WeatheringWeathering is a word that refers to wear and tear represented on a model. This may be from actual weather (e.g. sun-faded paint), but more likely due to operational wear.
Chipped paint. This is common on leading edges of propellers and wings, and areas where the pilot and crew walked on the airplane.
Peeling paint. Some paint types were notorious for peeling.
Engine exhaust stains
Gun smoke stains
The actual weathering will depend on the specific aircraft, how it was prepared and maintained, and where it was operated (e.g. dusty or muddy airfield).
The only way to be reasonably sure what the weathering should look like is to look at photos of the real thing.
If you can find photos of the specific aircraft whose serial number you are modeling, then you can duplicate the weathering fairly precisely. Otherwise just use typical photos of similar airplanes.
In this case, we looked at typical spitfires in the book "Spitfire in Action" by Squadron Signal Publications.
Here are some photos of our weathered Spitfire Mark Vb, followed by some notes about our weathering techniques:
After the chalk wash, the Spitfire was airbrushed with Tamiya Flat Clear to seal the wash.
1) Paint chipping was simulated on the wing walk areas with silver paint and a fine brush.
2) Gun smoke stains were added with black pastel chalk dust applied with a fine brush (blow gently in the direction of airflow to remove the excess).
3) Engine exhaust stains were added with black pastel chalk dust applied with a brush. Some dark brown was then added on top of the black.
4) The engine smoke stacks were brushed with dark brown pastel chalk dust. When we were satisfied with the weathering, the model was finally sealed with a light coat of Flat Clear. Then the canopy, and open cockpit door (and other small bits) were attached.
5) A few spots of chipped paint were simulated where the canopy edges meet, with silver paint on a fine brush.
6) The open cockpit door was washed with dark brown, then sealed with flat clear (brushed on). (This could have been done before gluing in place).
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