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Dirty Down Verdigris

Updated: Jan 16, 2023

Greetings one and all,

Following on from the Dirty Down Rust review two weeks ago, I’ve picked up a bottle of Dirty Down Verdigris and some spare terrain to see if this too is magic in a bottle.

Dirty Down Verdigris is a water-soluble paint that, when applied, gives the effect of atmospheric oxidation of copper, otherwise known as Verdigris. Just like the Dirty Down Rust, it is used straight out of the bottle and can be applied in a number of ways to get different effects (more on that later). Dirty Down Verdigris comes in 25ml bottles and has quite a strong smell to it, though again, as with the Dirty Down Rust, this does disappear once the paint has set.

This is another water-soluble paint from the makers of Dirty Down, so it can easily be reactivated once it’s dried by adding some water to the surface. Useful for getting certain effects, but it’s even more useful if you’re not happy with how Dirty Down Verdigris has settled on your model once it’s dried. You can just keep going, wetting it again and trying again until you’re happy with the finish. However, don’t forget that you will need to use a non-water-based sealant on any item you have treated with Dirty Down Verdigris, as even the moisture on your hands will be able to reactivate this product potentially ruining all the hard work and effort you’ve put into getting the effect you want just right.

I used Rust-Oleum AE0040003E8 400ml Crystal Clear Matt to seal the model, and so far haven’t had any issues with the paint running or re-activating.

Now, let’s discuss how to use Dirty Down Verdigris. Much like with Dirty Down Rust, there are a few ways to apply this paint as well as some key rules that each has in common, so if you’ve had experience with Dirty Down Rust, or read my previous article, you’ll see the process is more or less the same. Either way though, I’ll explain the process now:

  • Always use a clean brush and make sure to clean your brush straight away when finished. Do not let this paint dry into the brush or it may cause damage to it.

  • The paint contains some solids; these are normal and part of the solution, but before use, make sure the paint is warm (leave it in a cup of hot water or something before use), then give the bottle a good shake until all the solids have dissolved into the solution. (I strongly suggest adding some agitator balls to better mix the solids).

  • If you use water to thin the solution, do not add the water to the pot. Decant the amount you need into a separate container and then add water to what you’ve decanted to avoid the paint from separating or activating inside the pot, rendering it unusable.

  • The surfaces that the solution is applied to should be warm to achieve the best effects (a hair dryer works really well for this).

Brush Method

Using a brush and either taking the solution from the pot or, if you’ve thinned it down, the container you've thinned it down into, start to apply layers of the solution. If you want a light effect then you will only need to apply a single coat, but for heavier effects, you’ll need to add more coats making sure that each layer is fully dry before you add the next.

I found that when I was using this method it worked a lot better with a thinned-down solution, as it gave me more control when I was applying the paint to the model. I also found that using warm water to thin the Dirty Down Verdigris gave me a better effect as the paint works better when warm and by not using cold water, I was able to keep the paint at a good temperature.

Cloth/Dabbing method

Pour Dirty Down Verdigris onto a sponge, cloth, kitchen towel, tissue etc. and then dab the area where you want the verdigris effect to be. Keep dabbing until the paint has dried. The amount of paint on your dabbing implement will affect the result; a light amount will get you a lighter colour, while a large amount will get you a darker colour.

I’m still in two minds about this method and I think it really depends on the item you're trying to paint. If it’s something like the terrain I’ve used as an example, with lots of recesses where the dabbing method doesn’t seem to get to, I wouldn't use it. I in fact reactivated it with a dump cloth afterwards and pulled it down to get the Verdigris where I wanted it. That said, on a mostly flat surface, I could see this being a really effective method and it does give a nice effect.

Spray Method

Spray Dirty Down Verdigris through an airbrush. Much like other methods, the darker the effect you want, the more layers you’ll have to use. It should also be noted that you should wash your brush immediately after use so the paint doesn’t clog it up as it dries.

This came out really minty green when sprayed on and left to settle which was… Interesting. I then used a dump cloth to clean up the model, wiping away all the excess. In the end, I think the effect is really nice. In regards to cleaning the airbrush, It wasn’t too bad, I simply had to flush it through a few times with cleaner and water. I could see this being a real issue if you didn't clean it ASAP though so make sure you do if you choose this method.

As a comparison, I painted one of the interior walls of my terrain piece with Citadel Nihilakh Oxide and, while it does give a Verdigris effect, as you can see it lacks the depth of the Dirty Down Verdigris.

Overall, I really liked this paint. It’s a little more tricky to use than the Rust paint in my opinion, so it took some time to figure out how it would work and what application method suited my needs the best, but with a little practice and patience, it can give you some truly stunning effects.

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