Painting Late War Luftwaffe Aircraft
By Andrew Dextras
Being an armor modeler, when I decided to build a few aircraft kits to relax and learn a few new tricks, a natural subject seemed to be late war Luftwaffe. With a multitude of paint schemes and some heavy weathering evident in period photos, the subject is perfect for some heavy weathering. The Fw190F8 is a perfect subject, as so many of them were found at the end of the Second World War, and there are plenty of photographs to work from and upon which to base your model.
I began by using a black pre-shade coat using Tamiya acrylic flat black using my Iwata Custom Micron B. I then applied Gunze RLM 76 on the undersides. I added a bit of white to the paint in order to offset the dark preshade. If you don’t do this, the black will still show through a little and change the tone of the paint. I applied it in a very diffused pattern and let a bit of the darkness show though in the panel lines.
Moving to the upper surfaces I used Gunze RLM 74 gray and RLM 82 bright green for the basic camouflage. The particular F8 I was modeling also had some RLM 81 violet brown heavily applied to the rear of the fuselage and mottled on the fuselage sides and tail. The rudder and cowling stripe were painted with Gunze again, this time RLM 28 yellow. All of these paints were lightened a bit using white to compensate for the preshadeÃ‰and the post shading chaos which was to follow.
I used Cutting Edge’s sheet 48164 Butcher Birds Over Czech Lands Part 1 for the decals. This F8 had interesting fuselage balkenkreuz with white outlines. These were then oversprayed with RLM 82 as per the instructions and reference photos. The decals were very thin and went on nicely with a coat of Micro Sol. I then flat coated the model using Micro Flat.
Once all this was done, it was time to make the thing look beat up. Two photos of this particular aircraft can be found in the WWP book Luftwaffe Over the Czech Lands, along with other F8s found in the area. These are not factory-fresh subjects; if you’re interested in the lifeless and toy-like die cast model look, you’ll have to find something else to model, as these F8s were beat up and pretty filthy. Muck her up, mate!
I then mixed up some paint to use as a post-shade coat. This is not a scientific process; just mix up some black and brown Tamiya acrylics until you get a nice murky roadside public restroom color and add 90% thinner. Using the Iwata, I sprayed this into the panel lines to create a shaded effect and to give it some depth. The side benefit of this is that not only do you get some effective shading, but also some grime. I then post-shaded the rest of the model, liberally spraying grime everywhere. Before you put your hand up to say “They didn’t look like that”, take a gander at color photos of Fw190D9 WrN 500570 to get an idea of what I was aiming for. I finished the model off with chipping, using a silver pencil. This project was a welcome change from armor models and was a challenge to both build and paint. I recommend that any armor modeler try a few of these in order to test out some new ideas and push your own limits as a modeler.
Reprinted with permission of ARTtalk.com