God is Great

God is GoodDispatch Report by John Cantlie (Independent Reporter) – The Telegraph.

The sound of the caterpillar tracks could be felt as much as heard, a deep rumble that sent a rattle through windows and a tremble of fear through the guts. Then we saw them. Huge Soviet-made T72s, accompanied by troop carriers driving slowly into town, extra plates welded onto the sides to deflect rocket-propelled grenades. It was just after 9.30am, and the tanks were coming to Saraqeb.

“Light the tires!


Continue reading

“Before the Leaves Have Fallen”

It is almost unimaginable to comprehend the extreme level of discomfort and suffering the average foot soldier endured during World War I.  Fear and death his constant companions; the only refuge was to be found within a shallow ribbon of earth carved into the apocalyptic landscape.  Filth and dampness become his home; a daily routine of misery with no escape.  Here we find a lone Stormtrooper standing in the mire of the trenches, quietly awaiting the next onslaught.

The setting for this small vignette is a small section of German trench on the Western Front, 1918.  Creating mud in a scene such as this requires careful observation of the interaction between dirt and water.  In broad terms our goal here is to portray mud in some of its many guises; fresh mud, dried mud, dirt, water and splatters.   

Continue reading

Asphalt Machine

It is a hot, summer’s day – you are in your car, traffic has come to a halt and your patience is at its end.  Ahead you can see the hustle and bustle of the heavy equipment repairing the nation’s highways and byways – never ending.  Among these specialized machines is the subject of this article; the Paver – or Asphalt Finisher.  A machine whose purpose is to receive a dump truck loads of a hot, sticky, black, petroleum based product  into one side of the machine and distribute it evenly out the other side in order to create the roadways for our Sunday drives.   In this article I will show some of the products and techniques that can be used to create the severe staining and discoloration caused by the extreme conditions found on road construction sites.  Specifically the paving machine, whose constant contact with asphalt, grease and grime make it the perfect choice for weathering.

Continue reading

Diamond Reo – In the Rough

The following article is excerpted from Issue 3 and Issue 4 of The Weathering Magazine.  Issue 3 was my first collaboration with the magazine – The Chipping Issue.  The feature article was this Diamond Rio truck on which I demonstrated techniques and thought about how to simulate wear and tear on newer, composite type vehicles.

Many newer vehicles have bodies made from composite materials that do not rust, yet the paint may still wear and chip.  In this article we will apply our chipping techniques to a modern Big-Rig tractor in order to achieve a worn, well weathered appearance.  For our demonstration we can imagine a long-haul truck that has driven many thousands of highway miles.  Over time the effects of road grime, sun, road salts and weather have taken a heavy toll on the finish of our truck.  Eventually a mechanical problem has caused our truck to be retired off of the road where it sits forgotten, parked behind the mechanics shop.

Continue reading