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Phil32

Washing a Spitfire...

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At the risk of being repetitious:

It isn't dirt, it's accentuating shadow the model can't create.

Well it can be either or both, depends on what you are washing and what look you are going for.

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Does anyone know how long it took to do paint touch ups with the paints available back then? Drying times? I expect primer then paint..but how long between coats?

Early paint was cellulose, which would normally be touch dry in an hour. From the end of 1942, synthetic paint was used, and I have no idea of its drying time, but erks had more time to work than they'd had in 1940, and were quite used to working through the night.

I should add that, by then, there was a trade of "Aircraft Finisher," whose job was to retouch any damage before the next day's operations. He was also expected to sand smooth (with a wet-and-dry paper - wet) any retouching, plus the rest of the airframe, then wash it down with clean, plain water, so any dirt would have needed to be really tenacious to hang on (it probably also explains some of the so-called glossy aircraft occasionally seen in photos.)

My thought being a BoB Spitfire or Hurricane. Say a few pebbles get kicked up taking off or landing..would the ground crew have time to touch up paint, wait till the end of the flying day?

I once worked with a former 609 Squadron rigger, who told me that, even at the height of the Battle, if an airframe needed repair it was done, and the repair immediately painted "Green, brown, yellow, sky-blue-pink, whatever we had to hand, but it always got painted." Edited by Edgar

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From many posts on this forum, and some reading around, I'm convinced that aircraft could become worn through use, particularly in harsh environments, but dirty aircraft were the exception rather than the rule* and that extensive paint chipping wasn't as common as we might believe because Erks routinely touched them up.

I think that what we often see rendered as metal coloured paint chips would, in reality, be nicks in the paint exposing the primer, or touch-ups in slightly different colours due to availability of paint or differential fading of the repair compared to the age of the original paint.

So in some ways the OP's question could be "what methods are there for a brush painter of acrylic to make the paint job on a model look realistically faded through use?"

I'm translating it as such because, as a newbie and a brush painter of acrylic, I'd like to know too...

*I read an anecdote in a book on the BoB about a flight commander who wouldn't let his ground crew wash his aircraft (due to superstition I think); so that one would presumably have looked disgustingly dirty after a while (unless he got shot down, I suppose).

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Thank you for the information Mr. Brooks.

Edit: I agree that we are probably seeing the primer rather than the metal.

It is a real shame that they did not take many more colour photos for us modelers. :frantic:

There has to be some spot in the middle that works. So, how can we add visual interest using weathering without going over the top?

Of course anyone should be able to wash/paint/chip their kit as they see fit. I'm just trying to find that middle ground if there is one.

Edited by Av8fan

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See theres a weird thing. Up close and personal with an aircraft in a museum, next to the barrier and close enough to touch even though you dont, its a machine with tiny visible imperfections that tell you theres a story. However, from 72ft away across the room, the aircraft can look to my eyes a bit... toylike. Thats the modeling paradox for me, I sometimes feel like I want to add depth and feature to a model to stop that 'toylike' look, yet the real accurate thing from the same scale distance seems toylike itself.

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At this point I need to link again the Flickr photo set of Etienne Du Plessis

Album description

World War Two ended 70 years ago, and nearly all of us that use the Net today did not witness any of it. Everything we know we read in books, viewed in photos and saw in newsreels of the time.
Colour photography was in its infancy in 1939 therefore more than 90% of those images were recorded in black and white.Fortunately there were people who took colour photos,and today these images gives us a rare view(on our own "colour" terms) into those happenings of so long ago.
This set contains aircraft used by the Royal Air Force of Great Britain including Fleet Air Arm and to a lesser extent the South African Air Force,as well as other Allies in the British Commomwealth.....and a few other odds and ends.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/8270787@N07/sets/72157605269786717

over 600 photos of the above, in colour. Nearly every WW2 British photo I've ever seen and more! Quality varies, subjects are a bit random, but well worth a peruse, an hour here will show what Miggers suggested

Like Edgar posting that wartime shot of that well used Spit,the maxim I've always used for weathering is simple:

Paint what you see and not what you don't see.

HTH

T

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Thanks for posting that Mr. Smith. No idea how I've missed that or if seen previously forgotten that.

There are a few filthy aircraft in there to be sure.

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Some evidence of worn, scuffed and chipped paintwork too.

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Double post - ignore

Edited by Mitch K

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