1. FlexiBull

    FlexiBull Member

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    Simple question .................. how well did stencil work survive on aircraft in service?

    I'm doing a 1/48 Kittyhawk at the moment, main decals are on but what about the 20+ stencils. The real plane would have been supplied in factory finish complete with al the stencils, "Dont Tread" "First Aid" etc, but in the field especially where a new surface finish was appplied, how well did these survive, was care taken to avoid over spraying these areas? I know form photos that the stencils on the prop blades have been over sprayed or perhaps were not applied to replacement blades.

    So what to do ......... carefully adorn the replica or retire them to the salvage box :?::confused:
     
  2. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Check references....first best bet, this at least will give you a guide for making choices of what to use or leave off.....in the field repainting would depend on situation...and whether the painters actually gave a damn?....so references, references, references, mate!:D
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I agree with Wayne here. It also depends on what the stencil was for and, in the case of a model, where it is.
    Generally, most stencils that were important regarding safety, and such things as electrical connections, fuel and oils, and certaily warning or cautionary notices, were retained, even when an aircraft was repainted. These stencils were sometimes just masked when any re-paint was done, spray or brush, leaving a patch of the original colour showing through the lettering, and were sometime re-applied, either by decal, or painting.
    One thing to remember though. If the original notice was a painted stencil, and not a decal, then these tended to be a little feint in 'weight', compared to, say, a serial number, having been sprayed with a single pass, obviously through a stencil. This meant that, from a distnance of more than a few feet, they might not be visible. (bit like panel lines really!)
    One problem with kit decals, particularly white stencils going onto a relatively dark background, is that they are, in the main, too bright. Therefore it's better to tone them down after application.
    Those stencils that are in out of the way, unseen places on a model, maybe on a hidden part of the underside, could be omitted, if you didn't want the hassle of spending hours applying them all, but obviously that's down to personal choice.
    I know exactly what you are thinking about, as I've just applied over 100 hundred decals to the Avenger!!
    The bottom line though, is, if the stencils were definitely there, especially if prominent, like US aircraft data/serial blocks on the nose, then, for accuracy, they should be applied. Others that may be relatively prominent, if found in reference shots, should really be included too, but then the line has to be drawn somewhere, otherwise where do you stop? After every stencil ever applied? Not for me, I just do those that are commonly associated with a type,or are definitely visible, unless in the mood for hours of repetitive fiddly work!
     
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