hold engine as it will be in the car or bike and flood the engine with white spirit just let gravity do its thing.

This is how it looks when dry

All the plastic parts I dab with ABT copper oxide blue patina

And again blend with white spirit

I also add ABT engine grease anywhere you might expect an oil leak


Sorry for such a long wait before a progress report but I have to wait till I’m doing something that relates to this topic.

OK so for headers I use ak real metal steel

Ak real metal gold

And valejo Arctic blue

First paint the headers with AK steel ( if I was doing bike headers I would buff the steel up first) (the AK range of metal finishes are amazing and all can be buffed) (the buffing works even better if you have of the paint on the cotton bud or cloth you are buffing the work with)

Slightly off point my airbrush died so I decided to try and replicate finishes without one.

So get some of the AK gold on your brush(medium flat brush) work most of it off on a tissue and dry brush only on the first bends of the headers.

Next get a cotton bud dip it in AK steel and rub most of it off then dip it in the Arctic blue and starting at the dry brushed gold blend from the gold down towards the exhaust.

Here’s how it should look.

If on a motorcycle you would blend less and the header would be highly polished.


Hi all here’s my method for aging plastic parts on car engines you know fuse boxes, air boxes drive shaft gators and such.

I use mig 502 Abteilung model colour copper oxide blue patina

I roughly dab the 502 over the part

Then hold the part the way it will be in the car and scrub loads of white spirit over the part and let gravity do its job

1 Like

Hi all I’m thinking of expanding this to include bodywork, interiors or any and all aspects of my modelling techs, firstly would anyone be interested, secondly should I post it all here or set up separate sections for each subject.

I would love to see expanded tutorials - probably best to categorize them by subject as this one is already established as engines.

I would like to see expansion. My prime interest is armor but occasionally will build automotive. Your engine work is A++

You’d be better off just doing your weathering per model so it’s easier for those who want to follow and or replicate your methods on their own builds will know exactly where to look when they need to.