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switches, knobs and other things in the office (cockpit)


tpartlow
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I am working on Tamiya's F-14A with the Aires cockpit and exhaust.

 

My question to the forum is How do you paint the various panels with all the switches and control knobs? Do you paint panel first or do you paint panel and knobs a light grey (camouflage grey). Then try and paint the panel last and what size brush do you use to paint the panel without getting black paint on the grey painted thingys.

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Tony: Theoretically, a lot us (and some who don't) airbrush the panels with your primary color first, then paint the switches and control knobs next. Brush size can depend on your scale, but with 1/48" and above, I use a 3/0, 4/0, or 5/0 Floquil brush to do my controls. (With the newer, photo-etched brass cockpit details from Eduard and other vendors in vogue, it makes one want to use them instead). In fact, I've just used it this week in painting the controls and instruments in the cockpit of the old Monogram F-86F Sabre. I'm having a little fun with some of the old kits that I had around for more than 30 years, so I'll give this one a go. I hope the previous information helps. Happy Modeling and Happy New Year,

 

Mark

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Cockpits can be tedious to paint, but time spent here can pay big dividends. There are various ways to do it, and Mark touched on the major steps. I'll try to add a few things that will hopefully help get you better results. By the way...this doesn't mean that I can do theses things well! It's just things I've read....

 

First, I advise you to use acrylics to brush paint details. They seem to cover easier, dry slower on the brush, and acrylic whites seem a bit brighter than enamels (for buttons). Also, if you paint a cockpit the base color of green or gray enamel or lacquer, and then use an acrylic black for the panels, you can paint those panels sooner without worrying about the black interacting with the base paint layer.

 

Plan on using a LOT of magnification. Those details are much easier to paint if you can see what you're trying to paint! It's often easier to see the raised detailing if you dry brush it with aluminum or light gray first. BUT, do this VERY lightly (to make the raised details pop out), unless you want to weather the panels a bit, in which case a bit more dry brushing will lighten the black of the panels too.

 

Painting buttons takes a VERY fine brush, magnification, and a steady hand! Take the time to be sure your detailing paint is thinned properly...it must be thin enough to flow easily when you touch a button or knob, but NOT so thin that TOO much flows off. Sorry, but experience is the only way to gauge this! It will change from paint bottle to paint bottle, and also is dependent on the brush you use.

 

A white colored pencil can be used to "dry rub" raised details inside of dials. Sharpen it, but then cut a FLAT surface across the bottom of the point so that it doesn't hit between and inside of the raised details. This same technique can be used on raised panel details too, but in my experience the pencil colors aren't as bright as paint.

 

Keep in mind that cockpits are often set down into darker areas in smaller openings that make your detailing tougher to see. Consider using higher contrast colors (lighter/brighter) than the "true" color greens and grays, and also feel free to use dry brushing for highlighting and washes, chalks, or pencil to add shading, which will help your detailing stand out more.

 

Hope this helps. Best of luck!

 

GIL :smiley16:

Edited by ghodges
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One of our compadres in Wichita used a very, very minimal amount of paint and numerous light passes in drybrushing cockpit details with white or light gray, to gradually pop them off the base color of the panels. He would then go back and lightly dab the required colors on the bits that needed it. Very effective technique, maintaining the molded shapes of the details without creating blobs of new paint. It made the kit panels look really good.

 

RIP Craig!

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