Using Mig Anti-Skid
by Phil Novak
For those of us who have done some research or modeling of modern armor has no doubt noticed one of the vehicle’s big safety features: the anti skid texture. Applied to most of the horizontal walking surfaces of the vehicles, it keeps the crew from slipping off the vehicle when climbing on it, especially in wet conditions.
On the actual vehicles, the surface is extremely rough, and will tear uniforms or skin your knees pretty bad if you do happen to slide down or fall on it. I was a crew member on a Bradley and know exactly what the real thing is like – with the torn uniforms to prove it. It’s really aggressive stuff.
The sediment used to create it looks like a ground up black volcanic glass that was troweled over the surface with a binding agent. It is quite irregular on US vehicles, so take that into account when modeling it, don’t apply it in a completely uniform fashion. It does have a defined edge from where the surface is treated and not, but the treated area can be a bit irregular. It seems to be a bit more regular on Israeli vehicles, and I admit that I cannot speak intelligently about the nature of it on any other countries vehicles. Research is key here.
Although the injection molding process has come a long way, it still isn’t to the level of being able to accurately depict it. Even in cases where the kit manufacturer did try to capture it, the texture isn’t “rough enough”. Modeling it has been done a number of different ways, from sprayed surfacer, textured spray paint, plastic glue, and body putty. Luckily for us, the good folks at Mig Productions have introduced a dedicated product to simulate this feature.
Coming in a standard oil paint tube, the Mig “Antiskid” is a texture acrylic paste that can be spread over the surface to create the texture perfectly. Yes that’s right, it’s acrylic! It thins easily with water, cleans up just as easily and can be applied with your standard paintbrushes. No need to carefully mask and spray it on, just squeeze some out on a palette, thin to taste with water and paint it on. It is very easy to control and only apply where you need it, keeping surrounding surface detail crisp. It dries to a rock hard finish in about an hour, leaving plenty of time to work the area and perfect the effect.
The tube contains enough of the stuff to coat several models in anti skid. It’s pretty close to a lifetime supply, unless you’re planning on building a whole Brigade’s worth of armor. A little can really go a long way. After application and paint, a light wash or filter over it will really cause it to pop out and highlight the effect. Perhaps a VERY light dry brush of black over some high points would add some realism, as the grit is black under the tan paint, and soldiers boots do wear some paint off.
Overall, this is a great answer to modeling antiskid. Anyone with a little modeling experience can easily apply it and end up with a very realistic end result.
Photos by Phil Novak