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Walter

Do you think these panel lines need scribing?

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In my opinion I'd say yes they would need rescribing to hold a panel wash. They look quite shallow and soft.

OR you could very carefully and precisely apply the panel wash to each panel line with a very thin and pointed brush which wouldn't allow for too many mistakes and panel wash being applied where it's not wanted. More precise work needed but less clean up in the end especially when it wouldn't hold so well with a wipe of a cotton bud or paper towel.

 

Not one of my greatest talents rescribing so if you do go ahead and do it your a lot braver than I am.

 

Good luck which ever way you go.

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I paint all panel lines individually and only very lightly (often with water colour which can be wiped away easily and without residue). Rescribing is more time-consuming. So, no, they are not too shallow if you think about proceeding like this.

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Why?  Heinkel certainly didn’t apply a panel line wash when they built the real aeroplane, the panels of which would either be lapped, or butted together if they met over a major structural member or a doubler plate.  In the first case you’d see a shadow which, obviously, would vary with lighting conditions rather than appearing as a permanent fixture (as a wash is) and in the second any gap on the full sized aeroplane would be narrower than the panel line on your model.

 

Most ‘219s didn’t survive long enough to accumulate vast quantities of crud and grot so, apart from exhaust staining, gun blast residues and mud or dirty water thrown up from contaminated runway or taxiway surfaces they’d be reasonably clean.  I know it’s a museum exhibit but have a look at any images you can find of the only surviving ‘219 in America and see how conspicuous the panel joints are.  I also know that it’s your model, but I’d suggest that “less is more” and that any wash is a slightly darkened (or lightened for black areas) mix of the base camouflage colour and not applied to every panel line, stick to those where grot can be seen to accumulate or frequently-removed access panels.

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In my humble opinion - absolutely and totally not.

Aircraft generally do not have dark lines where the panels meet.

Surfaces are relatively smooth and panels are close butted, overlapped or whatever to reduce any gaps.

Panel washes on aircraft models are most unrealistic, and a modelling fashion accessory.

But each to his own.

If you want to emphasise something that at say 1/72 or 1/48 scale should hardly be seen, go ahead, it's your model.

 

Edited by FatFlyHalf
spelinge erurr

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Is the point of the question technical or aesthetic?

 

Technically I would say no because I've never had issues with Dragon kits and panel washes.

 

Aesthetically it's up to you. There are many ways of making a color scheme a bit more interesting or realistic, some like panel line washes, others don't.

Edited by sroubos

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34 minutes ago, sroubos said:

Is the point of the question technical or aesthetic?

 

Technically I would say no because I've never had issues with Dragon kits and panel washes.

 

Aesthetically it's up to you. There are many ways of making a color scheme a bit more interesting or realistic, some like panel line washes, others don't.

A bit of both 👍

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Stand 48 or 72 feet back from a real airplane and tell me what you see. That's all I have to say on the subject.

Mike

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Emphasizing panel lines is in a way aestetic, they are (almost) invisible on the real a/c, but shown on the model anyway. Everybody knows they are there on the real a/c, and it adds life and interest.

My way to handle the same question is to tone them down by sanding. this makes the panel lines sharper and narrower. Too deep lines gets less so. if done slightly unevenly this will give some variation. 

I then deepen and sometimes widen some of the lines, just slightly, again to give some variation. More so on hatches and naturally on flying surfaces. Panel lines on kits are almost allways too even.

The suggestion of toning down any wash (less is more) in post #4 above is very good! Again trying to vary a little will add reality and interest. Allways start with a thin wash/similar-to-the-backgound colour. You can allways add more later

Subtlety is the word.

Experimenting with these techniques is real fun and rewarding! I have just begun to think and try along these lines (pun intended). It is also entering a slightly artistic dimension of the hobby.

Good luck!

Edited by Tomas Enerdal

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7 hours ago, 72modeler said:

Stand 48 or 72 feet back from a real airplane and tell me what you see. That's all I have to say on the subject.

Mike

 

Standing at 72 feet from a real aircraft you'd likely not be able to see a lot of other details... stencils, pitot tubes, details of the markings...  and yet we usually add these to our models.. B)

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I could certainly can see the stencils and pitot tube standing 72 feet from mine. But the only prominent panel lines were in the areas suffering from the worst of the oil efflux, and anything that opened or moved.

Edited by Work In Progress

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Yes you can, I recall testing this when standing not very far from a pretty new Saudi Herc just after discussing this very thing on the internet (and saying you couldn't!).   I would not have seen them on a darker camouflaged aircraft.  However they appeared as very fine lines not great washes of black.  Some may think such things aesthetic, but it's not so much impressionist as surrealism.  Melting Hercules anyone?  This is not a Hercules?

 

Bear in mind that there are at least three categories of gaps to consider.  These can be quite large (in aircraft terms) between moving surfaces.  They can be noticeable around removable panels, for example at the rear of engine cowlings.  The Spitfire is often a clear example of this.  They are much less visible between fixed panels, particularly around the nose and leading edges where higher standards apply.  Remember, every gap or step means a drag penalty which has to be accounted for when doing a drag estimate for the aircraft.  And every panel on the production line checked for these gaps, and if necessary fettled to fit or rejected.  In practice, if not too bad then a concession is raised for the individual example.

 

Yes, once a aircraft gets into service then rather less care is usually observed, but that's up to the customer.  And stealth aircraft require much tighter standards as every tiny gap or step will be visible to radar.  But the He219 wasn't a stealth aircraft, and I suspect wasn't built to the same standard as the manufacturer would have liked anyway.  The principles however will have been the same.

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Nah they look fine. Just neaten up any that were lost in construction

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On 11/10/2019 at 11:57, Tomas Enerdal said:

Great, isn't it? I don't consider it overdone. But again, it's a matter of taste

A bit overdone, I'd say, even though the model overall looks great. In the West German Air Force jets were cleaned outside (and even inside the engine compartment!) with benzine during maintenance. As commented elsewhere, panel lines and rivets were not dirty - not even scratched since they were touched up with paint at every interval!

This of course may not apply to war planes during operations.

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I suppose the key thing about all these techniques is to make the model more life-like but also more interesting to look at in general.

 

Before I did any shading, weathering and washes on my models they would look very dinky-toy like. Just blocks of color. Even though some well-maintained aircraft would look like that, especially taking into account what details you would see on scaled-down model, I found it made them quite boring. Since then I've experimented with both pre- and post-shading and washes and I feel it's really improved the look of my models.

 

Some of these techniques would lead to effects that may not be particularly realistic or life-like, but they still create interest. Panel line washes are an example, but pre-shading every panel line and especially post-shading the middle of panels is comparable I suppose. I recently did a Wildcat where the post-shading turned out a bit heavy - realistic, no, but I still feel it's a more interesting model than the previous Wildcat I did ten years back which was just sprayed light gray/blue gray.

 

Panel line washes are also damn easy to do; I use water colors and wipe them off and I can do a wash on a whole model start to finish in 10 minutes. So it's a tempting technique to use if you want quick results.

 

I have a lot of respect for the folks that do real good realistic weathering; it's not easy and it takes a lot of time. If I get some (and if I find a good how-to manual) I'll give it a try myself.

 

In the meantime, I would say, do what feels best and what looks good to you. The cool thing about this hobby is that you can experiment endlessly and there's always another kit in the stash to improve your skills on :)

Edited by sroubos

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On 11/10/2019 at 14:41, sroubos said:

I have a lot of respect for the folks that do real good realistic weathering; it's not easy and it takes a lot of time. If I get some (and if I find a good how-to manual) I'll give it a try myself.

 

In the meantime, I would say, do what feels best and what looks good to you. The cool thing about this hobby is that you can experiment endlessly and there's always another kit in the stash to improve your skills on

 

In my view, it very much depends on what model you build. When you do airliners, interwar or NMF planes you better refrain from a lot of washing. OD-camouflaged and Pacific War examples may allow for a little stronger weathering. As said, the amount of weathering is a question of taste, and everybody is free to choose their approach.

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A bit late reply, but in the meantime I took the time to do a little experiment...

As I made a provocatory comment stating that at 72 feet from an aircraft a lot of features may not be visible and yet we reproduce them, I tried doing the same with a number of "objects"... starting with the cars parked in the road under my flat !

Simply I tried to understand what I could see at say 43 feet from the car. Most features are evident, but what about the badges ? I was looking at a Peugeout, I knew it was from that brand and I could easily see the badge. But how much of the details of the badge was visible ? Not everything for sure. And yet, if I had to build a 1/43 model of the same car I'd like the badge to be well reproduced. The same happened for almost every car.

Now I also tried to do the same with aircraft, but I couldn't find any around me, so I checked trucks, buses and similar. Then I moved to the advertisements around the streets...

In the end I got the answer that I already knew: however detailed something is, there's a distance at which the details blur and then disappear. They disappear from view but are still there and if I move closer they become visible again. Ok, nothing revolutionary here...

What matters is that as our models are much smaller than the originals, certain detail have to be overscale in order to be visible! I can look at a car badge from say 1 m and all details are clear, however I would likely not look at a 1/43 model from 23 mm, I'd like to see the badge details clear from a say 100 mm... so the badge will likely have to be altered to make this possible. Same goes for anything else, panel lines may be visible from a certain distance, on the model these should be visible too at a certain distance... that will be longer than the distance from the real thing scaled down by 72 or 48 times.

It is from all these observations that I developed my own personal idea about the reproduction of surface features on scale models: I like them to be visible because they are there on the real subject. Depending on the relative size of each feature however they have to be visible from a longer or shorter distance. This applies to panel lines but also reinforcement plates, intakes, even rivets but also stencils and details in decals. I like them to be there but in a way that makes them visible or invisible depending on the distance.

Of course there's also the matter than certain details must be overscale to be reproduced as it would be impossible or too expensive to reproduce them in plastic at the exact scale, and some companies are of course better at this than others. One well known example of a kit that IMHO well describes my view is the Eduard 1/72 Spitfire: it features rivets and also shows some very fine raised detail. When I look at a built model however all these features are only visible from a short distance, disappearing when I move away from the model while other surface features remain visible, as should be. Another great example of surface detail is in the Amodel IAR-80, that features overlapped panels and various raised details together with a few rivets and fasteners... all excellent detail that is visible close to the model but blurs and disappears the farther I move from the model. Are these details in perfect scale ? Of course they are not ! But they are overscale enough to be visible while not being too overscale to be obtrusive.

I follow a similar "philosophy" regarding smaller stencils, particularly on modern jets: I like them to be there because they are there on the real subject but they have to be visible from close distance and disappear from further away, exactly as happens on the real subject. And again some companies do this better than others...

 

Of course the above is all personal opinion and in the end all views on panel lines and similar matters are just that, personal opinions.

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I generally agree with what @Giorgio N wrote. I want details to be there, but only if they were there in reality! If an original doesn't have dirty panel lines I don't wash them, if sunk rivets are hard to see very close up, I don't apply any, etc. We also need to consider that we take pictures which on screen make models appear in at least double the size of 1/48.

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Abyway, the panel lines on real He 219 sometimes looks strange - no scrobing will help wit it

1280px-Heinkel_219_2012.jpg

Cheers

J-W

 

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Ok I've just visited the Australian War Memorial, they have some great aircraft on display. A Bf109 G-6 in original paintwork, a me 262 A1-A and a Me 163. I was paying particular attention to the metal work and these planes were very smooth. You could barely see them up close let alone just 10 meters away. 

Edited by Walter

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The other surprise for me was the paintwork. It was very rough and you could see over painting with different colours or just a fresh coat without any attention to detail. So many modelers really over do the paint schemes. I will be practicing my weathering that's for sure these planes really looked like they were being worked hard...

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