I'll have to admit that I have been
getting a little bored with modeling lately. It seems like every
other aircraft model recently released been some variation of
the Me109 or FW190. Sensing that it was time for a change, I
pulled out the 1/48 Eduard Albatros DIII kit I purchased about 9
months ago and blew the dust off the box. This would definitely
provide a new challenge for me - two wings (what a novelty!),
rigging, colorful camouflage. Then there was that plywood
fuselage which I would need to replicate using plastic and
paint. Not only did the fuselage require a wood finish, but the
interior of the real aircraft was also constructed largely of
I found two sources of
information very helpful in learning about how to create a wood
finish for my model. One was an article from the October 1996
issue of Scale Auto Enthusiast. The article, "Wood
Shop" was written by Tim Powers. Although written with car
modelers in mind (remember the old Woody wagons?), the
techniques described in the article are useful for any type of
plastic model. Thanks, Andy, for scanning and emailing the
article to me.
Another source of information,
which I turn to A LOT for modeling information, is the Internet.
I posted a message on the bulletin board at Hyperscale
and managed to generate quite a discussion. What follows are the
responses that my posting generated. I hope this is helpful. I
highly recommend this bulletin board as well as the
rec.models.scale newsgroup for developing a "hyper-"
dialogue with other modelers and improving your skills. For more
information on just how my Albatros paint job turned out, come
to the February meeting!
try this (its easy and looks awesome)
Mon Jan 17 12:16:34 2000
try just painting the area a tan
color (sand works well), then just go to the local hardware
store and pick up a wood stain in the shade you want. Brush it
on and wipe it off if you want in the direction of the grain. It
will look like real wood, and you can gloss cote it for a
Ever thought of colored pencils?
Mon Jan 17 08:50:11 2000
A friend of mine here in Hawaii
had an interesting idea for wood. He painted the area a generic
wood color, then he would draw in the grain with a
lighter/darker colored pencil. Then seal and finish as usual. I
thought it looked great.
Pegasus decals are coming soon
Mon Jan 17 05:46:25 2000
Pegasus has announced that they
will be releasing two shades of wood paneling in both 1:72 and
1:48 scale. WW1 is their thing and they put alot of effort into
their decals, so I'm expecting the best. Their website is
www.pegasusmodels.com and from there you can order directly.
I've used them several times and have been very pleased with the
timely delivery to the U.S. from
Mon Jan 17 01:16:19 2000
two methods I use,
first paint a base coat of matte white (don't know if gloss
works) let dry then brush over it with your only slightly
stirred wood color, The white shows through as the grain
No. 2 paint your favorite wood color and then after it dries go
over it with Tamiya clear orange-works for me!
Sun Jan 16 23:39:00 2000
If it matters, most modern
aircraft plywood that I have seen is of birch, which has a pale
color and very subtle grain in its natural state. Other
possibilities include mahogany (popular since the turn of the
century for marine plywood), which has a reddish-orange color,
also with fairly subtle, relatively straight grain. It also
tends to have fine black flecks, but these would not show at
1:48. Oak is not usually used for structural plywood. I do not
have any references for the specific woods used on WWI German
aircraft, but color photos of surviving aircraft suggest one of
these two woods, usually without wild color variation or
prominent grain. The varnish used early in the 20th century
tends to give any wood a slight red or amber hue, especially if
multiple coats are applied.
Re: simulating wood grain??
Sun Jan 16 11:38:34 2000
If you know of any good tobacco
stores, ask for the thin sheets of wood which are inside the
humidors high-quality cigars are packaged in. They are about
.015" thick and are REAL WOOD. Nothing looks like wood
quite like wood does...
Sun Jan 16 11:31:33 2000
Try this: paint the wood-paneled
portions of the airplane a light tan or buff, as an undercoat,
and allow to dry well. If there are multiple panels, mask them
off one at a time, and dry-brush the panel a mid-tone brown with
a flat, soft natural fiber brush. Give the brush a little waver
as you go across the panel, to simulate the contours of the
grain. It may take more than one complete pass on each panel to
get sufficient grain, but don't overdo it. Wood grain,
especially in small scales, is subtle. Let the panel dry, and
mask a new panel and repeat the process. When finished with all
panels, let the plane dry thoroughly, then spray or brush on a
compatible satin clear coat, to simulate varnish. Good luck.
another variation . . .
Sun Jan 16 13:06:35 2000
Reminds me: there is a variation
on the dry-brushing stage that I described. This owes a tip of
the hat to the oldtime wood-graining decorators. Presuming you
are working in oil-base paints (as opposed to acrylics), try
doing the graining with your brown enamel mixed about 50-50 with
some oil-base clearcoat or varnish.
Well, there it is. Should be
enough information there to get you started if this an interest.