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Lots of great advice here! I think everyone needs to find their comfort level. For me the airbrush works well with acrylic paint. For weathering I start with a light coat of dark earth to tone down the toylike sheen on most models then overspray with black or soot - this seems to bring out the detail. None of it too heavy. I then play around with powders to get the streaks and so on. Powders don't work too well on bare plastic or gloss.

By the way you can get powdered paint pigment from art stores which is a whole lot cheaper than the weathering powders offered by the model trade.

Airbrushed acrylic paint and powders can be washed off with Windex.

Here's a pic that I think gives an idea:

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