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RC Workshop Build-Along — Sopwith Camel — Part 23– Painting

RC Workshop Build-Along — Sopwith Camel — Part 23– Painting

We are nearing the end of this year long project and are now at the stage where we add the color paint coat. Following the Poly Brush Sealer coats, which are applied with brush, all the future paint coats are sprayed on.

RC Workshop Build-Along -- Sopwith Camel Painting

I use a HVLP (High volume, low pressure) paint gun as it produces much less over-spray and provides a wide range of control for the amount of paint and air being mixed and applied to the model.

The first step is to apply  the Poly Spray Silver undercoat. It is very heavily pigmented with aluminum powder and needs to be completely mixed and reduced before spraying with the gun. it is best to use a wood dowel to mix up the settled pigment from the bottom of the can.

RC Workshop Build-Along -- Sopwith Camel Painting

Here’s the fuselage with two coats of silver applied. The tail surfaces and the wings are next.

RC Workshop Build-Along -- Sopwith Camel Painting

Here are the tail surfaces with silver undercoat, hung up to dry between coats.

RC Workshop Build-Along -- Sopwith Camel Painting

For the larger surfaces I shoot them with paint while horizontal blocked up on my work/paint table. I go over all the edges first and then apply paint to the rib tapes. I then fill in one coat with span-wise coats followed by chord-wise coats. I apply two coats of each color with about an hour drying time between each application.

RC Workshop Build-Along -- Sopwith Camel Painting

Here’s the light underside buff tan color applied to the wing panels.

RC Workshop Build-Along -- Sopwith Camel Painting

RC Workshop Build-Along -- Sopwith Camel Painting

Same technique goes for all the other surfaces, the stabilizer and elevators, rudder, fin and all four ailerons. Also the tan color is applied to the fuselage bottom surface.

RC Workshop Build-Along -- Sopwith Camel Painting

I let the first color dry over night and then I add the top surface color. In this case the vintage Sopwith brown color, which is I think more attractive than the olive green color you see so much used on Sopwith airplanes.

It is always important to have proper ventilation and here’s my at hock setup. It works great in keeping the over-spray and fumes from building up in my basement!

RC Workshop Build-Along -- Sopwith Camel Painting

RC Workshop Build-Along -- Sopwith Camel Painting

For the fin and rudder, I used Juneau white which is a slightly darker white, or a very light shade of gray. In fact, one of the reasons I love using the Poly Tone brand of paint is that it has a fantastic shelf life, if you seal the cans properly. I bought this white paint for a Stearman project I did back in 1996! 19 years ago!

So here it is, all the cloth covered surfaces have been sealed and painted. I think the brown is a striking color for the Camel and will be very attractive when the graphics and decals are applied

RC Workshop Build-Along -- Sopwith Camel Painting

The next step will be the stained and varnished plywood side panels which will be done next week.

Here are a could of photos of a Camel with the brown base color paint scheme.

RC Workshop Build-Along -- Sopwith Camel Painting

In some photos the brown looks green but that’s how the slides were processed. It is always best to see the full-size plane in person and match the colors you want with color chips.

RC Workshop Build-Along -- Sopwith Camel Painting

Part 24: http://www.modelairplanenews.com/blog/2015/04/20/workshop-build-along-sopwith-camel-applying-plywood-panels/

 

Updated: February 12, 2016 — 12:49 PM
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2 Comments

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  1. I disagree with the brown/green issue. Camels, like most RFC aircraft of the late-war period, were finished in “PC 10”. This was a mixture of pigments in a varnish base. A few years ago I exchanged emails with a restoration expert at the RAF Museum in Hendon UK about the colour of PC 10, and he was quite clear that the colour was a muddy green. He had access to original swatches as well as documentary evidence. It is true that in some lights the colour appeared more brown while in other situations it appeared more green.

    I did some careful comparisons (he quoted some Federal Standard codes that came close to his swatches but I forget what they were offhand) and the closest modern commercial paint I could get was Behr Exterior Latex in “Volcanic Island” http://www.behr.com/consumer/ColorDetailView/S-H-720. This is not as tan as your paint, but definitely has an olive tone to it along with the brown.

    The green is really part of the PC 10 colour, it isn’t just photo-processing.

    1. Hi Phil. this is good to know. I am far from an WW1 expert. I will have to file away your PC-10 info for future use. I also like the latex Behr paint cross reference. Like I mentioned earlier, this is a sport flying model not intended for competition. I will have fun telling people it is a special experimental chocolate camo scheme!
      Cheers
      GY

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