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IanHx

Weathering heresy

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On 04/03/2018 at 03:11, Pete in Lincs said:

Ahem. I just found this up in another section of Britmodeller. (Thanks to Britman). XW208 of 33 Sqn at Manston way in the past!

 

 

 

Helicopters are really quite prone to that sort of muckyness. Back in the day I often used a candle:huh: to produce that effect with all it's attendant potential for disaster.:tmi: But it often worked. 

 

I used to fly a plane painted overall glossy white off a muddy waterlogged farm strip. Boy did that get dirty at times. But if I built a model of it I would avoid making it look as grubby as it did. Besides we cleaned it as much as possible. Let me tell you lying on your back under the fuselage trying to scrub off the mixture of exhaust staining, oil and mud was almost enough to change your mind about the glamour of aviation.:unamused:

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Vince1159 said:

When it comes to weathering i'd love to see someone who does commercial aircraft do an Air France 744 in the state some of them were in a few years ago...

Yes I've seen airliners like that a few times. I remember being on a TWA 747 that was scruffy as anything you'd see in the South Pacific in WW2. When the flaps were lowered the exposed wing interior was so filthy 'you could grows spuds in that'

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1 hour ago, Pete in Lincs said:

 

 

 

To answer the question from Ian, above.

 

 

Thanks, appreciated.

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I think that there's a scale effect to weathering too, just as there is with colours.  

 

For example, even though our nice shiny helicopters are thoroughly washed as a matter of routine, when viewed 'up close & personal' there are areas that have ingrained grime which, after 3 years of intensive use, won't clean off.  This is especially noticeable along the tops of the white sponsons where, if it was modelled based on close inspection, it might legitimately at least be given a grey wash.

 

Step a few metres back, however, and the grime becomes less obvious; view the machine from an appropriate 'scale distance', though, and it looks pristine.  

 

Either type of finish would be correct on a model of that helicopter (if one was available...); it's down to personal preference. Just don't try to weather it as if it was a Sea King!

 

Jon

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7 hours ago, noelh said:

As usual, it all depends. USN jets are noticeably more scruffy than a USAF jet parked alongside. But ironically this is in part due to more attention being paid to ensuring that there's no exposed metal. Which is particularly important in a maritime environment. 

So more weathering is appropriate in certain circumstances.

A bit like this?

 

https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/lone-deck-hand-sailor-maintains-the-grubby-surfaces-of-an-f-news-photo/527508860#/lone-deck-hand-sailor-maintains-the-grubby-surfaces-of-an-fa18c-jet-picture-id527508860

 

Trevor

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I posted this on a thread about bringing out panel lines, I hope the words are just as relevant to this discussion:

 

The only time a real aircraft will have a truly uniform finish is immediately after it leaves the paint shop, after that all bets are off.  Real aircraft are NOT pre-shaded, dirt and wear accumulates in service.

 

Aircraft have numerous vents and drains which expel different types of liquids and gasses, the liquids run in certain directions depending on whether the aircraft is static or flying, they're also different colours, some will strip paint, others discolour it.  Grease tends to smear.  National and unit markings are not respected by this and will be as affected as the rest of the airframe.  Cockpits and aircraft interiors weather too!

 

Panels opened during routine maintenance will be more prominent than those that are rarely or never opened, that said dirt likes to accumulate at joints etc, but not every single one!  Routinely accessed panels may show evidence of chipping around their edges and fasteners.

 

Groundcrew routinely access specific areas and use specific routes to do so, these areas will weather differentially to other areas of the aircraft, their activities change the lustre of the finish in that specific area, typically matt finishes become buffed to semi matt, gloss finish become slightly dulled.  How often the aircraft is cleaned and operating environment are important factors to take into consideration.

 

Weathering occurs differentially too, typically leading edges bear the brunt of anything impacting the airframe (insects, dust, atmospheric dirt), some of this abrades the surface, some merely accumulates there.

 

Look at pictures of your subject, preferably lots of them, in the operating environment you're depicting and under different lighting conditions, this will give you a good idea of how an aircraft weathers.  Try and envisage the processes going on there and try to replicate them.

 

One fad which seems to being pushed is the use of riveting tools to give the airframe a more "realistic" look.  If the divots caused by these tools were scaled up they'd be deeper than the aircraft skin, which would result in the aircraft being re-skinned or written off.  Most metal skinned aircraft are flush riveted however many fasteners (rivets, screws, bolts, quick release fasteners), are not flush and stand proud of the surface yet I see no rush to "realistically" reproduce those too.  Use of such tools strike me as being a case of the Emperors new clothes!

 

I can't offer you advice on how to reproduce these effects, my comments are based on over 35 years of aircraft maintenance and engineering. 

 

At the end of the day, it's your model and your choice, you can do whatever you like with it and after all, it is a representation of the real thing and there is a certain amount of artistic licence involved.  To me though, a replica should closely replicate those real processes.

 

Asking advice is one way of learning but you could try and experiment and see what suits you, if you're happy with the result great, if not think about what went wrong and try something different next time.

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58 minutes ago, noelh said:

Yes I've seen airliners like that a few times. I remember being on a TWA 747 that was scruffy as anything you'd see in the South Pacific in WW2. When the flaps were lowered the exposed wing interior was so filthy 'you could grows spuds in that'

I've got InFlight200s 732 Pan Am N64AF (ex Air Florida) and i'd love to get another one and get it weathered as it was in some photo's,it'd look more at home in VCV than in the air...

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Some airliners get more dirt that others!

 

 

I think they refer to that as a "rough field"

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On 04/03/2018 at 06:54, Julien said:

Some airliners get more dirt that others!

 

 

I think they refer to that as a "rough field"

Ok I have a very similar video on YouTube of 'my aeroplane'. Not as bad. But similar. I videod it myself. It's begins to move, hits soft ground lurches slightly. The pilot pushes the prop pitch through the gate and the noise increases. It roars past my position, I'm actually standing on top of the fuel bowser. Then it hits the standing water on the muddy so called runway and the mud flies, almost covering the aeroplane. You can actually hear the splashing over the sound of the propeller. I can tell you that onboard even with a headset you could hear it too.

Anyway apparently miraculously it frees. itself from the mud and gets airborne. 

Impressive and I'm sure the manufacturer would be delighted to highlight it as it demonstrates the type's capabilities.

But why the word picture and not the link?

Well I'm scared of my former boss and he wouldn't like it. 

 

Anyway suffice to say it was well weathered at that time.

 

Edit: Oh yes, having just rewatched it, there's two aeroplanes in the background. One is upside down. like it never made it off the ground. Another reason not to go public.:mellow:

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When I began railway modelling, I bought and read "The 4mm Wagon", by Geoff Kent.  In it he advocates modelling particular wagons from photographs to create a portrait, with the correct variations in buffers, brakes, axleboxes etc. rather than a generic wagon with a number in the appropriate series.  This extends to the degree and nature of weathering on the wagon at the time its home layout is set.  I would advocate weathering other models in the same way; find a photograph of your chosen subject at an appropriate time, and  produce a portrait.  If no photograph is available, seek one out from an identical type serving at the same time in the same theatre. 

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4 hours ago, noelh said:

I used to fly a plane painted overall glossy white off a muddy waterlogged farm strip. Boy did that get dirty at times. But if I built a model of it I would avoid making it look as grubby as it did. Besides we cleaned it as much as possible. Let me tell you lying on your back under the fuselage trying to scrub off the mixture of exhaust staining, oil and mud was almost enough to change your mind about the glamour of aviation.:unamused:

 

That reminds me perfectly of the happy days when I used to fly aerobatics on a Chipmunk. I swear the dH Gipsy dumps more oil than a rotary.

 

On another matter of 'aircraft getting dirty', my Dad used to fly Beverleys to El Adem in the early '60s. After a week's intensive exercises on up-country desert strips, the aircraft were cleaned at Abingdon on their return. They were weighed before and after cleaning, and it wasn't unusual to get 2000 lb of dirt off the aircraft.

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Don't know about the Gipsy but the the Lycoming 0540 would spit out lots of oil over and above anything it could use. I researched it but no one was listening. Hey. I wasn't paying the bills! 

As for the Beverlys. I'd believe it. My thing would gather dirt like a Hoover. I'd seek out rainstorms to fly through just to clean off the muck and bugs. I had no erks to clean up while I headed for the mess.:worry:

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In the gliding club we used a Gipsy-equipped Auster III as a tug. We used to reckon it had a total-loss lubrication system - every ten or so launches you'd have to check the fuel and top up the oil ... You knew when you had reached release height, because if you went any higher you couldn't see through the oil on the canopy!

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Good discussion this one.

 

My personal view is that both weathering and pre shading is mostly overdone.  I am of the strong opinion less is more as it tends to look more realistic.

 

I appreciate that this tends to be done in light of artistic licence though.  Having said that, I can't help feel this a bit of modelling fashion.  I also think that weathering seems to be big consideration in competitions and if you don't attempt weathering your model will get overlooked. Surely, the aircraft was new at some point?

 

Just my opinion but I guess I'm in danger of being burned at the stake as a model heretic ...........!

 

Regards

 

Dave

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17 minutes ago, Epeeman said:

Surely, the aircraft was new at some point?

Erm, when Laarbruch was being equipped with Tornado GR1's in 1983/84

we would sometimes get them with their nice new paint stripped back to

yellow primer in places. Turns out they were test flown in primer & the 

surface hadn't been properly prepped before camouflage application.

 

(Epeeman, you're quite safe, the cat's pee'd on the matches again)

(An old Goon show quote, I think)

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53 minutes ago, Pete in Lincs said:

 

Erm, when Laarbruch was being equipped with Tornado GR1's in 1983/84

we would sometimes get them with their nice new paint stripped back to

yellow primer in places. Turns out they were test flown in primer & the 

surface hadn't been properly prepped before camouflage application.

 

 

When we unveiled our A-10 last year, we had the last Wing Commander and some other vets over from the USA. He was very praiseworthy of our efforts.

He said our paintjob was better  than when they received the aircraft new from the factory.

No, we didn't pre shade the panel lines either, though I did suggest it. The weathering was confined to bird:poop:.

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59 minutes ago, bentwaters81tfw said:

 

 The weathering was confined to bird:poop:.

Plus your blood on the blade antenna!

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7 minutes ago, Julien said:

Plus your blood on the blade antenna!

No shark's fin antenna is properly weathered without liney skin and blood (and hair back in the day when I had some)!  Try reproducing that in 1/72nd scale though...

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12 minutes ago, Julien said:

Plus your blood on the blade antenna!

All in the quest for true authenticity.

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Just to add to the discussion, but in no way to come down on one side or the other (I am a Libran fence sitter after all), weathering is whatever you want it to be. I would think that most of the time, aircraft would be maintained in a fairly clean state. Of course, any exhaust outlets are going to have some amount of soot around them. Myself, I'm an armour modeller and it will depend on how I intend to depict the completed model. For instance, the model of the French M4A3 that I've finished as it is today, ie; an outdoor exhibit, is in a fairly clean condition, with just rain streaks and the odd spot of bird crap. If I do a model of a vehicle that's crossing a ploughed field, then there will be a fair amount of mud and crud plastered over it in strategic places. In my experience, a clean vehicle is rarely that......clean. Every year, when we had to get our vehicles ready for the annual Admin parade, we used to hose them down, and then give them a rub down with a solution of petrol with oil mixed into it. Smoking wasn't advised!!. The reason for this was that it gave the vehicle a clean appearance with a slight sheen, ideal for inspection by the visiting general. But when it was all over, everything stuck to it. Flies, dust, the lot.

I suspect that some modellers use weathering as a way to cover up mistakes/discrepancies of either the kit, or their own modelling skills. I know I have. But in the end, if you are happy with the end result and you enjoyed getting there, that's all that matters. Every so often, someone comes up with a new technique; the Verlinden Way, dry brushing, modulation, the list goes on. When I've seen an example of one of these, I might try it. If I like it and can master the technique, I might continue to use it. But usually, I'll just simply go back to doing it the way that suits me best, because in the end, I'm doing this for my satisfaction alone. 

 

John.

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Good discussion, this, and with a point.  Railway modellers don't discuss this much - I suppose we've reached a consensus - but there is always room for improvement.  I shan't even mention the debate about how, if we reduce our subjects to 1/76 scale, shouldn't layouts run at time X 76?  (No, really.  And I did not get involved, for the sake of my nerves!)

 

Now consider:

When a certain gentleman of our times edited Model Railway Journal he was on the way to a complete finescale approach, starting with creating scale litter.  Next to come was an article on producing scale packaging and one in the pipeline on correctly modelling feral cat colonies.

 

Anyway, back to vehicular musings.  My current set of military builds will be peacetime in context, summertime so everyone will be in shirtsleeves or overalls, and the vehicles weathered no more than enough to pass for having been for a merry little training jaunt.  This is from the era of gloss DBG and tyres painted black, so no rust or ingrained dung etc.  I think I'll go for a display base depicting a corner of a camp, with spotless interior and bits of rubbish off the premises.  I think intact environments also deserve some weathering, to give context.  We do it with battlefield dioramas after all.

 

Has anyone, for example, modelled the contrast between American and Russian airbases?  USA - spotlessly clean to avoid foreign body incidents, Russian airfields like scrapyards in comparison, reflecting how their aircraft are designed for all out war and so tend to be less vulnerable to bits of trash.

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On 04/03/2018 at 03:11, Pete in Lincs said:

Ahem. I just found this up in another section of Britmodeller. (Thanks to Britman). XW208 of 33 Sqn at Manston way in the past!

 

 

 

That's not weathering, that is just dirty!

 

Selwyn

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7 minutes ago, Selwyn said:

That's not weathering, that is just dirty!

 

Selwyn

It's not dirty, it's just a Puma

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1 hour ago, Wez said:

It's not dirty, it's just a Puma

I remember seeing Alouette IIIs with similar smoke staining. It was so bad it was actually removing paint from the tail rotor. 

 

On 3/4/2018 at 2:54 PM, Wez said:

No shark's fin antenna is properly weathered without liney skin and blood (and hair back in the day when I had some)!  Try reproducing that in 1/72nd scale though...

The skydive plane I flew often had the leading edges of every surface spotted with the black splats signalling the demise of countless insects. Try reproducing that in 1/72nd. The back of the propeller was stained red with their bodily fluids. Flying is a bloody business.:o

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