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WildeSau75

Painting 1/72 cockpits

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Hi guys,

 

I am working on a 1/72 Special Hobby DH-100 Vampire FB52 - building it as a Mk6 of the Swiss air force.

 

It's just the second 1/72 kit I build.

 

I tried to build the instrument panel by using gloss black and white to paint individual gauges/instruments. What works quite well in 1/48 looks in 1/72 just wrong. Mainly the white gauges stand out too much looking not right.

 

The only alternative I know of is either using decals or just painting the instruments with gloss black and putting a drop of clear color over it to simulate the glass covering the instruments.

 

Any other ways of how to get a decent 1/72 instrument panel painted right? Using decals is not my preference but might be the easiest way to go....

 

Cheers,

Michael

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If the instrument panel has raised detail, how about painting it black (or a very, very, very (etc.) dark grey) and dry-brushing white paint to high-light the detail? You could use a toothpick to put black paint in the dials and follow-up with a drop of gloss varnish, to replacate the glass, and put bits of colour in the relevant places.

 

If if it hasn't, you could use a decal or paper instrument panel. If you're feel adventurous, you could make one using two pieces of plastic-card and a hole punch.

 

This website has some photographs of instrument panels to give you an idea: http://www.warbirdsite.com/museumpanels.html

 

Hope this helps.

Edited by Beard

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2 hours ago, Beard said:

If the instrument panel has raised detail, how about painting it black (or a very, very, very (etc.) dark grey) and dry-brushing white paint to high-light the detail? You could use a toothpick to put black paint in the dials and follow-up with a drop of gloss varnish, to replacate the glass, and put bits of colour in the relevant places.

 

If if it hasn't, you could use a decal or paper instrument panel. If you're feel adventurous, you could make one using two pieces of plastic-card and a hole punch.

 

This website has some photographs of instrument panels to give you an idea: http://www.warbirdsite.com/museumpanels.html

 

Hope this helps.

Thanks a lot for your reply. The only thing raised is the round outline of the individual instruments but no needles, etc. Dry-brushing these might be a good way to go in combination with putting black paint in the dials and using gloss varnish. Placing bits of color doesn't really work for me - too small dials.

 

The website is good - it even has a Vampire panel.

 

I am not adventurous enough for doing them myself - yet :-)

 

Cheers,

Michael

 

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If you give the panel a coat of white, before the black, you can scratch the instrument's needle with a needle.

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6 minutes ago, Beard said:

If you give the panel a coat of white, before the black, you can scratch the instrument's needle with a needle.

Cool idea - worth a try! Would you scratch it when the black is fully dry or still a bit wet?

 

Cheers,

Michael

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I once tried using a well sharpened, white coloured pencil ( pencil crayon ) to make some details on a black painted dial face. Then I added a drop of clear, to represent the glass face. It looked quite nice. Unfortunately, I never finished the model, and it got chucked during a major house cleaning. Since then, I haven't started or completed anything. Now that I'm in full retirement mode, hopefully I can motivate myself into building something.

 

I have a plan!

 

 

Chris

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10 hours ago, WildeSau75 said:

Cool idea - worth a try! Would you scratch it when the black is fully dry or still a bit wet?

 

Cheers,

Michael

 

I'd wait until the paint is dry.*

 

 

* I accept no responsibility if it doesn't work. :)

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Just now, Beard said:

 

I'd wait until the paint is dry.*

 

 

* I accept no responsibility if it doesn't work. :)

thanks mate - will blame you anyway ;-).

 

Cheers,

Michael

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A variation on Beard's method of scratching the paint is to use two different types of paint, for example enamel over acrylic. Paint the panel with acrylic white or silver or whatever other paint and let set. Then overpaint with enamel black. Before this is completely dry, dip a piece of cloth in a little thinner, remove the excess so that there's only very little thinner on and then pass this over the panel. The wet cloth will remove the enamel from the ridges of the panel, showing the underlying acrylic colour.

 

In general, painting indivdual intruments in 1/72 scale is very difficult, I know some who can do it but I personally can't. One technique I use that can give very giod results is to cut individual instruments from a decal sheet and apply them in place. Here are the steps I follow, with some pictures from a previous build (a MiG-21 built for the dedicated STGB here on Britmodeller)

First thing is to find an adequate source of instruments. Some kits come with a decal for the panel, some are good and some are less so. Having a good spares box always help here and for my MiG I used decals from an Academy Crusader. From the decal I started cutting one of the instrument using a small pen-knife. If you have one you can use a miniature punch-and-die set.

 

e3fb2a10-67e8-4fcb-91de-3f3fc26c6d64.JPG

 

A 1/72 single instrument is very small, it's hard to dip it in water so I usually bring the water to the decal using a brush

 

62881ac0-e617-4b1b-a907-439d254a6025.JPG

 

When the backing paper gets loose, I pick the instrument with something suitable like a toothpick or a small blade and I put it in place. Sometime a drop of klear or similar is useful to stick the instrument in place

 

70a645c8-faba-4277-824d-51abfdb43fa2.JPG

 

A few instruments and much swearing later, hopefully I get something like this

 

fd7e51b7-14a4-4236-b4e5-7f06df7f51a7.JPG

 

I've been informed that the £1 coin in the picture is now no longer used, however the technique is still very valid :D

Mind, it's sometime nervewrecking, but the results can be very good.

 

 

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As I'm in the mood, I may add another technique that can work quite well with some panels. This technique however need two things to work well:

1) a good decal panel in the same kit, properly sized for the plastic panel

2) a simple enough instrument panel.

With these conditions met, the idea is to sand the rear of the panel to make it thinner. Then with a set of small drillbits you can drill open all the instruments, taking care in leaving the instruments frame untouched.

Then it's time to use the decal, applying it over a plasticard bit cut to roughly the same size of the panel. When this is ready, it's then glued to the rear of the previously thinned and drilled instrument panel. This technique pretty much emulates the approach used by PE manufacturers to make their panels, only using plastic instead of metal.

It's clear after explaining the technique why I set those 2 conditions: if the decal panel is of the wrong size, the instruments will not meet the openings in the panel. This can be sorted by cutting the instruments in sections or even individually but if the two are of the same size things are way easier. A simple flat panel is of course easier to sand while a complicated panel with lot of curvatures may make things impossible.

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Similar idea to what Beard mentioned, helped out by the fact that I’d knocked up a panel from white plasticard.

fzg6Lhq.jpg

 

Paint and then scratch the dials with a pin showing the white underneath. Blob of clear on top and it’s good enough for the girls I go out with.

ntU2psk.jpg

 

However, the canopy was so thick that I’d pretty much wasted my time. Never mind, it’s all practice.:lol:

HOZlkPR.jpg

 

Mart

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22 hours ago, dogsbody said:

I once tried using a well sharpened, white coloured pencil ( pencil crayon ) to make some details on a black painted dial face. Then I added a drop of clear, to represent the glass face. It looked quite nice. Unfortunately, I never finished the model, and it got chucked during a major house cleaning. Since then, I haven't started or completed anything. Now that I'm in full retirement mode, hopefully I can motivate myself into building something.

 

I have a plan!

 

 

Chris

Cool idea Chris - worth a try. Hey, hope you get your mojo working so that we soon gone see some of your work.

 

Cheers,

Michael

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11 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

A variation on Beard's method of scratching the paint is to use two different types of paint, for example enamel over acrylic. Paint the panel with acrylic white or silver or whatever other paint and let set. Then overpaint with enamel black. Before this is completely dry, dip a piece of cloth in a little thinner, remove the excess so that there's only very little thinner on and then pass this over the panel. The wet cloth will remove the enamel from the ridges of the panel, showing the underlying acrylic colour.

 

In general, painting indivdual intruments in 1/72 scale is very difficult, I know some who can do it but I personally can't. One technique I use that can give very giod results is to cut individual instruments from a decal sheet and apply them in place. Here are the steps I follow, with some pictures from a previous build (a MiG-21 built for the dedicated STGB here on Britmodeller)

First thing is to find an adequate source of instruments. Some kits come with a decal for the panel, some are good and some are less so. Having a good spares box always help here and for my MiG I used decals from an Academy Crusader. From the decal I started cutting one of the instrument using a small pen-knife. If you have one you can use a miniature punch-and-die set.

 

e3fb2a10-67e8-4fcb-91de-3f3fc26c6d64.JPG

 

A 1/72 single instrument is very small, it's hard to dip it in water so I usually bring the water to the decal using a brush

 

62881ac0-e617-4b1b-a907-439d254a6025.JPG

 

When the backing paper gets loose, I pick the instrument with something suitable like a toothpick or a small blade and I put it in place. Sometime a drop of klear or similar is useful to stick the instrument in place

 

70a645c8-faba-4277-824d-51abfdb43fa2.JPG

 

A few instruments and much swearing later, hopefully I get something like this

 

fd7e51b7-14a4-4236-b4e5-7f06df7f51a7.JPG

 

I've been informed that the £1 coin in the picture is now no longer used, however the technique is still very valid :D

Mind, it's sometime nervewrecking, but the results can be very good.

 

 

Grazie mille Giorgio, that's a great idea with cutting out instruments and putting them into place. Guess some of them are just too small for me and will mess it up ;-)

 

Your panel looks great - will give it a try!

 

Cheers,

Michael

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11 hours ago, LotusArenco said:

Similar idea to what Beard mentioned, helped out by the fact that I’d knocked up a panel from white plasticard.

fzg6Lhq.jpg

 

Paint and then scratch the dials with a pin showing the white underneath. Blob of clear on top and it’s good enough for the girls I go out with.

ntU2psk.jpg

 

However, the canopy was so thick that I’d pretty much wasted my time. Never mind, it’s all practice.:lol:

HOZlkPR.jpg

 

Mart

Looks very convincing Mart - how did you apply the red and yellow on the instrument panel? By brush or something smaller?

 

Cheers,

Michael

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11 hours ago, WildeSau75 said:

how did you apply the red and yellow on the instrument panel? By brush or something smaller?

Brush or the end of a cocktail stick. The dials on that instrument panel are made of raised discs, so it’s just a case of going round the edges. I was a bit sloppy here and there, but a thin wash tidies it up a bit.

 

Remember, you’re at 1/72. There’s no point in trying to get it 100%. Just near enough to fool the eye will do me.

 

This panel is made with recessed dials.

jYYkkCq.jpg

8Ds3L3m.jpg

Much easier to paint as you just blob a bit of thin paint into the hole. I didn’t bother making any detail on the dials, just a bit of gloss to suggest they are glass.

 

Mart

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6 hours ago, LotusArenco said:

Brush or the end of a cocktail stick. The dials on that instrument panel are made of raised discs, so it’s just a case of going round the edges. I was a bit sloppy here and there, but a thin wash tidies it up a bit.

 

Remember, you’re at 1/72. There’s no point in trying to get it 100%. Just near enough to fool the eye will do me.

 

This panel is made with recessed dials.

jYYkkCq.jpg

8Ds3L3m.jpg

Much easier to paint as you just blob a bit of thin paint into the hole. I didn’t bother making any detail on the dials, just a bit of gloss to suggest they are glass.

 

Mart

Thanks Mart - that's indeed a good way to get it done - looks just the thing. Requires some efforts cutting out these dials. Probably will be too lazy to get this done ;-)

 

Cheers,

Michael

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If it comes to it, how about a pre-painted etched panel? Yhau Models do some cheap and cheerful ones:

 https://www.hannants.co.uk/catalogue?per_page=25&sort=price&manufacturer_id=362606&scale_id=956&search_direction=asc

 

I can’t see any specifically for a Vampire, but you could always chop one up to fit that looks similar. The Gloster Gladiator Mk.II panel could pass as a Vampire one if you squint your eyes.:lol:

 https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/YMA7204

 

For a bit more money, you can get one designed for the Special Hobby kit.

 https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/MPMK72027

 

Mart

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