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Flak Damage –The Ultimate in Scale Detail, or Weathering Gone Wild?

Flak Damage –The Ultimate in Scale Detail, or Weathering Gone Wild?

While searching for intel at the recent Warbirds over the Rockies event, MAN contributor Rich Uravitch found something extraordinary. Here’s what his report revealed.

Since the theme of the event was Warbirds, the models entered were scale replicas, some of them in the “sport” scale, fly-it-every-day category, while others were clearly competition-capable. They had all the correct paint schemes, an abundance of artistically applied surface detail, full cockpits, perfect weathering and exhaust staining; truly miniature replicas.

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With the level of detail always increasing, one wonders what can be the next “eye candy” to be added?  Well, Dave Morales and Jimmy Cowman may have just moved the bar up a little. Dave’s P-40B model from Jerry Bates plans featured “battle damage” detail which included an aileron with the underlying structure (like ribs and stringers) clearly visible. It made a great visual effect and didn’t seem to influence the flying qualities at all! Taking a cue from plastic modelers, Dave also made diorama elements with which to surround the model when it was on static display! Vehicles, stands, tools all added to the illusion!

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Along the same lines but requiring different techniques was Jimmy’s big B-17 Flying Fortress which replicated the flak damage seen on many bombers returning from missions over Europe. The aluminum skin was first duplicated, then penetrated and peeled away from the hole to simulate the torn metal. Very convincing illusion and one we may see more of in the search for greater realism on our models. Here’s a tip though…..try a practice piece first!

Updated: October 1, 2014 — 5:22 PM
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6 Comments

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  1. wow that is awesome

  2. Makes sense only on landing. Nobody would take off in a plane with that kind of damage. I’d be impressed if the model could be intact on take-off but return with battle damage!

  3. @Phil Hulting; yes you can start it being intact and then shoot it down!

  4. what are you talking about……al my airees come back looking like that!

  5. I know this plane – the aileron spar is titanium, the hinges are heavy duty, the the damaged area is aluminum using a heavy duty high power servo. Most of the material damaged and bent is actually in the cavity of the blast damage and out of he air stream to reduce flutter – Replicating damage caused by a Japanese 20mm. This wing presents less lift at slow speeds and tips first and the roll rate has slowed due to reduced area in the aileron but at speed it not noticeable. You can see it fly https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rehL93YNSBY&list=UUgFPAj1RLP_IelBiO4ICITQ

  6. Yes you would see one with dmg taking off. Imagine plane sitting on airfield on some island and you have a formation of jap bombers spotted. as long as the plane is flyable it will be all planes wheel up as it would be safer for the plane to be in the air fighting than sitting on the ground to be destroyed by bombers

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