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Raven Morpheus

Spitfire Mk.I exhausts - references and painting?

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Hey all

Probably getting a little ahead of myself here because the exhausts are going to be among the last parts I attach to my 1/48 Spitfire Mk.I and I'm only just at the stage where I'm doing the green of the camo but...

...and at the risk of going over old ground...

...has anyone any really good close up reference pics of a Mk.I Spitfires exhausts and/or also a good, but simple and 1d10t proof, technique (with a list of paints/inks) to achieving a good effect?

For painting I'm thinking along the lines of how I did my 1/72 Mosquito exhausts, but they turned out a bit silver (because I think I used Vallejo gun metal, although it's possible I used Tamiya's gun metal, can't recall) when I meant for them to be rather dark grey/black -

So for this plane I'd do this -

Start with a black undercoat.

Go over that with a dark grey/gunmetal sort of shade (almost like a blued steel colour, although I don't know of one I can buy?)

Then drybrush some dark earth/red brown or maybe even a bronze colour on the curved edges (I'm thinking mostly of the first exhaust right at the front as I watched a BBC docu last night and the Spitfire in that appeared to have a bit of a metallic bronze shine on the "knuckle" at the front whilst the majority of the exhaust assembly was a dark blackish sort of colour with some red/brown here and there) and do the same on each of the ends to get that red/rust look (yes I know it's not rust)

Then with each successive exhaust drybrush a light-ish grey along where the preceding exhaust would output it's gasses.

Maybe give it all a final wash of either Citadel Nuln Oil or Vallejo Black Wash in the hope of adding some black staining to darken down the red/bronze/grey or to make it look a bit more patchy and also to add some dark shading in any recesses.

But that's pretty much what I did on the Mossie and looking at my pics of it and the model itself I'm not convinced it looks right (mainly because they're too silver and I overdid the red brown)...

And when searching Google for references I keep coming up with pictures of people's models, instead of the real thing!!!

TIA

Edited by Raven Morpheus

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I'd look for photos of still running Spits.

You really want a burnt iron look rather than rust. There are brand metal paints labelled as such, and to give some variance you should consider weathering powders, as I find dry brushing paint will build up a rough layer - something you don't want, or at least I wouldn't. Suggested powder colours would be white or light grey, brown and burnt steel blue.

regards,

Jack

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I use Vallejo Oily Steel, suitably washed to shade then drybrushed with the base colour. Then use oil glazes mixed with burnt umber, sienna and ultramarine.

If you wantto see the effect, get a bit of steel strip and clean it up with emery so it's nice and shiny, then slowly heat it over a candle or preferrably a gas flame (less soot). Notice how the colours change...

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IIRC, I read that some folks dry brushed buff on to replicate the lead staining on the exhausts behind the 1st stub.

As always, experiment on something other than the kit.

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The high octane fuel used left a whitish/light grey deposit from the tetra-ethyl lead in the fuel. Not on the front pipe but building up on the rearward pipes.

Chris

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Tamiya XF-84 Dark Iron looks from the pictures I've just googled to be the sort of base colour I want to start with (wish I had known that existed when I was doing my Mossie, doh!), then I can drybrush or carefully paint on red brown for the reddish sort of areas and perhaps mix it with some bronze to get the metallic look I saw in the BBC docu. The front curve, bend, knuckle what ever you call it on the exhaust assembly definitely looked metallicly shiny.

Edgar - that picture is very helpful, not sure I can replicate all of the shades on there and it's a bit bright (over exposed? faded?) but it at least gives me an indication of what I should be aiming for on a reasonably used Spitfire's exhausts.

@Mitch K - Thanks, I'll have a look at Vallejo Oily Steel also. Although I'm trying not to go down the route of oils, filters, powders etc. too time consuming for one thing, I could spend ages just doing the exhausts! I know what you mean about colour changes in steel though, I've seen how stainless steel spoons change colour when over a candle or cigarette lighter.

I've read elsewhere that painting clear blue and clear orange (presumably Tamiya) over a dark base coat on the exhausts can also work?

I don't want to spend too long doing the exhausts, but neither do I want to just paint them black.

I'll start with Tamiya XF-84 and/or Vallejo Oilly Steel and see how it goes from there though, I think there's another pair of exhausts in the kit I can practice with (and use Fairy Power spray to strip if/when I don't like the results). Thanks for the tips so far guys. Much appreciated.

Edited by Raven Morpheus

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Posted these in a build by Rob 85, though these are V's, the colouring and staining is the same, do check the Flickr link as it has a lot of photos!

cut n paste...

exhaust are discoloured steel, and only really go rusty if left alone. They change as they age, and then burn out...

a quick Trawl through Eitienne's Flickr

https://www.flickr.com/search/?w=8270787@N07&q=spitfire

15074951115_dbd4361253_c.jpg

14780326836_be4424d2a4_c.jpg

AVM Keith Park, in his interesting coloured Spitfire on Malta.

5563260675_4f42c78001_b.jpg

Note the way the first stack is different colour than the other two, they get exhaust deposits, lots of lead oxide from Tetra Ethyl Lead in the fuel.

Lots more colour shots in the link.

cheers

T

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At the risk of hijacking this thread, Park's Vb looks very pretty - have the colour scheme & markings been discussed anywhere? Interesting to see C1 roundels underneath - this was common on 2TAF aircraft but was much later than when this photo was taken (I think). I wonder if they were C1 all round?

Justin

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This aircraft was made available to Park in March 1943 (I think that's the right month - pretty close anyway), well after the introduction of the later roundel. The colour scheme appears to be Dark Green and Dark Earth over Azure Blue. Sky Blue could be a possibility but the colour may be not quite pale enough for that, to my eye.

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I read somewhere that the colour and sheen of the exhausts changed rapidly in use. Unless you have a particular number of hours run in mind, you have a fair amount of leeway in artistic interpretation. ISTR that one colour seldom seen was rust: matt brownish patches were usually exhaust deposits and not as red as rust. Wish I could remember where I read all that.

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Thanks Graham - I think you're right on azure blue. What I meant on the roundels was that it's rare to see the yellow outer ring under the wings at this point, so I'm curious to know whether above the wings he also had the yellow outer ring applied - as per late 2TAF aircraft. And is there any info on whether Park carried his initials on the fuselage?

Justin

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Too subtle for me - I missed that they were C1 not C! There are other pics of this aircraft (ok, one at least) but I don't think that they show the upper wing nor codes.

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Although I'm trying not to go down the route of oils, filters, powders etc. too time consuming for one thing, I could spend ages just doing the exhausts! I know what you mean about colour changes in steel though, I've seen how stainless steel spoons change colour when over a candle or cigarette lighter.

I've read elsewhere that painting clear blue and clear orange (presumably Tamiya) over a dark base coat on the exhausts can also work?

I don't want to spend too long doing the exhausts, but neither do I want to just paint them black.

I think exhausts are one of those things you do have to spend some time on. I don't have a set technique but tend to replicate a reference which can be a time consuming multi step process. Here's a set I did for a Tempest.

IMG_0645_zpsgkjmdm2y.jpg

There's a metallic base coat underneath there somewhere, but after that I just fiddle about to replicate the reference :)

Cheers

Steve

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d%2004.jpg

From my photos in our own walkaround section! (Always worth a look in there, you know...). Metalcote steel overpainted with Citadel washes, mostly brown, would be my choice...

bestest,

M.

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Those Tempest exhausts are miniature works of art! Congratulations, Stonar.

Interesting how the various weld lines show up on the early Merlin exhausts in the Spitfire pix.

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