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"1/200 AIM" Topic

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1,524 hits since 24 Apr 2016
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acctingman186924 Apr 2016 1:09 p.m. PST

Hello folks

Anyone care to share their painting techniques for this scale? I don't have an airbrush and would rather avoid having to buy one. Is this scale ok for brush only or is an airbrush going to be required? My concern is brush strokes showing up on the plane.

Thank you

Sundance24 Apr 2016 1:47 p.m. PST

I do my 1/100 (15mm) with a brush, so you should be able to manage the 1/200 with one. Use a good, clean brush, and don't glom on the paint and it should work very well.


If you scroll down to the Ju-52 sitting on the beach, that's an AIM 1/100 model all done with a brush.

miscmini Fezian24 Apr 2016 9:02 p.m. PST

Here's a workbench article on a 1/100 AIM I-16. I use the same techniques on 1/200 minis. TMP link

My thoughts on avoiding brush marks are:
Use the biggest brush you can.
Thin the paint to a consistency that works for you.
Allow the paint to dry before adding another coat on top of it.
If the aicraft is going to be painted aluminum, I will usuall spray it w/aerosol paints and the add other colors w/a brush.

Dark Knights And Bloody Dawns24 Apr 2016 11:57 p.m. PST

Lots of this coats using a paint with a high pigment content works for me. I also use a satin finish rather than gloss as the 1/300 planes I use seem to lose detail with a gloss finish.

acctingman186910 Nov 2017 3:12 p.m. PST

Resurrecting this thread

Has anyone tried airbrushing AIM's 1/200 planes.

What paints work best on resin? Best to primer them then base coat?

Is this scale still too small for airbrushing?

I read Kevin's workbench article. Anyone else want to add their experience with this line of planes?

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP16 Nov 2017 11:26 a.m. PST

I have zero experience airbrushing, so I'm no help there.

I really like the AIM models, and I really like painting them.

I use spray primer on them before painting. I did spray a set of 12x A6M2 Zeroes with the Tamiya IJN gray-green without a primer undercoat, and it seems to be holding really well, but only time will tell about that.

The AIM panel lines are generally deep enough to make washes, striping or drybrushing easy. Some are a bit shallow and need to be picked out by a careful brush stroke instead of a general overall wash, but they are clear enough to make such work easy to do.

There are enough panel lines, surface textures (ribbing, framing, air brake holes, etc.), and indentations like gun pathways, to make the model look properly detailed but not too busy.

The proportions are really good and all the planes I've bought are instantly recognizable by the shape.

Protruding features like scoops and exhausts are exaggerated enough to assist painting and viewing pleasure, without being so exaggerated as to look odd.

AIM canopy ribbing is exaggerated for depth and a bit for width, but I really like it this way. Painting AIM canopies is really easy, and they look really good with very little effort.

I have only a few cons to mention:

  • The wing gun holes on my Wildcats and Zeroes were not well defined, so I created or enlarged them with an Exacto knife and/or tiny drill bit.
  • The "sieve" holes in the dive brake panels on the Dauntlesses are not quite deep or consistent enough to be finished by a single wash, so I found myself going back and dotting individual holes to bring them out.
  • Small intake/inlet holes have to be defined by paint, or (if you're brave) very carefully drilled/scooped out by hand, because they're not quite precise enough to do with a wash.
These are not complaints, and really are expected consequences of the casting material. Resin just can't be cast to hold details as fine or sharp as metal.

- Ix

acctingman186916 Nov 2017 1:30 p.m. PST

Excellent post, thanks

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP16 Nov 2017 1:38 p.m. PST

Back to the original question of painting technique:

  1. Spray primer
  2. Spray underside color over whole surface
  3. Spray topside color (if different) from high angles so only top surfaces get coated
  4. Paint on blocky cammo pattern (e.g. RAF & Luftwaffe big wavy stripes)
  5. Paint canopy:
    • base glass color (dark silver or dark gray)
    • accent glass color (light silver or light gray)
    • highlight glass color(s) (bright silver or white)
    • Repaint canopy frame with topside color(s)

  6. Fix line between top and bottom colors by brushing on underside color to extend it and define the line
  7. Paint small color areas (prop bits, tail coloring, stripes, small blobs of cammo color, etc.)
  8. Weathering (washes, drybrushing, etc.) and scarring (smoke stains, chips out of paint, repaired panels, etc.)
  9. Gloss coat (prep for decals, armor against handling)
  10. Decals
  11. Maybe more weathering over decals?
  12. Gloss coat to protect & fix decals
  13. Final clear coat (if glossy isn't right)
  14. Re-gloss the canopy glass if it got dull.

For most miniatures, I love drybrushing as a way to bring out details, but on airplanes it looks wrong, except in certain very particular cases:
  • Creating a "faded paint" look on large sun-exposed surfaces, when I want the plane to look war-weary and used (e.g. my Cactus Air Force collection). I will try this for the desert planes to simulate dust, but no idea yet if it will look right.
  • Redefining the painted surfaces around a sloppy "dark" area like an intake hole
  • Creating smoke streaks, oil streaks, fuel stains, etc.

Generally, my airplanes get washes to bring out panel lines, often painted right into a panel line and then carefully blended out. Note that the wash color can change the character of the plane. A gray or brown or even black will make the plane look dirty, while a darker shade of the base color will tend to make the plane look newer or cleaner, and a really dark version of the base color will make a small line look like a deep, shadowy crevice.

- Ix

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP16 Nov 2017 2:04 p.m. PST

On the subject of alternatives to airbrushing: The guy who made this video suggests that oil paints can be used to make a brush-painted plane look sprayed, as an alternative to actually spraying with an airbrush.

I found this video because I recently discovered that a lot of airplane modelers like using oil paints to weather planes and I went searching for advice. It looks like it takes some practice to get right, but since oils have a long drying time (like days or weeks long) and stay wet for a long time, they are also easy to blend and blur.

I have yet to try oil paints, but I bought a small selection of paints and some oil paint thinner to try it out. I'm thinking that oils are probably too fiddly for details on small planes (1/144 and smaller), but may be just the thing to recreate those blurry color blotches one sees sprayed on Japanese, German and Italian aircraft. It might also work to soften the edges between large color areas, like on RAF planes.

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