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Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?

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Old 11-13-2012, 08:06 PM
  #1
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Default Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?

I'm wondering whether anyone has any nice "tricks" for painting those curvy pattee crosses...perhaps something similar to the trick for hand-painting roundels. If at all possible, I'd like to avoid using masks...at least until I've tried my hand at hand-painting.

I've printed out some practice sheets:
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:35 PM
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Default RE: Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?

1) First hand paint the white boxes on the wings.
2) Trace out cross on paper and cut out with xacto knife
3) Place paper cross template on wing centered in white box and trace outline with pencil.
4) Get the most expensive black electrical tape and mask around outline. The tape will stretch and form making good curves. Hand paint the black crosses then lift tape and hand paint white or black with fine brush to fix bleed thru arreas. Comes out good with none of that messy spray painting.
5) I use latex.

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Old 11-13-2012, 09:28 PM
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Default RE: Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?

I'll keep the electrical tape tip in mind, but I guess I should have said "free-hand painting" the crosses. The technique for free-handing roundels was to paint with a natural curving sweep of the hand. And this turns out to be fairly easy because we're painting the inside of a "convex" curve. But on the patee cross, we're stuck with painting the inside of a concave curve...or to think of it another way, painting along the "outside" of a concave line. And that's tougher.

Some initial practice indicates that one set of the curved lines are easier to paint starting from the middle and curving out to the tip. The other set of lines is easier starting at the tip and curving into the middle. The diagram below shows what's easier for me as a left-hander. So I could do the edges with a thin brush, and then fill in the rest with a wider brush. The tips will take some care.

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Old 11-14-2012, 01:42 AM
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Default RE: Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?

Quote:
ORIGINAL: valleyk
4)...then lift tape and hand paint white or black with fine brush to fix bleed thru arreas.
A nice trick for avoiding (or limiting) paint bleeding under the edge is to very lightly seal the edge of the tape or mask with a clear paint (clearcoat or PolyC). Just the very lightest amount with a small brush to fill any imperceptible gaps. Then paint the marking.

Quote:
5) I use latex.
I'll give our local Japanese variety of latex (house paint) a try. It's best if it "flows" nicely.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:39 AM
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Default RE: Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?

As with the roundels, the line along the inside border of the cross is best done in a single pass with the brush fairly heavy with paint. On a test piece I used a 1/8" flat-tipped brush for this. Maybe even a narrower brush would work. Most of this line will be painted over when filling in the cross at which point you don't have to worry much about going over the outline. The corners were done with a fine-tipped brush and the cross filled in with a 1/2" brush.

For the time being, ignore the brush strokes (paint was too thick) and the warping (since this test was done on ordinary paper). Using the stroke directions shown above, even on this first attempt, the outline came out very sharp (with just one or two very small goof-ups). For the wings and rudder this shouldn't be too hard to do. It might be more difficult to free-hand the crosses on the fuselage. That's where a mask might come in handy.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:13 AM
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Default RE: Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?

BTW, here's the aircraft I'm modeling (more or less with some artistic license). This is the only photo I've seen of this aircraft so all I can do is assume that the crosses on the wings and the rudder were the same (similar) to the one of the side. Patee crosses were far from stardard, but there seems to have been three basic variations. The earliest version (think, early EIIIs) was very narrow in the center and very wide at the end, then what seems to be a second version (maybe ca. 1915?) as seen in this photo. And then there was a later (last?) version with with the narrower arms (and a wider center) as seen on some DrIs. I also get the feeling this shape was associated with some naval aircraft. The datafile CI drawings show this style.

But the variety of patee crosses seen in period photos is truly astounding.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:42 AM
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Default RE: Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?

Your free hand look good. You can handle it. If you end up masking, i like Scotch tape cut to shape; has a good edge.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:47 AM
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Default RE: Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?

Looks great, Don. The larger the scale, the easier this sort of thing becomes. Small errors when building 1/12 scale are much more significant than at 1/3. I was pleasantly surprised at how well my hand painted markings turned out on my Aviatik. However, I would have been a little disappointed with the brush marks at a smaller scale.

Martin
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:11 AM
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Default RE: Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?

FWIW Our paint doesn't 'scale' properly and the strokes will be too prominent. When you look at photos of the fellas doing the painting their brushes don't look to be very wide and they use stencils in some cases. Field repairs seem to have been done 'on the fly'. Spray them in place then go over them with a brush using a flat clear or somesuch. Any errors won't be as prominent. I like to use the blue pinstriping vinyl tape from auto paint shops but don't know if they're available in Japan.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:21 AM
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Default RE: Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?

Quote:
ORIGINAL: ARUP
FWIW Our paint doesn't 'scale' properly and the strokes will be too prominent.
I know what you mean. But what I'm hoping is that if the paint is the right consistency it will flow such that there are no brush marks.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:42 AM
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Default RE: Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?

From what I've seen (for example in historical photos and from replica builders), the black crosses (and roundels) weren't always painted ON TOP of underlying paint. Rather the background color was left "empty" in these areas and then the marking was "filled in." That might be a little hard at smaller scales, but might be worth attempting on a wing where the markings are clearly visible through the bottom fabric, as on the CI.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:44 PM
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Default RE: Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?

It's not cheap but the best tape for clean paint lines comes from your local auto color supply such as English Color or find one that supplies the auto paint and body shops with their paints/tints.  They sell auto masking which I use a lot in my industry and it is of a quality that I haven't found.  It will form to most curves and leaves a very clean line even with air brushing.   You can also find some very nice brushes for pin stripping or touch p from them also. 
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:42 PM
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Default RE: Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?

Abu, either you got it or you don't.
Ok how about this based on post 3 picture.
Make two frisket paper masks that
-1 does the blue strokes to the corner and then 90 degrees all the way to the end.
-2 make a red mask along that edge and 90 degree to end of cross.
Now with your pencil marks of the entire cross, lay down the blue edge and paint most of the cross section.
Do this 3 more times working your way around the cross.
Now take the red edge mask. Line it up and finish the cross. Do same 3 more times and you are done.
Hope makes sense as im on a cell and unable to power point it.
R, mike
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:46 PM
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Default RE: Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?

Being right handed i would also make all my paint strokes in a left to right sweeping motion as it feels easier. So sometimes the red mask might be first, then the blue.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:56 PM
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Default RE: Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?

Quote:
ORIGINAL: FireBee

Being right handed i would also make all my paint strokes in a left to right sweeping motion as it feels easier. So sometimes the red mask might be first, then the blue.
My point was that with these sweeping motions no masks are needed at all! It can all be done entirely free-hand (no tape, no nothing) with very clean, sharp results...and I don't have a particularly steady hand. It's technique rather than skill.

I suppose it all boils down to preference. I definitely prefer the "work" of using a free-hand technique over the "work" of using masks (of either tape or frisket). Both have their pros and cons.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:57 PM
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Default RE: Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?


Quote:
ORIGINAL: abufletcher

Quote:
ORIGINAL: ARUP
FWIW Our paint doesn't 'scale' properly and the strokes will be too prominent.
I know what you mean. But what I'm hoping is that if the paint is the right consistency it will flow such that there are no brush marks.
Right! Brush strokes won't show, much. That's why it would be easier to mask and spray! I understand what you are doing, though! (I think) Your CD Albi is looking good, BTW!
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:56 PM
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Default RE: Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?

Does anyone use "windshield wiper fluid" to make latex flow better?
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:04 PM
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Default RE: Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?

Here's Achim Engels at work. Right or wrong, the result is still impressive.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:59 PM
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Default RE: Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?

Hello abufletcher, if I were you I would NOT touch a water based paint for this type of application, (although the windsheild washer fluid does help the flow) but if you want to hand brush it freehand, you will want a enamal base paint.

If you want the best paint for hand lettering it's called "One Shot" lettering enamel, when I letter on a hot day I always add a few drops of kerosene to my paint, this slows the drying time and the paint flows out like its been sprayed, but takes longer to dry though. I suppose you could use this same process with any enamel paint even Testors Model Masters, if you try/test do not use much!!. for an example... if you where to say do this with a whole bottle of testors you would only use a VERY small drop of kerosene. One Shot is a slow drying paint anyways for your application you would probably not need kero, its just so you know.

really depends on how big your artwork is and how you go about it. Me I would probably make a pattern out of a manila folder (yellowish job folder) since there are more than one, tape it on your surface (all 4 sides) just enough to hold it dont need much - then trace it with a pencil (lightly) use a hard one like an "H" it leaves a very nice clean line, you will be covering it anyways. Then remove and then tape all 4 side with either fine line of even 3m GREEN masking tape it works almost as good as fine line, make sure you squeegee the edge very well where the paint is going to be. NOW... your ready to become a hand lettering sign painter... LOL!!

Brushes... one way to go is using a "liner brush" it has longer hairs then a standard brush, its used for outlining and scroll work, plus get your self a wider brush for filling in. Longer hairs carries more paint, - longer + wider (Quill) spreads paint out nicely.

the TUBE offers a ton of hand lettering and pinstripping videos, watch some and you will find out what I am talking about, Steve Kafka is a good place to start, check it out.

just practice a little and you will find it is not that hard to do. First tip I can give when you are pushing that brush... watch were you are going... not were the brush is at.

I'm 30yr. sign painter but most of the stuff I do on my models I cut stencils and spray with an airbrush... but I understand where your coming from, they defiantly weren't perfect on the real thing.

Good luck and have fun, willey

check out my gallery the A-4, P47 & the 51 are all paint no stickee's
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:17 PM
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Default RE: Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?

Steve Kafka's lettering demo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aU0eLk6vOUY


Here is a good example of how the tape is used for the horizontals and what the brush looks like in action

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkDeN...eature=related
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:33 PM
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Default RE: Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?

Im with willey, Im no painter like him but have used lettering paint to do some graphic's on a small nitro boat also get some decent brushes for the job. You will be able to load the brush up with more paint and run a better line and further without stopping.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:48 PM
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Default RE: Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?

Here is a couple pics of the boat I did. This was my first time doing 24k goldleaf and lettering. Wish I was 20 years younger when I didn't have the shakes. Hope you don't mind me posting the pics. I have an Eindecker that Im going to do with all the crosses but will probably do them with tape and airbrush
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:56 PM
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Default RE: Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?

Yes having the right tools makes it much easier for doing the job, kinda like comparing flying a three channel Senior-eta and fly an aerobatic routine than fly it with a competition pattern ship.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:58 PM
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Default RE: Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?


Quote:
ORIGINAL: unclecrash

Here is a couple pics of the boat I did. This was my first time doing 24k goldleaf and lettering. Wish I was 20 years younger when I didn't have the shakes. Hope you don't mind me posting the pics. I have an Eindecker that Im going to do with all the crosses but will probably do them with tape and airbrush
that looks pretty cool!!
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:48 PM
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Default RE: Tips for hand-painting German Pattee crosses?

Thanks very much for all that "insider" knowledge! I'll give enamel a try...and maybe at some point in the future pick up some that specialty paint. The idea of slowing it down with kerosene is also interesting (if necessary). Who knows, maybe I will in the end end up using a mask, but I really enjoy learning about these other possible techniques...particularly one's used on the original aircraft. Somewhere I have a photo of a woman hand-painting markings on a full-scale WWII warbird and it's absolutely flawless.

The long-haired brushes highlight an important point: You're actually dragging the end of the brush that lays down the line.
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