Recently I have been playing around with balsa and bass wood and working out the best way to age it, or I should say weather it. I came up with these simple steps to age a piece of wood simply and effectively. For this purpose of the exercise, I chose an off cut of balsa wood. As you can se it is about 1 1/4" x 2" in size. First up I wanted to add some weather beaten grain to the timber. Now this can be done many different ways from using coarse 80 grit sand paper, a scalpel, an old wire brush or what I used, a small kitchen grater. The idea is to gain some wear in the grain of the timber. How deep you want this is up to you. After dusting this off, give the timber a light dusting before applying a mid grey paint. I use Citadel paints as they are flawless in their pigments. The colour I chose was 'Dawnstone'. Allow this to dry thoroughly, or if you are in a cold environment, a hair dryer is always handy. Once dry, a wash of black is splashed over the surface. I make up a wash from a small dab of black artist acrylics (the cheap and nasty ones), about 8 parts of water and 3 parts of isopropyl alcohol. the alcohol helps the wash flow into the crevices of the worn wood grain. Allow this to dry thoroughly before dry brushing with a light grey. Again I have used Citadel paints 'Administratum Grey'. If you have never dry brushed before, it is a simple technique of picking up a small portion of paint on the end of the bristles, then wiping 95% off onto a piece of paper towel, leaving just traces of paint. This is gently feathered over the surface of the wood (or model), connecting with the raised parts only, giving a lighter tone. The end result after drying should be something similar to this... Now to go one step further, I added some nail holes. This is achieved by piecing the wood with a sharp object, a compass point, a sharp lead pencil or a tooth pic. Once all the holes are complete on your timber, use the black wash and just lightly dab the surface around the holes with a small amount of wash. This will flow directly into the hole. Do each hole individually. Some black staining may occur around the hole which is ideal ! The next step is to add rust streaks to the timber where the nails or bolts have left traces of weathering. Two methods can be used here. 1. The use of weathering powders and isopropyl alcohol or.. 2. Dry brushing of a red/brown paint. I used the powder method. Apply a small amount of wet (Isopropyl alcohol) weathering powder on the end of the brush and lightly touch below the holes. In the pic below, I have a succession of holes below each other, so the stain will be continuous and running downwards. The same method of application can be used for the dry brushing of paint. remember to go lightly as you can build the depth of colour up, rather than trying to remove the colour if it has been applied too heavy. The end result of the weathered timber... Now, if you were modelling a plank wall, I would recommend scribing lines into the sheet of wood at the beginning, before any rough grain is added by coarse sand paper, wire brush etc. Cheers, Gary.