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Creating a very realistic "wood" prop.

Submitted by QEntity
Early aircraft, particularly WW I fighters, have a natural beauty that extends beyond their fragile framework. Unless you prefer to carve your own prop from a scrap of basswood, which I've know others to do, you can turn that plastic one in your kit into a very convincing wood prop in just a few easy steps. Step 1. Be sure the part has been washed in soap and water to remove any oils and mold release agents. Step 2. Paint the whole prop (front & back!) with a flat, water-based yellow. Don't make it a real heavy coat but be sure to cover all areas. Allow it to dry thoroughly. Step 3. Dilute a small amount of an enamel-based brown with thinner until it's a very thin, watery-looking mixture. This will be the "wash". Step 4. Dip a small brush into the "wash" and in one long stroke, coat the prop. The "wash" will gather in crevices and other details and give it an overall wood look. You can even make a single swipe with a the side of a pipe-cleaner to give it a little texture. Step 5. Set the prop aside to dry thoroughly. When dried completely, brush a light coat of Future floor wax across the blades. When the Future has dried, you will have a convincing 'varnished wood' prop. It may take a little practice at first to get the 'wash' mixture correct so try it on some spare plastic until you are satisfied with the results. Good luck!
Simulate a wood deck.

Submitted by QEntity
Do you remember putting together that entertainment center from the department store? Do you remember putting on the phony "wood" cardboard back to hide the cords? If you have any of that cardboard left, or have any of the many "punch-outs" they pre-cut for the power cords to poke through, gather them up and use them to simulate a plywood deck in a cockpit of an old fighter plane. Take a piece and carefully lift the paper "wood" off the cardboard backing. Cut it to fit and use some white school glue to put in place. Simple as that!

Pitot tubes, machine guns, exhaust pipes.

Submitted by QEntity
For more realistic machine guns, exhaust pipes, and pitot tubes, replace the plastic parts with an appropriate size of syringe needle. These can be cut to proper length with the help of a moto-tool and cut-off wheel. Drill out (if necessary) the location of this part and insert the needle with a small amount of glue. When set completely, it can be painted any color you wish. You'll be surprised at how real it looks on a small model and you don't have to worry about the part being bent or snapped off. Check your local laws about posession of these needles before obtaining them.

Taking the yellow out of old decals.

Submitted by QEntity
Okay, so you've gone to a few yard sales or trade shows and found some old kits that look like nice projects to build. The castings look great but the decals have turned a nasty yellow. Older decal manufacturing often involved using organic adhesives that turn yellow with age. The best way to get rid of that yellow is to slip the decal sheet in a plastic baggie and tape the baggie in the window of your house that gets a lot of sun. The sun will bleach them almost completely clear again in a few days! If the decals are old a brittle, cover the sheet with a light coat of Future floor wax or commercial decal restorer before using.