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Scale Dirt on WWI fabric

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Scale Dirt on WWI fabric

Old 06-13-2003, 07:58 AM
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Default Scale Dirt on WWI fabric

Any of you have any suggestions on how to create a realistic covering of dirt on an old fabric covered plane. Im working on a 1/5 scale scratch built Eindecker. I intentionally 'faded' the colors of the paint a tad for a worn appearance and now i am faced with the prospect of creating a scale look of distressed and soiled fabric with stains etc. Any ideas folks? Not sure if I should mix up a type of matt glaze and begin rubbing it on and wiping off in places with a rag or use a brush in an additive process. Also, any of you familiar with the old rotary engines know what type of oil 'spray' pattern might be left on the fabric of an Eindecker? Thanks a plenty
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Old 06-13-2003, 06:43 PM
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Default Scale Dirt on WWI fabric

Please check this thread on this subject.
http://www.rcuniverse.com/showthread...8&pagenumber=3
I can send you a CD with articles describing how to get the exact finish your looking for.
Rotary engine oil spray pattern? How about ALL leading edges including the pilot! At least the cowl would have directed most of the spray to the lower fusalage areas. You should be able to find good examples of that in Windsock Datafile pictures of the Eindecker..
Old 06-13-2003, 09:48 PM
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Default Scale Dirt on WWI fabric

RH: thanks alot , id be very interested in the info. Im painting the entire plane fabric with artists oil and brush. only the coweling is a technique im using with brushed aluminum paste and spray film and rubbing aluminum powder. I intend on rubbing in the dirt et all with hand and brush but would like to see any other technique. Basically this is the phase for me that 'makes it or breaks it' as my whole intent from the beginning was to make a museum quality replica that looks like its been in a war not something from an auto show.
Mike
Old 06-13-2003, 11:37 PM
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Default Scale Dirt on WWI fabric

This CD has the info you'll need for the appearance your desiring! I'll be getting one to you.
Cheers,
Reg
Old 06-14-2003, 03:17 PM
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Default Scale Dirt on WWI fabric

WW1 and older aircraft have been an interest of mine for many years. I suggest you get any and all pictures of the aircraft you can. Even tho they will be in black and white they will give you a good starting point.
One good source of materials is Wise Owl Worldwide Publications. Their net address is
www.wiseowlmagazines.com
Now to a few interesting facts about WW1 aircraft. Most of the aircraft were built in great haste . By todayís standards we would consider most to be an ultralite with a cast iron engine. The fabric was cotton and doped with a flat finish. The shine you see in so many photos was due to the Caster Oil used in the fuel mixture the engines used. Caster would fly all over the front of the aircraft . The ground crew would wipe the plane down with a rag after landing, wiping caster oil over dope gave it a shine . Also made the plane a real torch when hit by a tracer bullet.
At the factory access panels were laced up and the plane doped after. In the field when the access panel had to be opened the lacing was undone and repairs made. Trying to re-lace the panel the way it was done at the factory was near impossible. After the tension was released on the cotton doped panel it would shrink from the air . Thatís why you see so many winkled fuselage finishes in the old photos.
Most of the time planes were delivered to the front with no squadron markings. These were hand painted on with a brush and some whatever type paint on hand most times. Left lots of brush marks.
Consider that the aircraft were flown from grass fields they didnít have tail wheels . The tail skid worked fine on grass , not to well on dirt. Aside from some grass stains on wing tips you would not see dirt on the finish. The ground crews had to clean and check the aircraft over after every flight very carefully. As a result aside from mud seen in many photos the aircraft were kept neat and clean.
Now as to fading. Most aircraft never lasted long enough to fade. The washed out appearance of some finishes was due mostly from lack of pigment in the paint job. Streaks and stains from oil and abrasions on the finish were common.
All in all if you were to go back and look at what the aircraft looked like in use it would be a far cry from the restored examples found in museums today.
I know plastic scale modelers make some great looking replicas that look convincing. Unfortunately they have no benchmark to go by either. I learned by reading books and articles of the those times told by the people that were there.
The next time you see a perfect model of a WW1 aircraft with a perfect paint job or wear like a WW11 aircraft youíll know it just ainít so.
Old 06-14-2003, 04:17 PM
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Default Scale Dirt on WWI fabric

Right on, r1morris......!!
You've just said it better than most realize.
Another good source is Leo Opdycke's WW1 Aero. Lots of original articles & photos of that era.
The articles on the CD refelect that reality of those times and how to achive that look on your model.
Cheers,
Reg
Old 06-14-2003, 05:06 PM
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Default Scale Dirt on WWI fabric

r1morris:
thanks for the lengthy, informative response. Sounds right. My fabric is definitely tight so not so sure what to do with the wrinkling but might try to mimic the look with discreat shading in areas. Luckly i got the hand-brushed look down. The hard part with that is mimicking the scale. I used a brush to scale and artists oil paint. Cut in the edges then filled in the interior of crosses etc. Also good to use quality paint which has a higher pigment ratio. If you use the cheep stuff you will be laying it on way too thick which is the case with natoriously transparent yellows and reds. I also used some cold wax to matt down the gloss of the oils somewhat. This is all materials if been using for years in the fine arts anyways so im pretty used to the different mediums regarding artists oils. I have noticed in vintage pictures of these planes alot of 'stains' in fabric. some look like type of stain oil might leave if it got under the dope or from the inside. like a water stain darkening the fabric. hard to tell with the b/w image though. We all know b/w photography has a hard time relating the actuall shade of the color. Alot of times an actual color like a dark red will render as a light grey in the photo and one might assume it to be a different color all together. hmm. going to think about my proceedure for a bit and how to begin.
thanks
Old 06-17-2003, 05:33 PM
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Default Scale Dirt on WWI fabric

There is quite alot of evidence that the dopes and varnishes left a noticable shine to the aircrafts` surface. (Not all designs were rotary powered, so castor residue would only be present on those planes equipped with those engine types (except the pusher designs)).
It appears that the upper surfaces of clear doped a/c did indeed 'flatten' out quickly, while the under surfaces remained at least semi-gloss, if not perhaps even more glossy than that.
One way to simulate dirt and grime is to rub down the surface with newspaper. The ink will bring out under-cover details, highlight structure, etc. If you are not happy with it, windex will take it away. Once things look 'correct', seal it up with your choice of clear coat. I use satin semi gloss overall, then dust the upper surfaces with flat. Hope this helps.

John

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