Question about the oil dot method

This primarily applies to plastic kits and mainly armor at that but I assume can work on other topics.

I haven’t tried the oil dot method as of yet, but I have a collection of colored pencils and I know that they can be blended with OMS to achieve certain effects for traditional painting.

So my question is could I use dabs of pencil on the surface of my model instead of oil paint of the same color and treat them similarly? Has anyone tried this or do I get to be Michael Rockefeller and tread into possibly dangerous lands? I don’t have any OMS on-hand but I am going into town on Wednesday.

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Are these the AK pencils? I use them with water, but I don’t apply them dry, then blending them with wet brush. Instead, I wet the end of the pencil and pick up a very small amount of pigment with a fine-tipped brush and then apply it. I find it easier to use them this way with more subtle control of the effects. I’ve not tried them with OMS. I also use Prismacolor pencils in the same way.


No, these are pencils I picked up for a college art class years ago. They would be similar to products like Prismacolor.

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If they are oil-based, they should behave just like oil paint, if they are soluble in OMS. I don’t see why they couldn’t be used in the same manner. Like so many other techniques, testing is the only way to find out.


I agree in principle they should act similar but I think it would be more muted effect. Which could be good or bad depending on what you want. In the end you should test on a paint mule instead of the project.


The basic principle of using OMS after painting with the pencils is to spread the pigment evenly or according to one’s purpose and do some blending between the areas of color variation.

The oil dot method is something similar.

The only issue you might find is that because the surface of the model is hard non absorbing, contrary to the paper, the pigment will not spread evenly.

If you want to use the pencils your safest option would be to create the pigment- oms solution on a container, tray, pallet etc and then apply it to the surface. You might find it easier to control the effect and you could always use the mixture for other effects such as streaks, washes, panel lining etc. It is like using dry pigment from pastels.


I use oils to do the oil dot method, but I only do one color at a time to avoid getting a brown/grey mess. I use Prismacolor pencils later to do pinpoint effects such as chips, scuffs, scratches, and rust spots. I keep the pencils very sharp so I can start small and control the effect.


Just try it on a scrap of plastic and see.

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I can imagine pencils might even give you the effect you’re looking for better than oils. I’ve used the oil dot methid. It’s supposed to make the monochrome color look more vibrant, alhough from what I’ve seen, it’s usually not what you end up with. Pencil will likely not mix up like the oils.
I remember back in after school are class in Hawaii, we wouold mix up colors, trying to “invent” new ones. Invariably we’d get brown. Mix any batch of colors together and that’s usually what you get. That’s what most modelers get as the mix u the oil dots too much. Including me. Ultimately I quite doing it, because when it did work, it just didn’t look realistic to me. I have seen it on real tanks though - museum pieces that over time eventually start leaching out color onto the paint - especially sun faded OD. I look similiar to gasoline residue floating on a puddle of water.
I’ve been unable to find it happening on any in service vehicles though.

My attempts on an old IS-3M. I can see a bit of blue and orange peeking through in places, but it’s mainly become a muddy wash more than anything:

I did see the effects on the black painted parts of this submarine. It was quite interesting. But the camera was unable to really capture it:

Not trying to talk anyone out of it - I’ve just never seen anyone pull it off like in the magazines.