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Skyhunter66

Luftwaffe 'mottling' techniques - where do I start?

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Ok so I have reached a stage in my modelling where I am thinking I may have sufficient airbrush 'time' served to have a go at some of the German WW2 aircraft I have in my ever growing stash! Whats put me off so far is the 'mottling' but I would really like to master this technique so can anyone give me any tips or point in the right direction on BM or anywhere on how to do this effectively. I should say I am using an Iwata HP-C + in terms of airbrushes (if that makes any difference). Any videos I can watch I guess would be most useful!

thanks

Chris

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Hi Chris

For me one of the largest realisations with mottling was that less is often best. Always have a picture refrance a glance away when painting This can be from a book but better someone elses model on britmodeller.

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Hi Chris, I don't build many aircraft that require mottling so I was a bit nervous about trying it, at first I uses PE mottle masks held slightly above the kits surface using Blu Tac, the paint was my usual 50:50 mix of paint and thinners and the air pressure was 10-15 psi. This worked well but the mottles did not completely convince me so I then went free hand, using the same paint mix and air pressure, I built up the mottles slowly with small amounts of paint and lots of patience, I use a single action airbrush (Badger 200NH) so I just set the paint flow at a very low rate. This worked for me, though I do know that other people use more thinned paint and lower air pressure, a good idea would be to practice on an old kit or some plastic sheet to develope your own technique.

Hope this helps

Cheers

Dennis

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Ok thanks guys - got out of the stash last night the Trumpy 1:32 BF109 Tropical and am going to have a go with the mottle on that one. If it goes well I will post it on here and if not I will pretend i haven't started it! Meanwhile I am going to have a practice on some card board with your suggestions in mind

Chris

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Their are 3 steps to achieving a decent Luftwaffe model:

1. Thin the paint to a much thinner consistency than you normally would, around 75-80% thinner works for me, but it depends on which paint you use.

2.drop the air pressure right down, this will allow you better control of the paint flow, allowing you to build up mottles slowly.

3. Practise, practice, practice. Try applying mottles to a sheet of paper first until you become comfortable, then try an old test model.

And that's it. It mostly comes down to playing with the paint consistency and air pressure to find something which works for you.

Karl

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You're using the same airbrush as I use for mottling, it is more than adequate for the task so keep practicing and don't be disheartened if it doesn't work first time.

Get close in and keep the airbrush moving to avoid building up too much paint in one spot.

You didn't mention what make or type of paints you'll be using, I started off using enamels which were easy enough to control but now use acrylics which took more practice to get a good finish.

As Karl says above, work to a colour profile or picture if you can, it really does help.

Good luck, Duncan B

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If you are using acrylics, use a soft brush dipped in thinner regularly to carefully clean the tip of the needle, as the paint will tend to dry on the tip and build up.

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Ok I had a bit of a practice today with some paper and do the mottling pattern seemed ok although I am getting some after spray around the edges - might need to figure out the ratios and pressures a bit better.

So this is the scheme I think I am going to do. Now as you will notice there is no details for the upper wing surface - would the camo be the same as the fuselage??

thanks

Chris

2449d5a4-26cf-40e0-b5ea-7997c5864d3f_zps

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Hi Chris

I think that care should be taken when looking at the results of practice on paper as it is easier to get a good mottle than on plastic where air pressure can tend to push the piant out sideways over the plastic. some platic card or old plastic tubs are good to use as the paint will behave the same as on your model.

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Hi Chris

I think that care should be taken when looking at the results of practice on paper as it is easier to get a good mottle than on plastic where air pressure can tend to push the piant out sideways over the plastic. some platic card or old plastic tubs are good to use as the paint will behave the same as on your model.

Yes this makes a lot of sense - I will have another go with plastic as you suggest and many thanks as I appreciate the help

Chris

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I have an old model that I use to practice on, I paint on the base colour then try the mottling out to see if the mix and set up are ok. To be honest I don't change the air pressure too much usually around 12-15 psi but i do have the nozzle locked really tight so that very little paint is flowing. I use Mr Color and Mr Hobby and neither clog up at all, I can paint all day without any clogging. I have not been able to get Vajello paints to work for 5 minutes without clogging though!

Duncan B

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I have an old model that I use to practice on, I paint on the base colour then try the mottling out to see if the mix and set up are ok. To be honest I don't change the air pressure too much usually around 12-15 psi but i do have the nozzle locked really tight so that very little paint is flowing. I use Mr Color and Mr Hobby and neither clog up at all, I can paint all day without any clogging. I have not been able to get Vajello paints to work for 5 minutes without clogging though!

Duncan B

Thanks Duncan and I know what you mean about Vajello - doesn't matter what I do it seems to clog up! Since I started using Mr Color my life has changed for the better - easy to use and the finish is great. Anyway I am determined to master the mottling thing so I can enjoy more of the Luftwaffe kits! Chris

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I have a question about mottling, I model in 1/72 and being able to freehand mottle is almost impossible I've found so far, particularly with acrylics as there is too much splatter even at low pressure with highly thinned paint.

Does anyone have any advice about how you get convincing realistic mottling effects on 1/72 luftwaffe aircraft?

I've recently bought the airwaves mottling template to try and use that to help, but I'd ideally like to be able to freehand with my H&S Evolution CR plus with a 0.15 needle/nozzle set.

Thanks,

Rich

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I have a question about mottling, I model in 1/72 and being able to freehand mottle is almost impossible I've found so far, particularly with acrylics as there is too much splatter even at low pressure with highly thinned paint.

Does anyone have any advice about how you get convincing realistic mottling effects on 1/72 luftwaffe aircraft?

I've recently bought the airwaves mottling template to try and use that to help, but I'd ideally like to be able to freehand with my H&S Evolution CR plus with a 0.15 needle/nozzle set.

Thanks,

Rich

What, like this you mean?

019_zpsb6b7d3ed.jpg

This was painted using an Iwata CM C+ (0.23 nozzle), Mr Color acrylics thinned with their normal (blue label) thinners and sprayed at approx 20 psi. Keep the airbrush moving and get in really close. It helps if you have a picture or profile to follow so that you have a firm idea in your mind of how you want it to look. Keep practicing and remember that you can always tone it all down (or cover overspray) with a thin application of the base colour.

Practice is the most important part, and taking notes as you go so you can remember what worked and what didn't.

Good luck and have fun with it

Duncan B

p.s. If you are getting too much overspray (spatter) then you should try thinning your paint even more or adjusting the pressure up a bit, or both! I know the standard advice is to go lower with the pressure for thin paint but your airbrush might be struggling to atomise the paint at a lower pressure, try experimenting with paint mixes and pressures on an old model or plastic bottle.

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Thanks Duncan,

I had this horrible feeling it was going to take lots of practice and hard work!

I've been reading up on this subject in recent weeks and I've been watching lots of videos on the subject as well and I think I'm going to have to choose my paints carefully, I've seen several posts where the paint is thinned down to an 80/20 or 90/10 ratio of thinners to paint, with low pressures like 5-10psi being used.

I normally use a pressure of 20-25 psi, so I think I will be playing around a bit with all the settings to try and find something which works well for me as I really want to achieve the right look just like you've shown in that picture of the 109E.

I think I'll definitely do some practice on old margarine tubs and the like to get to grips with the technique.

I have plenty of Luftwaffe kits in the stash, many with challenging camo schemes, I may attempt one of the less rare kits first once I have more confidence in the techniques required.

Thanks again,

Rich

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My first reasonable attempts were made with Xtracolour enamels and I found them easy to work with but very slow to dry. I moved on to Mr Color acrylics (and also Mr Hobby) and it took a bit of experimenting before I got to anything like the 109 above. The paint mix and pressure are the obvious starting points to experiment with. I couldn't get the hang of using the really thinned ratios on very low pressure so had to find a mix that worked for me, probably nearer 75/25 (but I don't get all scientific with it as I just judge the mix by eye) and the pressure somewhere between 15 and 20 psi (I normally have the compressor set in that range anyway). I test each paint mix on my paint mule before I start and might have to adjust the pressure or paint mix a little.

Most problems that people have are the same as they have with any airbrushing, they don't thin the paint enough and they mix the paint in the airbrush. Always mix the paint in something else, that way your not putting a plug of raw paint or thinners in the bottom of the paint cup.

Let us know how you are getting on with it.

Duncan B

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I have some Mr Hobby paint mixing trays so I might start using them more, I also only normally thin paint 50/50, I don't have much experience beyond that so I'm a little worried of the paint separating although I know that Mr Color and Mr Hobby acrylics are very good for thinning down heavily.

I'm going to do a lot of practising in the coming weeks, hopefully I'll end up with a reasonable result.

Rich

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Do you have the option to practise on a spare/duff kit first? I tend to mix my paints quite thinly and spray at high PSI. I will be doing some mottle soon, so if I remember I will post up some photos. (Airfix Fw-190 new tool)

Edited by Radleigh

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I have some Mr Hobby paint mixing trays so I might start using them more, I also only normally thin paint 50/50, I don't have much experience beyond that so I'm a little worried of the paint separating although I know that Mr Color and Mr Hobby acrylics are very good for thinning down heavily.

I'm going to do a lot of practising in the coming weeks, hopefully I'll end up with a reasonable result.

Rich

You could (and probably should) go a bit thinner on your paint mix even for general use. That way you'll get a smoother, thinner coat. Most colours will be dense enough even at 60/40 or less to give decent coverage with a couple of light coats and for the yellow, white and red colours a good base coat of white primer works well for me.

Duncan B

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Do you have the option to practise on a spare/duff kit first? I tend to mix my paints quite thinly and spray at high PSI. I will be doing some mottle soon, so if I remember I will post up some photos. (Airfix Fw-190 new tool)

Thanks Radleigh, I think I might use an airfix or revell luftwaffe kit to use as a practice tool, I also plan on using a few margarine tubs which I can practice on as well.

You could (and probably should) go a bit thinner on your paint mix even for general use. That way you'll get a smoother, thinner coat. Most colours will be dense enough even at 60/40 or less to give decent coverage with a couple of light coats and for the yellow, white and red colours a good base coat of white primer works well for me.

Duncan B

Thanks Duncan, I'll start doing that, thanks for all the tips.

Rich

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