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Painting Bands on Aircraft Spinners

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smeg1959
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Painting Bands on Aircraft Spinners

#1

Post by smeg1959 »

Here’s a little idea I had for painting coloured bands on aircraft spinners.

With larger scales, you can use things like Tamiya masking tape but, in our scale, it’s extremely difficult to get the masking straight thanks to the curvature of the spinner, particularly towards its nose. I am currently doing a repaint of the long-OOP Bandai Wing Club Mosquito FB.VI (the variant with the four 20-mm cannon in the solid nose section). The endgame is an FB.40 (the Australian-built version of the British FB.VI) that served with the 5th Operational Training Unit (5OTU) in 1945. And yes, Tom’s, it is Foliage Green! Whilst some of the Mossies in this unit were completely FG, a few had their spinners painted Sky Type S. Some of these went one step further and had the tip of the spinner picked out in yellow. One such example was the aircraft I am modelling, A52-69.

After trying to mask with tape – even the 1-mm width stuff – and swearing a lot, I experimented with other ways of getting an even, concentric line between the yellow and the sky. I even tried creating a decal of the yellow tip but the pointed nature of the spinner resulted in the decal bunching up when the setting solution was applied. In the end, I came up with the following approach. I took a small piece of plastic card and punched a hole of the required diameter through it.
De Havilland Mosquito FB40 - Masking the Spinner (00).jpg
I placed this mask over the nose of the spinner painted entirely yellow.
De Havilland Mosquito FB40 - Masking the Spinner (01).jpg
A blob of white BluTac (a contradiction in terms?) was pushed onto the nose to cover the yellow and support the mask. A slightly realignment here and there, a spray of sky and voila.
De Havilland Mosquito FB40 - Masking the Spinner (02).jpg
Clearly this approach would work even in cases where multiple colour bands were present (e.g. the red, white and blue spinners sometimes seen on P-51Ds and Ks). Simply start by painting the complete spinner with the colour of the nose section and work backwards.

Incidentally, the RAAF Mossie will be added to the Painting Showcase very soon. Just needs its final clear coat.
OTB ...
GB13 - Late 298 (Aeronavale), Bf109E-3a Strela (Bulgarian AF), ČKD LT vz.38 Praga (Slovakian Army)

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ajmm
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Re: Painting Bands on Aircraft Spinners

#2

Post by ajmm »

Neat trick - thanks for sharing that Smeg. I'll remember that - can see it coming in handy.

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ajmm
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Re: Painting Bands on Aircraft Spinners

#3

Post by ajmm »

Beautiful Mossie, Smeg! Looks ace in that paint job - very nicely done.

I have been slowly repainting an F-Toys B MkIV into a PR MkIV - you may have just given me the requisite boot in the rear to get that finished. I haven't seen the Bandai Mossie - is it much nicer than the F-Toys job?

(Commenting here because I can't in the painting showcase).

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Re: Painting Bands on Aircraft Spinners

#4

Post by TonyG2 »

Beats my tried and untrusted method. I have attempted to clamp the spinner into a dremmel tool and set it rotating at low revs. Then, very very VERY carefully advance a brush towards the spinner and hope it gives me a relatively clean line.

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smeg1959
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Re: Painting Bands on Aircraft Spinners

#5

Post by smeg1959 »

Thanks, guys. I'm occasionally creative, though usually to mask my lack of skills (the canopy frame decal is a good example). Tony, I'd read about the Dremel approach for larger scale aircraft and the odd modeller has improvised a rig to allow the painting of spirals on spinners using this device. Angus, I'm like Tom's ... there's something about foliage green than allows aircraft to be completely painted in the colour, yet still look suave and sophisticated. That little hint of blue in the colour makes all the difference IMHO. The spinner colour combo is really odd, as the contrast between yellow and sky is subtle if nothing else. As for comparisons, the Bandai Mossie is definitely more detailed than its F-Toys' counterpart, with a nicely detailed cockpit complete with pilot and navigator (albeit unpainted) and a far more accurate looking undercarriage. Indeed, many of the Wing Club releases are still close to the top of the ladder for tradings minis, both in detail and finish. The only minor negative is that interiors and wheel wells are inevitably unpainted, unlike F-Toys or Takara, so you are indebted to pull the thing completely apart even if only to paint the insides (which I do regardless).

Should add that the fit of the parts was extremely snug to start with. When I dismantled everything and started painting things, absolutely nothing fitted back together without sanding. I haven't encountered this with any of my refinished F-Toys models.

PS. Looking forward to seeing that PR.IV, too. There's some excellent schemes for those photoreconn Mossies. I can thoroughly recommended Osprey's book as a reference. In fact, if I ever get my hands on a Mk IV (either F-Toys or, one day maybe, Mark I ... hint, hint ;) ), that beastie on the front cover is mine.
OTB ...
GB13 - Late 298 (Aeronavale), Bf109E-3a Strela (Bulgarian AF), ČKD LT vz.38 Praga (Slovakian Army)

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