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edited March 2016
I am in the process of building a garage right now with detail inside . Of course every shop had a work bench for tools , vice etc . and I would like to know what to use to make rags , I model O scale . Thanks.
I'd try using a piece of Kleenex or tissue paper.
For the Kleenex, open it up to the point that it's single ply. Play around with different methods of coloring. For example, wet the Kleenex with mineral spirits and the let a drop of solvent based paint fall on the tissue. I got some cool effects that way.
With the tissue paper, try crumpling it up over and over and over so the that are no hard wrinkles. Then, color it. Similar to the enamel paint example above, try using alcohol and chalk. Dab some chalk powder onto a damp piece of tissue paper. Or, dissolve some chalk in alcohol and use that as a wash to apply onto the tissue.
With either method, go back over the "rag" with a dusting of chalk that's a bit darker than your original color. That will add some subtle shadows to the folds of the rag.
I know this isn't a rag, but it'll give you an idea...this is a tarp on an HO vehicle. It's a piece of Kleenex colored with Floquil Aged Concrete and a little chalk:
Give it a shot and make sure to post some pictures and share your methods.
That tarp looks great, I will give that a try .