Weathering Decals

SirFrancis

Airman 1st Class
119
39
Feb 10, 2022
Hey guys,
I've beaten up my French Bearcat a bit and put the decals on. I'm not airbrushing, just experimenting really so far with spray cans and brush. Just basic stuff - nothing fancy that's above my pay grade. I was just going to 'silver up some of the worn away bits some more and then was just going to put a matt clear over everything. But the decals look too 'new.' I also did use 'decal set.' What could I do to weather them a bit without damaging them? cheers
 

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Donivanp

2nd Lieutenant
5,722
3,087
Feb 23, 2014
Katy Texas
Try on a paint mule to put some unused decals and try adding some clear varnish washes. maybe like the Tamiya clears or some others in AK or Mr. Color washes. experiment and let us know. Really good question.
 

SirFrancis

Airman 1st Class
119
39
Feb 10, 2022
I could try fade them up a bit with a very light wash. In fact I will do this as they look too 'bright.'

I suppose I was thinking also of a similar effect to the rest of the aircraft where paint has worn to either a 'thinner' blue or even to the aluminium. After spraying silver I touched up areas with oil then sprayed blue, then went over it with a very fine sandpaper which lifted off blue to the silver where oil was and thinned the other blue areas a bit. While sanding some of the silver bits went dark grey which I don't mind actually but I might silver them up a touch.

Just not sure about touching the decals with fine sandpaper. I'm hoping the decal set would help keep them fixed when I sand. I would experiment some more with spare decals. But I don't have a mule to work on lol
 

Davecww1

Airman 1st Class
151
302
Jan 31, 2021
I use craft store tempra paint, I have brown, black and white so can mix up various shades of grime. A medium gray would probably look good over the Gloss Sea Blue and decals. I mix the weathering color, add a drop of dishwashing soap and a little water. I brush it all over the model, although you could try just doing it on the decals. When it dries I wipe it off with a damp paper towel and it tends to stay in the recesses, as well as tone down the decals. A coat of dull or semi gloss in your case will seal it down.
Dave
 

SirFrancis

Airman 1st Class
119
39
Feb 10, 2022
I use craft store tempra paint, I have brown, black and white so can mix up various shades of grime. A medium gray would probably look good over the Gloss Sea Blue and decals. I mix the weathering color, add a drop of dishwashing soap and a little water. I brush it all over the model, although you could try just doing it on the decals. When it dries I wipe it off with a damp paper towel and it tends to stay in the recesses, as well as tone down the decals. A coat of dull or semi gloss in your case will seal it down.
Dave
Hmm interesting. I'm a bit stuck on whether to flat coat the whole aircraft or whether to just do uneven patches or panels etc. Not sure how quick the blue gloss wore off these French birds, and how even or uneven the paint went from gloss to matt. Eg did horizontal surfaces (wings, top fuselage) wear quicker then vertical (tail, side fuselage)? etc.

Or on another angle, if the aircraft is showing quite a bit of aluminium on leading edges and foot traffic areas would that mean the gloss on the whole kite would by then have also gone dull?

PS I tried the super fine emery paper on the decals and - NO GO. Started to rip off the outer ring. Lucky it was one underside wing and I painted the yellow back on. So it will just have to be dull coat and or wash for the decals.
 

special ed

Senior Master Sergeant
3,402
7,037
May 13, 2018
I once a very long time a go had to store some models on a shelf close under florescent lighting. After a few months of continuous lighting, the fading from the spine down was more at the top, gradually less down the sides. The appearance was if sunlight on a tropical airfield caused it. Of course the wait could be excessive.
 

Davecww1

Airman 1st Class
151
302
Jan 31, 2021
Not sure if you could accurately control the fading using a light, depends what type of paint you're using. Lots of the blues of Navy planes in the Pacific were very faded especially the early blue gray paint. Later paint like the Gloss sea blue had a different formulation so did not chip or fade as much as the earlier sea blue used on the 3 color camouflage.
 

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