To replicate the scale engine that goes inside the model is a William’s Brothers Kit and it is VERY nice. The casting and detail of the cylinders is great. Dave mounted this on plywood with holes cut out for cooling of the actual engine that will power the model. My job is to make the dummy engine look as realistic as possible.
I painted the entire assembly black to begin with. It is a good base color and if there are streaks in the paint, the black doesn’t stand out.
I painted the top of the cylinders a dark grey (Model Masters Flat Black, Burnt Umber, Medium Blue and Flat White), and bottom parts of cylinders a rusty black (Flat Black, touch of Flat White, Rust and Leather). The crankcase housing is painted a neutral grey. After getting the base colors down, I then put a good old grime watery wash of Flat Black, a little Flat White and Burnt Sienna over the entire assembly and dabbed off most of it. This filled in on most of the crooks and crannies and added more depth to the detail.
Next I used Testors Enamel Steel and painted the shinny areas with special attention to individual bolts. The bolts are painted over when they leave the factory but over time, they get taken off and on which chips the paint. So those get a touch of Steel. Doesn’t have to be perfect since the paint chipped off in odd patterns, just gave them enough paint to show they are there.
Next I needed a tube that circles the crank-case. I’m not an engine guy, but I think this is a collector for the wires coming off the spark plugs. I know that bending actual tube in a circle is a challenge, so I took the easy route and used some left over plastic Robart Retract air line I had laying around and CA’ed it in place. Remember its not what you use to replicate something but how it looks when you’re done! The flexible tubing was a easy to glue in place. I painted it steel to make it look like aluminum tubing.
I wanted to replicate the ingnition system like I had done on our B -25, since it is very easy to do and it looks great.
First I drilled holes into the spark plugs that stick out of the cylinder heads. Then CAed black elastic thread to simulate the ingnition wires. This stuff works great since it is flexible, stretches, and CA glue will hold it in place forever. I used it for flying wires on my Top Flite Stearman and after 5 years, they are still in place. The CA also hardens the thread in place and in the shape you need it. The best part, it is only 99 cents at Hobby Lobby!
To duplicate the nuts that hold the ignition wires in place I cut a small plastic tube that was slightly larger than the thread in small rings and threaded two on each line before gluing them in place.
After gluing all the “wires” in place, positioning the fake nuts and CA’ing them in place, I then painted the wires a grimy black, the bolts were painted with a 50/50 enamel Brass and Steel paint mixture. These were glued into the side of the Robart line, now painted enamel steel.
Now comes the “secret weapon”...
I learned about the use of Rub n’ Buff from Dave Platt’s Black Art of Weathering tapes, and I always have a tube of the stuff on hand. Its about $4 at Hobby Lobby or Michaels and it just works great in simulating metal, and wear and tear. The nice thing is how simple it is to use. Just put a small bit on your finger and just lightly rub it on the area you want to look like metal. If you get too much, just rub it off. Leave it in place when you have the look you want and the stuff dries like paint.
In this application, we don’t want the whole engine to look like it was dipped in chrome. We just want nice highlights to glint in the light. This really leaves the impression this is a hunk of metal instead of plastic. I lightly applied the Rub n’ Buff on the cylinder ribs, some of nuts/bolts and a little was applied on the crank case.
My 3 year old son Quinten was there to give Daddy a hand!