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Weathering pleather to look like leather

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G'nott sH'urr (David Campbell)
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Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 3177
Location: Snake Central, Louisiana
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 4:52 pm    Post subject: Weathering pleather to look like leather Reply with quote

In a hot, sandy desert environment nothing stays bright or shiny for long, unless you wash it all the time. Desert nomads dont have the extra water to wash things like equipment, so it gathers its own level of distress.
I grew up in the desert, I understand the desert, and one thing I cannot abide *besides those Jawas* is bright shiny pleather *or leather* bandoliers when we are depicting a desert-worn item.
No item needs heavy weathering, that was not shown in the films, but some level of dustiness was picked up from just being worn on set. Here's how to weather your pleather *or leather* to show this dust.
You need:
A your item to be weathered
B dish soap
C medium sized cheap disposable brush
D water
E rough sanding block or sandpaper
F weathering pigments, such as MiG, Ammo of MiG, Vallejo or other brand of hobby weathering pigments. Google is your friend there are far too many links to list here. Pick any sandy non-red color.

Using Dewkas patented* 5-step process you can weather literally any non -cloth item in a few minutes. Armor like Sandtrooper armor uses a similar process, but I will not cover that here.


I made my most recent bandoliers out of pleather so I can make the straps as long as I need them for a bantha rider tusken, which puts all bandoliers outside the robes. For me, that means extra long straps. I downloaded the old Studio Creations template, and cut my pleather.


Now that my nice bright shiny straight from the manufacturer's floor Enfield Bandos are ready to go, I need to knock that shine off. First run the sanding block over them to scratch them and knock some of the gloss off. I am using scrap for the tutorial. wipe off the vinyl when you are done sanding all the parts. Sand the backsides of small parts that will turn over, like adjustment loops and straps. One side does not stay clean while the other side gets dirty.

1 Sand your parts

Get your dishsoap, water, pigment, brush and a clean workspace together. It wont be clean for long. Be ready.

2 Gather your Resources
Use a couple of different colors of weathering pigment


3 & 4 Apply first and second layers of pigments
tap out some pigment in a dish, apply a speck of dish soap (this acts like glue) and barely touch your brush to water. Mix this mess up, and apply. Work it over everything on the "good" side of the item. It will dry in a few minutes. Once everything is completely, thoroughly dry, apply a more random 2nd color.

Mix up your second batch and randomly apply it.

5 Buff off the weathering.

Its up to you to decide how much to keep. The deeper recesses should have the most, since it never gets knocked off. The outside of things like flaps and raised areas will get more or less buffed by clothing. it will be dirty, but it wont have as much dirt. Raised areas are more likely to get scruffed up.

Thats it. It takes perhaps an hour to do all this, and you will be able to easily change it if you change your mind, or want a different color. I have weathered a ton of stuff this way, and it can last for years.

Happy weathering!
Once I was Dewka, but now I'm just G'nott sH'urr

Squadron Commander, DragonSnake Squadron

Regimental Sergeant Major, RMMC, 6th Expeditionary Force, Tannerman Rifles Regiment.

Commander, Deep South Mothership, Visitor Fleet.
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ID10T (Jim)

Joined: 11 Mar 2021
Posts: 421

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Instagram: watch_this.hold_my_beer

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My partner and I had a saying when we were making guitars:

“We work hard to make wood look like plastic and plastic look like wood.”
"Never tell me the odds."
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