Thesepages will guide you, step-by-step, in the techniques of making a skin for an EAW-aircraft. The aircraft type I've chosen to use is the Bf 109G, because it is a good example for using several techniques.
"How to make a 109"
working with the fuselage-attaching technique
Step 1: The choice
Every quest starts with a
question. When you plan to do a skin, then your first question
should be "Which?".
Some people decide through historical interest, but in the end most of us choose aircraft for skins that please the eye. There are many ways to find a good model for your skin, in the web, books, etc. Once you are interested in WWII-aviation, you'll find , with some effort, many pages with good pictures of aircraft.
But for the technique I present here, we need a special type of picture, so called color-plates or profiles. There are a lot of different techniques for the basic work on skins, but in my experience, this technique gives the best results for Luftwaffe-planes - as we will see later.
Basically, there are two styles of profiles.
One style is what I call "comic"-style, as shown here:
These types of profile are ideal for scale-models, but what we need is something that
looks more realistic.
We need color plates, the type I call "art"-style, like this wonderful work by Claes Sundin:
You see the differences. Here are so many things painted in detail, like shading, etc. This is very helpful and will lead to good results.
If you are lucky enough to own a scanner and have access to a good library, then you have a never-ending source of good material at your disposal. When you scan such pictures from books, there sometimes appears an effect called "Moiré", which is when the scanned image is covered in dots. Some software can reduce this problem, but you have to play around with your graphic-software until they are more or less removed. Scan the pictures at about 200-300 dpi and then resize the pictures , now in PSP, to about 25% of their original size. This should solve most of the problems.
The choice can result in the
success or failure of your skin-project. Sometimes you
start with a very new skin , using plate you like very
much, only to find half way through your project that the
EAW-palettes are all against you and your project falters !
With more experience, you can chose plates in advance by
taking into consideration the EAW-palettes, believe me .
Luftwaffe-skins are a special challenge sometimes , due to the sparkled fuselage camouflage. Another challenge is bare metal surfaces. We will see later how the sparkle effect is achieved...