Paint flawless aircraft wheels
It's a real pain trying to paint those wheels, especially when you get the shakes from too much coffee! A great way to paint them is easily accomplished with a drafter's template. Choose one that has many different size holes. Paint the tires the desired color. Don't worry, they don't have to be perfect. Find the proper size circle in the drafter's template, hold it over the wheel, so that only the wheel is exposed and airbrush. The hole process takes about 30 seconds and the results are pretty impressive!
Tree branches and twigs...cheap!
Okay, it really doesn't taste that great without sugar, but there's another use for that box of Shredded Wheat on the shelf! By breaking off very small pieces and distributing throughout a diorama scene you create a pretty well detailed piece of land. Be sure that they are placed around the bases of trees and bushes. You can even heap a bunch of it to represent a pile of kindling for a fire! Another neat use is using larger pieces for lining trenches for a war scene. This method is a lot cheaper than buying model trees and shrubs from the store.
Serious detailing...easily done.
How do you get a landing gear to look like you've assembled it yourself or make panel lines so real that they actually look operable? Well, here's the secret! Go to your local craft store and locate the ceramic's section. Look in this area for what looks like paint but is called "wash". They are available in a small number of colors that can suit the model being built. Using a small brush, paint a small amount of this on recessed details such as wing panel lines, wheel hubs, landing gear, seat cushions, and instrument panels. Wait until the wash has dried completely (you can use a hair-dryer to dry it faster). Using moistened Q-tips, gently stroke the wash off. You're going to use a lot of swabs so have plenty available. As the wash is removed, the recessed areas will retain it because the Q-tip can't reach it. This gives the illusion of depth and singularity with highly detailed parts. This works well on radiators and oil coolers on older aircraft, cars, and spacecraft. Do a lot of experimenting. You'll be VERY pleased with the results.
Give that model a very old look!
Submitted by Ben Schear
Giving your model an old "antique" look is easy to do. First coat your model's body parts with a thin coat of rubber cement then sprinkle them with salt. When they're dry, coat them with a thin coat of a flat paint. This will give the model a texture that makes it look old, chipped and rusty. Thanks Ben!