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"Painting WW2 1/300 scale" Topic

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World War Two in the Air

1,436 hits since 25 Apr 2015
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

acctingman186926 Apr 2015 5:50 p.m. PST

Anyone want to share there painting techniques with this scale?

Anyone have any youtube video's perhaps?


rct7500127 Apr 2015 2:02 a.m. PST

Do a search for Ritterkrieg – Troy Ritter did great work on these and left a tutorial that was very helpfulin getting me great looking (IMHO) minis when I did mine a few years ago.

farnox27 Apr 2015 11:29 a.m. PST

One thing to keep in mind when working in this scale is to not make your minis too dark. Make everything lighter by 30-40%, it will look much better on the tabletop.

acctingman186929 Apr 2015 9:50 a.m. PST

Thanks gents

acctingman186929 Apr 2015 10:10 a.m. PST

Ritterkrieg is just vehicles..nice site though!

fullmetal201504 May 2015 6:43 a.m. PST

Also if you can use Airbrush, it really makes it easier especially if you are planning on doing more than 5 or more aircraft at one time.


Swarmaster1 Sponsoring Member of TMP30 Jul 2016 12:34 p.m. PST

Here is an article on painting aircraft from the Fight for the Skies: Luftwaffe 1946 series.

Well painted miniatures add to the gaming experience, and many people just like to create great looking model aircraft. While these tips won't make you an expert modeler overnight, they provide a good starting point. Of course, starting with an accurate, well cast miniature is the first step, so we recommend our Luftwaffe 1946 Miniatures line of 1/300th aircraft. Due to required drying periods, it is usually more efficient to work on aircraft in batches of squadron size.
Before Painting
Begin the process by closely inspecting the model for any casting faults such as incomplete tail or wing surfaces, mold seams, or surface pitting. Use a fine toothed rattail file to gently go over the model, removing any part lines and smoothing the surfaces in preparation for priming. All casting burrs should be gently cut back with an X-Acto knife then filed smooth. If the model requires assembly, do so now. Remember to test the fit of the parts before applying any glue. Use a Cyanoacrylate glue (i.e. SuperGlue) or good glue designed for use with metal (i.e. Omni-Stick). Let the glue set thoroughly before proceeding. Use a hobby model filler to fill in any pits, holes or missing details. White or Grey Milliput works very well, and can be diluted with water to create a thinner paste that simplifies filling in any surface pits. Set the model aside to dry, and work on the next one. When they are dry, file the filled in areas to the correct shape. Finally, use some fine (or extra fine) steel wool to polish the surfaces and ensure a smooth, even finish.
Once the model is cleaned of all faults, use a pin drill with a very thin drill bit to drill holes for the radio antennae, flexible machine guns and other protrusions. If you are going to mount the model using Flight Stands or a similar system requiring a mounting wire, determine the approximate center of gravity (CG) for the model, and drill the correct sized hole in the bottom of the fuselage. To determine the center of gravity, balance the aircraft with the bottom resting on a vertical wire, Flight Stand cap, or within a loop of thread. In most cases the CG will be along the centerline of the aircraft, at the midpoint of where the wings join the fuselage. Mark the CG point with a knife indentation or pencil mark. Drill to a depth adequate to firmly support the aircraft, without going all the way through. For Flight Stands, the hole should be 1/16 inch in diameter, to a depth of 1/8 inch.
Remember to go to a well-ventilated area for spray painting, and ensure that you have guarded against overspray. Using a spray box is recommended. Use a good quality spray primer, either White or Light Gray. In addition to quality primers from a number of model paint firms, Krylon works well, and is considerably cheaper. Apply a thin spray coat, be careful not to obscure detail or cause the primer to run. Two or three light coats are better than one heavy application. Start with one side of the model, wait until the coat is dry to the touch before turning it over and spraying the other side. Give the primer adequate time to fully cure, usually at least 8 hours, depending on the temperature and humidity in your spray area. If you try to apply surface paint too soon, you may find the primer lifting off the model.
Once the primer is dry, add the machine guns, radio antennae, etc. using bristles from an old toothbrush (this technique was recommended by Paul Hannah, a gamer in the Seattle area). Take an old toothbrush and cut off a group of the bristles at the base using a sharp X-Acto knife. Then use super glue to attach these in the holes previously drilled for radio antennae, machine guns etc. Once the glue is dry, use a sharp pair of scissors to cut the bristles to the correct length. The bristles easily accept paint, so they can be painted as appropriate. If you are using a mounting wire, this is the time to glue it in the hole drilled earlier. This makes a convenient tool to handle the model while painting, without marring the painted surface.
There are a number of different paints that can be used, including enamel, oil or acrylic paint. Several manufacturers sell paints specifically matched to the official military colors used by the major powers in WW II. Start with the underside of the plane, using the desired color as supplied (or mixed). After the initial paint is dry, use the same color with additional white added to highlight the raised areas of the underside such as cowlings, wheel wells, turrets, etc. This can be painted on using either a wet or dry brush technique (see below). Add more white to the lightened mixture and apply it to the highest points a second time. If the highlights are too pronounced or if you slop over into the wrong area, you can reapply your initial base color or blend it lightly with thinner or water depending on the medium used.
Dry Brush Technique – dip the brush in the desired color, then stroke it across a piece of scrap paper or rag until the brush is almost free of paint. Lightly brush over the intended spots with the almost dry brush. This tends to leave paint on the raised portions of the model, or highlights.
Wet Brush Technique – applying the highlighting paint while the original paint is still wet, allowing it to blend in without any sharp breaks between the colors. This approach is more difficult to use than dry brushing.
Next, paint the top of the model. When multiple colors are requires, such as for a camouflage pattern, start with the lightest color first. Use the same highlighting method described above, proceeding through the colors until the top is fully painted. Take some of the lightened paint and using an almost dry soft brush scrub the center of the wings and tail, this adds some highlights to the overall sameness of the colors, and provides a weathered look. Don't worry if you think you have gone too far with the weathering at this point.
One of the toughest things to represent on a model is the glass for the cockpit, windows and turrets. There are two generally accepted techniques. The first approach is to paint the glass areas a medium gray, then add white to the paint and apply to the center of each pane of glass. This adds life to the glass. You may apply a clear paint over these areas when the initial paint is dry. This adds both depth and sheen to the glass areas. The second approach is to use a very light blue metallic or silk paint. While not as realistic as the first approach, it is much faster, and looks satisfactory.
If you have obscured the canopy frames while painting the glass areas, use the original color and line in the frame as necessary. This may take a few tries to get it right but is worth the effort otherwise the cockpit will look like a single piece of plexiglass which is not what you want. Another approach, depending upon the width and color of the frame, is to use a fine point permanent marker to draw the frames in. A drafting pen can also be used, and there are a variety of colored inks available to match the desired color.
No military plane looks complete without the appropriate markings. Painting numbers and national insignia in 1/300th scale is very difficult. Again, a drafting pen with the appropriate color ink can be used, but this is still difficult. There are a number of excellent decal markings for all the major powers of World War II, including a huge range from Blue Sky Enterprises, available from MSD Games. Carefully cut the numbers, marking and insignia from the decal sheet using a sharp knife or scissors. A circular paper punch can also be used, make sure the desired area fits within the punch before squeezing the punch. There are a number of different punch sizes and types available at craft stores, look in the scrap-booking section.
Apply the decals in the standard fashion, immerse it in water using a pair of tweezers, wait 10-20 seconds, and apply it to the model. Blot the decal with a soft tissue or cloth after it's located in its final position. If the decal is out of position, gently move it to the correct spot with the tweezers, or other soft tool, not your fingers. If desired, use a decal setting solution to fix the decal in place.
Black Lining and Fine Detailing
This step is optional, but if done properly will greatly improve the appearance of the model. Create a very thin black wash by adding clear thinner or water (or alcohol for acrylics) to your black paint. Use a fine brush, experimenting first with out of the way parts on the bottom of the model, draw a thin line separating the flaps from the wing then go on to the tail surfaces. Use a clean, soft cloth or tissue to mop up any excess paint. The thinned solution should flow into the etched surfaces. Once satisfied with your technique, go on to the topside and do the same thing. The black lining will add depth and dimension to the model as well as breakup some of the weathering applied earlier. If you are feeling especially brave, use the same paint to outline the wing and fuselage panels as well as the exhausts and other items around the engine and canopy. If you make a mistake you can still use the original base color to correct it.
Another technique is to use a fine point permanent marker to do the black lining. The pen is easier to control, and the flow of color is more precise. A fabric pen is better for this, as there are a few seconds before the ink dries, providing time to wipe away any slips. A drafting pen can also be used, but be sure to use an ink that doesn't bead up. Unfortunately, fine point Sharpie ink tends to bead up when used for this purpose on painted surfaces.
The next step is to add fine details and weathering. Use red-brown paint to add rust to the engine exhaust stacks. Thin the paint out and add thin exhaust streaks flowing back from the exhausts. Thin black paint should be used to add oil streaks around engine cowlings. If modeling an aircraft that has seen hard service, add small aluminum or silver spots on surfaces where the aircraft crew would enter the aircraft or step on the wings. Adding similar spots on the wings will make the aircraft look even more ‘tired', in areas where there hasn't been time for adequate maintenance.
The final step is to preserve and protect the great job that you've done. Be very careful to test the compatibility of the paints you are using before taking this step. Never use a lacquer-based spray paint over enamel paint! This will cause the finish to ‘craze', and you'll have to start all over again. Use a clear coat paint, preferably a spray paint, such as DullCote from Testors. When using a new spray for the first time, test it by spraying over the type of paint used on the model. Wait a few hours to ensure the sealer coat didn't react with the base colors. Then lightly spray one side of your models, wait a few hours, then spray the other side. Again, 2-3 light coats are better than a single heavy coat. Do not perform this step on a humid day, as the humidity will cause the flat clear coat to turn glossy. Some modelers feel that a gloss sealer is stronger than the flat sealers. They use one coat of gloss paint (top and bottom of the model), then use 2-3 coats of the flat sealer. If desired, go over the glass surfaces with a clear gloss paint using a brush, to restore the shine of the glass.
For American aircraft, which were primarily kept in bare metal finishes in 1944-45, use a gloss coat instead of a flat coat. Apply clear flat paint, using a brush, to those areas that aren't bare metal (i.e. the anti-glare black panels on the noses of most fighters). There are a number of silver or aluminum spray paints that can be used to give a reasonable metallic finish. If applying other colors over the silver is difficult due to the paint beading up, overspray the model with a flat clear paint. Once the detailing is completed, spray the aircraft with clear gloss spray as described above.
That's it, sounds pretty simple. The key to good results is to do it. The more you do, the better you'll get. Then take off with your squadron, heading for hostile skies!
X-Acto Knife (#11 blade recommended), pin vise, drill bits and rattail file (round file, micro size) from X-Acto, Inc.
Pigma Micron 01 pen from Sakura Color Products Corporation (Japan) (available in most fabric or craft stores)
Krazy Glue from Elmer's Products, Inc
Omni-Stick from Hammerhead America (Deval Products Group)
Silver-Grey Milliput from The Milliput Co.(UK)
Fine steel wool

Acknowledgements: These tips come from a number of sources, including discussions with professional figure painters. Many of these tips came from a web article by Phil Bardsley, of HMGS Northwest.

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