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Crane

burning question about markings

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Crane    49

Forgive my slow processing about this topic - but I have only recently realized that everyone is for the most part, building a replica of the same planes which actually existed. I have always followed the 'general rules' based upon my knowledge of the subject. However, I always took liberty with markings and camouflage. I feel that it takes away from the 'art' to keep replicating the same subject. Besides, who is to say that if I decide to build a plane with markings that has no photo history, what it actually looked like ? I would like some feedback as to the general consensus about this topic. Also, I am wondering if judges in model contests are so familiar with certain markings, that they have a good idea of what the rest of the model should look like.

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Black Knight    3,609

You can build any model any hows you like, its your model and you have to be happy with it.

Some of us do funny things with models and call them Whifs

We also like to build our models to accurately represent the real subject; some of us build them 'clean', some prefer to 'weather' them. There's room for everybody

 

AFAI'm aware model judges have a fair bit of knowledge, thats why they're judges; but they don't know everything and they are judging not on how accuate to the nearest 0.05 mm a marking is or the exact shade of olive drab used but on the standard of the building and painting of the model before them

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Troy Smith    2,448

On occasion members ask about markings for a specific subject, for example a family connection,  and no photos exist, and a 'best guess' is given.

 

There is a member here @The Wooksta!  who has made an entire alternate Spitfire  history,  every mark, and alternate marks,  all with a back story!

there's about  150,  though to do the "what-if's" he knows the real thing as well. (hence being here)  There are dedicated 'what-if' forums as well.

The Wooksta did list some of the back stories 

http://www.whatifmodellers.com/index.php?topic=34762.0

 

So, plenty of room to do what you like,  though you may wish to state  this clearly in any builds you might post,  just to save folks pointing out 'errors'  but a creative 'back story' is fascinating as well creative in it's own right.

 

cheers

T

 

 

As 

 

 

 

 

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Chuck1945    97

I think it depends upon what you are presenting, for instance a Spitfire V or later, in the European Day Fighter camouflage scheme presented as a BoB aircraft would definitely raise eyebrows, regardless of any back story. If you are simply applying period appropriate camouflage and marking as a 'representative' aircraft, so what. Besides, as already stated, its your model so your choice how you choose to build and finish it.

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Work In Progress    1,053

You;re welcome to build whatever you llke, however you like.

  • There are people who try very hard to make a faithful 3D image of a specific moment in history, and that's probably the dominant culture of scale modellers on the internet.
  • There are people who like to make reasoned estimates of what a given undocumented moment in history probably looked like, in the absence of reliable evidence.
  • There are people who like to make speculative, what-of kind of things.
  • There are people who care little for the historical facts and just want to make something that pleases them visually.

Some people (including me) are in different categories on different days, according to mood and the purpose I have for the individual model.

 

All of these are branches of model-making and in general the ony time an exponent of speculative or imaginary modelling will be criticised is if they misrepresent a speculation or re-imagining as historical fact.

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As above, you can build whatever you like - but - it isn't detracting from anything, art or otherwise when other modellers choose to try to get things accurate. The tolerance and acceptance has to go both ways :)

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Lawzer    325

well said to all the above!!

 

On some forums else where on t'interweb you would be burned at the stake for even suggesting deviating from the "proper" way a model should look / be marked / painted......sadly.....

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PLC1966    704

Its a plastic/resin/Metal/Wooden toy.  Do what you fancy with it.  You don't need to justify what you enjoy doing as the Porcupine said getting off of the Bog Brush.

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gingerbob    1,456
10 hours ago, Crane said:

 ...I always took liberty with markings and camouflage. I feel that it takes away from the 'art' to keep replicating the same subject.

...Also, I am wondering if judges in model contests are so familiar with certain markings, that they have a good idea of what the rest of the model should look like.

 

It depends what you mean by "taking liberty with camouflage".  If you're doing an Me 109, there's such an infinite variety that you can do just about anything that "looks right" and even if someone questioned it, they'd have a hard time proving it.  If you're doing a Spitfire Mk.IX in Northern Europe, you don't have much wiggle room for the camo before somebody is quite likely to notice.

 

As for markings, one of my "eventually" projects is the P-51D that would have been "mine" had I been in the 8th AF.  Call it a stand-in for a warbird!  I had my wife pick a Group out of a hat, found an individual letter that appears not to have been used, will find a serial that fits the timing but doesn't have a contradictory history, and will give it a name of my choosing in a style that fits others of the Group.  In short, I'm hoping that a real expert on that Group might ask where I discovered that example, and anybody else wouldn't even think twice.

 

I do think you have a point about judges being familiar with specific examples.  Whether they mean to or not, they might have a pretty good idea of what, say, Gentile's 'Shangri la' looked like, and hold it against you if you did something different.

 

I have a friend who enjoyed making up aesthetically pleasing camo schemes, and I liked his F-18 so much he eventually gave it to me!

 

If you're worried about competing or getting the approval of certain people, that's one thing, but if you're just pleasing yourself, then you have a tougher audience! ;)

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Fernando    131
Posted (edited)

Hi, everyone,

 

 

This is a difficult topic and I always get burned. But I gleefully go back to the breach every time.

 

There is no "general consensus", only some "trends", so I shall speak strictly from a personal point of view. I assume that if someone asks, it is to receive answers. All kind of answers.

 

I would always try to make an accurate scheme within the possibilies of both the "art" (materials and data) and my own (abilities as a modeller, and resources as a researcher) From a modelling point of view, just the same way I would not deliberately leave out parts or add some others than do not go. The same way I would not deliberately make any other "modelling technique" mistake (gluing things upside-down and the like). Please allow me to make a "position statement".

 

I believe that "model-building" entails "reproducing an object existing outside the builder" -even as a preconceived idea- ("modelling " is "The activity of making three-dimensional models." and a "model" is "A three-dimensional representation of a person or thing or of a proposed structure, typically on a smaller scale than the original." All according to the on-line Oxford dictionary).

 

You can always build a kit and come up with something pleasant and well done, but that actually doesn't represent an original thing (in the sense above), to various degrees. That is fine, just a different personal interest in the purpose of kit-building. But if you come to me with that kit, by whatever means (contest or club table, internet sites or FB) I shall made the remark ("matter-of-factly", meaning "In an unemotional and practical manner.", same resource) without implying dissaproval of any kind, just as someone would say "the canopy is a bit fogged". I would assume that if you bring the model to attention, you expect such comments.

 

As per your more specific questions, more related to judging and generally speaking "expressing an opinion" regarding a built kit or model.

 

Even if there is no picture of a particular subject, there are many ways of knowing to a satisfying degree of accuracy about general aspects of the scheme, including colours and markings, depending on the subject. Some colours and markings can be safely ruled out, and some can be safely assumed. Judges are usually pretty knowledgeable in those general rules and parameters (or should be!) 

 

In a contest (even a IPMS ruled one, I understand) you should hand over the instruction sheet of the kit. Following the painting instructions will almost without exception put you in the ballpark of scheme accuracy. It is not an arcane knowledge; simply following the painting and decalling instructions in the kit. No one has to be a museum curator or a collector in possession of unpublished photos. But being "deliberately" innaccurate , it is another thing. In a contest, it can lead to many unjust situations. I have seen some and can imagine many more. But of course, if you bring your model to a contest, you are not just building for your personal satisfaction.

 

Hope to have NOT offended or derided anyone. If someone feels like that, I apologize; it was not my intention in any way.

 

Regards to all from Bonn.

 

Fernando

 

Edited by Fernando

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Jim Kiker    204

Hi Crane, Fernando, and all,

 

Writing from the western side of the Atlantic, several things come to mind.  In the IPMS world, U.S. judges generally are knowledgeable at the higher levels, but remember that for us, whomever shows up at a show may act as a judge or a trainee at least but may know very little about specific markings.  Our IPMS rules put "accuracy" 'way down the list of things to judge against such as no seams, no glue marks, good basic finishing, and so on; this was done specifically because judges cannot know all there is to know about every aircraft (or any other set of vehicles that number in the thousands).  However, this does not stop the occasional judge looking at a specific model and ruling it out (or trying to) because it's the wrong shade of Olive Drab.  That is human nature to a large degree, and difficult to police at the more local shows.  Finally, in the U.S. only the Out of the Box categories require the instruction sheet to accompany the model.

 

Basically I think that there are soft limits to what the modeler can do and still have a "mainstream" semi-accurate representation of that magic "moment in history."  However, in my view the fact that Olive Drab varies a great deal should not mean that you may freely use chartreuse or teal just because you like them, IF you want a relatively close approximation to a real vehicle.

 

My one personal gripe with some what-ifers or more artistic modelers is that often times the artistic models are not designated as, shall I say, a non-accurate scheme; when other less experienced modelers see that sort of model, they often conclude that "that's the way that vehicle looked, so I'll make mine like that."  For example, think of the Spanish school of finishing in which every panel line is shaded/washed and the center of every skin panel is lightened.  It is artistic and it certainly breaks up the expanse of a single color; however not very many operational aircraft ever really look like that.  It is artistic and surely technically challenging, just not so true to most real subjects.

 

In the end we each model as we see fit and that's cool; just be sure to let others know if you are doing a what-if or filling in the gaps of what is known so that others will not inadvertently be led astray with their modeling.

 

My two quatloos; cheers all!

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ejboyd5    242

No much on shows.  My greatest pleasure has always been in the research end of the build; the selection of a particular airframe. assembling pictures of same and attempting to duplicate the accurate markings.  In the few instances where I have displayed at a show, I will include one or more photos of the original along with the model.  Not done to influence or educate the judges, but simply to  demonstrate the inspiration for my build. If you look at my library compared to my output, I definitely rather read than construct.

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Seawinder    231
Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Lawzer said:

well said to all the above!!

 

On some forums else where on t'interweb you would be burned at the stake for even suggesting deviating from the "proper" way a model should look / be marked / painted......sadly.....

I must say I haven't generally found that to be true at the forums I frequent.

 

To add a couple of thoughts:

1, IPMS judging rules focus almost totally on quality of build/demonstration of modeling skills. While historical accuracy might come into play, especially at a high level contest in order to break a tie between two equally well built models, it has little effect at most local shows.

 

2, Some subjects have more photographic documentation than others. If there is a lot available, it's much easier to produce an "historical snap shot." Sometimes, however, there are few if any available photographs; in such cases I try to make a representative best guess based on whatever information is available. For example, I recently built a Yak-7UTI. I found photos of Yak-7Vs, but not one of a UTI, so I did it in what I considered likely camouflage scheme and markings,

Edited by Seawinder

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Black Knight    3,609

I notice that the OP has not joined in.

Did he/she not expect such lenient answers?

Perhaps they thought we'd jump on them for not following the 'rules'

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Lawzer    325

That's what I like about this site - views can be aired without abuse (mostly :):) )!

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Tbolt    576
Posted (edited)
On 2017-5-17 at 0:41 AM, Crane said:

Forgive my slow processing about this topic - but I have only recently realized that everyone is for the most part, building a replica of the same planes which actually existed. I have always followed the 'general rules' based upon my knowledge of the subject. However, I always took liberty with markings and camouflage. I feel that it takes away from the 'art' to keep replicating the same subject. Besides, who is to say that if I decide to build a plane with markings that has no photo history, what it actually looked like ? I would like some feedback as to the general consensus about this topic. Also, I am wondering if judges in model contests are so familiar with certain markings, that they have a good idea of what the rest of the model should look like.

 

When you say "to keep replicating the subject" well I don't generally do that neither do most people, but if you are talking about building a model in markings which a lot of other people have done, why let that effect what you want to build? I don't really care how other peoples  models are marked on their shelves. Why let other other people's choices stop you from building a historically important aircraft if that's what you want to do?

 

There are plenty of photos out there for aircraft that no markings exist for, normally because of a lack of photos to show the whole aircraft but there is nothing wrong with producing your own markings based on educated guess work. Also there's some markings that have only been done inaccurately, often because more photos and/or info has surfaced about the subject since or due to poor interpretation of photos, so there is always plenty to do if you are producing your own markings.

 

 

Edited by Tbolt

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Fernando    131
11 hours ago, Seawinder said:

I must say I haven't generally found that to be true at the forums I frequent.

 

To add a couple of thoughts:

1, IPMS judging rules focus almost totally on quality of build/demonstration of modeling skills. While historical accuracy might come into play, especially at a high level contest in order to break a tie between two equally well built models, it has little effect at most local shows.

 

2, Some subjects have more photographic documentation than others. If there is a lot available, it's much easier to produce an "historical snap shot." Sometimes, however, there are few if any available photographs; in such cases I try to make a representative best guess based on whatever information is available. For example, I recently built a Yak-7UTI. I found photos of Yak-7Vs, but not one of a UTI, so I did it in what I considered likely camouflage scheme and markings,

 Hi, Seawinder, and all,

 

Contests are a completely different experience and have their own traditions and "culture". 

 

IPMS rules seem to consider a basic degree of accuracy as "a given".

 

For instance, this rules from 2016 Nationals: "Judging. Models will be judged for skill in construction, finish, realism, and scope of effort; accuracy may be used as a criteria for determining final ranking for similar model subjects". The dichotomy between "realism" and "accuracy" is remarkable. When a wildly artistic paint scheme ceases to be "realistic"? There is also a "judging criteria" potentially at least so controversial (if we consider the old antinomy "perfectly built innaccurate model vs. not so perfectly built but extremely accurate") that is "scope of effort". When a really risky, involved model (imagine, open engine, complete interior, difficult scheme) beats a better built but completely "safe" one?

 

Or this other, from the "2017 Scale Fest": "Paint colors can vary due to variations from paint batch to batch, different operating environments can change colors in different ways, paints fade from the effects of weather and sunlight, and viewing distance can change the look of virtually any color. Poor initial application and subsequent maintenance compound these problems. Therefore, color shade should not be used to determine a model's accuracy. Models with unusual colors or color schemes should have appropriate documentation".  Though it very reasonably talks about paint color variations (within the same colour) the last phrase seems to set a basic scheme accuracy standard, while introducing the concept that it is the modeller who should prove the accuracy of his model.

 

In many contests in my country, "accuracy" is considered simply as another criteria besides every other (construction, painting, decalling, detailing, presentation, originality, etc. The list varies from contest to contest) . As every criteria has a value, so accuracy has; this gives an appropriate solution to the conundrum above (a very accurate but very badly built model doesn't add to the points of a not so accurate but much better built, the same way that a well built but badly painted doesn't stand against a more equilibrated one) The modeller has to provide the documentation (there are modellers who prepare a better construction report than model!)

 

But as I said, contests are a different world. They reflect the trend, not set it (at least, they should)

 

Fernando

 

 

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rossm    178

I'm not sure how relevant this is but I was recently a judge at our local show - 2 of us judge the aircraft classes to try to cut down judging errors. The first things we look for are always the basic build quality, are the wingtips level, angles of tailplanes, u/c doors etc symettrical port and starboard, are there visible join lines, decal film etc. Only after ranking what you might call the modelling skills do we look at accuracy as we are aware we do not know everything and even on things we think we do know we can be caught out as with the winner of this year's 1/72 and smaller class which was a Spitfire where the only doubt we had was the bright red shade of the patches of over the gunports. The clue was there in the title but we missed it - it was a model of a modern warbird and the red was the same shade as the full size example - luckily the build quality had put it first anyway so no recriminations and another mental note for next year's judging if we are still allowed to do it!

  So if you are allowed to put notes with your competition entries it helps to point out things that you know are right but might confuse the judges. If you enter a WHIF (what if) then give an idea of the reasoning if possible but, at least in Plymouth, modelling skills are the major part of the judging, our view of accuracy will only be used to separate equally well built models and a WHIF in a vaguely plausible scheme won't lose out from being a WHIF.

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Flying scale model competition judging is performed against a documentation package presented with the model. The static judging this is, the flying judging is scored separately. The onus is on the entrant to support the accuracy of his model. It is assumed wrong until proven right. They provide scale drawings to compare the model to, photographs to justify details and markings etc. The thing is that judges know lots about modelling but often very little about the subjects themselves - more than someone not interested at all, sure, but very little terms of what there is to know about a particular type of aircraft, a particular national service and their paint colours etc. Rather than expect or allow judges to judge accuracy on something they are almost certainly totally unqualified to judge, the judging of accuracy is performed against the documents.

 

If the model matches the scale drawings and photographs supplied, it's a good'un - otherwise, it's unsupported and can't be scored for accuracy.

 

 

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Crane    49

I've read over all the replies and they are encouraging.

 

Currently, I am in the middle of my first Spitfire build. I became alarmed when I was able to find photos of the actual aircraft associated with all the available decal sets I checked. Upon further research, I realized that my model so far does not match any of the known aircraft because I chose some of it's characteristics (mirror, fin marking, absence of underside marking, etc.) My next quest is to research markings that would make my current build plausible. Would this constitute a 'whiff' or just an 'undocumented' Spitfire ?

 

Though I do not plan to enter this Spitfire into a contest, I may do so with a future build. Thank you for the insight on what to do and how to present it.

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Troy Smith    2,448

In a case like 

6 minutes ago, Crane said:

I've read over all the replies and they are encouraging.

 

Currently, I am in the middle of my first Spitfire build. I became alarmed when I was able to find photos of the actual aircraft associated with all the available decal sets I checked. Upon further research, I realized that my model so far does not match any of the known aircraft because I chose some of it's characteristics (mirror, fin marking, absence of underside marking, etc.) My next quest is to research markings that would make my current build plausible. Would this constitute a 'whiff' or just an 'undocumented' Spitfire ?

 

 

OK,  you need to be specific,  if you give details of what exact plane are you wanting  to model,  there are a bunch of very knowledgeable folks here, you may well get the answer,  or at least a 'best guess' from what is known.

Also, I noted  this

"mirror, fin marking, absence of underside marking"

which,implies to me an early, 1940 era  plane?   There were  a load of changes to markings in this  era, including adding fin flashes and removing  and then replacing underwing  roundels,  as well as adding mirrors..

If  you have not read this

Supermarine%20Spitfire%20Camo%20&%20Mark

scans are here

http://www.boxartden.com/gallery/index.php/Profiles/Camoflage-Markings/01-Supermarine-Spitfire

 

which may answer your some of your questions.

 

HTH

 

 

 

 

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Fernando    131
On 2017-5-20 at 4:39 AM, Crane said:

I've read over all the replies and they are encouraging.

 

Currently, I am in the middle of my first Spitfire build. I became alarmed when I was able to find photos of the actual aircraft associated with all the available decal sets I checked. Upon further research, I realized that my model so far does not match any of the known aircraft because I chose some of it's characteristics (mirror, fin marking, absence of underside marking, etc.) My next quest is to research markings that would make my current build plausible. Would this constitute a 'whiff' or just an 'undocumented' Spitfire ?

 

Though I do not plan to enter this Spitfire into a contest, I may do so with a future build. Thank you for the insight on what to do and how to present it.

Generally following the instructions and using the kit's decals will put you in the ballpark of a reasonably accurate model of a particular airframe. That is enough for most modellers. Nowadays, kits come with fairily interesting decals on their own. Of course, if you want to deviate from them, it usually begins by finding the real airframe you want to model and then adapting the kit and decals! As Troy asks, which particular airframe you want to model?

 

Fernando

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Vanroon    114

Good question. 

A modelling group which I once belonged to had as a group build "the same aircraft in the same markings". 

Twelve entered, seven completed and three of the others bought along their unfinished models. Every model looked similar but different despite their specified colours and markings.

Differences were colour and contrast mainly. Soft and hard edges, weathered or pristine. 

Educational. 

I generally model the wingman. Famous photo of a fighter of note with support flight. No one questions the less famous. 

Grant

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Crane    49
Posted (edited)
On 5/19/2017 at 10:52 PM, Troy Smith said:

In a case like 

 

OK,  you need to be specific,  if you give details of what exact plane are you wanting  to model,  there are a bunch of very knowledgeable folks here, you may well get the answer,  or at least a 'best guess' from what is known.

Also, I noted  this

"mirror, fin marking, absence of underside marking"

which,implies to me an early, 1940 era  plane?   There were  a load of changes to markings in this  era, including adding fin flashes and removing  and then replacing underwing  roundels,  as well as adding mirrors..

If  you have not read this

Supermarine%20Spitfire%20Camo%20&%20Mark

scans are here

http://www.boxartden.com/gallery/index.php/Profiles/Camoflage-Markings/01-Supermarine-Spitfire

 

which may answer your some of your questions.

 

HTH

 

 

 

 

 

Well you have anticipated my next hot question, much to my delight. Here is a link to my build Tamiya Spitfire Mk.I

I started it a long time ago, and built it my way. The hole for the mirror is in the canopy, I intend to add it, the fin flash has 3 bars equal in height and width, and at present has no roundels on the underside. I would like to know what markings would best fit this configuration. I am up to page 14 in the book you recommended, but I haven't found much about my particular fin flash so far. I was considering a code of JH followed by a letter for an unknown aircraft. 

Edited by Crane
mistake

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Seawinder    231
1 hour ago, Crane said:

Well you have anticipated my next hot question, much to my delight. Here is a link to my build Tamiya Spitfire Mk.I

I started it a long time ago, and built it my way. The hole for the mirror is in the canopy, I intend to add it, the fin flash has 3 bars equal in height and width, and at present has no roundels on the underside. I would like to know what markings would best fit this configuration. I am up to page 14 in the book you recommended, but I haven't found much about my particular fin flash so far. I was considering a code of JH followed by a letter for an unknown aircraft. 

You've gone with oversized fuselage roundels and a non-standard fin flash size. The closest I can find in my decal stash is DW-O (serial conveniently overpainted) of 610 Sqn., Biggin Hill, August 1940. The codes are also oversized, and, according to the instructions (Aeromaster 48-076), there are no under-wing roundels. The problem, however, is that this plane has the "B" camouflage pattern, which is the mirror reverse of the "A" pattern you've applied to your model. Also, according to the instructions, the fin flash has the red and blue incorrectly reversed.

 

BTW, your masking/painting of the roundels is IMHO very well done. How important is it to you to have your model exactly (or nearly exactly) replicate an actual plane? I'm guessing you're not going to find one that matches what you've done in all respects, but there are undoubtedly others here with much more specific knowledge than I have.

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