View Full Version : Weathering, Wear + Tear

Sky Sharkster
09-24-2005, 01:26 PM
First off, I must admit that I'm no scale expert: I've built and flown model planes (mostly balsa) on and off for years, all types, including a few sport/scale models. While finishing up a GWS "Zero" recently (for Electric Combat, most of the club members have "Corsairs" and "Mustangs") I decided to "weather" the plane. I've seen several threads and mag articles on the subject but wanted to stay away from anything heavy or too time-consuming-it IS a Combat plane, after all. My local Hobby Shop owner (Jerry Thompson, Thompson's Hobbies, Lakewood, Colorado), gave me a great tip and I wanted to pass it along.
After sanding and filling with light spackle I painted the "Zero" light gray (Rust-oleum "Painter's Touch" # 1982 Winter Grey) and drew panel lines with a black fine-tip marker using "Squadron/Signal Pub. # 1059 A6M Zero in Action" as a guide. A flexible ruler was used, I made this from the outside edge of plastic lettering stencils, it's about the same thickness and stiffness as the material used for soda 6-pack "handles". The plastic strip was wrapped around the fuselage (for example), lined up vertically, then the pen followed one side of the strip. It's flexible enough to go around wing fillets, airfoils, reverse contours, etc.
Now comes the part I learned from Jerry; I bought 3 pastel pencils - black, silver and dark red. I "sanded" the points on 200 grip paper, leaving a very fine colored dust on a sheet of paper. I mixed (using a small pointed paint brush) the black and a bit of red, making a "dirty" exhaust-looking color. Then I picked up a bit of the mixture with the brush and applied it to the rear of the cowl. By brushing it along the fuse (rearward) it got thinner, finally tapering out in density until it showed the gray again. The effect (after a few tries) was perfect! After each surface was dusted with the pastel residue a coat of Matte Clear was applied to fix the color. For the gun residue I mixed some silver and black, making a fine line of color behind the gun ports. Along the wing and tail leading edges I used the silver with a bit of black, wear and tear from flying debris. Most of these planes (full scale) are aluminum under the paint so any chips, scuff marks etc would show up as silver with a feathered edge back to the paint. It was so easy I wondered why I hadn't tried it before! The bottom of the plane got the full treatment: Taking off and landing on Carriers, muddy fields, mud and oil picked up by the wheels and blown back by the propwash. The wheel wells (penned in) are outlined with black/red. The wing roots, from Pilots and aircrews climbing in and out, are nicked up (silver dots, feathered), same for high-maintanence areas like ammo compartments and around the cockpit. I've got streams of "oil/dirt" on the bottom from nose to tail- it's filthy! OK, so I overdid it but it's fun and looks great in the air. The "Williams Bros" pilot had his head sawed off (Ouch!) at the neck, sanded at an angle so he's "looking" down and to the side and glued back on. Painted(Testors), goggles, soft hat, strap to hold the goggles on, etc. That part took a magnifying glass and very fine-point brush.
Sorry I don't have a scanner to post photos but it came out pretty good, the nice thing about the pastels is if you put too much on it just wipes of and try again. Also I apologize if this is a well-known technique, it was new to me so I thought I'd pass it along. Good Luck! Sky Sharkster

10-07-2005, 09:58 AM
Great info. Just wish you had a photo!:)