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Bristol Beaufighter TF.X by Revell (my first go at paint chipping)


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I don't build many Revell kits, but I thought this looked interesting. It was ok, but some parts defied easy fitting and required a bit of persuasion.

The colour is slightly too dark, I mixed it myself, as I couldn't get the correct shade of Very Dark Sea Grey in acrylic.

I also must say that the decals were not very good, quite brittle and the carrier film was opaque, so no matter what I did you could see it.

 

This is the first kit I've built where I've had a go at 'paint chipping'. I think it came out quite well and will definitely give it another go.

Jon.

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Hi Faraway,

 

good looking Beau! Well done!

For a first attempt at chipping, you have done a pretty good job!

Just  couple of pointers for the next time:

Always look at photos of the plane you intend chipping to see where the most weathered areas are. And always remember that less is more.

On your model, you may have overdone the chipping on the nose, but you totally missed the areas on the wings where crew and mechanics walk.

Likewise, on a propeller the base of the blades, near the spinner, is seldom chipped. 

The only salvation is in studying photos of your subject or of a similar type plane.

 

But I really like the final result!

 

JR

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1 minute ago, jean said:

Hi Faraway,

 

good looking Beau! Well done!

For a first attempt at chipping, you have done a pretty good job!

Just  couple of pointers for the next time:

Always look at photos of the plane you intend chipping to see where the most weathered areas are. And always remember that less is more.

On your model, you may have overdone the chipping on the nose, but you totally missed the areas on the wings where crew and mechanics walk.

Likewise, on a propeller the base of the blades, near the spinner, is seldom chipped. 

The only salvation is in studying photos of your subject or of a similar type plane.

 

But I really like the final result!

 

JR

JR.

I didn’t consider looking at photos, good idea. The nose was a bit a of a disaster, good point about the prop blades base. I think the spinner should have had a bit of wear too, maybe. I didn’t even consider walk ways, that’ll be for next time.
You’re right about less is more, it’s knowing when to stop fiddling, I learnt that when I used to paint figures.

Thanks for your guidance.👍👍👍👍

Jon

 

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8 minutes ago, Brigbeale said:

Congrats on your first chipping attempt. It turned out very well. 
I’ve yet to do any weathering to my models.

Well done👏👏👏

Brian.

Thanks. Weathering is not something I often do, but I thought it was about time I expanded my repertoire of techniques.

Jon

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3 minutes ago, Faraway said:


You’re right about less is more, it’s knowing when to stop fiddling, I learnt that when I used to paint figures.

Jon, believe me, we are all in the same boat when it comes to knowing when to stop!!! It is a terrible curse...

I always tell myself that the best is the worst enemy of the good...  

 

Keep having fun!

JR

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4 hours ago, Faraway said:

The nose was a bit a of a disaster, good point about the prop blades base. I think the spinner should have had a bit of wear too, maybe.

Ity worth studying what materials were used,  the thimble nose of the Beaufighter was a radar pod,  and radar pods are not metal.  The H2S on Lancasters are perspex,  I'm not sure what the Beaufighter on was.  maybe fibrglass?

 

Prop blades.  Wear, when it happens, it mainly on the rear face.  Again,  materials,  you see Spitfire and Hurricane models with metal showing through, on blades that are wood composites, which have metal leading edge sheaths, often in brass. 

Usually hard to see, here the low light angle is causing the brass to reflect.

3690539310_9442b4a3b7_b.jpgSpitfire XIVE by Etienne du Plessis, on Flickr

 

I don't remember seeing photos of Beaufighters with extensive chipping,  but certainly ones with very faded and mottled paint work as a result

 

this is a Beaufighter in the desert, 

7569411968_fb68cb5ecc_b.jpgBeaufighter at Magun, Libya       1943. by Etienne du Plessis, on Flickr

Note the back of the blades, and underwing how the paint wears and stains form, and their shape. 

 

I think this is the same plane

3581858906_c17e48bd55_o.jpgBeaufighter . by Etienne du Plessis, on Flickr

 

Note the paint worn off the back of the prop blades, but a gernal lack of chipping, but plenty of fading and staining, this Temperate Sea scheme uppers,  Extra Dark Sea Grey and Dark Slate Grey,  

 

from here

https://www.flickr.com/search/?w=8270787@N07&q=beaufighter

 

I think this is period colour,  note the colour of the fresh paint on the nose compared to the faded on the rest

d2km2fu7w1j31.jpg

 

There are B/W pics showing very faded Coastal Command Beaufighters. (which I'm not finding right now...) 

 

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is study photos carefully, and don't look at models,  there are trends and fads in model finishing,  but it really pays to study the real thing, and see how the weather, fade and stain.  

And, a little weathering can go a long way.  

 

Recently there was a Spitfire model, BoB era. as a demonstration of weathering techniques it was superb,  as a accurate model is was not, the airframe in question was a month old,  the model looked like it had been relegated to training command after becoming war weary and been replaced by new versions....

 

5 hours ago, Faraway said:

I learnt that when I used to paint figures.

Figure techniques can be used for weathering, washes and colour blending.  

I like oil paint diluted with lighter fuel for washes, and gorund chalk pastel for exhaust deposits.  Neat oil paint can be streaked with lighter fuel for oil stains

 

This is what oil paint streaked with light fuel look like, mix of burnt umber and black,  though the underside had a dirty grey wash, which was burnt umber, black and white.   black is usually too stark, a dirty grey gives a much softer shadow.

46804435414_70f7f9ff7a_b.jpg50620677 by losethekibble, on Flickr

 

note wheere oil stain starts, leaking from the panel line, and how this then blows back,  and how it also creates the very distinctive stain you see of Hurricane UC doors

33880446008_8d1fa14ce1_b.jpg85 Squadron 52 by Сергей Кривицкий, on Flickr

 

The Hurricane build is here

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235052380-hurricane-airfix-72nd-fabric-wing-mki-oob/

 

which has more on weathering and washes.  

 

Finally, try some photos outside,  a slight overcast makes for a very soft and flattering light,  and aim for a non distracting background.

 

Doe not require any special, I have one environmental factor that helps,  

The base here is a old, manky and faded green baize topped card table, making it look quite like grass...,  placed on a storage box, about 4 feet high,  so I can get in low with the camera,  light is early evening, coming through the tress, I opposite a park.  The camera is a an old basic point and shoot model.  Pic as taken, no adjustment or cropping.   

49927193301_ce224640da_b.jpg50620040 by losethekibble, on Flickr

 

If you don't have a suitable garden backdrop,  but a printer,  have a look through https://www.geograph.org.uk

 

millions of photos, find a high res one, and print out over a couple of sheets of A4,  

and example, the top half of this would make a good summer backdrop

https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/6209862

 

or a winter one

https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3311262

 

Sorry if a bit  rambling, just trying to illustrate various comments

 

Neat crisp model mas well. :goodjob:

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@Troy Smith. Thank you for such an informative answer. You have given me much food for thought. I think it is very difficult to replicate wear, damage or weathering on models and keep it realistic, sometimes I think it’s best not to. Taking photos of my models is something I’m not very good at, but then, I’m not very good at taking photos of anything. But I will definitely have to try and use those sites you shortcutted (is that a word ?). As I said, this was my first go at any form of serious weathering and it gives me hope that I could improve. When I painted (90mm) figures I used oil paints, which as you know take forever to dry, so blending, shading and highlighting was SO much easier. The cardinal rule was then and is now, knowing when to STOP fiddling, something I learnt the hard way, as a result I have a tendency to under do the effects.

As you say in your signature, “if you get the results you want, they are the right ones”

Jon.

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53 minutes ago, F-32 said:

Very nicely done, I can never get the paint chipping quite right, it's a dark art!

Dark Art indeed. In fact I think that covers ALL weathering.

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Troy is right on the money. Don't copy other models. Use photos. As for propellors yes the rear of a propeller is weathered more than front. I flew a aeroplane off a rough strip for a while and while the front of the prop got a little marked and at the leading edges. The rear was stripped to bare metal just like the Beaufighter in the photo. It was also stained by the blood of countless insects it encountered. Messy! 

 

Research too. I remember another model a Spitfire, nicely weathered. Metal chipping all over front of the propeller. It's a pity the real thing was made of a wood composite. 🤔

 

 

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4 hours ago, Faraway said:

I think it is very difficult to replicate wear, damage or weathering on models and keep it realistic, sometimes I think it’s best not to.

I'd disagree, heavy weathering is difficult, but some signs of use are easy enough, and I think helps make it look less like a model. 

That's why I linked my Hurricane build,  I spent years waiting to get my set right, and in the end decided to get  a model finished.

I'd not used the techniques I described before, and to an extent they are reversible.  (see below)

4 hours ago, Faraway said:

 Taking photos of my models is something I’m not very good at, but then, I’m not very good at taking photos of anything.

which is why I was talking about my camera,  the first digital I got to play with 15 yeas ago I was quite happy with the results,  but eventually it died, and a few years ago after using 'better' cameras (again, ones that were semi-obsolete) I had a search in ebay for the same camera, I got the model up, for about £5, posted. 

It's really basic point and shoot.   But have a play,  digital is great in that it you can mess about until you find what works.   I was happy with the photos,  and if they are crap, no-one has been honest enough to say this to me....

 

No idea if you have a garden, but if you do,  have a play, if you don't have grass mat (or found card table that would usually have been binned...)  try a paving slab on a garden table, as this allows the height to get a lower angle photo.

If it helps, make notes of the different ways you took the picture, 

4 hours ago, Faraway said:

But I will definitely have to try and use those sites you shortcutted (is that a word ?). As I said, this was my first go at any form of serious weathering and it gives me hope that I could improve. When I painted (90mm) figures I used oil paints, which as you know take forever to dry, so blending, shading and highlighting was SO much easier. The cardinal rule was then and is now, knowing when to STOP fiddling, something I learnt the hard way, as a result I have a tendency to under do the effects.

oil paint thinned with lighter fuel dries so fast you wouldn't believe it.  

For washes, you can wash it off by using a brush wetted with some lighter fuel, and also shift it about and modulate it the same way.    The Hurricane worked better, as even though the surface was glossed, it still had some texture from the paint, the Spitfire was a lot smoother as it was different paint.

This is done over the decals, as it helps blend those in as well.

 

chalk pastels are pretty forgiving, and an be used to tone down an entire model by scrubbing them over the surface, I used some pale grey chalk to try to lighten the fabric parts of the Hurricane.

 

One point, the exhaust chalk pastel and the oil stains I did on the tap varnish coat.  Many modellers do a final overall coat to seal them, but if you are not handling the model, you don't need to, AND it's allows the difference in finish to show up,  the oil stains have a slight sheen, the exhaust deposits are really dead matt. 

You can see the difference in on that Spitfire XIX shot, the airframe has a slight eggshell sheen, but the exhaust stain is dead matt.

 

Get an old kit and play with the techniques,  my way may not work for you,  I found they way I described easy.    But you do need to 'have a go'  and see how these things work.

 

as a final point,  look at the combination of effects,  they are cumulative.  And, subtle is good,  glaring mistakes jump out,  a good job often is to an extent unnoticed as it does not jar.

 

Your Beaufighter has chipping that implies ages and use,  but the rest of the airframe is pristine, so it looks unnatural. 

As can be seen in the Beaufighter shots, oil and exhaust gets cleaned off, but even so it will leave stains and discolouration,  and note how  the streaks follow airflow.  Look the big close up,  look at the streaks and tonal modulation.

You might also want to look into using the kleer method for decals

 

As a figure painter,  you are used to the idea of adding some artificial contrast to shadow and highlights, 

 

It's also really worth doing a work in progress thread if you can be bothered,  as you get feedback, but also as you are then putting up your work into a common context, and it's interesting seeing your work like that, adding a bit of perspective that can be lost in person.

 

enough of my witter,  just trying help.

 

cheers

T

 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Troy Smith said:

enough of my witter,  just trying help.

@Troy Smith you are of tremendous help. When I painted my figures I found the highlighting and shadowing almost intuitive, it’s easy as we are surrounded by examples everywhere. Adding wear and tear to an aircraft or armoured vehicle has a whole different set of rules. I have posted a few WIP threads and on the whole, received encouraging comments, perhaps fellow BMers are too polite. I’ve just started an IBG kit, a 1/35 KTO Rosomak “The Green Devil”

and am planning on ‘weathering’ it as I go, which I think is the best way, as some areas become unreachable as assembly progresses.

Perhaps I’ll post a WIP thread for it.

Once again, I’m in your debt for the knowledge you have shared. One thing I am learning, having only returned to this hobby in the past year, is that there is more to it then just sticking bits of plastic together. As I did with my figures, I am trying to bring these models to ‘life’. And that, at times is not easy, but it’s great fun learning.

👍👍👍👍

Jon

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