All insignia are on, all major markings are on the plane. Now I’m going to make it look like it has been used a lot by cadets getting ready for war.
The first place I started is the wing walk areas. These were coated with a non-slip coating, pretty much like sandpaper to keep the skyward bound aviator from slipping and falling on his keester!
I found a photo of a Texan that I thought would be very interesting to duplicate its worn wing walk areas. Note how the non-slip has peeled off from use. I’ve never see that effect duplicated, so with an okay from Dave, I set out to replicate this effect. After masking off the basic rectangle shape of the wing walk area, I tore little bits of masking tape and placed them in similar fashion to the wear patterns from my source.
Now to paint the non-slip material on the model. I created my own recipe for 1/5 scale non-slip coating. A lot of modelers use sandpaper or actual non-slip coating that comes in a spray can. I think the graininess is way too coarse for this scale.
Put enough micro-balloons in with the Liquatex so that the paint is saturated with them.
Of course we can’t just paint it a deep rich black and leave it that way. Doesn’t look real! So now to weather it down. First I airbrushed a light grey wash over the black.
While the paint was still wet, I daubed at it with a paper towel very lightly to break up the streaking and to give a kind of “pitter-patter” effect to the surface. This subtle mottling of the Leather really replicates what happens to the actual wing walk. Mud, grime collects on the surface, it then gets ground in by people walking on the surface. Then with rain and airstream, it dissolves and flows back and against the fuselage. The effect is subtle, but very effective.
When I pulled away the tape I was extremely pleased at how realistic the wing walk looked! The last photo really shows the grain and peeled effect very well. The blue paint under the non-slip coating will eventually look like it has worn down to the aluminum, but that will come later.