AndyG’s NMM Rust Technique

Today ToadChapel is proud to present a tutorial from the amazing Andy Gillaspy, aka AndyG. Andy is a true master of NMM style painting, but he’s always pushing himself in new directions. In that spirit, Andy has developed a way to render heavy rust in a non-metallic setting.  Read on to learn how to add this technique to your bag of tricks. Thanks Andy!

AndyG's beautiful Wraith from Black Crow Miniatures

I adore non-metallic metals. It’s my favourite way of painting metals. The control on where the highlighting goes, the matte finish which stops unwanted glints from metallic paints so that the mini appears to the observer the way that you want it to rather than how the lighting in the room reflects off metallic paints is for me worth the effort. This isn’t to say that TMM is not an exacting and difficult way of painting metals well; for example the work of SkellettetS and Megazord Man is superb and they use TMM most of the time.

That said, NMM for me. However, what to do with rust? There I have previously given in and used TMM rather than NMM and I have been very satisfied with the results; the slight application in rubbed spots of the metal concentrates the highlights where you want them anyway so the issues of glints appearing where you don’t want them doesn’t occur as the rest of the metal is oxidized with matte browns and oranges. It was quite a challenge to come out of my comfort zone and decide to see if I could paint realistic and aesthetically pleasing rusted armour with NMM.

For this project I chose the excellent Wraith model by Black Crow. This took some hunting down but I managed to get a model from Figone; it was worth the trouble.

      Paints for rusted NMM


Rhinox Hide

Mournfang Brown

Wild Rider Red

Fire Dragon Bright

Zandri Dust

Agrax Earthshade

   Vallejo Model Color


Neutral Grey


I started by spraying the model with Army Painter Black. I prefer Army Painter as it gives very nice coverage and no grainy finish. Then I painted the plate mail sections with GW Rhinox Hide with a dab of VMC Black.

After that using an old brush stipple randomly with a say 80% coverage using Mournfang Brown. Be sure that you don’t have too much paint on the brush as you are aiming for texture.

Using the random pattern created by the Mournfang Brown application stipple on Wild Rider Red in slightly smaller areas within the zones already covered. Offset some of the application as we are not aiming for dead centre ‘blooms’. Also consider the shape of the object as we get less rust on edges and raised sections and more on flat and undercut areas.

Now in yet smaller areas stipple on Fire Dragon Bright. You don’t have to do all the previous zones with this; you can leave one or two out to reduce the regularity.

Now onto the last bit of stippling with Zandri Dust. With this application be very random indeed leave out some areas completely and overshoot others.

To draw everything together give it a liberal wash of Agrax Earthshade pulling the wash towards the creases. If need be apply a second wash but concentrate on the shadowed areas and around and underneath rivets.

In the deep creases line it with some diluted VMC Black careful to avoid obvious demarcation lines.

Now here is the bit that differs from TMM: we carefully consider areas where rust will have rubbed or chipped off. So raised edges or the tops of shapes are the sections to consider.

On these areas apply VMC Neutral Grey. Definitely less is more. If you look at the shoulder plates on the mini you will see a kind of irregular horizontal line with drawn down vertical lines bisecting it. This is typical of damage to rust that is chipped off.

Treat this area as if it were a very small NMM object so considering the direction of the light source apply a mid tone of VMC Grey/ VMC white mix. 70/30. As this is a raised area the mid-tone region will be comparatively small. Then a highlight of VMC grey/ white 50/50 mix where you want the main glints and finally a pure white dot in a few selected final highlights.

A view of the mini which showcases the amazing worn leather cape.

You can mess about with this recipe as randomness is inherent with the oxidation process and you want to texture the miniature’s surface as much as possible.

Crisp non-metallic metal, rusty surfaces, and a tattered leather cape on the wraith.


As always, I’ve asked Andy to shed a little light on himself and his hobby.  This is what he said.

Hi everyone a little about me. Ok I am an astrophysicist by training but have been in education for the last few years as a physics lecturer. I am currently Head of Physics at a private girls school in the South of England.

I have had numerous jobs on the way, which include being an under-pinner, concrete ganger, bouncer, running stag do’s in Barcelona and loads of other jobs.

I really started painting figures when I was in my early teens playing Warhammer and painting Citadel Miniatures. The whole John Blanche art drew me in and then Ian Miller, which was so good. This stopped abruptly when I found girls and there was a hiatus of twenty years but I delved back into it again after I got into playing D & D with my mates and also got married so I didn’t have to make any further effort with silly things like personal appearance, hygiene, etc.

Then I found and discovered that there was a vast range of manufacturers, not just GW. The community was so supportive and helped me to improve until what was a hobby became a clinical obsession which I have yet to recover from!

I have been entering competitions for a few years and have won Gold, Silvers and Bronzes in Euro Militaire along with numerous commended and finalist pins at Golden Demon and Salute.

I will never stop painting; they will have to pry my Winsor and Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable brush from my cold dead hand.

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