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Tool Review
Black Smoke Wash
NitroLine Black Smoke Wash
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

Wilder NitroLine Black Smoke Wash is recommended for adding shadows to highlight seams and details on neutral grey and very dark surfaces. Can also be used to create smoke and exhaust effects.

Formed in 2011, Wilder Products produces effective finishing products and accessories for constructing, painting and weathering all types of scale replicas and dioramas. Wilder's website has videos and links to demonstrations and how-to articles.

Recently the Airbrush Company Ltd sent a selection of products by Wilder Products. This review is of their NitroLine paint filter Black Smoke Wash.

According to the Wilder website, NitroLine washes are:
    ...a quick means of adding subtle fake shadows and tonal variations. These effects will help to highlight details such as rivets, seams and textures. Washes also add more tones to a finish. Applying washes is usually the first weathering step after a base coat if no filters are needed.

NitroLine Black Smoke Wash
This product is formulated for dark or neutral gray finishes. The first thing I noticed when I opened the box was the eye-catching label on the bottle cap. Then I noticed the unique bottle. It more like an artists' ink jar, a square body necked plastic bottle. The attractive label adds to the aesthetics, although text on the side is so small that I can not read it without magnification.

Inside is a very thin solvent-based liquid and a thin layer of pigment. The pigment is dark.

Wilder emphasizes that NitroLine products need to first be thoroughly mixed or shaken well prior to using to ensure that the pigments are completely mixed for the effect to work to its fullest potential.

Opening the bottle releases a mild terpenic odor, less intense than Model Master enamels, and less than the mineral spirits I use to clean my brushes.

Since Black Smoke Wash is for gray finishes, I tested it on a steam locomotive. Following Wilder instructions I loaded a brush with the filter, swiped it across a towel, thence all across the dark surfaces. Please see the photographs to judge the effectiveness; the wash was applied and dried in about 20 minutes and the loco was re-photographed with the same settings.

The wash dried fairly fast. It smoothly spread away from raised detail and left a slight sheen - this effect can best be seen in the image of the locomotive tender.

Results and conclusion
My locomotive had a splotchy finish on the boiler. Black Smoke Wash subdued that. Depending on the angle of the light, I do see a difference in the finish. Especially on the vertical sides of the tender, cab, and walkway.

The product is easy to use. It was easy to clean from the brush. The odor of the solvents did not give me a headache. It dried with a slight sheen.

Bottle design is nice although I wonder if modelers will recoil from the uncommon square bottom?

Modelers who use techniques of color modulating and washes should appreciate this product. I have no complaint about this product and thus feel comfortable recommending it.
Highs: The wash dried fairly fast and smoothly spread away from raised detail, leaving a slight sheen. The odor of the solvents did not give me a headache.
Lows: Bottle design is nice although I wonder if modelers will recoil from the uncommon square bottom?
Verdict: Modelers who use techniques of color modulating and washes should appreciate this product.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: NL-01
  Suggested Retail: $7.55, 4.50
  Related Link: On Wilder Site
  PUBLISHED: Aug 11, 2014

Our Thanks to Airbrushes.com!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2017 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.

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