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WWII Aircraft, which finish?; Matt? Satin? Gloss?
Topic Started: Oct 16 2013, 08:34 PM (3,464 Views)
gmccabe01
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Another question (this is probaly a loaded one).
Should ww2 aircraft, Luftwaffe, R.A.F., Italian, Japanese, American or any other country that entered, be glossy or matt.
I think matt myself as who wants a shiny aircraft reflecting sunlight saying here I am lol. (I think I just answered my own question).
But just asking to be sure.
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Prenton
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gmccabe01
Oct 16 2013, 08:34 PM
Another question (this is probaly a loaded one).
Should ww2 aircraft, Luftwaffe, R.A.F., Italian, Japanese, American or any other country that entered, be glossy or matt.
I think matt myself as who wants a shiny aircraft reflecting sunlight saying here I am lol. (I think I just answered my own question).
But just asking to be sure.
Gerry

I think the official answer is that they should all be matt......

That said - I have seen photos, from "Signal" (the propaganda Luftwaffe publication of the time) which showed some "shine" on Luftwaffe aircraft when illustrated in flight. Whether they were specially cleaned and polished for the "shoot" is questionable, but I suspect that they might have been. In action, I could well imagine, as you say, that a shine would have been counterproductive in combat, so I suspect matt all over is the best option.

There is the other issue of "scale effect". If you are modelling in 1/24th or 1/32nd, then there might be an argument that you should show aircraft with a bit of a sheen, which might imply that you should use "satin" rather than "matt" varnish to finish. However, if your model is 1/48th, 1/72 (the one true scale!) or even 1/144 then my guess is to go for matt finishes.

The exceptions are, of course, natural metal finishes, such as on WW2 Mustangs (certainly P-51D) and the odd late Luftwaffe underside, where a gloss or satin finish would be appropriate.

The other exception is aircraft entered into racing competitions - I have modelled some in the 1948 and 1949 Bendix Races, as well as some races in the 1930's (eg. ME209) and these craft would have been highly polished to attain greater speeds, so gloss would be appropriate.

On other point that I have come across - the German, RAF, USAF, Italian etc. would have been well maintained, generally, so the camo would have been repaired, changed or renewed. They should be matt, by default. The exception is the Japanese - their planes were painted in a pretty poor quality green matt camo paint over natural metal, and it is not unusual to see significant weathering of their camo finishes back to the natural metal base, which are of course gloss or satin in appearance.

Hope that helps

Philip
"To boldly go..."

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gmccabe01
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Helps! Helps! That is a brilliant answer, nearly everything a person needed to know about painting aircraft.
That answer should be stickied or pinned in the beginners help/tips section

Many thanks
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FiSe
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Heil Mickey!
...
Edited by FiSe, Sep 20 2016, 08:52 AM.
Filip . . . .

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