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Help painting F-4E Metalic section

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What kind of advice are you more interested into ? And some important questions: what paints do you normally use ? What paints can you find locally ? Do you use an airbrush ? Enamels or acrylics?

Painting the rear section of a Phantom is not that difficult but a lot depends on your answer to the questions above. There are some general tips that will however work with pretty much every paint or tool.

First of all, get some metallics. Ideally at least 3 shades, that you can mix together to get more shades. You could get away with 2, a dark and a light one, it would involve more mixing though and may not work if there are variations not only in how dark or light the metal is but also in the kind of tone they have.

When you have enough metallics, work by areas identifying the ones that have the same finish. You will need a lot of masking if airbrushing, with a brush you may be able to follow the panel lines but masking may be better anyway.

When you've painted the various panels in their basic metallic shades, it's time to add some variation within each panel, as visible in the picture. To do this the best thing is to have a translucent metallic paint. This can be made by thinning a normal paint but may work or not depending on the paint. Better use a darker paint onto a lighter one, so take your darker translucent paint and apply very lightly on the areas that need the treatment. If the effect is too light, wait for the paint to be well cured and give another light pass.


The above in general, the way I would do it is this: I use vallejo air metallics and their recently introduced metal colours with an airbrush. They could actually also be used with a brush but more on this later... I would grab a few metallics, either the model air or the metal colours (I prefer the latter today), start from the lighter shade, paint, mask, apply the darker shades in the respective panels, mask and so on. When everything is completed, I load some darker metal (for examply dark aluminum or duraluminum) in the airbrush and apply very, very light passes where it's needed. With this done, I will take again a darker metal colour and apply this with a brush within the panel lines and especially the rivets. Let cure the paint (fortunately the metal colours paint dry very fast) and the job is done.

With a brush I'd use the model air metallics, they can be applied by brush easily in small areas. For this reason I'd never use them with a brush on a 1/48 Phantom but can work on a 1/72. Same job for the main shades, then I would take the metal colour and apply the variations with a small brush. These paints are very thinned and when applied in light coats with a brush are very effective in adding tonal variations.


Of course with different paints things may be different: some metallics don't like being masked over, others never really dry and don't react well with a similar paint being applied on top with a brush,  others don't work well when highely thinned.


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Thanks a lot Giorgio.

im building in 1/48 scale. Not using a specific colors, but mainly acrylic.

at home I have alclad, gunze, and a few Model Master.


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