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Painting exhaust colors?

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Old 06-09-2011, 08:18 PM
  #1
abufletcher
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Default Painting exhaust colors?

I'm soon going to be painting the scale (dummy) exhausts I've made for my SE5a. As a color reference I'm using a photo of the exhausts on the NZ Vintage Aviator replica. As you can see in the photo it has a slightly "burnt" look, but still looks like metal instead of looking like "painted metal." But I'm not that skilled at scale painting and weathering. Any advice.

My exhausts are actually made from lithoplate (with some bits of dowel and G10). I'll start by priming with some grey auto primer that has worked well in the past. Then I'm planning to add a bit of texture in spots with some Tamiya texturized paint ("light sand"). After that, I'm not sure. Once nice thing about having done them in metal to begin with is that I can rub down the heads of the "rivets" and also add some natural wear.
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:20 PM
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Default RE: Painting exhaust colors?

Here is some very fine weathering by Don Coe on his SE5a.
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Old 06-10-2011, 03:25 AM
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Default RE: Painting exhaust colors?

This is not directly related but a neat technique nevertheless:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGQ8yXWz_Rs&feature=related[/youtube]
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Old 06-10-2011, 04:36 AM
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Default RE: Painting exhaust colors?

Remember one thing is the dark colored exhaust is rust. The new parts would be shinny like yours. The heat helps make it rust faster but it also makes finer particles instead of big chunky junkyard car rust. I would think the darkness would need to match the time the plane has been in "service." If it has been at the front for 6 months dark or if it just arrived, a haze.
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:21 AM
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Default RE: Painting exhaust colors?

Very nice detail/work! Like you, I'll be trying my hand at weathering my s.e.5 exhausts soon - which will be a is a new adventure. From research I've done (so far) the technique I'm looking to try is called 'dry brushing'. Its a technique artists and true miniature scale model builders use. You might google 'dry brushing' and it will give you a feel for the technique. Coloring (mix, etc) in another thing. One thing I think you might consider doing before painting is adding some 'texture' to your exhaust system (stacks, manifold cocers, etc) before any final painting. I can expand a little more on my limited experience if you want to send a PM.

What scale is your s.e.5?

Dick
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:50 AM
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Default RE: Painting exhaust colors?

Don Coe is clearly a master, but his style is to go for a more "overall impression" like an oil painter working on a masterpiece. Up close you see the actual brush strokes and flashes of color. Note that there's virtually no part of the model that is a uniform color. I admire this style but I'm not sure if that's what I want (and don't have the skills to do it anyway). I'm looking for something that looks "real" even up close. I like the look of the NZ replica exhausts because this is an actual flying replica in more or less "war-ready" condition. So the amount of discoloration represents what we would very likely see on an aircraft that had only been in service for a year or so.

From the videos I've found it looks like what I need to do is apply an overall metallic paint (to blend all the parts together) then perhaps apply a reddish brown coating, and then sand away almost all of the reddish paint to reveal the "steel" paint beneath. On the edges I could sand all the way through to the actual aluminum. Anyway, that's what I'll try as my first experiment. Dick, for texture, I've got some Tamiya "sand" paint that adds some nice grit. I'll stipple that on around the flanges and a few other spots, before I do the base coat.

My SE5a is a 1/6 scale kit that started as a "quick build" (and I'm still hopeful) but has slowed down a bit in the last month:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1363887
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:56 AM
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Default RE: Painting exhaust colors?

Maybe what I need is actually FOUR colors:

1. Base coat in metallic ("steel")
2. Darker blued-steel coat
3. Reddish "light rust" coat
4. Second coat of base color

Then by careful selective sanding/rubbing I can reveal the different layers.
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Old 06-10-2011, 06:18 AM
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Default RE: Painting exhaust colors?

The plastic model tank guys are the true experts on weathering:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sa1D6bYl_cA&NR=1[/youtube]
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Old 06-10-2011, 06:50 AM
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Default RE: Painting exhaust colors?

Again unrelated, but I'm just blown away by this every time I run across it:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWifPWDJ6o8[/youtube]
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Old 06-10-2011, 04:31 PM
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Default RE: Painting exhaust colors?

No success with my first "rub off" test with the above combo of layers. Dry brushing on a "steel" base is starting to look like a better option than the layer approach. The thing to keep in mind is that the overall impression of the exhaust pipe is a reddish brown against the PC10. Think of the tailpipe on a car (before they were all made chromed).
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:05 PM
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Default RE: Painting exhaust colors?

Yes, Don C. is a great modeler...does beautiful work. I'm familiar with NZ The Vintage Aviator site...shows good detail, but it's a little too 'clean' for me and I think WWI subjects show better when they are brush finished (which mine is). Not familiar with the Tamiya paint, but if it gives you a fairly fine sand paper finish, then it might be a suitable primer to use before coloring, etc. What I successfully tried and tested, were micro balloons mixed with household white latex paint primer. After finding the 'right' consistency, brushed it on a sample piece of exhaust material, let it dry, and then painted it just to see how it looked. Worked well. With regard to the full size a/c's metal surfaces, I've used litho plate everywhere metal is used on the full size a/c. Then, of course, had to do lots rivet counting, embossing , etc. Like yours, it's added to the overall looks.
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:48 PM
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Default RE: Painting exhaust colors?

The New Zealand SE5a is probably only run 10 times a year and is stored in a hangar. A war plane will be run 10 times a week and is parked outside rain or shine, and WW1 pictures always seem like it just rained. A dusting with an airbrush at a good distance would be just about right. Intentional overspray.
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Old 06-10-2011, 07:20 PM
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Default RE: Painting exhaust colors?

Abu, look possibly at some pastel chalk/pencils, or even rubbing on some lead pencil and smear it around. I personally do both dry brushing on things, and very thinned down acrylics to make a thin wash. many times you get your best results on accident, or when wiping down to start over

nothing makes a better final finish (in my eyes) than some chalked on highlights and shadows followed by a coat of flat clear. I admit though I am from the school of don't mind some brush stroking when viewed up close.
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:01 PM
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Default RE: Painting exhaust colors?

Lots of good suggestions here. What I'll try next to an overall spray of a reddish-brown rustoleum like paint and then dry brush with steel acrylic. I need to dig out my cheapo air-canister powered airbrush as see what I can do with it. I've never yet used an airbrush on a model. And I agree with Dick that WWI models generally look better if hand-painted. As far as the NZ replica being "too clean," well, let's say it's at the beginning of its service life! (Incidentally, weren't most aircraft actually stored in tent hangers? Can you really just leave a plane like this out in the rain?)

Foodstick, I do have some pastel chalks that I can grind up and play with the powders.

*****

I coiuld also try TFF's idea of an overall "steel" paint with a very light dusting of the reddish brown.
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Old 06-11-2011, 03:03 AM
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Default RE: Painting exhaust colors?

This is headed in the right direction. This is the reddish "rustoleum" dry brushed with steel. The base paint is a spray and seems to go on with a slight texture and dries flat. It probably said all that right on the can IN JAPANESE that I can't read. The acrylic steel is quite dark so I might also pick out a few high lights with a lighter color (for example, aluminum). Also keep in mind that I'll have to give this a clearcoat to make it fuel-proof. My choices there are either Nelson's Flat Clear or the clear "rustoleum" I picked up today at the Japanese hardware store. My tests in the past with this paint type show it to be fuel-proof but I haven't tried the clear before.
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Old 06-11-2011, 04:31 AM
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Default RE: Painting exhaust colors?

The reddish "rustoleum" can also be sanded for a smoother look. The photo of the (operational) NZ replica suggests that the exhaust heads and manifolds develop more corrosion and that the pipes are smoother (and less corroded). So I could selectively sand the tubes to create that effect. I'm also experimenting which how it looks if I start with the steel as a base and then dry brush on the "rust." I'll also try TFF's suggestion of the "dusting" with the reddish spray.

It really is heat discoloration rather than "rust" per se.

BTW, I was pleased to find 600˚ C paint in the hardware store...in black, gray, and silver.
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Old 06-11-2011, 12:09 PM
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Default RE: Painting exhaust colors?

TVA's exhaust looks like it is made from stainless the way it is oxidizing.
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Old 06-11-2011, 01:39 PM
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Default RE: Painting exhaust colors?

According to Wikipedia there are lots of different types of stainless. But I trust your judgment here.
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Old 06-11-2011, 02:50 PM
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Default RE: Painting exhaust colors?

This photo shows the other side of my prior test piece, but this time the red textured paint was sanded down first (with 800 grit) and then the steel acrylic dry brushed on (a bit more liberally). I also tried the "red overspray on steel" and seems sort of blah. Also I feel I have more control over the look with the dry brushing since I can selectively add paint instead of trying to selectively remove it by sanding.

Unfortunately, it looks like the clearcoat almost complete destroyed the nicely shiny metal effect of the steel paint. [] Since the exhaust exist directly downwards out of the bottom, maybe I could just skip the fuel-proofing and hope for the best on these details.
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Old 06-11-2011, 04:22 PM
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Default RE: Painting exhaust colors?

I visited a person in California today who has a substantial private collection of WWI aeroplanes. Most are replicas with original engines, instruments, wheels, etc. The SE-5 in the attached pics was built about 20 years ago and has flown quite a bit. It lives in a hangar, of course, but you can see from the fabric and leather condition that this is no pristine hangar queen. The colors on the exhaust are the real thing with no attempt to clean or "age" them. The engine that made the exhaust is a real Hisso.

In one of the pictures you can see a significant amount of rust on the top of the LH pipe. I believe this was caused by a radiator leak at one time. Notice also that the exhaust deposits are not exactly the same on the two sides of the airplane. This is to be expected as the fuel mixture and ring condition are not identical for every cylinder.

Regarding surface finish, the pipes are fairly smooth. I'd say they have no more roughness than a piece of worn 320 grit sandpaper. By the time you scale down to model size any texture would be insignificant.

The photos are sized down for email. If anybody would like to have full resolution versions of any of the pictures, please PM me with your email address and I'll try to send.

Dick Fischer

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Old 06-11-2011, 06:20 PM
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Default RE: Painting exhaust colors?

Very helpful pictures! Thanks a million! In these photos the color of the tubes is primarily just raw steel with a bit of rust, a bit of bluing, and a bit of blackening at the ends from soot.
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Old 06-11-2011, 06:23 PM
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Default RE: Painting exhaust colors?

abu, any type of clear will probably ruin the finish, for you.

I have read enough of your posts to no your intended goals

you could always scuff the clear with a scotch pad or something to re-dull ..However I don't think you will be able to equal the red primer roughness ...before clearing them.
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Old 06-11-2011, 07:01 PM
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Default RE: Painting exhaust colors?

In the end, I think it all boils down to "mostly rust with some steel" or "mostly steel with some rust." Or somewhere in between! Anyway, I think I've decided on painting the "steel" first and then dry brushing on the rust (and other colors).

Time to move on!

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Old 06-14-2011, 12:52 PM
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Default RE: Painting exhaust colors?

You can paint the rust color on first and let it dry. once it is dry mist it with water then sprinkle some salt on it (not a whole lot.) once that is dry you paint the color that you want for the faded metal. Once that is dry you scrape off the salt and you have rust spots. It looks amazing.

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Old 06-14-2011, 12:56 PM
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Default RE: Painting exhaust colors?

Here is a link called; [link=http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_9431135/mpage_1/key_/tm.htm]for that in service look[/link] There are some good ideas.

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