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Losing panel lines and black basing detail

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  • Member since
    September 2020
  • From: UK
Losing panel lines and black basing detail
Posted by CliveEH on Friday, May 14, 2021 3:45 AM

Hi all

With camouflaged aircraft I think I need to change my technique.  I've always airbrushed the whole model in the lightest colour first and then masked and airbrushed a darker colour. Remasked again if there is a third colour.  Sometimes I freehand with no masking 
This, however, either eliminates preshading (panel lines or black basing) or reduces its impact over the darker subsequent colours

I've always followed the basic principal of lighter colours first although this method, in parts, uses multiple layers of paint which can obscure detail (preshading or fine detail)

The alternative is to plan your camo pattern and airbrush the top coat colour selectively as required. Lots of advantages to this but I'm concerned about a visible band where the borders meet and the paint overlaps - particularly if the colours are similar in "strength"  

Is it just a case of careful airbrushing and/or masking?

My airbrushing skills are ok but rarely tested!

Thank you, as always, for any guidance  

 

 

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Friday, May 14, 2021 11:30 AM

Hi Clive,

I usually pre-shade/counter-shade each color layer with the next darker color in the camo scheme, along with random splotches of the next lighter color.  Haven't really tried black-basing because I find pre-shading and counter-shading to be pretty effective with the same random swirling of each color to give it the mottled look of uneven wear.

This pic kind of shows the end result...but the lighting isn't that great.

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

  • Member since
    September 2020
  • From: UK
Posted by CliveEH on Friday, May 14, 2021 4:33 PM

Thank you Eaglecash867

As always you have been very helpful. I like the logic for the preshading colour

Do I understand correctly for, say, a classic dark green and earth brown Spitfire?

Firstly apply dark green preshading and then airbrush the lighter earth brown over all (the top half) of the aircraft 

Then mask and preshade over the brown with a darker colour, say black,  and then airbrush the darker green over the top of the brown. 

Is this correct? This would maintain effective preshading

I have seen videos of modellers preshading (in this example) strategically in dark green and black and then top coating appropriately in earth and green. My concern was the blended band at the margin if not precisely executed for similarly strong colours

I'm aware I can overthink things so thank you again for your help

 

 

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Friday, May 14, 2021 7:11 PM

That's pretty much the process, but just remember to put down a solid layer of your lightest camo color before doing any pre-shading.  That way you can follow up with a second, random, swirled coat of the lightest camo color and have the shading underneath barely showing through and not symmetrical or uniform.  Then mask for the next darker color and follow the same process...solid 2nd color, pre-shade with darker color, 2nd color again in a random, swirling application...and so on.  I know it sounds like an awful lot of paint, but the layers are going to be extremely thin, so you don't have to worry about a thick layer of paint covering up panel lines and so forth.  At the edge of the masks, I also like to use little ropes of BlueTack press loosely down on the model and following the countours of the mask.  That gives you a more diffused, feathered edge between colors rather than a sharp demarcation.  That depends on the real-world equipment though, because some countries' camo patterns have sharp demarcation between colors.

Just work slowly and try to be as random as possible with your sweeps.  I go in tiny swirling patterns.  Takes forever and will make your compressor really hot, but you'll like the results.  Don't forget to throw in some random splotches and/or streaks of lighter colors during your pre-shading...primer colors...bare metal colors, etc.  You'll end up with areas that have just a hint of what looks like primer or bare aircraft skin starting to peak through , and areas where it looks like the paint has faded or oxidized, which will give it a realistic, randomly-weathered appearance.  Follow up with some Flory Wash and it'll really pop.

Not quite the same kind of camo pattern, but here's an example of what the above technique produces.

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

  • Member since
    September 2020
  • From: UK
Posted by CliveEH on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 9:45 AM

Thank you for your help Eaglecash867. I finished my 1/48 Spitfire using your approach. A much better realistic look. Much appreciated 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 9:49 AM

I have tried black baseing and pre shading a few times and just can't get the hang of it. Even with a single like colour, like a blue underside, the effect is lost. I think its just a case of knowing when to stop. I have given up and just stuck to post shadeing but the results do look nice when done right.

I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so

 

On the bench: Airfix 1/72nd Harrier GR.3/Fujimi 1/72nd Ju 87D-3

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 10:34 AM

No problem, Clive!  Great to hear that it worked well for you.

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

  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by rocketman2000 on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 12:47 PM

It is easy to overdo black panel lines.  Look at photos of real aircraft.  Even though the lines are visible on the lighter colors, they are much harder to see on darker colors.  Stark black is too much.  I just use a pin wash of darkened color.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by MJY65 on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 1:51 PM

rocketman2000

It is easy to overdo black panel lines.  Look at photos of real aircraft.  Even though the lines are visible on the lighter colors, they are much harder to see on darker colors.  Stark black is too much.  I just use a pin wash of darkened color.

 

 
Absolutely agree.  I was at an airshow this past weekend and took a close look at several jets on static display.  Other than the burnt areas in front of the gun, the F-16 had very little of what we'd apply as "weathering".  Panels and rivets had discoloration right down in the grooves, but were fairly uniform from anything farther than 20 feet away.  I'd say it looked like you applied Flory wash and then wiped almost everything off.
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