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By Dean G. Kleines

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This review comes to you with several admonitions right up front. First, before reading any further, if you do not have Rustall, go to your nearest hobby shop and get it or jump on the web site and order this product right now before reading any further. Hands down, it's great! No modeler should be without it as an essential part of their tool set. Second, what you will read in this review is not a rehash of what's already out there on the web. This is a totally fresh perspective from a modeler that has had no experience degrading his subjects to such a derelict condition.
In case you are thinking "this really isn't my cup of tea" let me share with you what I learned about the psychology of encRUSTation. Several significant shocks enveloped my mind as I began to think about how I was going to use this product. The first was that I was a die hard purist from day one. I never had the desire to do anything less than factory fresh finishes. This desire was compounded by the fact that I painted real cars for a living and spent all of my time eradicating rust. Now we want the stuff? Go figure!

The second significant shock was found when I began to search my unbuilt collection for something to use as a subject for the review. I searched high and low for one kit that I could sacrifice for this most unusual adventure. The 1948 MG TC stood out like a good candidate for my first "rust bucket." If you are like me, it is very easy to find yourself in a mindset that can limit your enjoyment of the hobby. Using the Rustall product was an outstanding opportunity to stretch my skills as a modeler and get a taste of the artsy side of the hobby.

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If you want it to look old and rusty, nothing will do it better than RUSTALLâ„¢!
The RUSTALL™formula is designed to produce a random rust pattern on metal, styrene, cast resin and even paper.
RUSTALL™ is non-corrosive, dries fast, won't craze plastic and cleans up with soap and water.

RUSTALL™ is quick, with just four easy steps and requires no special equipment to produce professional results.
RUSTALL™comes to us from the Kuras Design Group and retails for $19.95. The package contains 4 two ounce bottles, labeled 1 thru 4. Bottle 1 contains the Rustall, bottle 2 contains Blackwash, bottle 3 contains Dead Flat and bottle 4 contains Dust.

When you order the set, it may be worth your while to get an extra bottle or two of the Rustall(#1) as it goes the quickest of the four. It has been on the market for about 15 years. The review sample was shipped with several samples to wet my appetite. Each sample demonstrated the effect of each of the four solutions. The instructions on the back of the package are clear and simple.

APPLYING THE RUSTALL Make sure you read the instructions on the back of the package several times. Although the process is very simple, Captain Rustall provides several very important tips that are easy to miss. I jumped to a wrong conclusion that the Rustall was way too diluted on my first application. After rereading the instructions, I found that it is designed to leave a "light" layer of rust. This allows you to control the weathering from subtle to "solid rust."

The second observation I made was that as I brushed the Rustall onto the surface, it tended to run on the surface and not evenly distribute. After reading the instructions again, I found that you may paint the part first with a dark grey or brown paint and coat the part with dust from bottle #4 before the paint dries. I tried this on the transmission first. I swabbed the flywheel housing with some Testors flat brown using a q-tip to avoid any brush strokes. I the dusted the wet paint with the dirt. After the paint dried, I took a flat bristle brush and knocked of the larger chunks of dust. Now I was getting somewhere! The granularity and/or porosity of the surface you are rusting will directly affect the number of coats of Rustall you will apply. Experiment until you find the effect that is appropriate for your subject.

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Here we can see the wide variety of aging effects using the Rustall process.

With the engine block below, my first attempt is shown on the oil pan and main block. You can see how the Rustall ran because it had nothing to grab on to.

The cylinder head and valve cover is attempt #2 with progressive coats of rust and final wash of black.

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APPLYING THE DIRT The transmission and fly wheel housing have been coated with dirt and then rust. Notice the granularity of the surface. Some of the chunks of dirt are large, so you may want to pre-sift it to get a uniform appearance.

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APPLYING THE BLACKWASH It was a real treat to test the Blackwash on the recessed panel lines of my newly finished Hasegawa 1/72 P51D Mustang.

Upon first using the wash, I jumped to the same conclusion that I did on the Rustall, that it was too diluted. I then realized that you start with "subtle" and work your way to "bold" by repeating the application however many times you need.

This is a really versatile weathering technique and will not harm the painted surface in any way. You can augment the Blackwash with pastels and other mediums if you desire. You have total control.

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This photo illustrates the use of Rustall, Blackwash and Deadflat on the exhaust manifold.

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Here the effective use of all four weathering mediums is brought to bear on a very convincing subject. Notice how almost every facet of this vehicle makes use of shades, tones, and texture to attain a stunning result.

At a recent leadership seminar for work, we were challenged with the thought that the only way to truly develop people is to provide an environment that encourages them to work outside of their comfort zones. If you are like me in your modeling experience, you may have fallen into a comfort zone and have never taken a trip outside. By doing this Rustall review, I was able to see that there is a much bigger world of modeling than I was ever used to. I can't wait to scratch build that manure spreader that sits across the road from where we have our monthly IPMS meeting and rust it in all its glory. What was really neat was discovering how much I can use this product inside my comfort zone too.

Make sure you visit Captain Rustall's website at Look for the upcoming gallery section which will have a wealth of inspiring pictures to Rust your imagination. Also, feel free to contact Captain Rustall with any questions. He is very creative and willing to help.

Dean G. Kleines

  © Kuras Design Group 2016