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Painting tail rotor stripes

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  • Member since
    July 2019
  • From: Vancouver, British Columbia
Painting tail rotor stripes
Posted by Bobstamp on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 10:00 PM

I am part way through building an Italeri 1/72 UH-34D Marine Corps helicopter like the ones that ferried me around Vietnam. I am now facing the accurate painting of the tips of the tail rotor blades — two white stripes separated by a narrow red stripe. I've painted the entire tip white, thinking that the red will cover white better than the white would cover red. I seriously doubt my ability to paint that red stripe by hand; while masking the white with Tamiya tape seems difficult at best, it may be the best method. Your suggestions will be welcome. (I've searched FineScale posts without success.)

Bob   

On the bench: Italeri 1/72 UH-34 Seahorse helicopter; Academy 1/72 F-86F Sabre; Revell S.S. Hope, being built as the hospital ship U.S.S. Repose, and a diorama to illustrate the crash of a Beech T-34B Mentor which I survived in 1962.

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: State of Mississippi. State motto: Virtute et armis (By valor and arms)
Posted by mississippivol on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 10:39 PM

You could try a red strip of decal the correct width. Cut it long enough to wrap around both sides. 

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Thursday, June 4, 2020 12:57 AM

Hello Bob!

Your thinking sounds quite right - painting red on white should work. Masking off white portions also would be the right way to go. One potential problem might be paint getting under the masking tape, this is especially dangerous when brush painting, so using a decal might be a nice option here. My trick is to take a piece of decal (plain sheet or some unused symbol) and painting it red. After it dries you can take a ruler and a sharp knive and you can cut a strip out of it, and you say how wide this strip is going to be! After cutting you proceed as normal - dip the cut part in water, wait until the decal glue releases and slide on the model - the normal process.

I hope this helps - good luck with your "Seahorse", I'd love to see the pics! Thanks for reading and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Thursday, June 4, 2020 2:44 AM

I agree with the decal option.  Red over white is always a nightmare.  But I am not an accomplished brush painter. 

Thanks,

John

Ain't no reason to hang my head, I could wake up in the mornin' dead 

  • Member since
    July 2019
  • From: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posted by Bobstamp on Thursday, June 11, 2020 7:12 PM

Well, wow! That was easy! I took the advice to use decals to heart. I printed my own decals with Experts Choice clear decal ink-jet film, sprayed them with three coats of Mr. Hobby semi-gloss Topcoat, and voila!:

I'd actually been avoiding this step, thinking I would spend hours screwing it up, then have to go to Plan B, using masking tape and red paint. But it only took me about 20 minutes. Before joining this discussion board, I had no idea that I could even make my own decals. Thanks for your encouragement!

Bob

On the bench: Italeri 1/72 UH-34 Seahorse helicopter; Academy 1/72 F-86F Sabre; Revell S.S. Hope, being built as the hospital ship U.S.S. Repose, and a diorama to illustrate the crash of a Beech T-34B Mentor which I survived in 1962.

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: State of Mississippi. State motto: Virtute et armis (By valor and arms)
Posted by mississippivol on Thursday, June 11, 2020 7:32 PM
That rocks!
  • Member since
    January 2013
Posted by seastallion53 on Thursday, June 11, 2020 11:51 PM

If i may but i was in the Navy in a helo squadron  and it's red, white, red on tail rotor blades.

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Friday, June 12, 2020 2:28 AM

Hello!

While I don't say the helos you've seen didn't have it this way, two days ago I got a vintage paint specification from 1971 and it states white-red-white. That's also the way I've seen on most photos that show tail rotors. So I'd say Bob got it right - plus he's also "been there, done that" and he had seen that rotor personally, too. So I wouldn't want to correct him on this one.

Have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    January 2013
Posted by seastallion53 on Friday, June 12, 2020 4:27 AM

Just going with what i know.All rh-53ds,uh-1ns,sh-3h,sh-2s i've seen had red white red tips,that's all.Not trying to criticize.It just looked funny to me.

  • Member since
    September 2017
  • From: Roanoke Virginia
Posted by Strongeagle on Friday, June 12, 2020 7:56 AM

Ahoy Rotorheads.  It seems that MIL-STD-2161 (various revisions) lays out guidance for painting Navy and Marine Corps aircraft.  The following information is from MIL-STD-2161B May1, 1993.  It is unchanged in the 2014 version.  I haven't located a more recent version.  I note that the original post cited 1970 vintage markings which may have been entirely different from my information below.

 

  • Member since
    July 2019
  • From: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posted by Bobstamp on Friday, June 12, 2020 11:45 AM

Red-white-red, you say. Well, this is embarrassing! At least I succeeded in getting it wrong!

Even though I was in Vietnam, as Pawel notes, I had a lot more on my mind besides examining helicopter tail-rotor paint schemes. But that doesn't explain how I could fail to note that virtually every image I've seen, not to mention the model's instructions, clearly show red-white-red. At least I haven't yet sealed the decals, so off they come. I should probably remove the white paint, repaint the rotor tips red, and make some white stripes. Lotsa fun.

The helicopter has actually turned into a "test bed." I'm more or less pleased with some weathering I've done; the cockpit detail is my best effort yet, and I'm pleased with the canopy. I enjoyed adding a bit of extra detail — a stretcher and an electrical able — to the cabin. But I managed to screw up the nose light and the exhausts; scuff a window a cabin window. Both of the main landing gears broke, and one of the main rotor blades fell off after the rotor assembly was glued together. Somehow the flight deck got installed a slight angle (but it looks OK).

I'll finish the one I'm working on, after correcting tail rotor tips, and then start all over again, with more knowledge and confidence. (I'd already bought a second model for replacement parts, and just a couple days ago a third one arrived.) Considering that the ugly old thing probably saved my life in Vietnam, it deserves my best effort.

Thanks to everyone for keeping me on the straight and narrow!

Bob 

On the bench: Italeri 1/72 UH-34 Seahorse helicopter; Academy 1/72 F-86F Sabre; Revell S.S. Hope, being built as the hospital ship U.S.S. Repose, and a diorama to illustrate the crash of a Beech T-34B Mentor which I survived in 1962.

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, June 12, 2020 11:59 AM

No need to doubt your confidence, Bob. You did a great job on that. Fixing it will go quickly now.

No one who was "there" should feel badly about getting things right or wrong. There's just too much distraction, plus it was 50 years ago.

 

Bill

Modeling is an excuse to buy books

 

  • Member since
    September 2017
  • From: Roanoke Virginia
Posted by Strongeagle on Friday, June 12, 2020 9:39 PM

Ahoy again Bob. Don't give up at this point.  Doing a little more digging I found the following. Pic is an Army Ch-34 at the Pima Museum.  Also, the army markings manual pages below clearly indicate in 1986  white-black-white were the specs.  Your memory is better than you think.  

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, June 13, 2020 12:26 AM

Years seem to matter.

I have a good collection of Army rotor wing books, not so USMC.

 

 

Modeling is an excuse to buy books

 

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, June 13, 2020 12:31 AM

But... leaving restorations out of it; red white red in the older photos.

 

Modeling is an excuse to buy books

 

  • Member since
    July 2019
  • From: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posted by Bobstamp on Saturday, June 13, 2020 10:26 AM

Thank you, G. Morrison! I did find one photo of a tail rotor with the white-red-white stripes. It probably was an Army helicopter. But all of Marine Corps photos I found show the red-white-red stripes. 

 

I wasn’t able to base my decision for the white-red-white scheme on any memory, nor on the kit's instructions, because I have no memory of those stripes. So, to assuage my ego, I'll blame my confusion on the concussion I had in my plane crash all these years ago!

 

I have stripped the stripes (!) and repainted the rotor blades flat black, but not without one more problem: with the first gentle swipe of paint remover, one of the blades broke off. I managed to repair it with crazy glue, but I'll have to handle it even more gently from here on. I can’t believe how fragile some scale model parts are.

 

Bob 

 

On the bench: Italeri 1/72 UH-34 Seahorse helicopter; Academy 1/72 F-86F Sabre; Revell S.S. Hope, being built as the hospital ship U.S.S. Repose, and a diorama to illustrate the crash of a Beech T-34B Mentor which I survived in 1962.

  • Member since
    July 2019
  • From: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posted by Bobstamp on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 1:47 PM

There! I’ve finally caught up to where I was earlier this month, when FineScale discussion board members pointed out to me that I’d got the tail rotor stripes on my Italeri 1/72 UH-34 D wrong. I’d painted them white an added a red decal, when I should have reversed that by painting them red and adding a white decal. Well, I’ve done the correct thing now. Here’s the result:

I noticed as well that I should have painted the opposite end of each blade red, so I’ve done that too.

Thanks to everyone for keeping me on the straight and narrow!

Bob

 

 

On the bench: Italeri 1/72 UH-34 Seahorse helicopter; Academy 1/72 F-86F Sabre; Revell S.S. Hope, being built as the hospital ship U.S.S. Repose, and a diorama to illustrate the crash of a Beech T-34B Mentor which I survived in 1962.

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 2:00 PM

Very nice work.

Modeling is an excuse to buy books

 

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