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Panel Lining 2: Electric Boogaloo!

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  • Member since
    June 2019
  • From: New Jersey, USA
Panel Lining 2: Electric Boogaloo!
Posted by mrg149 on Wednesday, October 11, 2023 7:17 AM

I have a different question about panel lining. I am currently working on the 1/48 Hasegawa 1/48 YF-19 Macross Plus. I decided on trying my hand at a custom paintjob and went with my own blend of Splinter Camo (Honestly, I had some leftover ICM paint from my MIG-29 "Ghost of Kiev" project...). The result is a darkly sinister paint scheme that I can't wait to use some leftover F-16 Agressor decals on. My issue is this: How do you do panel lining on dark paint schemes? What colors are best? Techniques, etc.

 

Photo of project thus far:

1/48 Macross Plus YF-19

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Wednesday, October 11, 2023 7:43 AM

Same procedures only using a light color or if you like a darker color then your scheme except black,too stark.

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Wednesday, October 11, 2023 12:40 PM

Try light grey or brown.

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    June 2019
  • From: New Jersey, USA
Posted by mrg149 on Wednesday, October 11, 2023 1:41 PM

Real G

Try light grey or brown.

 

 

Thank you both! Once I give it a clear coat and decals, I'll try making a wash with some burnt umber artist acrylics that I have. I think that should work.

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Friday, October 13, 2023 12:45 AM

Ha - love the electric boogaloo reference!

I'm a big fan of Flory Washes for panel line stuff.  My choices are probably more artistic than accurate in some cases but here's a couple odd-ball examples

Yellow trainer - used Flory brown

Dark blue late war F6F-5 - went with a gray wash - again artistic I suppose

 

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    June 2019
  • From: New Jersey, USA
Posted by mrg149 on Friday, October 13, 2023 6:52 AM

keavdog

Ha - love the electric boogaloo reference!

I'm a big fan of Flory Washes for panel line stuff.  My choices are probably more artistic than accurate in some cases but here's a couple odd-ball examples

Yellow trainer - used Flory brown

Dark blue late war F6F-5 - went with a gray wash - again artistic I suppose

 

 

Those both look GREAT! I just read about Flory washes in another Forum post and I snapped up 2 bottles (Mud brown and Grime). I wish I would have found this sooner! Your Hellcat makes me want to get some gray for the Corsair I recently built after watching Devotion.

 

Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Friday, October 13, 2023 9:00 AM

Big fan of Flory washes here too.  The F-16 was the first time I used them, after nearly destroying the work on the paintjob with other methods.  Flory made that scary job quick, easy, and completely stress free.  You can control the amount of staining it does just by the clearcoat you put on before it.  The flatter the clearcoat, the more staining you get.  Glossier clearcoats result in accented panel lines without staining to the surrounding paint.

Used Flory from the beginning on this F-4B.  Everything else is an unnecessary risk, IMHO.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    June 2023
Posted by burrito king on Friday, October 13, 2023 12:54 PM

Hi mrg149, as you can see from the numerous responses and amazing examples already provided, Flory can be used to get great results. I believe Tamiya and others make similar products. Here is my two cents.

I use Walmart quick shine as my clear coat since future is no longer available in my area. For my panel line washes I use cheap Artist's Loft acrylic from Michael's. I mix a drop or two in water with a couple drops of dish soap, then apply to the panel lines and rivets with a fine point brush. I let it dry for a few minutes, then use a damp paper towel or damp Q-tip to remove the excess.

I use raw umber on light colored surfaces, and black on dark colored surfaces. Since the black is very watered down, it doesn't seem too dark for colors like dark green, navy blue, etc. I also use white wash on dark surfaces to simulate worn off paint in heavily used areas like fuel, ammo, and equipment access hatches, around the cockpit, on wing roots where pilot and crew walk, etc.

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Friday, October 13, 2023 6:10 PM

Well!

       I gotta say. If you can see panel lines that far off the surface of said craft, it must be very shodily put together. Panel Lines I keep saying should be Subtle and just barely seen at all. Just sayin! Because if ya really think about it. It has to be a form of artistic something. Ya can't see the durned things unless it's a battle weary bird of whatever type and poorly maintened to boot! In real life that is!

     If ya can't see them on a 1:1 object, Why in the heck make them visible on a model which is Not even able to be opened or serviced? All gaps and lines should be limited to gun Bays and Gear bays because they show to worst in real life! Personally I think all this emphasis on Panel lines makes them look like an artist representasion in a print publication. Not a three dimensional item on a table in front of my optical orbs.

     I find all those lines take away the pure artistry of the build. Can you even imagine me doing to a 1/200 New Jersey or 1/350 Missouri? The panels would overide any fine detailing I did or P.E. work I did. Why would I wanna do that? Theyc an be done well. true! But I say leave them off models unless as I said, it's heavy accessed panels that get removed a lot! Leave the rest in the subtlety of just pure shading, Not lining!

    I saw some awesome models at the last I.P.M.S. gathering here in San Antonio. Many of the planes reminded me of the photo? printed finishes on my Paper Models.Those panels are printed an ya can't make them go away. I have tried painting them out but I just don't get the right exact shade it seems. Now, A beautiful Cockpit and or cut-away will certainly make me ignore those lines! Otherwise NO!

  • Member since
    June 2023
Posted by burrito king on Friday, October 13, 2023 7:20 PM

To me one of the great things about model making is everybody has their own artistic style. I enjoy looking at all the different interpretations, and personally think it would be kinda boring if everyone built their models exactly the same.

IMO there is more to model making than mathematical precision and accuracy. A 1/2 inch diameter rivet would be .010 inch at 1/48 scale. I haven't measured the rivets on my models but they are probably larger than that. A 1/16 inch panel line gap would be less than .002 inch at 1/48 scale. If you are standing 48 feet away from a real plane, you probably won't see these details in most cases. So on a model viewed from 1 foot away, these details probably cannot be seen and should not even be molded into the surface at that scale.

But at the end of the day, I believe panel line washes and post shading can be very effective in creating a more realistic appearing model. It's hard to describe it in words, but I know what I like when I see it. For me there is a sweet spot where it's there, but not overdone. Also I think it should be irregular, instead of exactly the same over the entire plane. And should be combined with various stains, worn spots, faded areas, etc. All these elements can work together to make it look like an actual plane that says "I've been abused and punished, but I'm still hanging in there." For me, that is more important than mathematical accuracy.

  • Member since
    October 2023
Posted by Chilly Billy on Wednesday, October 18, 2023 2:39 PM

In most instances, I agree completely. Attend an air show with a static park and look at how the vast majority of panel lines are invisible until you are within a couple feet of the aircraft. Now translate that into a scale model. How far away would you be from your favorite Phantom, Mustang, etc. even in 1/32 scale? 

One of the most beat-up aircraft I've ever seen was an AV-8B Harrier at the Cleveland National Air Show a few years back. Up close, panels were misaligned and the paint was a hodge podge of numerous resprays over the years. But back up enough to get the entire plane in a photo using a 28mm lens and everything was smooth! 

The only place I see where contrasting panel lines would be visible to any significant degree would be in a model representing a very heavily worn or even junked aircraft or AFV. Even there, weathering would be more appropriate/ realistic/believable than panel lines. The same goes for pre-shading. I see far too many Western aircraft models shaded that look like something from a Third World air force that hasn't flown in years. 

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Wednesday, October 18, 2023 5:04 PM

All I can say about panel lines is that there is a big difference between aircraft on display at airshows and aircraft that are out there working every day.  Yes, you can see panel lines on a lot of them, from a pretty good distance away.  Ironically, airliners these days are some of the worst...so are medevac aircraft.  Don't even get me started on freight dogs.  It doesn't have to be polished or pretty to do its job safely.  1:1 aircraft of all shapes and sizes have been my livelihood for more than 30 years now.  Build the way you want to build, but the notion that no aircraft is going to have visible panel lines from a distance is completely false.  2 cents

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    June 2023
Posted by burrito king on Thursday, October 19, 2023 12:45 AM

Eaglecash867

All I can say about panel lines is that there is a big difference between aircraft on display at airshows and aircraft that are out there working every day.  Yes, you can see panel lines on a lot of them, from a pretty good distance away.  Ironically, airliners these days are some of the worst...so are medevac aircraft.  Don't even get me started on freight dogs.  It doesn't have to be polished or pretty to do its job safely.  1:1 aircraft of all shapes and sizes have been my livelihood for more than 30 years now.  Build the way you want to build, but the notion that no aircraft is going to have visible panel lines from a distance is completely false.  2 cents

 

Hi eaglecash867, I agree many "working" aircraft do have visible panel lines. Doogs Models has a great article called "The problem with panel line shading". The article shows a couple of actual planes where you can see the panel lines. But a plane with visible panel lines will have a lof of other stuff going on over the surface, so visible panel lines should be accompanied with other weathering techniques to be convincing. The article shows several examples of models where the panel lines are too dark. Other examples have panel lines on an otherwise immaculate surface, which leaves me wondering how those panel lines got so visible in the first place. Or where the panel lines are precisely and perfectly uniform over the entire plane.

I think overdone or out of context panel lines are probably worse than no panel lines at all. Which is a shame because in many cases the technique and execution are flawless, where the person obviously has great control over theri washes, airbrush, etc. Otoh a model with zero visible panel lines would probsbly lack realism to my eyes. Unless it represents a brand new or impeccably maintained plane 

  • Member since
    June 2023
Posted by burrito king on Thursday, October 19, 2023 12:46 AM

Eaglecash867

All I can say about panel lines is that there is a big difference between aircraft on display at airshows and aircraft that are out there working every day.  Yes, you can see panel lines on a lot of them, from a pretty good distance away.  Ironically, airliners these days are some of the worst...so are medevac aircraft.  Don't even get me started on freight dogs.  It doesn't have to be polished or pretty to do its job safely.  1:1 aircraft of all shapes and sizes have been my livelihood for more than 30 years now.  Build the way you want to build, but the notion that no aircraft is going to have visible panel lines from a distance is completely false.  2 cents

 

Hi eaglecash867, I agree many "working" aircraft do have visible panel lines. Doogs Models has a great article called "The problem with panel line shading". The article shows a couple of actual planes where you can see the panel lines. But a plane with visible panel lines will have a lof of other stuff going on over the surface, so visible panel lines should be accompanied with other weathering techniques to be convincing. The article shows several examples of models where the panel lines are too dark. Other examples have panel lines on an otherwise immaculate surface, which leaves me wondering how those panel lines got so visible in the first place. Or where the panel lines are precisely and perfectly uniform over the entire plane.

I think overdone or out of context panel lines are probably worse than no panel lines at all. Which is a shame because other than that the technique and execution are flawless, the person obviously has great control of their washes, airbrush, etc. Otoh model with zero visible panel lines would probably lack realism to my eyes. Unless it represents a brand new or impeccably maintained plane 

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Thursday, October 19, 2023 6:21 AM

burrito king
I think overdone or out of context panel lines are probably worse than no panel lines at all. Which is a shame because other than that the technique and execution are flawless, the person obviously has great control of their washes, airbrush, etc. Otoh model with zero visible panel lines would probably lack realism to my eyes. Unless it represents a brand new or impeccably maintained plane 

I agree on that.  I have seen builders do a really nice job on accenting panel lines using a super fine point pen.  It looks really cool and adds a lot of visual interest to the model, but its definitely not realistic.  Its all about having good reference photos and doing the pre-shading, painting, and panel line accenting to match the appearance of the real-world object you have photos of, because its never really cut and dry.  Just a couple of weeks ago, I took photos of 3 brand new CH-53Ks, and even in those relatively "rotten" photos of celphone camera resolution, they have lots of visible panel lines on them.  Not every panel, mind you, but quite a few of them.  In addition to the conventional pre-shading, I also like to go over the whole airframe with lots of different lighter and darker shades of the base color...a little chromate...a little silver here and there in high-wear areas.  Then I marble over the top of all of that with the same base color to get the effects I want with how much of the different pre-shade colors show through.  Really found that I like using powdered graphite for gun smoke smudges, and it also looks leaps and bounds more realistic on a HAVE GLASS airframe as the component that gives it the metallic sheen...as opposed to something like MRPs HAVE GLASS clearcoat that is a little too "sparkly" IMHO.  Its a nice, subtle, "to scale" way of accomplishing those things.  I hate to see builders getting gigged for visible panel lines when that gigging is based of false information.  They are, in fact, visible at a distance on a lot of aircraft...just not as visible as some builders make them.  But in their case, I think they know that, and they're just doing it for the purpose of creating more visual interest.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    June 2023
Posted by burrito king on Thursday, October 19, 2023 9:29 AM

Hi Eaglecash867 I would be the first to admit that most of my weathering including panel lines are technically inaccurate since they are not mathematically true to scale. However my modeling style is to simulate, not replicate. I want most of my models to look like real war machines. Even if that means straying a bit from mathematical perfection. I try to observe weathering in real world objects, and see where grease, rust, and grime tend to accumulate. I like to see which spots tend to get chipped, scratched, worn down, and banged up. I try to observe where and how these occur randomly, and where there is a pattern. Even stuff like trucks and heavy machinery can show weathering effects that can be used on plane models. I try to simulate these effects on the model. Personally, that is the aspect of model building I enjoy most. The challenge for me is to avoid overdoing it. I think overdone panel lines is the main reason so many modelers object to having panel lines.

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Thursday, October 19, 2023 9:39 AM

Aha!

      eaglecash!

 You hit the Nail right on the proverbial head! I saw a Canadair Firefighter in the Cal.Wildfires hit a lake for refill. My gosh it looked like the plane was going to start loosing panels, they were So visible. That from Stress and hard work I imagine! I wonder how many panels had to be re-riveted after those hectic times!

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Thursday, October 19, 2023 9:52 AM

Hi!

       I want to relate a situation that happened to me. Your Bright Yellow plane made me think of it. Years Ago, Aurora, It was, I believe, that had a Temco T.T.1 Trainer. Nice little model. Basic with a "Big" office to detail. I had to sand the plane down.The rivets were so numerous and large that it looked ridiculous. Nice and smooth and gorgeous after paint. I decided after seeing the real thing I would enhance some lines.

        Enter a REAL electric Bugaloo! Static electricity!! Don't know where it came from, but, I got the tech pen about a paper sheet thickness from the model. Ink started flowing from the pen BEFORE I touched the surface! After three days and numerous tries I gave up. I had lines everywhere, except the molded in lines!

     A few years later out of storage they worked right. Who Knew? I haven't run into that much lately though. I did an H.O. scale Amtrack Inner city Train, with foil chrome and Yes, You can see the panel lines on them. Very nice and settled in nicely. Looks great after six years of everyday running at a location here in town!

  • Member since
    June 2023
Posted by burrito king on Thursday, October 19, 2023 12:37 PM

mrg149

 

 
Real G

Try light grey or brown.

 

 

 

 

Thank you both! Once I give it a clear coat and decals, I'll try making a wash with some burnt umber artist acrylics that I have. I think that should work.

 

I like your choice of burnt umber acrylic wash. I would not apply it uniformly over the whole model, I would concentrate on areas subject to fluid leakage, frequent servicing, etc. I would also do some burnt metal effects on the NMF engine nozzles. Maybe some translucent brown, red, and blue stains with some soot. Maybe some very light panel line shading in some areas. For this model I would try to keep from overdoing the weathering. Imo too much weathering would reduce the sinister look. Please show us when you are done!

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Thursday, October 19, 2023 1:31 PM

Just to throw in some good ol' fashion 'Pleistocene' technology...pencils can be a great way to do really subtle panel lines. Regular #2s, or softer/harder drafting leads can give a range of line widths and tones. Plus, the slight 'metallic' sheen of graphite pencil lead works well to trick the eye that real metal or composite surfaces are being replicated.

As an added benefit, they're easy to control, and can be erased or buffed out with cotton swabs in the event of 'stray' lines.

A last note -- older-generation a/c like the F-4 Phantom actually had graphite commonly used as lubricant for things like landing gear wheel bearings and leading edge slats. (I suspect that is no longer the case, but I confess I don't know much about current maintenance practices.) A lot of the 'grime' seen on Vietnam-era a/c is, for all intents and purposes, much the same as pencil lead.

Just sayin'.... Wink

Greg

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
 
  • Member since
    June 2019
  • From: New Jersey, USA
Posted by mrg149 on Tuesday, October 24, 2023 9:45 AM

excellent information! I am trying to be as subtle as possible. I just want to "pop" the panels just a bit.

  • Member since
    June 2019
  • From: New Jersey, USA
Posted by mrg149 on Tuesday, October 24, 2023 9:49 AM

**SMALL UPDATE**

I received my order of Flory washes and I'm playing around with them (figured I'd try it on a Gundam model first and see how they work before going to the Macross model...)

More soon...hopefully.

  • Member since
    June 2019
  • From: New Jersey, USA
Posted by mrg149 on Tuesday, October 24, 2023 2:23 PM

burrito king

I use Walmart quick shine as my clear coat since future is no longer available in my area. 

  1. Questions about this: How do you apply and clean your airbrush? Standard "Acrylic Procedures"?
  2. Can you provide a link to the product you use? Sending through IM is also ok

 

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Tuesday, October 24, 2023 4:04 PM

It used to to be on their website that the brush you use to apply Flory shouldn't be used for anything else so as not to contaminate the Flory.

  • Member since
    June 2023
Posted by burrito king on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 12:51 AM

mrg149

 

 
burrito king

I use Walmart quick shine as my clear coat since future is no longer available in my area. 

 

 

  1. Questions about this: How do you apply and clean your airbrush? Standard "Acrylic Procedures"?
  2. Can you provide a link to the product you use? Sending through IM is also ok

 

 

Hi mrg149, I usually apply Quick Shine with a brush straight from the consider, no thinning required. I use it to provide a smooth surface for my washes, post shading, and weathering. Once all weathering is done, I apply a final coat of 3 parts Quick Shine with 1 part Tamiya X-21 flat base with my airbrush. This gives a smooth matte finish which I like for most military aircraft. I clean the airbrush with IPA followed by LT

  • Member since
    June 2023
Posted by burrito king on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 12:58 AM

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Quick-Shine-Multi-Surface-Floor-Finish-27-fl-oz-Cleaner-Polish/19758081?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&wl13=3180&adid=2222222227819758081_117755028669_12420145346&wmlspartner=wmtlabs&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=m&wl3=501107745824&wl4=pla-306310554666&wl5=9073456&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=local&wl12=19758081&wl13=3180&veh=sem_LIA&gclsrc=aw.ds&&adid=2222222223819758081_117755028669_12420145346&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=m&wl3=501107745824&wl4=pla-306310554666&wl5=9073456&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=local&wl12=19758081&veh=sem&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2vvzlb-QggMVdkp_AB2E-Q7EEAQYASABEgICZvD_BwE

  • Member since
    June 2019
  • From: New Jersey, USA
Posted by mrg149 on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 6:47 AM

I figured I'd throw in an update.

Decaling is in progress. I'm using some of the decals that came with the kit and then adding some leftover decals from an F-16 Agressor set from Bullseye (Specifically the Splinter camo bits from the 18th Agressor Squadron with a few choice mods to better fit my build).

 

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