Dust is fine dry dirt particles that are small enough to be forced into the air with vehicle movement. Once airborne, dust settles on all surfaces and accumulates in every crack and crevice. Track or wheel movements funnel dust up and back along the sides of the vehicle getting higher as it gets towards the rear. The vortex created behind the vehicle by its movement through the air, sucks the dust on to the back of the vehicle where it sticks. Equipment being towed or vehicles in convoy can get completely covered in dust. The best way to apply dust to your model is by first washing your model with a mix of white spirits and paint of your chosen dust colour. Dust is normally much lighter than wet dirt or spray, and Humbrol No72 neat or mixed with varying amounts of white makes a good dust colour. The wash mix is about 90% white spirit and 10% paint, but you can vary this to suit your needs. The effect can be built up by re-washing when the first wash is dry. The effect you are trying to achieve is to have paint collecting in recesses and around detail. Try your dilution on a small area before getting carried away, and be careful how you handle your model while it is soaked in white spirit, as it is prone to picking up finger prints. Winsor and Newton Liquin original can also be added to your wash which helps to spread the pigment evenly and holds more of it on flat less detailed areas. When you are happy with the wash and it is thoroughly dry (24 hours), you can start the next stage which is to lightly dry brush the large uncluttered areas of the vehicle. Be careful not to bring up the detail too much when dry brushing. Once you have lightly dry brushed all over, you can then build up the dust colour on the rear of the vehicle and road wheels. Something that should be remembered is that crewmen get in and out of their vehicles, they open doors, hatches and storage bins. They move and use things and surfaces get walked on and bushes can scratch the sides. All of these things will disrupt the weathering effects you apply. Working back in to the dust with the original vehicle or equipment colour will give the effect of the dust being worn or rubbed off items of equipment which are used or disturbed. One final point, before leaving “the dust to settle”, is ‘wash down’. This is where dusty vehicles which have been out in the rain have the dust washed off the most exposed surfaces and down the vehicle. The dust is carried along with the rain which produces stronger concentrations of dust in recesses and along the natural drainage points around the vehicle. This effect can be achieved on your model by selective washes on the areas most affected.

This MLRS has had the dust and dirt worn away from the door handle, door edge and hand rail from continual use by the crew.
August 1996

The dust has settled on the upper surfaces of this Chieftain AVRE and is clinging to the roadwheels.
August 2005
Notice the way the dust has collected in areas protected from the flow of air on this MAN EPLS.
August 2011
This Royal Engineers FV432 shows the build up of dust on the rear during a summer exercise.
July 1997
Copyright Tim Neate