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General Aircraft: Tips & Techniques
Discussions on specific A/C building techniques.
Complicated Camouflage Scheme
jphillips
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Arizona, United States
Joined: February 25, 2007
KitMaker: 1,066 posts
AeroScale: 214 posts
Posted: Monday, June 01, 2009 - 09:51 PM UTC
Hi Guys,
I'm thinking about trying a complicated camouflage scheme on a 1/48 AC-47 (I've pasted a link to the illustration; I've tried posting illustrations many times but it's too complicated). Any suggestions as to how I might go about this? I don't have an airbrush. I was wondering if maybe a sponge might produce the effect I'm looking for? Anyway, here's the plane I'm talking about:
http://wp.scn.ru/en/ww2/t/53/258/0/2
pigsty
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United Kingdom
Joined: January 16, 2007
KitMaker: 1,226 posts
AeroScale: 640 posts
Posted: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 - 10:03 PM UTC
That's a fairly conventional TO 1-1-4 colour scheme with soft edges to the colour patches. If you don't have an airbrush, try this:

1 Paint in lightest colour first - probably tan with this scheme. You can either do it overall, or put it only where you want it - if so, apply slightly larger patches than the final scheme.
2 Add the next lightest colour where you need it, but in slightly smaller patches than the final scheme. That will be the lighter green this time.
3 Along the edges of the green patches, dry-brush the green out to where the edge of the patch ought to be. Use a rotary motion if you can, rather than the very tempting back-and-forth. This will look awful at first, thin and shiny, but if you keep building up the colour density you should get a fair result.
4 There will still be a slight hard edge to the green patch. You can disguise it by applying very small flecks of green along it, pointing into the dry-brushed areas, using a small brush.
5 If the coverage still isn't satisfactory you can make it denser by using a sponge as well.

I've tried this technique using steps 1-4 and steps 1-5. You can see the results of 1-4 by looking for the MiG-23MS in the Swing-Wing campaign thread, and the results of 1-5 by looking for the P-3F in April's aircraft model of the month contest. I marginally prefer it without the sponge, since the sponge leaves quite coarse touches of paint that don't quite convince. A word of warning, though - neither technique stands up to close scrutiny the way an airbrush would. I find that it looks OK from about three feet away.
jphillips
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Arizona, United States
Joined: February 25, 2007
KitMaker: 1,066 posts
AeroScale: 214 posts
Posted: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 - 10:50 PM UTC
Thanks a lot! I'll give it a try.
AJLaFleche
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Massachusetts, United States
Joined: May 05, 2002
KitMaker: 8,074 posts
AeroScale: 328 posts
Posted: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 - 07:40 AM UTC
The sceme is actuallt quite simple, three colors on top and black on the bottom. The three colors are tan FS30219 and the greens are FS34102 and FS34079.
The two greens are very close. Here is a couple pics showomg both sides.


jphillips
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Arizona, United States
Joined: February 25, 2007
KitMaker: 1,066 posts
AeroScale: 214 posts
Posted: Thursday, June 04, 2009 - 03:39 AM UTC
Wow, your pics look great! I'm glad I've finally ordered this plane, and I'm looking forward to starting it. Really, it was a bargain, at just $31.28 at Hobbylinc, including S & H.
AJLaFleche
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Massachusetts, United States
Joined: May 05, 2002
KitMaker: 8,074 posts
AeroScale: 328 posts
Posted: Thursday, June 04, 2009 - 04:21 AM UTC
I found the pictures on-line, they are not mine. They were taken by a Richard Seaman.
pigsty
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United Kingdom
Joined: January 16, 2007
KitMaker: 1,226 posts
AeroScale: 640 posts
Posted: Thursday, June 04, 2009 - 04:36 AM UTC
I meant to say in my last posting, "repeat steps 1 to 4 (or 1 to 5) for the darker green". Hope that was at least implied in what I said ... the main rule is, start with the lightest colour and end on the darkest.

Which means that I should also mention that you should start with the underside grey before diving into the top-surface colours. The soft edge applies there as well. And, since you won't want the underside colour to be all over the model and then painted over, that means starting with a lightly larger area than the colour scheme demands, and then shrinking it with the dry-brushing.
jphillips
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Arizona, United States
Joined: February 25, 2007
KitMaker: 1,066 posts
AeroScale: 214 posts
Posted: Monday, June 15, 2009 - 04:34 AM UTC
FedEx brought my AC-47 Saturday! I'm so excited. I've already started painting some of the little details. I have Eastern European short-run putty and sand burnout, so this kit, which looks like it will fal together easily enough, is sort of a refeshing change for me.
Looking at these pics and comparing them to the RLAF Spooky I was going to build it seems to me that their scheme is a little different from the standard USAF SEA camouflage. It looks like maybe it is the same camo, but is more weathered.