Gun smoke stains can be added with black pastel chalk dust applied with a fine brush (blow gently in the direction of airflow to remove the excess). Pastels are best applied over a flat (matt) surface, so if necessary first paint the model with a flat clear coat. The pastels will also need to be sealed with a clear coat. A convenient option that needs no sealer is to use an airbrush to make the stains. Airbrush (in the airflow direction) a fine line of highly thinned black paint.
Panel Fade is uneven wear of an airplane’s panels. The color is usually lighter near the middle of the panel and darker near the edges. Paint your airplane in the base color. Then add a few drops of white to the base color, and airbrush in the interior of a panel. Add a few more drops of white, then spray near the center of the panel only. Repeat this procedure for all the panels that you want to fade. When all the panels are done, make a very thin mixture of the base color. Spray a light coat of this over all the panels to tie all the different color shades together.
Post-Shading can be used instead of a panel-line wash. It involves using the airbrush and painting a fine dark band along each panel line. This is done with a very thin, dark color. Post-shading requires an airbrush capable of fairly fine lines. Thinned black can be used, or a mixture of the base color with black added to it.
Copyright©2005 Airbrush Model Airplanes
For more info on weathering with the airbrush, get the ebook Learn to Airbrush Model Airplanes. This article may be reprinted if proper credit is given and all links left intact.
Andrew Ling is a long-time model builder and a contributor to the Learn to Airbrush Model Airplanes ebook.