HOW TO warbird makeover magic
simulating both the panel line and a bit of soot buildup.
If you have a fiberglass model, like the ones in this article,
you can use tape in the same manner and then build up some
hardware-store spray primer along the edge of the tape. Apply
several coats, then let it dry. Lightly wet-sand with 400-grit
sandpaper—just enough to expose the tape. Pull the tape
back, and you’ll have a wonderful overlapped panel line. Thin,
1/32-inch-wide chart tape can also be used. If you spray over
the tape and sand, it leaves a buildup on either side of the tape,
producing thin panel lines that reproduce the look of panels butted
up against each other to form a flush seam.
Rivets are other great eye-catchers that don’t take long to apply.
For flush rivets, you’ll need to use an inexpensive soldering
iron, which you can get from a discount store. I spent $4 for one
at Harbor Freight Tools, and it works perfectly. Use one with a
detachable head, and insert a length of brass tube that is the same
diameter as the rivets you want to simulate. Use a pencil to draw a
guideline for the rivet placement; once the brass tube has heated
up, go along the line and burn the rivets into the plane’s surface.
Applying flush rivets while the plane is still in primer works best.
You don’t have to hold the iron in place for long; all you want to
Another way to add to the surface detail is to add hatch covers. Thin G- 10 fiberglass
After painting your model, use some steel wool and some window cleaner (to wet
the surface), rubbing in the direction of the airflow.
Aluminum-heater duct tape burnished down onto the model makes an excellent
hatch. A few tiny screws add to the effect.
After a while, the rubbing will start to bring out the silver undercoat. Go slow, and