You can only give your model aeroplane a realistic look if you can master the painting techniques that create material effects. One of these effects is the look of a wood grain, which is key to giving the appearance of a genuine wooden propeller. Fortunately, you can create this texture with only a few brush strokes and colour mixing techniques. Learn to paint thin, straight lines and mix subtle shades and you will be able to give a plastic propeller a handsome wood grain.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Can of black primer
- Matt varnish
- Basecoat brush
- Fine detail brush
- Pot of water
Spray both sides of the propeller evenly with a thin coat of black primer and let the primer dry. The primer will ensure that the paint coats the propeller properly.
Select a paint with a medium brown tone. Pour a small amount of the paint onto your pallet and dilute it with water. You should try to get a consistency of paint where the paint does not stick to the brush, yet you cannot see the colour of the pallet through the paint.
Paint an even basecoat onto the propeller using your basecoat brush and let it dry. Use multiple coats if necessary to coat the whole propeller.
Select a paint with a darker brown tone. Pour a small amount of the paint onto your pallet and dilute it with water.
Paint thin lines down the length of each side of the propeller using your fine detail brush. Apply pressure evenly throughout the stroke to give a clean line. The line does not need to be perfectly straight or parallel, but you should try to keep only slight curvature and variation like natural wood grain. The lines should be the same or at least similar on each side of the propeller.
Let the paint dry.
Select a paint with a lighter brown tone. Pour a small amount of the paint onto your pallet and dilute it with water.
Mix in a few drops of your medium brown paint to ease the colour transition.
Paint the centre area between the dark lines with this highlight colour using your fine detail brush. Leave small hints of your medium brown between your highlight and lines.
Let the paint dry.
Evenly coat the propeller with matt varnish.
Tips and warnings
- Hold your brush arm still and move the propeller around to reach different points. This will give you more control over your brush and create cleaner lines.
- You can create warps in the wood by widening individual lines and panting small circles in the open area.
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