Last year I acquired a small replica of William Wetmore Story’s Angel of Grief that he originally carved for his wife’s tomb. Made by Design Toscano, your friendly neighborhood purveyors of all things mediocre, tawdry and expensive, she looked like this initially:
In other words, she looked like a cheap, wretched paperweight instead of a 1:6 scale statue. To remedy this dire state of affairs, I spent the last few days weathering my Angel of Grief.
First, I applied black chalk pastel, diluted with a little water, in the folds and hollows of the sculpture. I used paintbrushes, wet smudge sticks of paper towel and my fingertips for adding color. The deepest crevices, of course, received the most shading. I added a lot of color, then ended up wiping much of it off, going for a mottled, aged appearance.
Second, I applied dark brown chalk pastel in areas where dirt might collect and also on various surfaces for general staining. I found that stippling with the tip of a small paintbrush produced convincing blotches of dirt.
Third, I added small bits of dried moss that I had chopped up even more finely with a craft knife. I painted some Mod Podge in the area where I wished to stick moss — various creases of the statue, as well as the deepest hollows. I then picked up some moss on the sticky paintbrush and pushed it into place.
I lost track of how much time I spent weathering my Angel of Grief — maybe four to six hours? I opine that every moment of labor was well spent, however, especially since I wish to make this sculpture the centerpiece of my 1:6 scale cemetery in Zombieville. After much painstaking improvement, this piece can now stand proudly among my favorite set elements.