Scale Modeling Techniques, Tips and Tutorials
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Paint Chipping on the Wing Root (Beginners)

plastic model paint chipping effect using silver pencil.

On World War 2 military aircraft is was quite common for the paint between the fuselage and the wing root to become damaged by the pilot and ground crew while walking up and down to the cockpit. Although there are several painting techniques used to replicate paint chipping on an airplane model kit, a simple and effective alternative would be to use a silver pencil. These can be purchased at any art supplies store.

Stipple the wing root of the plastic scale model with the silver pencil until you have the desired amount of dots. It is important that you do not draw, or the effect will be lost. Applying dots and tiny dashes in this method will give you a great deal of control over the final look of the airplane model kit.

Realistic Paint Chipping on a Model Aircraft

plastic model paint chipping effect using Testors Flat Aluminum or Alclad II Aluminum paint undercoat.

The paint chipping effect is excellent for producing an authentic looking airplane model kit. Of the many painting techniques used to achieve this, I have found the following approach to be highly effective.

To begin, prime the entire plastic scale model with a grey primer. Once the primer is completely dry, you can then coat the model aircraft with Testors Flat Aluminum or Alclad II Aluminum paint and allow at least 24 hours for the paint to dry. It is very important for this coat to be completely dry before moving forward to the next step. The metal colour will later reveal through the final paint scheme of the airplane model kit as chipping.

The next step is to airbrush the colour scheme of the plastic scale model using acrylic, such as Tamiya or Gunze paints. Allow the paint to dry for about 1½ hours. At this point, you should be able to hold the model aircraft without leaving any fingerprints.

Press a piece of tape onto the surface of the airplane model kit and peel off fast. The tape should pull up some of the colour, leaving the underlying aluminum to show through. It takes some work to achieve this, and if the paint is too dry, you will need a stronger tape, like duct tape. Apply this effect wherever necessary. Commonly chipped areas include the wing roots, propeller blades and cowling. You can then seal the paints by coating the plastic scale model kit with future floor wax.

I strongly recommend that you practice this technique on spare parts before applying it to your airplane model kit. It is not a simple technique, but mastering this skill will render spectacular results. Weather the rest of the model aircraft and enjoy the effects.

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