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Scotsman07

Weathering Airliners

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Hello

 

I recently purchased some grey through to black pastels and weathering powders which I intend on having a go at grime and weathering effects on my Airliners. I’m not sure what’s the best technique to this.

 

My other concern is how I ‘seal’ in the pastels and weathering once it’s in the finished model without it smudging or transferring to areas that I don’t intend it to. Any help or tips would be greatly appreciated. 

 

Regards,

 

Alistair

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Alistair, it’s best to seal all forms of weathering with a clear coat. There are many products on the market and each modeller will have their own favourite blend or item. Personally I clear my models  prior to decalling (unless you already have a gloss or shiny finish), then reseal the decals with another coat or two of clear to protect them from the weathering stage. 
 

Having worked for an airline since I started employment, I can vouch that airliners do get dirty. It would also be wise to adopt the ‘less is more’ approach as although airliners are never pristine in service, they do get washed so don’t go crazy on those pastels, however tempting. 
 

Cheers and good luck.. Dave 

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Hi Dave,

 

I usually give my models a coat or 2 of Humbrol Clear coat once all the painting is complete and prior to decals being applied. I then go over it again with the Clear coat to seal the decals and then would be looking to weather. My fear is that the Humbrol Clear coat (being water based) would wash off the weathering effects when I go to ‘seal it’ once finished. 
 

I agree, I used to be Cabin Crew and I don’t think I ever saw a truly filthy aircraft, just some tatty ones that would show their age.

 

Thank you 😀.

 

Regards,

 

Alistair

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Yeah, I'd restrict it to paint fading and dirt streaks representing the build-up before washing. Not too many leaks and hydraulic fluid is purple (Skydrol), not red and is much harder to see. It's also nasty on paint (and skin and plastic and rubber and and and...), which is why leaks are quickly wiped up.

 

To answer your next question - it has a much higher flashpoint than the old mineral hydraulic fluids used on pre-1960s aircraft. The new mineral stuff is just as good as Skydrol (probably better, actually) but manufacturers have been slow to make the change due to commonality issues with their old aircraft models.

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Hello Alistair

Not exactly about pastels, but still ... Paint a NLG wheel hubs in their original colour, but have MLG wheel hubs in matt black. Unless an airliner in question just had her MLG wheels replaced, hubs should be covered with soot from use of brakes during landing. Cheers

Jure

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Hi Alistair,

Civil airliners get regular washes, the frequency varying from aircraft type or even operating environment; the main landing gears (MLG) and underside of the belly or wings being the dirtiest and streakiest; in my opinion the MLG wheels should not be painted black. The base colour, usually light grey or white, should receive a wash of black that can be built up to resemble heavy deposits of brake dust - wheels weather at different rates so vary this effect. The axle area or axle beams get particularly dirty on some types - CRJ700/900/1000 gears are filthy, Q400 less so.

Hydraulic leaks are usually cleaned up or rectified pretty quickly but can be quite messy; this is the result of a burst hydraulic hose on the NLG of a CRJ900 - 

6B969717-29E1-4173-A3A7-9F3E2F984204

 

I see lots of landing gears in my line of work and can attest that there is always something that is novel to see. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Rickoshea52

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Hello

I have some close-up pictures but apparently I took them all either inside of a hangar or there was a wing shadow present ... So these two will have to do:

mRsg6Ra.jpg

The MLG wheel hubs above look fairly clean. The main two parts are gloss white and the smaller central cover is aluminum ...

4QGpAVf.jpg

... and this is how MLG wheel hubs look after a week or so of regular use with two or three cycles a day. Rickoshea52, I agree that there are always fifty shades of grey so to speak, but, at least to my eye, black wheel hub will not look out of place as long as it is in matt finish. Cheers

Jure

 

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And all this time I thought main landing gear hubs on airliners were just painted black. And I never understood why an airline would choose such a drab colors for the wheels. The things I learn on modeling forums. Many thanks!

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Wheels get replaced separately correct? I mean for example, an outer MLG will be replaced while an inner one will be ok still. Just thinking, you can have variable weathering if you wanted. So even the nose wheels get very dirty to? I wonder if freighters get cleaned less that pass. aircraft.

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Dirty, dirty wheels! 

Image0127 Image0125

This one makes me laugh because someone's wiped half the dirt off the hub on the centre wheel so it will give a turning motion 😂

Image0124

See the streaks from the slat actuators and also the fuel tank inspection panels?

Image0123

Burnt titanium also stains in different shades of brown and metallic. 

Image0120

This was a relatively new nose gear replacement, but look at the streaking inside the gear door. 

Image0119

Check out the rivet detail 😂

 

I'll post more as I find them, got some great photos of a main wheel change buried somewhere... 

 

Alan 

 

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I like the last post images above.  The last pic showing the pitot and sensor probe( at the top) is interesting as I send a lot of these parts out as part of my job in inspection. 

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Here are two main wheels from a CRJ900 removed for an axle inspection, although both from the same landing gear the difference in weathering is evident. Note that the outboard wheel is exposed to the outside airflow when retracted so this may explain this difference. 

 

2AA4E0B2-D0F7-4EC5-8F3F-3393CA73B717


In the same hangar as the CRJ was this A320, viewed from a distance the wheels do look black. 

7E3D9990-1ABE-4478-9599-7547EE99E403


Also of interest, when arriving at Heathrow I saw an A380 with very dirty Body Landing Gear wheels on the centre and forward axles but near gleaming wheels on the aft axles; the reason for this is the aft axle on an A380 has no brake units. 
I guess the point we are all contributing to is that aircraft and wheels weather differently for various reasons and attention to this detail can make a model look just like the real thing. 

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Wow guys all of these photos are excellent!! It’s great to have a lot of shots if the real things to help with the weathering stages, it’s funny how the paint guides always tell you to paint the inner rims white when in reality they look more of a dirty metallic colour. 
 

I can only hope that I can achieve results as good as this, I’ve noticed that with the BA 772 I am doing, the wing surfaces generally are the dirtiest parts, with the odd but of grime build up along the fuselage particularly around the doors.

 

Do people generally weather prior to applying decals, or after? Also how do people ‘seal’ the weathering to prevent it spreading to unwanted areas?

 

Regards,

 

Alistair

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1 hour ago, Scotsman07 said:

 

 

Do people generally weather prior to applying decals, or after? Also how do people ‘seal’ the weathering to prevent it spreading to unwanted areas?

 

Regards,

 

Alistair

Never heard of weathering before markings in one to one size 🙂   I think it best to weather after all painting and markings applied.  It will be more uniform but kept subtle. It surprises me that some modellers weather before applying decals which when all is finished looks very odd with pristine logos , roundels etc don't you think??

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Great close up pictures, stuff you don't see unless you work on them or take good pictures while on vacation.

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15 hours ago, busnproplinerfan said:

Wheels get replaced separately correct? I mean for example, an outer MLG will be replaced while an inner one will be ok still. Just thinking, you can have variable weathering if you wanted.

Usually wheels get replaced separately but sometimes there are manufacturer exceptions, sometimes nose wheels will be replaced as a set to prevent shimmy or vibration problems.

 

With most of the aircraft I've been involved with, the main gear wheel hub caps stay with the aircraft so they will look dirty quite often while the wheel assembly can look very clean. As well the front of the brake unit is very often extremely clean from the airstream in variable weather during take off and landing.

 

CMaDiCx.jpg?1

 

HxiOqga.jpg?1

 

When times get rough in the aviation business, quite often grooming can cut the biggest. 

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1 hour ago, baldwin8 said:

Usually wheels get replaced separately but sometimes there are manufacturer exceptions, sometimes nose wheels will be replaced as a set to prevent shimmy or vibration problems.

 

With most of the aircraft I've been involved with, the main gear wheel hub caps stay with the aircraft so they will look dirty quite often while the wheel assembly can look very clean. As well the front of the brake unit is very often extremely clean from the airstream in variable weather during take off and landing.

 

CMaDiCx.jpg?1

 

HxiOqga.jpg?1

 

When times get rough in the aviation business, quite often grooming can cut the biggest. 

Thanks, great pictures. Just looking at this, the tyres don't have much bulge either. I know there's three set of tyres, but compared to the resin bulged tyres it''s minimal. Whenever I get bulged tyres, I sand down the sidewalls a bit or else they look flat. I know in 1/144 you won't see the bulge, as long as they all sit on the ground evenly.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, baldwin8 said:

As well the front of the brake unit is very often extremely clean from the airstream in variable weather during take off and landing.

 

 

Hello,

 

Do you mean they are clean due to the airstream or dirty because they are out of the airstream ?

 

In your pictures case, the front wheels are dirty. See the engine in the back ground and the take off raising jack of this -300 gear.

Edited by AV O

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The front brake units and bogie are usually cleaner due to being scrubbed/washed by the airstream, especially when it's raining.

 

Speaking of clean bogies...

Image0129

This is a very clean wheel assembly as it was a brand new B777-200ER at the time. Usually they were pretty blackened with grease and oil.

Image0126

Here's a view of the plumbing on your typical -200ER  gear strut. Top marks to whoever manages to get all that in 1/144 😀

2427920269_80102b5ca7_b

Some more dirty wheels, and once again these have half-cleaned hubs to show the rotation when the wheels are moving :lol: This one's ready and fuelled for a big trip so you can see how the wheels do bulge slightly when the aircraft is loaded. Proof of that is often at pushback we had to rock the aircraft forwards and backwards because the chocks get stuck under the wheels due to the expansion! 

 

Also notable for the wear and grime buildup patterns inside the nacelle, which are not solid panels but covered in millions of tiny perforations.

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Is that dirtiness common in nacelles? Kind of blotchy mostly on the bottom I guess?

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Of course the degree of weathering depends on the state of the airfield ! 

 

 

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Another “brand new” main gear assembly, A350-1000 with less than 30 cycles on the clock. 

 

38D08C3A-C64E-4683-877E-B4DD43AC139A

 

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16 hours ago, busnproplinerfan said:

Just looking at this, the tyres don't have much bulge either. I know there's three set of tyres, but compared to the resin bulged tyres it''s minimal. Whenever I get bulged tyres, I sand down the sidewalls a bit or else they look flat. I know in 1/144 you won't see the bulge, as long as they all sit on the ground evenly.

 

The two pictures I provided was when the aircraft just arrived from Europe and offloading so very little bulge is present. A B777 fully loaded for a 11 hour flight will show a fair bit of bulge. 

 

15 hours ago, AV O said:

Do you mean they are clean due to the airstream or dirty because they are out of the airstream ?

 

In your pictures case, the front wheels are dirty. See the engine in the back ground and the take off raising jack of this -300 gear.

 

Actually I stated the brake units. Wheels are dirty due to being installed longer and coated with carbon dust off the brakes. I've seen B777 brake units being on for two years before being replaced, while wheel assemblies usual replacement for ours close to six months before the tread disappears.

 

5 hours ago, busnproplinerfan said:

Is that dirtiness common in nacelles? Kind of blotchy mostly on the bottom I guess?

 

Yes correct. Hydraulic, engine oil seeps and leaking hold the dirt. Again cleanliness depending on the airline. I've heard some airlines wash their aircraft every A check, while ours are on a time schedule.

 

This is a Lufthansa A350-900 D-AIXH and when I photographed it in summer 2019, already in service 18 months. Very clean.

 

rhGhtam.jpg

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On 3/6/2020 at 11:42 PM, Alan P said:

the chocks get stuck under the wheels due to the expansion! 

 

But why only at LHR? Never happens anywhere else in the world!

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Glen said:

But why only at LHR? Never happens anywhere else in the world!

Why have I never thought of this before? 🤔

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