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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Painting exhausts

The cold weather in Seattle continues, and the resulting finger rictus during airbrushing is ongoing as well. But it didn't prevent me from enduring a (quick) session last night. There is a Wellington approaching its final stages, but the exhaust pipes and collector rings needed painting. For this I typically use Alclad Light Burnt Metal. I'm not sure if the "bronze" color callout that was on all Airfix kits of the 70s and 80s is an error or just a myth that has taken on a life of its own, but I've never really thought that was an adequate choice for British collector rings or anyone's exhausts. Now, the burnt metal color may not be perfect either - something that gets a lot of engine exhaust would likely have a darker look, at least in places - but I think it makes a nice visual compromise. Evaluate for yourself, based on the following photo.

The only other color I shot was a bit of RLM04 Gelb, for the cowl, rudder, and prop spinner of the captured P-47 "Beetle" that is underway. But it highlighted an interesting problem, very similar to what happened the last time I had the airbrush out. The paint in the tin was uncommonly lumpy and thick; the only difference is that I discovered that before I ever got it into the paint cup and therefore didn't have to go through a panicked field strip and cleaning.

But it brings up a worrisome point. Now that I am no longer able to order Xtracolour paints from Hannants (due to Royal Mail restrictions), is the paint I have starting to age to the point where it is becoming chemically unstable and will be useless before much longer? I have no clue when I bought this particular tin of RLM04, though it probably at least 4-5 years old. Possibly much more. More as this issue develops.

At least I was able to get some satin topcoat from a LHS today. This should free up the logjam of completed models and allow me to get them posted in the blog. Here is a photo of the work done in the freezer last night. 

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