Soviet Steel – Painting the Cossack

Hello Comrades!   I thought I’d do a quick article around winter weathering our fantastic light walker – the Cossack by Warlord Games.     If you’ve been following the blog (and if you haven’t,  why haven’t you?) you’ll be aware that last time out I put a very quick and easy guide to magnetising the weapons options that we get with the walker.    This time I’d like to discuss how we might want to weather the model.

As ever I’ve used my trusty Airbrush to give a coat of primer, then a thinned coat of VMC Olive Grey,  which was then highlighted with a mix of VMC Olive Grey mixed with VMA Light US Grey.   This gave us a nice smooth highlight over the areas of the model where they would be lighter whilst leaving darker greens in the recesses.  I’m not too hung up on this coat as it will be largely obscured anyway by the weathering process that we’re following.      I’ve got an article where I discuss using chipping fluid to weather a vehicle here, and an article showing the effects of hair spray here.    For this article I’ll be using the hairspray method.

As we’ve got a more detailed guide to whitewashing available elsewhere, we’ll move directly on to what makes this guide different to the others that I’ve provided so far.    Having spoken to a number of people on the Official K47 group on facebook, I’d decided to get and try some filters to improve my weathering processes.    A filter is a method of adding streaks to a model which gives a realistic finish to how a painted model appears.   I’ve purchased some pre-made filters which are simply washed over the model to give the desired affect.   This method can also be reproduced using artists oils and distilled spirits.   As ever there lots of tutorials available on you tube.   I’ve linked a couple helpful videos showing the use of the methods and materials above.


  • If (like me) you’re middle aged (just!) and grew up building models in the eighties, then you’re probably used to enamel paints and the joys of distilled spirits or turpentine.   If these are new for you, there’s a couple of things you need to know.    They’re Oil based and as such are toxic, so please do keep them away from little hands and fingers.     I’d also strongly recommend using them in a well ventilated location.     They take longer to dry than acrylics so try and arrange your oil work for the end of a session or where you are looking to finish what you want to do with the model until the end of the day.    The drying time for the washes is listed as around 12 hours.   I found that if I placed the model near to a radiator I could get the drying time down to around an hour, I kept my coats very thin to try and ensure a rapid drying time so I could get a few light washes in during the day.

The first thing I noticed when using the filters was that I didn’t notice much at all.   They are incredibly subtle and as such, taking your time and doing multiple thin coats is better than treating them like a dip and  dunking the model into the pot and leaving it there!  I’ve bought some Satin Varnish for use with this process now as I suspect that the Gloss Varnish doesn’t give the filter enough purchase and that’s another reason for it being so subtle.

I also found that they work better in combination.    Up until this point I’d been working solely with the brown filter.    I decided to run a quick dark grey wash across the model and the changes were startling.


With the Filter washes complete, we’ll move on to adding some grime and streaks.   The grime will be focused around moving parts where there is likely to be grease which having been exposed to the elements is likely to be discoloured and grimy.  With this in mind I’ll focus in the grime around pistons on the legs and some of the large rivets on the armour plates.

As you can see here I’ve given the Cossack a coat of Satin Varnish and a final coat of brown filters, followed by the streaking grime (which I don’t think I did a good job of).    With that done I’ve watered down a little Vallejo Game Air (VGA) Rust which has then been washed around rivets and rusted areas to give some streaks and light weathering.

I made a critical error on this model, and I realised it when I came to do the canopy.   My original plan was for an internally lit effect with the red soviet rift tech colours that I’ve been using shining through the cockpit.    When I started doing this I realised that I could only do it with Airbrush and I had didn’t have the masking materials to do this properly.    Next time I’ll do the Cockpit canopy first before a coat of varnish and then masking it whilst I do the rest of the model.

The base was done by putting PVA glue onto a MDF base, coating with builders sand which was then painted with VGA Earth.   Agrax Earthshade Wash (or liquid skill as Shipman calls it) was applied and then I went into the garden recycle for bits of an old conifer that we have chopped down.    These were super glued to the base, dry-brushing was done and then I used scenic snowflakes to build up some snow drifts.

A final coat of Matt Varnish and the Cossack is ready for gaming.     I’m really pleased with this model.  The Filters took my winter whitewash to a new level and really polished the effect.  They’re pricey over here but considering how easy they make the weathering process, I think the money spent was well worth it.

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