". . .French colors of WWI have been studied thoroughly by several renowned experts but several areas remain to be positively resolved. We can identify at least 5 main color schemes: a natural finish, the three-tone camouflage, aluminum overall, the "yellow" scheme and the most famous of all, the 5-color camouflage. This last scheme was carried by almost all of the late war French aircraft most notably by late Spad 7 & 13 types and the Nieuport 28 C.1 types. . ."
Comments by Alan Toelle
The fabric surfaces received four coats of cellulose-acetate dope. The first and 4th coat were clear, and the 2nd and 3rd coats pigmented. The pigmentation of the camouflage colors contained 42% by weight aluminum powder. The black color sometimes did not contain aluminum powder. The resulting surface was generally not flat, but was slightly undulating according to the weave of the fabric. Sometimes, however, it turned out nearly flat. The tendency was probably toward less dope rather than more.
French 5– late 1918 Color Scheme,
FR05 CHESNUT RED BROWN
FR10 French BEIGE
FR11 French DARK GREEN
FR12 French LIGHT GREEN
FC18 - NOIR (Grease Black)
Recommended method of use,
1. MisterKit colors are complicated color formulas. That is they are made up from a mixture of many base colors in specific proportions. Common to acrylics however these base colors have a tendency to separate according to density and settle during shelf storage. (In the case of WWI aircraft these colours are meant to represent pigmented dopes.)
SO to the first tip they MUST be very carefully and FULLY re-stirred just like a colored gallon of house paint. If all the base colors are not re-mixed properly it can throw off the intended "hue" or "tint" of the original bottle. Stirring acrylics is the preferred method to accomplish this. Shaking one doesn't quite get at ALL the settled heavier separated base ingredients and two for Airbrushing purposes mixes too much air in to the paint in the form of air bubbles.
2. This leads us to thinners. WATER. "MisterKit" is a very friendly user paint. Unlike some acrylics on the market MisterKit has not been mixed with deliberately added chemicals which make them unusable with anything other than the manufactures branded thinner. True to a real acrylic it is water based. It thins with water - period.
The shelf life of the paints are incredible (years) and it is amazing how with only some added water, it will bring back even the smallest amount of drying out "sludge" back to a full bottle of fresh usable paint.
Isopropol rubbing alcohol ( a 90 - 93% variety available at your drugstore) is a great additive to your "thinner" (water) for airbrushing purposes. It "breaks" the water surface tension and burst's the tiny microscopic trapped air bubbles and enhances flow and helps lube the interior of your spray gun. (More on this important benefit)
It cleans up with "Windex" glass cleaner and many Very experienced airbrush users follow their clean up by using pure lacquer paint thinner as a "final rinse" to their airbrushes which flushes out ALL and ANY type of paint. For air brush thinning either an 80/20 mix of water and rubbing (isopropol) alcohol or even simply adding a few drops of alcohol directly to the mixed bottle.
3. A little about adhesion and durability. A plastic model kit plastic is a petroleum oil based product. Resin kits are a polymer and never entirelly cure. Acrylic's are water based. Oil and water do not mix together. While they will cover and stick to plastic without a problem. They will not have the durability modelers are accustomed to form enamels for masking and handling etc. without using a "primer" or base coat. While it appears more "trouble" to use a primer coat the long term results are excellent plus by using a neutral color you ensure a "true" hue or color of your top coat.
USE a FLAT enamel based lt.grey or white primer coat very heavily thinned so you can leave only a very light coat. I usually spray the entire kit still on the sprue's with a light dusting of "ModelMasters" FLAT enamel light grey as a primer or base coat. The enamel spirit based paint "bonds" with the plastic and the microscopically "rough" flat surface provides the acrylic paint a way to physically bond to the enamel.
This improves its overall durability for instance for masking purposes etc.
4. The last and MOST IMPORTANT TIP for acrylic air brush USE is to use no more than a low 10-15 psi out put pressure with your gun !!
You can either add a regulator accessory in line with your existing unregulated compressor to allow you to adjust the out put pressure or buy an inexpensive home / garage adjustable output compressor with a built in holding air tank from your local target discount store in the auto/hardware section.
SO many common acrylic air brushing problems are directly related to that one simple important fact. Normal un-regulated hobby paint airbrush compressors put out 20-25 psi which is a great air pressure for enamels and most other kinds of paint.
However those higher air pressures internally in side your spray gun raise the tempeture enough to begin microscopically drying Acrylic paint inside your spray gun. This leads to "misting" or thin coverage. Even though there is good flow and a lot of paint is spewing from your gun only a very thin light coat is appearing on the object you are painting. The paint particles have begun a curing process they do during drying in mid air stream and are "bouncing" off the project and remaining in the air. Inside your gun the drying particles are collecting on internal parts.
SO you keep spraying. This eventually leads to "spitting" and finally clogging and the complete blockage of your gun which will require a complete break down and though cleaning. It is a sublte effect which vary's as to severity and on set. Some colors properly thinned might not demonstrate these symptoms right away while others it may appear immediately. Rest assured however IF you insist on spraying with High Air Pressures it WILL happen. Some cheaper airbrusg guns only have one setting and this can be very frustraing. But agin this is the air brush not the paint.
Highs: Acrylics are more user friendly. healthwise if you have any intent on a prolonged career of modeling as a hobby, acrlics is your answer.Lows: there is no accounting for the aluminum powder found in the original French WWI camouflage paints. But that is an easy fix. Verdict: Scale lighting issue seems to have been considered and used as recommended the paint flows very well. I can heartily recommend these paints to any modeler.
About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash) FROM: COLORADO, UNITED STATES
I was building Off topic jet age kits at the age of 7. I remember building my first WWI kit way back in 1964-5 at the age of 8-9. Hundreds of 1/72 scale Revell and Airfix kits later my eyes started to change and I wanted to do more detail. With the advent of DML / Dragon and Eduard I sold off my ...