The most challenging area to paint, but the most rewarding, is the exhaust area of the model. IF done correctly it breathes life into the model, making it appear like an actual fire-breathing, roaring-through-the-sky aircraft! If done poorly, it just looks like a weird streak of black paint! I can’t over emphasize the importance of the reference photo for getting this area correct.
As you can see, the exhaust stain on the fuse just isn’t a black streak. Rather, the base paint is discolored to a grey tint from the heat of the exhaust, and the charcoal/sooty exhaust has a bit of rust color in it as well. Also note how the exhaust abruptly stops above the wing root. That is because this area is a raised panel, that acts like a ramp, that skips the exhaust past the immediate area behind it, and on to the fuselage area under the cockpit. This area is not as dark since it is further away from the exhaust source.
I masked off the area immediately behind the raised panel and then airbrushed the grey tint, following the direction of the airflow as it goes out the exhaust pipe and is forced up because of airflow over the wing. Color used was Model Masters Acrylic Flat White, some base color blue latex, and a touch of flat Burnt Sienna to warm the grey up a touch.
- A quick note about paint - I almost never use paint directly from the bottle. I find it too bright and “clean”. I muddy up all my paints by mixing in a little brown, a little black and/or white. This is especailly true of black. I either warm it up with a little brown or cool it down with a little blue. That subtle change in color makes a big difference in realism.
I also sprayed this sooty color ever so slightly on the area under the cockpit as it is on the reference photo. I followed the rivet lines up a bit to give the impression that these high spots would get a little more soot on them from the exhaust. I also sprayed just a bit on the horizontal stab because some of the exhaust would make its way back there as well.The last step was putting a little bit of Model Master’s Flat Rust with a bit of Flat Black and applied that in the middle of the exhaust stain. The touch of color really adds interest, just have to be careful not to over do!