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How do you airbrush panels and panel lines?

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  • Member since
    November 2005
How do you airbrush panels and panel lines?
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 1:57 PM
I keep seeing gorgeous planes where the builders note that they airbrushed the panel lines in a darker color or the centers of the panels in a lighter color for weathering. When you do this, how do you control your airbrush spray? Do you use different sized heads, change the airpressure, change distance?

I'd like to try this but need a bit more info before i dive right in. Thanks as always!
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: USA, GA
Posted by erush on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 2:24 PM
Mer, from what you're describing I think is where after painting a base coat they will "lighten" the color (add white or other light color) and spray the centers of each panel fading toward the panel line but not reaching it. Then mix a dark color with the base color to "darken" the shade and do a fine line along the panel lines. Depending on what size head you're using, a fine head would be best for the panel lines because you don't want to go too far onto the panel itself. The main thing is to just be able to spray a fine line along the panel lines. It should be a subtle effect when done, but I've seen some who do all their shading and weathering with an airbrush.

Some people also "preshade" by spraying black along all the panel lines first and then spray the base coat light enough to let the black show through a little. If you 're doing a camo job this won't work as well because you'll cover the black by the second or third coat of color.

Hope that makes some sense and helps a little.

Eric
Hi, I'm Eric and I'm a Modelholic too. I think I have PE poisioning.     "Friendly fire...isn't"
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 5:07 PM
thanks eric that helps to clarify things...my airbrush has a medium head so i may wait for a while until i can afford a fine head before trying this technique
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: USA, GA
Posted by erush on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 7:37 PM
You might be able to get away withi the medium head if you thin the paint more than usual and just apply light coats to build up the effect. You can also do normal weathering over that to help cover any mistakes. If you have a scrap model try it on that and see.

Eric
Hi, I'm Eric and I'm a Modelholic too. I think I have PE poisioning.     "Friendly fire...isn't"
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 11:52 PM
i just read a weathering "how to" that also suggested drastically thinning the paint for panel lines and just doing a great many coats to build up the color...i'll test that out
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Cavite, Philippines
Posted by allan on Thursday, July 31, 2003 10:02 AM
Merideth,

Ive tried the techniques described by Eric. Preshading can work on camo patterns if, like you say, the paint is thinned more than the usual. But here, the colors are applied strictly in accordance with the camo pattern. This means that in SEA camo, for example, you should not spray the tan color over areas supposed to be covered by the greens. The final colors are slowly built up, skirting around the panel lines (and, if youre using a fine nozzle, even around the rivet lines). It takes a longer time and may be difficult when using a medium head, but the results are gratifying.

For "postshading," you may want to try experimenting with mixing the darkened/lightened color with clear paint. That way, the paint consistency is not drastically thinned to the point of ruining already sprayed on paint, but the result will nevertheless be subtle enough. Ive also done this when trying to recreate exhaust fume stains.

Hope this helps.

No bucks, no Buck Rogers

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, July 31, 2003 3:03 PM
thanks for the tips alan...i think i'll start with preshading the panel lines on my next bird...no camo...and see what kind of results i get...every example i've seen looks really good so it seems like a technique worth perfecting!

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