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  #1  
Unread June 23rd, 2009, 10:58 PM
Brian Marbrey Brian Marbrey is offline
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Default How to paint & fade the lo vis TPS scheme on USN & USMC Aircraft

Here's my method on how to paint and fade the lo vis TPS schemes applied to USN and USMC jets.

One of the most daunting skills in todays modeling world is learning how to master the weathering of the lo vis or tactical paint scheme applied to modern US Navy and USMC aircraft. Since the majority of models I build are line jets done in TPS, I have have developed my own method for painting and fading the TPS scheme on F-14's and F-18's, as well as most modern day lo vis US Navy and USMC aircraft.

The method I use is generally called a reversed shading effect, and it looks pretty realistic, well, to me anyway. Weathering lo vis schemes in this manner is something you have to gain a feel for, so you may want to practice on an old model before trying to tackle the technique on something like a Hasegawa F-14. The technique was a 3 year learning curve for me, and it is something that takes practice.

The "fading" should be sprayed at 10-15 PSI (the PSI varies from airbrush to airbrush) and set your airbrush to spray at almost a pencil line. I use an Pasche Millenium dual action/internal mix airbrush to do this, and it turns out just fine.

First off, don't be afraid of overspraying panl lines, because the finish does not have to be uniformed or consistant. When "fading" your paint, you'll need to use sort of a quick side-to-side motion with your airbrush, making sure that the "fading" has a semi-tight pattern in the centers of the panels. You'll need to try and get the fading as close to the panel lines as possible. Again, don't worry of you overspray the lines, because the finish doesn't have to be consitant.

The first thing I do (for F-14's) is paint the 3 tone TPS (which is 35237, 36320, and 36375) in it's full strength. No lightening of the paint is required.

For the top side, to include the wings and horizontal stabs or anything
painted 35237:
I take Dk ghost grey (FS 36320), and spray it in the centers of all the panels on the top side of the aircraft and also I spot prime the fasteners on the engine doors just above the ventral fin, and the smaller doors forward of the engine doors, both on the outside and inside of the engine nacels.


For the fwd fuselage or anything painted 36320: Paint the insides of the panles Lt Ghost grey (FS 36375). I wouldn't go overboard on the fwd fuselage because the panels toward the front of the jet don't really fade that much, they just get dirty.

For the underside of the a/c or anything painted 36375: I would recommend not fading the underside of the a/c for one reason. The underside of the a/c doesn't see much sun light, and mostly gets hit with spot priming on the fasteners from where the ground crew open the daily and weekly doors which are aft of the main gear on the F-14. What I do for this area is, spray the daily and weekly door fasteners Dk Ghost grey (FS 36320). Once your gloss coat is applied, run your was or ink pen through the fasteners and engine door panel lines and streak the area to your liking. Then go back with Light Ghost grey (FS 36375) and lighlty go back over the area. Your airbrush setting should be at 10-15 PSI to do so.

For anthing painted 36081: I like to use Dk Gull Grey (FS 36321) or I will use Dk Ghost Grey (FS 36320) and I will go back over it with 36081 in the event the fading looks too light. Don't forget to take into account that the gloss coat will darken any fading you do.

Next, spray your gloss coat, on as you normally would and let it dry. Here's a note if you're using Future as a gloss coat. If the Future does not dry smooth, the next step using the gell pen will NOT work properly.

The next step is the most time consuming, and care should be exercised. I apply my decals as normal, let them dry and then start the streaking! Please exercise patience and a little care because the streaking can be way over done.

In this step, I take a gell pen or a "Skilcraft Free Ink Roller Ball pen 0.5", (which is what I use and recommend) and run it through the panels. The Skilcraft Ink roller ball pen is like a gell pen, but releases less ink for better control. You'll need to do only 1-3 panels at a time to prevent the ink gell from drying right away, and then I wipe the ink in the direction of air flow using a damp paper towel. This will aslo help darken up any over fading that has occured. You may have to do the same panel more than once to get the right effect, and be sure to change the paper towel out once you notice the one you're using starts to get a little too dirty. Basically, when the paper towel you're using turns black, it's time to change it.

On a side note, if you over streak an area on your model, go back over the over streaked area with either your fade color or your base color.

I then go back with lt ghost grey using a "spot priming" technique, I hit some of the panels on the underside of the jet mainly on the daily doors (the ones just before the large door which has the "NAVY" logo) and pending on how I feel, I may hit some of the smaller panels on the fwd fuselage. If you've over streaked the top side too much, go back with the Dk Ghost grey and hit some of the panels again. Use your best judgement, and keep your references handy.

A word of caution: Be very careful spraying around the decals!

Finally, seal the deal with your flat coat as usual.

Lastly, this technique is not set in stone, but it works for me, and have gotten many compliments on models when I use it. So I hope this can at least give you an idea on something new to try.


Brian Marbrey

Here are some varrying results on different models from using the technique.














Last edited by Brian Marbrey; December 3rd, 2011 at 01:56 PM.
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  #2  
Unread June 23rd, 2009, 11:03 PM
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Cool!

Any chance we can get this pinned?
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Unread June 24th, 2009, 07:35 PM
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i hate people with talent...
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Unread July 1st, 2009, 03:55 PM
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Article pinned.
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  #5  
Unread August 28th, 2009, 12:25 PM
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what happened to the pictures????
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  #6  
Unread September 4th, 2011, 02:09 PM
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Pictures please ! ! !
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  #7  
Unread December 3rd, 2011, 01:51 PM
Brian Marbrey Brian Marbrey is offline
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Guys-

I updated the article and added pics back in.

Unfortunately, all of the original pics were lost, so I added what I could that would best represent what the article was describing.
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Unread December 6th, 2011, 08:18 AM
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Great painting and weathering tips, Brian! Will be trying it on my next F-14 (after I practice some, that is)'

Can you tell me where you got your gel pen?
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Unread December 6th, 2011, 01:01 PM
Brian Marbrey Brian Marbrey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galileo1 View Post
Great painting and weathering tips, Brian! Will be trying it on my next F-14 (after I practice some, that is)'

Can you tell me where you got your gel pen?
Thanks!

Actually, I had gotten the gel pen from work, and now I can't find the damn things anywhere.

Here's the closest thing I can find to the ones I had:
http://www.bicworld.com/us/products/.../triumph-730-r

Last edited by Brian Marbrey; December 6th, 2011 at 01:11 PM.
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  #10  
Unread December 7th, 2011, 07:00 AM
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Thanks, Brian! I'll be looking for those on my next outing to Michaels.
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