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graveszie

Vulcan XM655 - A Natural Weathering Experiment with... (Completed)

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Hello Britmodeller,

It's been a while since I posted a WIP and this will not be a typical WIP, but it is something I hope will interest some of you out there.

Weathering; It's something that I plan to do in the future, but for now it got me thinking about something. Yes, you can weather a model with washes or power or any other method that one might try. But what would happen to a model if you weathered it naturally?

This is my model of XM655, looking glorious in the morning sun.

IMAG0605_zpsvllxyhz5.jpg

Back in the early days I didn't plan much ahead, I just wanted to build Vulcan's. Originally this was to be XM594 but due to some technical errors on my part I flipped and made it XM655. Technically it's neither really.

This model is just a bit above crude, there's minimal sanding, no filler, panel gaps and the paint job is questionable. But it's still pretty, after all it's a Vulcan.

Anyhoo, it's now time to replace it with a more accurate Vulcan from the same period but what to do with this one? It represents quite a few hours of stress and pleasure and I don't have the heart to do with it as the RAF did with all their Vulcan's they no longer wanted (i.e. Bulldozer).

Experiment time! Which I shall call, Natural Weathering Part 1.

Over a year after completion, XM655 is back on the bench for some modifications...

IMAG0627_zpscgyfcwra.jpg

Still wet with fresh Varnish...

When I originally built this model I wasn't really aware of the importance of Varnish and basically I just threw it on, taking little or no care to make sure it was well spread, in fact you can see areas of brown on the belly where evidence of my ignorance can be seen. On top of that, the Varnish was never applied to the Decals.

For this experiment, I have re-coated the whole thing with Humbrol Matt Cote, with an additional extra layer on the topside. I have to say the Matt Cote is much better than the brown Humbrol stuff I've used previously on this model, it's completely changed the finish for the better.

Natural weathering means outside, obviously.. So I need to stop the thing from blowing away.

IMAG0629_zpsccpzjv9x.jpg

Since this is a wheels down Vulcan I've used the U/C bays as a mounting point. Three holes, three nuts and some superglue.

As unpredictable as British weather is, we can be certain that there will be wind and some of it quite strong. With the amount of surface area on the Vulcan it will almost certainly blow off the table so it needs to be secured.

Putting the nuts in place did create a new problem, the centre of mass is too far aft, or more so I should say - It will sit on it's wheels but only just.

To solve this little problem I've dropped many brass stand-offs, usually used when putting a PC together, into the nose.

Aside from these mod's, that's all I plan to do with this Vulcan for the experiment.

Since my garden doesn't get much sun, I am borrowing some space in my Nan's garden. As far as she is concerned she is getting a new garden ornament as she has much love for the Vulcan. She also kindly let me borrow/destroy an old table. So props to Nan!

So now the mount. A table was the obvious choice but just a table would look a little out of place, so....

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...A makeshift runway (not to scale, sadly). As you can see the mount points are drilled for the Vulcan in the centre.

I have to admit, I wish I'd spent a little more time on the table, the lines aren't as good as they could have been but that's what happens when you try to get it all done in a day. On the plus side, the excessive amount of black I seem to have used does give the runway a wet look.

Let see what she looks like...

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As you can see the jet pipes are covered, I don't want creepy crawly's making a nest in there.

So, some protection from the birds etc... You may have noticed from an earlier picture that the table has four holes, one in each corner..

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Here you see four canes in the holes, the idea being some netting will be attached to protect the Vulcan from birds and other wildlife that might damage it.

I thought it best to give sink the table into the ground a little to help stop it blowing over in high wind, although the table is quite heavy anyway it wouldn't hurt.

Now that the table has (literally) been hammered into the ground and the four canes are in place for netting, it's time to screw the Vulcan down.

IMAG0689_zpsahieqcx5.jpg

Screwed into the nut in all the U/C bays and nearly up to the top of the model, it is also secured by two more nuts one on top of and the other underneath the table.

All the wheels are raised about 1mm up from the table/runway surface so whatever weather gets thrown at it the bolts will take all the strain rather than the wheels, which are a bit marginal.

So here the experiment begins; For at least one year this Vulcan's wheels will not touch ground and will be exposed to every form of British weather.

This is how she looks on Day 1 (05-04-2015).

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Predictions:

Since the model is made of plastic I don't expect the standard weathering that a real Vulcan would experience, but what I do hope to achieve is some paint fade and I would imagine a layer of dirt build-up should be expected. These are the two things I expect but what else might happen? I'm not entirely sure.

I plan to visit and take a new picture or two each month and I will post on this WIP.

For now, this is how I leave her...

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Do you have any predictions? Post below. I'm curious as to how this will turn out.

Stay Tuned!

p.s. Expect some night shoots to appear.

Edited by graveszie

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Good stuff!

Just remember... bird droppings are always 1:1 scale. ;)

Cheers,

Andre

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Good stuff!

Just remember... bird droppings are always 1:1 scale. ;)

Cheers,

Andre

Cheers, bird droppings are an issue I admit, but I didn't see a way around it unless I sheltered it from the rain.

Guessing I'll just have to risk it and hope for the best. :)

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Something I have always wanted to do myself make a pristine vulcan the. Set it outside to rot and fade like a real one :) very cool

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Something to watch out for next winter would be 'freeze/thaw' where water can penetrate, freeze, expand, melt and so on. May be capable of splitting parts (breaks down rock in harsher climes).

The matte finish you've applied may give a footing to some green algae or even moss...

Interesting idea.

Matt

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Eccentricity but I like the idea. By the way, it looks as though you forgot to take the pair of hoggers off the line.

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Hi

not that I want to stop you experimenting but here are some piccies of my HE177 that has been cooking in the back garden for five years or so. The paint didn't really fade but the roundles did. Obviously your limiting the time and amount of crap that can get on it so it won't turn out quite like this

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When it went in it had props, the obs window on top and the rear gunners canopy all in place. Maybe the wife broke it without owning up. Good luck

Paul

Edited by Honeybee

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I like the idea, although like Hook, my first thought was about the risk of bird droppings. A direct hit from a decent sized gull would make quite an impact on your experiment!

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Fascinating experiment.

i like decrepit things so it will be intersting to see how this experiment progresses.

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Something I have always wanted to do myself make a pristine vulcan the. Set it outside to rot and fade like a real one :) very cool

Cheers Rob, but you must have more than one Vulcan that could be experimented with/sacrificed. :)

Something to watch out for next winter would be 'freeze/thaw' where water can penetrate, freeze, expand, melt and so on. May be capable of splitting parts (breaks down rock in harsher climes).

The matte finish you've applied may give a footing to some green algae or even moss...

Interesting idea.

Matt

A bit of moss or algae would add a little authenticity. The XM594 (which this was originally supposed to be) currently at Newark Air Museum has moss in certain places. Cool prediction.

As for water, one place it is likely to (easily) penetrate would be the wing joints, if it freezes it could be an issue but I hope not enough to separate the wings. Then there's the plastic itself, I'm not certain if this plastic is subject to negative thermal expansion or not, but if it is then the gaps will get fractionally larger in the cold weather.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if water got under the canopy and separated that though.

Hi

not that I want to stop you experimenting but here are some piccies of my HE177 that has been cooking in the back garden for five years or so. The paint didn't really fade but the roundles did. Obviously your limiting the time and amount of crap that can get on it so it won't turn out quite like this

20150410_183747_zpsqwuapyug.jpg

20150410_183808_zpshatkyqoo.jpg

20150410_183736_zpspquzzlza.jpg

20150410_183729_zpsfs3nt9c0.jpg

20150410_183835_zpshpqrywsd.jpg

When it went in it had props, the obs window on top and the rear gunners canopy all in place. Maybe the wife broke it without owning up. Good luck

Paul

Cheers, I like the look of yours and you won't stop the experiment, in fact you have encouraged me a little more. I shall be leaving mine out for at least a year, I'll see what it's like in 12 months and maybe leave it there longer. My Nan certainly won't mind.

I do have one question, what base are your paints you've used here? Enamal, Acrylic? I wonder if one might be more susceptible to fade than the other (I'm not a paint expert).

Edited by graveszie

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Eccentricity but I like the idea. By the way, it looks as though you forgot to take the pair of hoggers off the line.

Yeah that's me :)

...and it's a jacket and yes I do forget whats in the background when I take photo's sometimes. I only noticed myself when I looked at the pic's when I got home.

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Graveszie,

I have always wondered secretly if that could be done and now you HAVE shown that it can be done.

It is a might awesome way to weather a model like the real thing..

WAY to GO. :mike: How long is the natural weathering going to be for and

any more photos since the last one.... keep us posted....so from this weathering {once it is done, will you then create a decimated diorama..... :pilot:

Honeybee, I am impressed by your results... The inclement weather sure does play havoc with different materials and that

model of yours looks like it has the making of A REAL WINGY Thingy.

Thank you gentlemen for sharing your experimental projects....

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Well after seeing Pauls He177, I think it's a great idea, love the real weathering!

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Graveszie,

I have always wondered secretly if that could be done and now you HAVE shown that it can be done.

It is a might awesome way to weather a model like the real thing..

WAY to GO. :mike: How long is the natural weathering going to be for and

any more photos since the last one.... keep us posted....so from this weathering {once it is done, will you then create a decimated diorama..... :pilot:

Honeybee, I am impressed by your results... The inclement weather sure does play havoc with different materials and that

model of yours looks like it has the making of A REAL WINGY Thingy.

Thank you gentlemen for sharing your experimental projects....

Cheers, it was just a random idea. Originally I was going to build one specifically to go outside but I thought since I don't know its going to work, better experiment on an old (less well built) Vulcan.

When the experiment is complete I have no idea what I'll do with the her yet, this is just a experiment to see what the effects of British weather will do to it. If it does work as well as I hope it will then I will make another model and attempt to also replicate some of the Aluminum corrosion, which will be hard, but not impossible. As I say though, that all depends on what happens to this one.

I haven't taken any more shots as yet, the next photo's will be posted early May and it will be updated monthly for the weathering. However I do plan to take a trip and take some more arty type pictures, with it being outside and on a runway there are some opportunities for some good pics, for the fun of it.

The experiment will run until April 2016 then I will look at day 1 photos and decide if it should go through til 2017, so an end date is not fixed yet.

Looking at Honeybee's work it could be a long time before I get the effect I am after.

So in around 2 weeks expect some new pics with an update of what the Vulcan has endured weather wise, I am told that a layer of dirt is already beginning to build.

Adam

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Now this is an interesting concept in weathering. 5 years in a garden? wow.

Problem is, where I live (Mojave Desert) the kit would be a warped, melted pile of plastic within a day.

:weep:

G

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Now this is an interesting concept in weathering. 5 years in a garden? wow.

Problem is, where I live (Mojave Desert) the kit would be a warped, melted pile of plastic within a day.

:weep:

G

Cheers G

Quite possibly. I think the model could withstand the mean temperatures you have but if it was exposed to direct sunlight all day I'm not so sure.

As long as you could keep the models temperature below 60c (140F) it would hold it's shape for sure (assuming its made of Thermo-Plastic polystyrene), any higher and the weighted parts might start to give.

But I live in a considerably colder UK..

Adam

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I scratched some sand shields for an M3 Grant from sheet and after painting placed them outside as I was in a hurry for the paint to dry. 45 minutes in direct sunlight later they were a warped mess. That was last April....

It is also incredibly dry here, 5.5 inches of rain a year and today humidity was 8%

I think that if there were some way to keep the build in the shade and expose it to the elements, then it could work.

G

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I scratched some sand shields for an M3 Grant from sheet and after painting placed them outside as I was in a hurry for the paint to dry. 45 minutes in direct sunlight later they were a warped mess. That was last April....

It is also incredibly dry here, 5.5 inches of rain a year and today humidity was 8%

I think that if there were some way to keep the build in the shade and expose it to the elements, then it could work.

G

It would be worth doing, since you have different elements to those in the UK, the results would be different.

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Hello Britmodeller, standby for a Vulcan update!

It's hard to believe that it's been a month since I setup XM655 to sit in a garden. But sure enough it's time for another set of photos.

DSCF0027_zpsff62bds8.jpg

Here we see the morning dew (that was frost) on XM655 and all looks to be in a relatively good condition, this was about two weeks ago.

Some strong winds gusting up to 50mph have had no effect on it whatsoever, even some of the more fragile pieces on the belly are all still intact.

So, it's fair to say the model itself is enduring fine so far...

IMAG0816_zpsg6k5sn5e.jpg

Doesn't this just sum up British weather... Glorious sun but still wet!

In the last week or two the Vulcan has endured sleet / hail, torrential rain and a few days of hot sun (despite the air temperature not going above 19c).

I'd like to say the rest of it has endured well, but that would be a bit of a lie....

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You can see from these shots that it appears to be aging rapidly...

It looks quite good from a distance but the closer one gets... well lets take a closer look

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The Roudel you see here will not appear in next months photos, but instead will be in another garden.. somewhere..

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As you can see it's not just the Roudel decal that's deteriorating.

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Certainly a little dirt build-up taking place in the intakes, same on the other side.

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I have to say I wasn't expecting to see this and while I am fairly sure it is the Varnish that is responsible for the stains on the paintwork and I am also fairly sure it's the Matt-Cote that wasn't cured (if that's the word), but that's a guess.

If you note where the AIr-Brake decals have come away there is no staining where they used to be. That part of the Vulcan never had any Matt-Cote touch it, just the Humbrol brown stuff.

Every decal on the thing except the fuselage roundels and the fin decals are showing signs of letting go, some decals have already gone.

I'm guessing that more months in the weather might wash some of the staining away, but there's little hope for the decals.

At this point I'm very pleased I decided to test the idea on one of my lesser Vulcans.

My thoughts now turn to what I will see next month...

Thanks for looking..

Adam

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Hiya

been on holiday and just got back to this. The paints were enamel, Xtrawhatever. Mine isn't really an experiment in weathering, it was put there as a garden ornament when I had finished with it. Also, it doesn't get very much direct sunlight as it's under a bush up against the fence, maybe an hour early in the morning.

Regards

Paul

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A few years ago, 2010 to be exact, we moved in to the house we are in now. During the decorationg stage I painted the back garden tap red using a fifteen year old pot of Citadel Miniatures red gore paint I was using up as I had switched to Vallejo. I sprayed the painted tap with Halfords clear car lacquer to seal it and five years later the red paint is still as bright as it was the day I painted it. The tap is in direct sunlight on a white painted wall so it gets a lot of light. The only wear that has occurred has been chipping as the tap has had some rough use. I would have expected the paint to fade by now but it hasn't. I wonder if the paint on your Vulcan will?

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Hiya

been on holiday and just got back to this. The paints were enamel, Xtrawhatever. Mine isn't really an experiment in weathering, it was put there as a garden ornament when I had finished with it. Also, it doesn't get very much direct sunlight as it's under a bush up against the fence, maybe an hour early in the morning.

Regards

Paul

Thanks for the info Paul.

A few years ago, 2010 to be exact, we moved in to the house we are in now. During the decorationg stage I painted the back garden tap red using a fifteen year old pot of Citadel Miniatures red gore paint I was using up as I had switched to Vallejo. I sprayed the painted tap with Halfords clear car lacquer to seal it and five years later the red paint is still as bright as it was the day I painted it. The tap is in direct sunlight on a white painted wall so it gets a lot of light. The only wear that has occurred has been chipping as the tap has had some rough use. I would have expected the paint to fade by now but it hasn't. I wonder if the paint on your Vulcan will?

After learning that Paul's are enamel also, I am also beginning to wonder if it will. Modern paints are pretty good.

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Hello fellow Britmodelers,

Well, it's been a good three months since I sent XM655 to pasture on a far away runway.

I was planning to update this post monthly but by the time I had a chance to go and photograph it, it was nearly July anyway.

..and the news is, it's still in one piece.

Yesterday the air temperature was a scorching (for the UK) 32c where the Vulcan is situated. I have to admit I was a little concerned that the plastic may be getting close to it's softening point in the burning sun as the ground temperature where I was reached 58c. Thankfully though, it didn't.

Lets have a look...

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The Vulcan seems to have made a friend, in the form of an ant. A bit of a thick one as it seems - it made it up to the top alright but couldn't seem to work out how to get back down again.

As predicted the wing roundels have (mostly) left the building and the varnish has deteriorated even more.

Most of the decals covering the dielectric panels have also gone, not that I mind that as they aren't really the right size or colour anyway. The tail decals are still firm in place but those on the forward fuselage are beginning to show signs of letting go.

In the two pictures below a familiar silhouette appearing on the runway.

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IMAG0995_zpsfzv5ditw.jpg

The wheels seem to be growing a culture of something on them. When it rains they are frequently immersed in the water for some time and I think the table has bowed in the middle slightly.

Finally, a three month comparison shot. Forgive the fact that the angles are a bit squiffy.

It's fair to say there is very very little in the way of paint fade if any at all, but the panel lines are becoming much more visible. It defiantly is starting to look weathered.

Vulcan%20compared_zpsfyqn1kay.jpg

Thanks for looking...

Stay tuned.

Edited by graveszie

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Very cool graveszie.

Glad the heat did n't melt your Vulcan.

It would be good to paint on the main roundels to see how they fare.

Keep us posted.

Cheers.

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Graveszie, have you considered using a fan( with waterproof electrics or boxed in ) to simulate airflow as I am sure these birds did stretch thier wings occasionally and it would balance out the weathering a little? Great idea by the way and the au natural way of doing it fits in with my slow build rate :pipe:

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