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Weathering a Spitfire!


Finishing Up

A mix of white and gray pastel was lightly applied aft of the exhaust stacks to give a heat-worn look to the paint while suggesting that the ground crew had wiped the stains clean with gasoline or even soap and water. I then applied some of the thinned 'oil' wash from the upper nose fuel cap, allowing it to flow down the sides of the nose to simulate staining from a gasoline spill (Fig. 10).

Another small touch is the tire slippage marks on the main wheels and tires (Fig 11). These were made with chalk, white tape, red-doped fabric patches, paint, whitewash . . . . you get the message.

And, courtesy of RAF medical services, are "rubber"-ized muzzle covers on the 20 mm cannon barrels (Fig. 12). This wasn't a frequent occurrence, but they were used when the standard muzzle covers were unavailable. I made these by dipping the muzzles four or five times in Testors Clear Parts Cement and painting the dried covers with thinned Testors Model Master Radome Tan for a latex appearance.

You may thing the finished product is missing the radio aerial wire and the tail-to-fuselage IFF wires. A photo in Squadron/Signal's handy little Spitfire in Action contains an in-flight photo of SN-M, and all three aerial wires are conspicuously absent. Always check your photos . . .

The weathering on this model may not be the most spectacular, but sometimes understated weathering does look more realistic. The point is to make your model look less like it did ten rounds in a junkyard and more like it saw a realistic period of service.

When you think it's not enough, maybe it is a good time to quit.


(A big thanks to Bob Swadding for forcing me to rethink everything I thought I knew about Spitfires!!!)


References:

Spitfire In Action, Squadron Signal Publications

Spitfire: The History, Eric B. Morgan and Edward Shacklady

Copyright 2002 - Text and Photos by Mike Still (modelcitizen62). All Rights Reserved.

Project Photos
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Figure 10


Figure 11


Figure 12

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