Panel line inquiry...

Discussion in 'Painting Questions, Tutorials and Guidebooks' started by JohnAnthony, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. JohnAnthony

    JohnAnthony Member

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    I'm not sure whether this subject belongs in painting or weathering as it encompasses a little of both...

    The modeling world seems to insist on engraved panel lines these days when in fact many aircraft from the WWII era had overlapping panels. With overlapping panels neither engraved nor raised lines are truly accurate, but my thought is that raised panel lines are perhaps better.

    Over the summer I modeled the Revell 1/48 B-25J and took great care to sand down all the lines and rescribe them. That made for easy work when it came to the wash, but when I saw a B-25 at an airshow none of that kind of recessed detail was evident. There were only darker lines in the very small, tight joins between the overlapped panels.

    So when I built a second B-25 I pre-shaded the lines, painted the scheme, then sanded the lines with fine grit paper(600) until the pre-shading showed through. Now I had relatively smooth surfaces that accurately represented overlapped panels and still demarked the lines to my satisfaction.

    What say you modeling gurus? Opinions...
     
  2. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    I say: Show us the pictures. You may be starting the next trend in modeling! :)
     
  3. JohnAnthony

    JohnAnthony Member

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    OK, well here is the B-25 I saw at the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum. Notice that the panels are all overlapped and that the fuselage is fairly smooth. Granted this plane has been restored to factory-fresh condition, but even if it had some wear by slight warping/buckling of the panels, that would mean that the overlapped areas would rise or pull apart from each other. They would not likely create an indentation similar to what you find in engraved panel lines. I will take pics of my model later on today...

    [​IMG]
     
  4. JohnAnthony

    JohnAnthony Member

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    This image isn't the best example because I was testing the idea on spare plastic and I have a difficult time with close-up photography, but it's what I have for now. This panel is about 1 cm in length. The rivets were pre-shaded, painted, then very lightly sanded down. They are neither recessed nor raised but almost flush with the wing surface. When I first tried this I used large pieces of sandpaper but now I'm using sanding sticks that give me much more control...

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Kinda hard to see John. I like your idea but if you could bring the model over to my place tonight to have a look that would be better:lol:

    IIRC, someone was talking about lap joints on a B-17 model on this forum but I could be wrong. Will try to find tonight.
     
  6. JohnAnthony

    JohnAnthony Member

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    Ok I'll bring the beer but it's gonna take a while, I'm in Pennsylvania. :lol:
     
  7. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    I can't see your model...unless it's a red "x"
     
  8. Sweb

    Sweb Member

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    Overlapping is easily done with masking tape and paint. Mask the area and spray on a few coats of paint. Let dry. Pull the tape backwards onto itself and away from the painted area to prevent pulling or lifting of the paint. A properly prepared surface prior to painting should prevent any lifting. The edge of the paint left after the tape is removed represents a panel lying atop another. The real work comes with filling in all the panel lines well enough to produce a completely smooth airframe to work with, and then reapplying the panel details with scale accuracy.

    I am not a proponent of exaggerated panel lines and feel they detract form the look, as well as from the true scale of a model. And, I think that such kits (inaccurately) produced with larger than scale recessed lines are in answer to demands from the modeling community over the years to replace the old raised line kits. I loved the raised lined kits because that could be sanded off easily leaving the airframe smooth. Filling in recessed lines is a chore. I'm working an F-15 at the moment and am almost ready to begin painting after several odious weeks of filling the panel lines - a foot dragging chore indeed.
     
  9. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Modellers only have themselves to blame for this. I just built one of Tamiya's excellent 1/32 Spitfires. Lovely kit but covered in recessed lines which do not represent the overlapped non-flush riveted construction of most of a Spitfire's airframe.
    The insect like segmentations so beloved of many modellers hardly accurately represent the beautifully let in and flush riveted skins of a Bf109 fuselage either.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It's fashion (or fad) really. Each to their own,we all have to decide to what lengths we are prepared to go to achieve the result we want.

    Steve
     
  10. JohnAnthony

    JohnAnthony Member

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    #10 JohnAnthony, Oct 22, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2010
    Well I'm not sure why that one image is being stubborn but here's another one. This was still in the experimental stage - I primed the entire wing in dark gray, painted the light gray over it, then sanded the part until the panel lines began showing.

    [​IMG]

    The issue here is that too much of the undercoat shows through the middle of some of the panels so I later adjusted the technique to priming with white, pre-shading just the panel lines, then sanding with sticks (to stay as close to the lines as possible). Pics of that later.

    I guess my point is to somehow arrive at a method that gives you some subtle panel line weathering with an accurate portrayal of the surface of the airframe. Nobody likes to scribe an entire model (that I know of), and in the case of lapped panels, scribing isn't faithful to the construction of the original aircraft.
     
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