One salty modeller!
My last post concerned my first oil and enamel washes as i am wanting to have a crack at different techniques and effects, this one concerns chipping, something that i think looks great but have been too scared to attempt. Well, time to get on that horse and give it a shot.
The victim is Academys 1/48 Dauntless, it should have really been a Japanese plane in retrospect but this kit was cheap..plus, it’s a Dauntless, and i have a soft spot for the old girl. I’ll just insert here that i must have got the Friday afternoon moulding of this kit as the fuselage was warped, the wings didn’t align, and the cowls were shocking and had to be sectioned and then braced with sprue to come true and align with the gun mount and fuselage. It ended up being a trimming, putty and sanding monster of a kit. So, moving on from that joy, I had looked at the different chipping techniques since my jump into models mid last year and had decided that the salt one looked pretty cool, plus i had salt in the cupboard so could save money on product!
Step 0. Piece together terrible kit to resemble an aircraft
Step 1. Aluminium base.
Step 2. Wet.
Step 3. Apply crushed rock salt to wet area.
Step 4. Let dry.
Step 5. Apply paint over salt.
Step 6. Let dry
Step 7. Remove salt with brush
Step 8. Sit back and enjoy the fruits of ones labour
Easy!…right? Had to be. So i did some salt tests on my leftover Warspite base and figured out a few things, salt placement was going to be a challenge, generic table salt didn’t work so it had to be rock salt, psi had to fairly low initially so all of the salt didn’t blow away, paint had to be thin to go with the low psi. Two tests and i felt i had enough of a handle on it that when i was ready to tackle the model i would be good to go.
So i got her to the stage of ‘salt ready’. The wings and fuselage area were sprayed with a black base then aluminium which was rubbed down with a cloth to smooth it out. The areas i would be doing were the inboard upper wings, fuselage area around the cockpit and engine cowl sections. At this stage i wanted it to be ‘realisticy sort of’.. but i wasn’t going to beat myself up over a less than stellar job and knew i would certainly over do it, it just seems to be in my nature with these sorts of things.
A mix of yellow and black was mixed to make the green undercoat that would go over the aluminium, the inboard of the wings was wet with a brush and water and i layed my salt (excessively as it turned out). She sat under my lamps for about 30 minutes and then i sprayed on the colour. After spraying it was back to the lamps, let if dry for a few hours then remove the salt with a stiff cut down brush. This process was repeated with the model tilted so i could do the fuselage sides, the whole lot was rubbed down with a damp cloth to remove any salt remaining and then the whole process was repeated again from the start with the top coat blue which included lightening the mix to fade the paint out as it looked far to fresh and clean. Salting and spraying the side coat intermediate blue and one last salt deployment for the anti slip stripes on the wings. Phew.
The whole process took a couple of days owing to drying times and just general patience in taking it all nice and slowly with a low psi (8-10) thinned spray initially to seal the salt. The cowls were done separately as was the prop and even the ordnance got assalted.
It is definitely an overkill salt job and i did miss the mark with the leading wing edges as i was dropping the salt from above and the fuselage looks more like an 88 spewed splinters everywhere than actual crew wear marks. Despite that, i really like how it has moved along and have enjoyed delving into this technique, it’s made for a really fun build so far and i think once decalled and oil washed she should turn out to be an interesting addition to the cabinet.
20 additional images. Click to enlarge.