If like me, you love airplanes I’ll bet you have a special interest in scale models, particularly warbirds. There are many ARFs on the market today that make great starting points for producing a competition-worthy plane, but to kick it up a notch in the realism category, you have to dive into weathering.
This article highlights some of the ways that I’ve learned to enhance the looks of your average scale model.
Do your homework. One of the most important aspects of detailing a model is to match the overall appearance of the full-size aircraft. Also, it is easy to “over weather” a model, so the key thing to keep in mind is to be subtle. Take the time to learn how the real aircraft was manufactured and with what materials.
Aircraft with metal skins wear much differently than airplanes with surfaces covered with cloth and fabric. An interesting aspect of Japanese aircraft is the portions of its fuselage having metal skin. The surface details rivets and panel lines are where grime collects—so this is an important part of getting the model to look right.
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