Words and Pics: @TheOtherGuy1999

In this guide I’ll show you how to make your Element LA5 look more realistic, by using the Tamiya Weathering Master Kit C.

This isn’t a perfect fix, but much better than a wash in my opinion.

There are three steps to the process, all very easy:

  1. Paint
  2. Apply weathering kit
  3. Seal with matt lacquer

Step 1: Paint

Before you start with the weathering kit, you need to paint the metal parts of the LA5.

This is just the battery cap and the illuminator housing. It is easiest to do if you unscrew both these parts from inside, and on the illuminator remove the internals.

I used Halfords Camouflage Tan spray paint on these parts, applying a couple of thin coats; and then some Halfords Matte Lacquer over the top to protect the paint.

Step 2: Applying the Weathering Kit

Tamiya Weathering Master Kit C includes a small sponge and a brush which works for doing this mod, though I’m sure that you may have your own tools which could be better.

Use the Orange Rust colour first, using the sponge to apply bits of the colour over the LA5. Don’t be worried if it looks too orange at first. Smooth it out with the sponge, and then use water with your finger – or the sponge – to thin out the material, and take away the ‘rust’ colour. This will leave you with a browner colour.

Do a couple of layers like this until you achieve the desired colour. Don’t be afraid to add a bit more in certain areas you think are lacking. As long as you water it down, it will blend in. The brush can be helpful to soak up unwanted water, or blend some of the colour.

Once this is done move on to the metal parts. For this, use the gunmetal colour – again applying it with the sponge. With the tan paint underneath, this gives the parts a tan metal look, similar to that of the real LA5.

Step 3: Matt Lacquer

Once you have finished all the parts and you are happy with the finish, it’s time to seal it in.

Lacquering stops the weathering material from coming off over time, and also slightly darkens the colour. A couple of thin coats is all you need – and don’t worry about your stickers – it can be done over the top of this.

Big thanks to @Fairchild_75th on Instagram for advice on how to do this, and I hope this article helps and encourages others to try it for themselves.

Lastly, the black UKSF spec LA5 sticker set I am using is from Jay Taranis.