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Question on weathering
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Author Topic: Question on weathering  (Read 18744 times)
jonbius
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« on: March 06, 2013, 07:42:54 PM »

I've recently developed an interest in building Russian WWII single engined fighters. I've built a plenty of US, RAF, etc., subjects, and feel comfortable weathering those. However, in the VVS subjects I've built, I have been stumped trying to find some good photos to see weathering patterns on the wooden parts of the aircraft that seemed to dominate so many Russian fighters of the period. I've also not been able to deduce a lot about how the paint would have faded, variations in surface colors, etc.

I'd appreciate any suggestions, tips or photos that anyone may have.

Thanks!
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Jon Bius
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KL
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2013, 08:38:39 PM »

already in 1930es, Soviets have developed a very effective wood protection technology.  All wooden surfaces of Soviet WWII planes were covered with fabric and painted with nitro-cellulose paints.  At the same time, in the series production, the technology was labour intense:

-  there were several layers of wood putty under the fabric
-  several coats of clear dope to impregnate fabric
-  a layer of silver paint to protect fabric from UV light and
-  at least two layers of camouflage paint at the top

If everything was done properly, the finished surface was smooth and able to withstand speeds of well over 600km/h.

Before you start weathering, keep in mind that Soviets have been developing and improving those nitrocellulose paints for some twenty years.  Aviation paints were the best paints that their chemical industry could provide.

Weathering is also subject of controversy:  some authors say that paint faded and changed colour after few months.  Some provide chips for "fresh" and "weathered" paint.  On the other hand, paint on the preserved planes in museums is not significantly faded.  Paint on wrecks, if preserved, is usually in good condition!
 
In the existing literature look only for the facts about the problems encountered with this technology and paints.  Pieces of fabric (even entire wooden skin) did fall of planes.  Paint did "chalk" and fade in service.  Avoid those who provide chips for "weathered paint" without any explanation or proof.

HTH,
KL
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jonbius
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2013, 04:23:14 PM »

Thanks for that information, KL!

If an area of wood did get chipped, damaged, etc., how would you recommend representing that?

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Jon Bius
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learstang
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2013, 06:00:43 PM »

Jon, as Konstantin (KL) wrote, the wood was covered by a fabric impregnated with a yellow nitroputty.  I actually have a substantial piece of the wooden fin from an Il-2 and where the paint has come off, you can see the yellow.  Although the yellow on my 69-year old example is rather faded, I suppose when new something like RLM 04 Gelb (Yellow) might not be inappropriate.  At any rate, those are my thoughts on the matter.

Regards,

Jason
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jonbius
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2013, 06:53:42 PM »

Thanks Jason! Sounds good to me! Cheesy
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Jon Bius
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KL
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2013, 07:22:19 PM »

If an area of wood did get chipped, damaged, etc., how would you recommend representing that?

Keep in mind that paint didn't have decorative role only.  Paint was applied to protect wood from moisture and other elements.  This means that any damage of the fabric had to be repaired and over painted.  I would not recommend covering your model in yellow streaks and dots...

You cannot find on Soviet wooden planes paint flaking off as on Japanese metal planes.  Those are two completely different stories. Check photos if you don't believe me.

HTH,
KL
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jonbius
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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2013, 07:58:38 PM »

Thanks for that additional information KL.

Good point about the moisture. Would it be reasonable to show some portions on a model as areas where perhaps new paint had been added over an area of damage? (Like a bullet/flak hole in the fuselage, wing, etc.)

Do you have any photos you could post that show various patterns of wear? Many of the photos I have found are too dark or from too far away to show much. Although I did find this one I liked:





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Jon Bius
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KL
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« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2013, 08:34:21 PM »

Some fabric repairs (rudder fabric skin, not wood) were posted recently on this forum at  http://sovietwarplanes.com/board/index.php?topic=1445.0





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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2013, 08:37:05 PM »

Hi,
if I can, here is an example of repair on an Il-2... a bit old. Looks glued fabric. It could justify a lot of irregularities on a model.

Regards
Massimo
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2013, 08:43:49 PM »

Quote
Avoid those who provide chips for "weathered paint" without any explanation or proof.
Another suggestion: avoid those who say that colors were strictly standardized against any evidence or proof.
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KL
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« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2013, 07:58:26 PM »

Another suggestion: avoid those who say that colors were strictly standardized against any evidence or proof.

Paints made in Soviet Union were standardized.  There is overwhelming evidence for this:  Official technical requirements (documents preserved in archives) are just one.  Massimo should explain how were paints made and how were planes painted with no standards??

Quote
Avoid those who provide chips for "weathered paint" without any explanation or proof.

To make this less personal:  take chips that are supposed to represent "old" paint with caution.  All those chips are pure and total guesswork, you even don't know do they represent paint after 3 months, or 3 years or 60 years.

HTH,
KL
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jonbius
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« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2013, 08:01:29 PM »

Thanks for the input guys! I appreciate it.  Smiley
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Jon Bius
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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2013, 08:04:35 PM »

Another suggestion: avoid those who say that colors were strictly standardized against any evidence or proof.

Paints made in Soviet Union were standardized.  There is overwhelming evidence for this:  Official technical requirements (documents preserved in archives) are just one.  Massimo should explain how were paints made and how were planes painted with no standards??

Quote
Avoid those who provide chips for "weathered paint" without any explanation or proof.

To make this less personal:  take chips that are supposed to represent "old" paint with caution.  All those chips are pure and total guesswork, you even don't know do they represent paint after 3 months, or 3 years or 60 years.

HTH,
KL

KL,

How far can you go in weathering aircraft? If there was damage what then? I presume that there are touchups which gave different coloration? Or not? Even when aircraft where a month in combat and that they used the same standard paints?

Michel
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KL
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« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2013, 09:39:02 PM »

How far can you go in weathering aircraft? If there was damage what then? I presume that there are touchups which gave different coloration? Or not? Even when aircraft where a month in combat and that they used the same standard paints?

How far?  It's your artistic license.  Your guess (how "old" paint looked) is as good as Pilawskii's or Massimo's.  But, first consider the facts I mentioned before...

Damage was repaired, of course.

 
Battle damage was treated the same as in the RAF or Luftwaffe.  But, I don't remember seeing any battle damage on LW models or RAF models...  Average Ju-87 Stuka probably had some repairs and yet those are not shown on a typical Ju-87 model.

I never said that mechanics in the field used exactly the same paints that were used in factories.  Anybody can download "Polevoy Remont" book and see what paints were used for various repairs and what substitutes were allowed.  Artefacts preserved in museums also confirm use of various substitutes to cover repairs/modifications.

Now, how do you know where were the repairs  (if any) on the particalar plane?  Instead on focusing on possible battle demage, better try to realistically represent difference between the metal and wooden surface.  On following two photos area below the cockpit canopy is wood, detachable panels are metal:





Even if painted with same AMT paints metal looked different.
HTH,
KL
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2013, 09:40:50 PM »

Hi,
Quote
Paints made in Soviet Union were standardized.  There is overwhelming evidence for this:  Official technical requirements (documents preserved in archives) are just one.  Massimo should explain how were paints made and how were planes painted with no standards??
I know, of course. But please explain the difference of overposed greens in the photo.

Quote
All those chips are pure and total guesswork, you even don't know do they represent paint after 3 months, or 3 years or 60 years
.
Of course it is a guesswork, but at least it is a try to distinguish some colors that darken becoming old and some that becomes lighter deducting this from photos of new and aged planes.  

Unfortunately the exact shades of real new colors are unknown, because all the chips have 65 years. For example I don't think that the light blue A-28m was similar to duck egg blue as the alboom nakrasok shows it. One can try to extrapolate an original shade, but it's all guesswork.
At the same time, to suppose that other colors are totally unaltered is another guessing.
So it's better to guess a range instead of claiming that the 80% of models and 80% of drawings made till now are wrong.

Regards
Massimo

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