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Ralph Clements
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BF-109G-10, 1/48

April 14, 2015 · in Aviation · · 13 · 2.3K

Here is my just completed BF-109G-10.

I admire the subtle, yet complex, mottled Luftwaffe paint schemes more advanced model builders achieve and wanted to try one. Not being equipped with an air brush and not expecting great results, I didn't buy an expensive kit, this is a cheap 1/48 scale, less than $15...nor did I try hard to use the exact correct colors, this is painted with rattle cans I had already, MM Camoflage Gray, Gunship Gray and Valspar "Azure Snow" for the bottom and sides. I also didn't try to replicate the two particular aircraft the kit offered decals and painting instructions for, rather I aimed for a generic look, and used some kit decals and others from my stash - the fist on the nose came from a tank kit...It was mainly an experiment. I think I will try another of this sort of scheme and be more particular with the masking, it may come out better. Also use more restraint in my unsightly and heavy handed "weathering" efforts...
Thanks for looking and sharing the cool models I see here...

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13 responses

  1. Ralph, you've certainly managed a recognisable 109, even though you've gone 'round the houses' to get there. I think with your natural abilities (good effort on the Gustav), I'd make a small investment on an airbrush and little compressor, to get even more satisfying results. I use a double action airbrush, from Everything Airbrush here in the UK, which is really just a knock-off Badger and a whole lot cheaper.

    • I'm sure I'd love an airbrush and think i could do OK with one. It seems they are kind of a cross between an ink pen and a rattle issue is the infrastructure I hear you need, ventilation system, dedicated paint booth, respirators and all that.

      I paint with rattle cans out doors and live on a mountaintop, the wind always blows, I try to paint between puffs, it is a challenge and in winter I don't even I do hair brush too, which sometimes I think gives great results, depending on the goal.

      • I do my work in my shed, naturally in very cold or wet weather not good for spraying, but humidity affects any paint application anyway. If I'm really stuck I might do a little work in my conservatory to finish something off. The paint quantities are tiny and the air pressures very low, not like spraying car paint. People usually have extractors set up if they work indoors, in a room of something, but that's not my setup.

  2. If you're going to mask and use rattle cans, a good way to get a realistic look is to raise the edges of the masks. You can run thread around the border, about 1/16" in, which raises the edge. Then, if you spray "toward" the mask there is a subtle "overspray" that gives it the "sprayed on" look without getting too much overspray.

    • A less time consuming method that I've incorporated before is to simply lay an old rag, t-shirt...whatever - along the area to be "masked". The material itself allows a subtle "overspray" and doesn't result in that 'hard' demarcation line(s). Everyone has little "tricks of the trade" to avoid the tedium of airbrushing procedures, but the airbrush certainly produces the better job.

  3. Ahhhh...a man after my own heart - "generic builds". I can't remember the last time I used MY airbrush. I've had some [limited] success achieving a 'mottled' look by simply punching random holes in an old greeting card (or some such heavier paper stock), and spraying directly through them - from an appropriate distance - practice on something else first, though. Yours came out well enough however. How'd you get your feathered edge on the wings?

    • Craig thanks, your rattle can works are an inspiration -

      The wings were done by taking pieces of masking tape and tearing the edges inthe general shape I wanted and sticking them onthe wings. Then I took a rolled up cylinder of the "tacky" stuff (putty like stuff) and laid them over the edges of the tape. I've used rolled up Tacky before for feathered edges but made the cylinder diameters too small, which doesn't make much 'feather'. I made them about as thick as a pencil for this to get wider transition areas.

    • You can just get PE mottle masks in different scales, quite cheap and last forever, saves having to cut up cardboard or similar, and edges are cleaner and more convincing.

  4. Ralph,
    Interesting and very well done. I have to agree with Rob though. With your talents you should move toward an airbrush. Who is to say you can't continue to do your spraying on your mountain top between puffs.

  5. I like it Ralph. I have to concur that the most realistic motteling will need an airbrush. Stippling with on old paintbrush also can produce nice results in a kind of dry brushing fashion - freehand or through a mask. Either way your 109 looks good.

  6. Thanks everyone - local craft big box store has a couple of airbrush kits, beginner level I think, I have been eyeing for some time. Hmmm...definitely would want to practice on scrap a bunch before a real kit.

  7. Ralph,

    If I may make another comment and suggestion... I would be careful about going with a too "beginner level" airbrush. Some are OK but for the most part they may give you more fits than starts. Years ago I started with a Binks single action brush and then moved on to a Paasche "H" single action brush. I made the move because parts and tips etc were more easily obtainable for the Paasche. I still use the "H" for everything I do. I have a double action Paasche but don't use it. I am so used to the "H" that I find it almost impossible to use the double action brush. Akin to always driving with an automatic transmission then try to drive.a stick shift. I'm happy with the "H" and will stick with it.

    All this being said, I will add. For a period of time I worked in a hobby shop. Whenever a person desired to buy an airbrush for the first time, I would recommend a dual action brush. Reason being that if you have never used a brush, learn to use the dual action (driving a stick shift) because you have no already acquired bad habits like I have with the "H". I would bet that most of the people on this site use a dual action brush. It offers more versatility. This is just something for you to consider. I won't change because I am too old to care. Ask around for opinions of other guys but be Leery of a brush that is too centered for "beginners "

    • Why thanks so much Frank, I appreciate sage wisdom and advice. Me? I would know a single action airbrush from a 10 action airbrush. I've seen a few in the stores but never even held one in my hand.

      Local actual hobby shop does have some more like what you describe, i think, as opposed to what big-box craft world offers.

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