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How to weather an FW-190 Propeller?

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  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Chicago, USA
How to weather an FW-190 Propeller?
Posted by MonsterZero on Sunday, October 2, 2016 8:43 AM

My study of Luftwaffe propeller photos clearly shows they were made of wood with the wood showing through in a worn-out prop.

I think they used an outer layer of doped fabric as the final "skin"--like a sock streched over the whole thing and painted with nitrocellulose dope. That's why some of the props in these photos looks like they are peeling.

My plan is to either use the hairsrpay technique or simple dry brushing to "expose" the wood color underneath the grey. However, before I begin I'd like to ask what you would do.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Sunday, October 2, 2016 8:50 AM

I normally don't do anything with wooden props (the Germans also used metal ones, especially early in the war). The photo's you have show very old props, so unless you wnat to portray a 70 year old aircraft, i don't think they are a good referance. Period photo's, albeit mainly black and white, mostly show the props in good condition. This 190D at the end of the war is a good example. The aircrfat itself looks rather the worse for wear, but the prop looks in very good condition.

I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so

On the bench: Italeri 1/72nd Bell 212/Revell 1/72nd Type VIIc U-Boat/Trumpeter 1/32nd Me 262A-1a

  • Member since
    April 2006
  • From: ON, Canada
Posted by jgeratic on Sunday, October 2, 2016 9:52 AM

Bish makes very good points, so unless your other reference photos show otherwise.  I think it fine to show some discoloring, but when the wood starts showing through - time for a replacement.

The colour photos you have added do show exactly what you describe, but was this prop from storage, or still used on an aircraft?  Most prop wear actually occurs on the back side, and then the leading edge.  The front very little if at all, as it would require the aircraft to fly into something to cause that sort of abrasion.




  • Member since
    March 2010
  • From: MN
Posted by Nathan T on Sunday, October 2, 2016 7:22 PM

Make sure the version you are modeling did indeed have wooden blades. 



  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, October 3, 2016 8:42 AM

With most aircraft the prop is basically stalled at the start of the takeoff run, and the turbulance is affecting practically all the blade- front and back. And, there is a lot more junk- dust, dirt and rocks- near the runway than at altitude.  However, what I have seen of props does seem to show most wear on the leading edge, like the photos of the original post.  I have never built a model with a painted wood prop, so don't really know what I would do, other than try to duplicate the pictures.  I think drybrushing would be the method, but the color might be a more difficult question.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    August 2007
  • From: Carrollton, Texas
Posted by BraniffBuff on Monday, October 3, 2016 1:38 PM

With propwash, naturally!Big Smile

Michael McMurtrey IPMS-USA #1746 Carrollton, TX
  • Member since
    July 2014
Posted by modelcrazy on Monday, October 3, 2016 1:53 PM

With propwash, naturally!

HA that was the first joke we played on boots in the military. "Go get me a bucket of prop wash" or "I need some relative bearing grease"


Building a kit from your stash is like cutting a head off a Hydra, two more take it's place.

  • Member since
    January 2013
Posted by seastallion53 on Monday, October 3, 2016 6:19 PM

Or a100 ft of flight line.I had a guy convinced that an inflight pee funnel on our helos was a manual intercom mic.

  • Member since
    December 2002
Posted by 7474 on Wednesday, October 5, 2016 1:51 PM


Or a100 ft of flight line.I had a guy convinced that an inflight pee funnel on our helos was a manual intercom mic.



Did you at least offer a breath mint after the joke was over? haha

  • Member since
    January 2013
Posted by seastallion53 on Thursday, October 6, 2016 1:33 AM

I just let it ride.


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