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Sun bleached weathering

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Hi all,


I looking to the collective for advice a guidance.


I've been modelling on and off since the mid 1960s but I've not really considered weathering until much recently. I practice and bit and then try it out on my builds.


I am now wanting to portray a Super Sabre in standard US two greens/tan/grey but where the paint has been bleached by the sun. What techniques work best for this? I am considering the following:


1. standard paint pattern but all upper paints with a dot of white or sand added, just to lighten it slightly,

2. using a flory sand to accentuate certain areas

3. use a Tamiya weathering paste set to again accentuate


Would that work? I wondered about a very very light dust with a weak sand paint mixed?


I'd appreciate your guidance and thoughts. Thanks.




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Two schools of thought:  In both cases, step back and look at the model from the perspective of "the sun"; the horizontal areas would generally bleach more than vertical areas.  


1)  Adding white or light gray to lighten the paint on the horizontal as well as vertical surfaces, but in areas that are camou'd but generally not in the sunlight directly don't add much at all.  


2) Over-spraying via airbrush the original colors with either white or a light gray to create various tonal differences.


The idea is to get 3 different shades of the same color(s), from original, slightly lighter, to very bleached.  "How much" bleaching is your preference.  Done best, the effect is almost an infinite number of shades varying from the original color in areas that see heavy usage (boots and hands leave oils as well as the wiping that keeps the paint looking new, albeit worn) to a very light and faded color on the horizontal surfaces that see maximum sun.


Remember to consider and/or account for any post-paint weather you may want to do.  Adding washes, pastes, powders and streaks may tend to darken the overall effect, so you may want to start with more white/gray that your initial instincts would indicate.


Have fun, "test" on an old kit.

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To represent faded paint, I like to paint the base color unmodified, and then add a little light grey and thinner to the airbrush cup and apply that, and then add a little white and some more thinner to the cup and apply it as a third layer. Vary the coverage of each layer. It's easier than it sounds, and it's difficult to do irreparable damage as it's basically the same color being sprayed at each step. Later varnish coats tend to even out the variation. 


Here's the technique applied to a South Pacific faded Corsair:



Then you can add chalk pastels (also good for fading the decals). I like to mix white, brown and a little black to make a sort of very light greyish/beige for fading.



Here's the same technique applied to a Spitfire, with the addition of some of the original unfaded paint 'sponged' on to represent the sort of dappled weathering found in many reference pics.


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When it comes to fading of colours due to light, you should consider the way the individual pigments react to sunlight/UV, and whether the colour shifts as well as fades. A good example is RAF Dark Green, where the viridian component fades faster than the red ferrous oxide, leading to a chocolatey-brown hue, rather than a pale green.


You can do this with filters, using the complements of the colours you wish to reduce/remove. Have a look on Google Images for reference photos of the aircraft to see which way the colours shift.

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