I can't find the color BURNT IRON at any of my local hobby shops and
they've never heard of it. The kit I'm putting together calls for it
when detailing the headers of a car. I'm going to have to make it, but
what does it look like--roughly?
I have STEEL, SILVER, FLAT BROWN, RUST, ALUMINUM, FLAT BLACK...
Certainly one of those colors can be mixed to make BURNT IRON.
Anyone have an idea?
Burned headers depend a lot on what the finish was before the engine
was first run. I use various Testors colors to replicate burned
headers depending on the type of header. If the header is cast iron, I
paint it a rusty steel color first, then airbrush a very light flat
black. This is the simplest one. For steel pipe headers with natural
finish I use a bluish steel first, then some very light brown, then
Chrome headers or polished stainless are the hardest. These take on a
patina of a rainbow assortment. I give them the shinyest chrome silver
I can put on, then a very light coating of a rose red and a deep blue,
almost a purple. I sometimes add a straw (light tan). These must be
done with a good airbrush, preferrably DA, as the coatings should be
VERY transparent. The look is of a patina, not a solid color.
Don't be afraid to mix colors yourself to get the shades you need. For
instance, I almost never use Testors steel as it comes from the bottle.
I ordinarily mix in some flat black. For cast iron headers I mix in
some medium brown. For steel headers I add in a small amount of blue.
Great tips, Ron. At this point, I'm using the rattle cans for all my
painting because I don't build models often enough to justify the cost
of a nice air brush system. I bought one many years ago and ended up
using it about four times in one year--certainly not enough to be good
at it. What I need to do is ask my wife (she does crafts sometimes) if
she would use it as well--that might be enough justification to buy an
I'll also need some to look up some photo references of what engines on
NASCAR race cars look like. The few that I've seen don't show the
headers as burned or even used. They're look aluminum--could also have
been a show car though.
I like your rust to flat black approach, probably hard to do with a
rattle can, flat black.
Any thoughts on this?
You CAN use drybrush techniques instead of an airbrush, but it is
tricky. If you are not experienced at drybrushing, do quite a bit of
practice on scrap first before doing it to the project you are working
on. Spray the basic color, wait till it is dry, and then drybrush the
Many contemporary race cars use ceramic coatings or high temp paints.
I think NASCAR cars use this now. White is a popular color for these
coatings, but some are a metallic, aluminum-like color.