Jump to content

As a result of the close-down of the UK by the British Government last night, we have made all the Buy/Sell areas read-only until we open back up again, so please have a look at the announcement linked here.

This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

Sean_M

Desert Fade/Weathering

Recommended Posts

I am busy with a number of builds (My Malta/N Africa Phase) I want to achieve a "In service" look and I am mindful that these aircraft would have had a bit of a bleached look. I bet there are a number of products and as many ways to achieve a good end result. I am mindful that I need to consider the decals, as well. have used AK interactive products for the cockpit and these have worked a charm. I was thinking of adding a bit if white to the colours, but I am not sure if that is the best way to go. ALL SUGGESTIONS WELCOME.

This all fits in nicely with the wonderful info going around about 81 Sqn

Thanks

Sean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not just bleaching but changing. Dark Green will go towards a chocolate brown. Roundel Blue fades to a much lighter shade - as can be seen in temperate climes too. This tends to be mainly on the uppersurface of the wing rather than the side of the fuselage. Dark Earth can be seen in a very dark shade, as an intermediate colour more usual in the UK, and fading towards Light Earth. I've no information of fading of Middle Stone, other than to go for a reduced intensity?

I've yet to see any ideal comments about fading the Roundel Red. Just adding white will tend to make it pink. The "scale colour" solution can be found on the colour wheel principle - adding a little of whatever colour is opposite (I don't have one handy) will reduce the intensity of the red, but that may not exactly be what is required.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Graham makes a valid point about the colour change.

The old school method of bleaching would be with oil paint washes of white and pale yellow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Sean,

One thing I would point out is that, unless you have a specific picture that shows otherwise, I urge you to avoid the currently-popular fad of using dark-ish soft lines around all of the panel lines. It may be popular but in the vast majority of photographs, such an effect is not present at all. As you mentioned, there are different ways to go about more extreme forms of weathering. Personally, I lighten up the darker colors by about 10% from the beginning; I think "scale effect" comes into play so for example, a black airplane model should not be painted straight black to begin, but a dark gray. It will look like faded black at the end, and you can use straight black for running washes into the major panel lines- control surfaces, engine panels, etc.

In this case, I would start with my base coats of color, add a clear gloss (if that is your method) for decals, add the decals, and then use an extra thin coat of a light tan to weather the whole paint job. You can make this a khaki shade (grayish-tan) as well, but the trick is to thin it much more than regular paint, and apply it over the upper surfaces only in one pass, from front to back. It will take multiple passes over the wings if you are using a modern airbrush, but that's OK. You may get a slight difference in the thickness of the overcoat, and if so, you've just applied some random streaking to this weathering layer. That's a good thing and with practice this can be done deliberately. You can always apply another coat if it doesn't lighten the colors enough, but in my experience if you get enough coverage to slightly lighten the colors it is time to stop. One good rule of thumb for all the weathering techniques is to apply a little of it at a time; if you think it could use just a little more, stop. Chances are you'll go too far and then you really cannot take it off without an awful lot of work. Unless you are showing a derelict plane left in place for months, a bit under weathered is much better than too much, in my opinion.

Now I add other weathering features such as exhaust stains, gun residue (but go easy here); the typical oil stains present on all Merlin-powered aircraft, and paint chipping. A top coat of clear flat will seal it all in and things will blend into the same reflectance.

Most of all, continue to practice on spare parts or even sheet plastic before trying it on your project models. I have saved myself an ocean of grief over time by practicing a bit before picking up my latest project and just charging into something new.

HTH, Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might find just applying a dead pan flat finish is enough (see progress comparrison shot below) to suit your taste regarding the faded/weathered look. A patchy look though will require more work.

10407790154_e8f5587288_o.jpg

... and my attempt at rendering the oil stains on the underside:

10407999653_515ccbab5b_c.jpg

regards,

Jack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice job! Weathering makes all the difference, especially if the A/C has been used in conflict. They certainly didn't take/have time to clean them. The only bit of the A/c that was cleaned, was the Pilots canopy and Turrets!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the other hand, ground crew often took a personal pride in the appearance of their machines. They very often did have time to clean them, even if it wasn't a top priority. Few periods of the war saw intense operations at the level of the Battle of Britain, the peak times of the seige of Malta, or Imphal. Even these had quiet times for at least some, if not the majority, of units. It would have been advisable, if not normal, to clean away corrosive products such as powder stains, and smoothing (if not downright polishing) of aerodynamically important areas such as the leading edges of the wing. At least on the fighters. It seems unlikely that this was attempted on the high wings of the bombers, even those not slathered in anti-freeze paints. It is also a lot easier to clean away oil stains on the uppersurface of a Spitfire rather than underneath its belly where they would be more common - the model above indeed does look representative in that respect.

Visible powder stains on the leading edge is a subject that has been discussed before. There are photographs that do show such, but most do not - presumably because they were regularly cleaned as described above. Which may not have been the case at times during the battle of Malta, which the model represents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read an interesting matter relating to this, in it there was a description of colour fade due to the sun but more importantly the effect of sand on paintwork and how that caused fading as the top layers were stripped away

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...