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how to make 1:48th modern fighterjets look old?

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  • Member since
    November 2005
how to make 1:48th modern fighterjets look old?
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 9:14 PM
hi, this is my first time on this site. i like it. i started modeling about six months ago,and i'm doing pretty well. it's just that when i complete my jets they look brand new,like they've never been in the sky before. i need to know how to make them look older. what types of paints to use,techniques for weathering(washes or pastels) or even how to make washes and use pastels. i need everything people, i am completely clueless on this subject.i am cuurently working on an f-14 supertomcat 1:48th scale. i have built five other tomcats and they get better everytime i complete one, but i have'nt built that one i'm proud enough of to post on the net.so please throw this dog a bone and help me out it will be greatly appreciated. thanksBlush [:I]
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: USA
Posted by weebles on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 10:05 PM
Do you have access to the February 2003 Fine Scale Modeler magazine? There is a very good article in there about painting and weathering an F-14. When these aircraft go out to sea they look pretty clean. By the time they get back they look like hell. Crews are constantly fighting corrosion at sea. They repaint around panel edges, whole panels, etc. Pick up a good reference book on the F-14 that shows a lot of detail and examples of weathered aircraft. Try and duplicate as much of this as you can. If you know of any panels that would get a lot of attention from ground crews spend some extra time with them.

The other thing I would do is invest in some good after market parts to give your airplane detail. With the Tomcat a good cockpit set will probably do fine. Consider using Bare Metal Foil for the leading edges of the wings and gun port. Stuff like that. I spend more time and money on scratch building detail and adding after market parts than anything else.

Last put it in a case and consider a diorama base for display. I started doing this with all my projects. They look as good now as the day I finished them. Not all covered with dust and such.

I have an F-14 kit in the workshop that I haven't started yet. But this is what I'm planning on doing with mine. Good luck!
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 10:11 PM
Personally I don't have any experience with putting aircraft together, so I can't offer any advice, but you might want to browse through the Techniques area on this site.

There was an article by Paul Boyer, Quick and easy weathering which you might find helpful.

Oh, almost forgot. I don't know what other books in regards to general aircraft modeling are out there, but there's this book which you can find under the Shop link - Building and Displaying Scale Model Aircraft with Paul Boyer.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 10:16 PM
thank you my friends, i will try that.Smile [:)]
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Canada / Czech Republic
Posted by upnorth on Wednesday, January 29, 2003 1:16 PM
One thing you can try is puting down a coat of yellow zinc chromate between your primer and actual colour coats.

Yellow zinc chromate has been a standard metal primer on aircraft since after WWII. Once you have your final paint scheme down, VERY lightly sand away small sections of the paint to expose the yellow. A similar technique is covered in the February 2003 FSM in regards to weathering a 1/48 Helldiver's control surfaces.

If you want good exapmles of how an aircraft's paint will wear down to the chromate under coat, find some pictures of late era RAF Phantom IIs, after they were painted in air defense grey. The RAF didn't baby their phantoms and those Phantoms are about the only modern jets I've ever seen pictures of that can safely say often looked worse than U.S. Navy aircraft for paint wear.

One other thing to pay attention to, and I don't know how much an issue it will be with a Tomcat, but if you're ever making an F-16, the insde of the tail pipe has a base colour of bright white because of a ceramic coating. I don't know how many other modern aircraft have this feature in their tail pipes, but it is something to watch for in your research.

Good luck
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, February 5, 2003 10:44 PM
Deerhunter,
This is the most exciting part of the modeling process: how do we take sections of styrene and replicate aluminum, steel etc.
This is the art and sculpture of scale modeling. As mentioned previously, research photographs are best, and better if and when they are free. I ran into a similar problem myself - (I am currently modeling a 1/48th scale F4J Phantom II) - which was greatly resolved by a trip to my local library. Not only did I find pictures in one particular section of the book I borrowed, but
there were several other 20th century fighters that were well
weathered. The point of the point is to study the photographs, and formulate the best possible plan of attack to emulate the effects-plan how to do this before you do it to figure out any shortcomings that might transpire. This all may sound corny,
but, you will be surprised at how such a simple thing can become vastly complex. Good Luck and enjoy!
(P.S. I like the call sign deerhunter-after the movie?) BT
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: New Zealand
Posted by nzgunnie on Friday, February 7, 2003 5:24 PM
Hi there,
As a keen aircraft modeller and a technician in the RNZAF I can say that the whatever techniques you choose to weather your aircraft, sublety is the key.

Remember that aircraft aren't tanks, they are looked after very carefully, and although paint does get chipped, and panels and areas are re-sprayed, and hydralic fluid leaks and gun carbon sticks to it, they never look as dirty as you might think.

The reason for this is that up close, when you are working on them, or viewing them at an airshow, all the muck and damage stands out very clearly, and is pretty obvious. But stand back 50 feet and take another look, that aircraft looks a lot cleaner all of a sudden. Now look at your 1/48th scale aircraft, how close would you have to look to be as close as you would be if you were standing right next to the real thing? pretty close, using a magnifier even! At normal viewing distance of a few inches, you're model is the same size as the real aircraft at around 50 - 100 feet (someone has worked this all out, it is called 'scale distance', but the exact figures escape me).

The upshot of this is that as tempting as it is to cover your model in heavy washes, and to dry brush it to bring out all that detail, really you should stick to highlighting the panel lines with a dark wash, usually a darker colour of the base coat, but many people use thined black enamel. Some sublte paint wear around leading edges (if appropriate) and around walkways, access areas etc. A usefull technique, that needs a little practise, is if you have an airbrush, you can carefully shade around the panel lines with a slightly darker version of the base coat, and use a slightly lighter version on the upper surfaces of the the fusalage. then apply your wash, this helps duplicate the 3D effect created by light falling on the real thing.

I would suggest perfecting the wash technique before trying to master the shading one, it is quite easily over done (believe me!). I haven't really used pastels myself, but have seen very nice results on other's models, you should try and find some articles in back issues of FSM or similar magazines.

Hope this is of help.
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