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1/48 F-15C - an exercise to improve my airbrush skills


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As a relative new comer to Britmodeller I have been seriously impressed by the standard, especially skills with an airbrush. I decided it was time to try out some of the methods and techniques I have seen from looking through the amazing examples on this site. My guinea pig is a Tamiya F-15 Eagle that was part built some time ago and has been doing nothing apart from gathering dust. A quick wash and a coat of primer and we'll see what happens from here. Any tips and guidance gratefully received.

 

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The panel lines weren’t the easiest to see so I thought it might be a good idea to go over each one in pencil before bringing out the paint. There are a lot of panels on an F-15!

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It’ll be interesting to see how that works out. I think it’s more common that panel lines get airbrushed in the ‘pre-shading’ technique. But as post-shading is now very popular, this pencilling of the lines  might be good.

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Good luck with the panel lines.  I’ve never been able to pre-shade convincingly so use pastels and water colours for post-shading and lately Flory washes.

 

John

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I've tried airbrushing the panel lines. a fine line between nothing and too much, plus I'm not sure I'll ever have a steady hand to paint a straight line.

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The colour suggested by the Tamiya instructions is a 50:50 mix of white and sky grey. The about pictures a 3 coats of random lines. in the majority of reference photos that I've managed to find look relatively clean so I'm now debating whether or not to apply another coat before masking for the darker grey cammo pattern. Any thoughts?

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I would say another coat, but on the areas which will be lighter, before applying the dark colour. I haven’t been up close to an F15 for many years now ( used to be involved with (R)IAT ) but from what I remember they looked pretty clean until you got really close.

 

John

PS you should be able to get the colours Light Compass Grey and Dark Compass Grey ready mixed, but it’s probably too late now.

 

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I don't understand this obsession with panel lines.

 

If adjacent panels are actually shaded differently on the original then by all means try and simulate this, but on most kits the panel lines are already much deeper and wider than scale and trying to accentuate them further makes them even more unrealistic.

 

On a type like the F-15 most panels are close-fitting and the edges are almost invisible from any distance.

 

Pre-shading and oily washes may satisfy your artistic urges but you just end up with a patchwork effect which is completely unrealistic and breaks up the clean lines of the original aircraft. . .

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Crikey @Richard Cawsey, that's a can of worms you've opened there!

 

I agree with what you say, but I also think that on models subtle panel lines and shading etc despite not being 'true' often have an important effect of reducing a toy like appearance.

 

I do think that in the case of your F-15 @Andy I, I'd definitely get some more coats on it to tone the shading down quite a bit if it was my model.

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I completely agree with you that, at times, it can look over done and unrealistic. I was aiming for subtle variations which, with a few extra coats, I hope I'm getting somewhere. I am experimenting afterall.

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The instructions call out Gun metal for this section but it looks far too dark compared to all the reference photos that i can find. Any thoughts?

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3 hours ago, Andy I said:

The instructions call out Gun metal for this section but it looks far too dark compared to all the reference photos that i can find. Any thoughts?

Gun metal does seem too dark. I'd go for aluminium. 

 

Cheers,

 

Andre

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