Painting Help

Here you will find handy hints & tips on painting your newly acquired miniatures by our designer.


For best results always undercoat your miniatures before painting.  The easiest way to do this is with a spray can or airbrush.  The car primer paint is ideal or another good choice is the Games Workshop sprays.  When undercoating remember that if you are planning to do a light coloured camoflage scheme it's best to use a white undercoat not black.  If you don't like sprays then try heavily thinning humbrol black or white enamel paint and using it like a wash over your model.  This gives an excellent result and great to paint on.

Metal Finish

Many aircraft sported a natural metal finish.  However, trying to get this looking right on your model can cause heartache. Sadly, most silver paints just aren't shiny enough.  However, a few years ago I came across the Mr.Color Super Metallic range of paints.  In particulair, I found SM06 - Chrome Silver and have never looked back.  This is not the easiest paint to find unless you live in Japan but some ebay retailers do stock it and it is really worth checking out.

Cockpits, etc.

One question I get asked a lot is what colour do you paint the glass on a aircraft.  Some people prefer black, others dull silver but personally you can't do much wrong if you use a two tone sky blue mix. What I mean by this is to paint the glasswork sky blue and then use a thinned slightly lighter shade dabbed on top but allowing the darker paint to show round the edges as shown below.

Which Paints are best?

This is very loaded question and all I can say is that I personally use Foundry Paints.  These are acrylic (i.e water based) paints that are unusual in that they are designed specifically for painting miniature figures using a shading system.  What this mean is that each colour comes in a dark shade, a base shade and then a lighter shade. While these paints are designed for 28mm figure painters they give you a vast range of colours and I can usually can easily match most aircraft camoflage colours from their range.  Also they airbrush well and you can use Tamiya thinners with them with no problem.

Masking Tape - Why you should use it on 1/285th Aircraft!

Masking tape can be a very useful tool. Most of you are probably thinking that the tape is to wide to be of use on 1/285th scale aircraft. However, these days the tape comes in micro widths (1mm and above), which are very useful for fuselage/wing bands. They are simple to use and can give you those straight edges that are nearly impossible to do freehand. So what’s the procedure?

1)Spray/brush on a white undercoat and allow to dry.
2)Take a piece of tape and place it over the area to be masked. i.e. wrap it around the fuselage.
3)Paint the rest of the aircraft as per normal and allow to dry.
4)Remove the tape and paint the white band the desired colour.

You could of course paint the colour of the band before applying the masking tape.

Another use would be to cover up areas that will be painted in light colours so that paint from dark camouflage patterns doesn’t get onto area it shouldn’t. i.e. I cover up the yellow noses of my 109’s.

Micro width tape is also cheap and quite easy to get hold of these days, a quick hunt round ebay will get you numerous hits.

Give it a try, you won’t regret it!

Tamiya Aircraft Spray paints

Those nice Tamiya people produce a range of spray paints specifically for model aircraft, which are very good indeed. Unfortunately, they are not much use for painting 1/285th aircraft normally. However, if your colour scheme is a basic one colour scheme they can be very useful and give you an excellent finish.

For example my IJN aircraft are green on top and grey underneath, so I prime them all in light grey and then spray the top in AS-1 Dark Green (IJN). When you spray the paint on (even sparingly) it does appear to pool and obliterate the detail. Don’t worry though as the paint self levels and the detail reappears as it dries. Once it’s dried, I touch up the grey, add the anti glare black to the engine & do the cockpit and the model is basically done baring decals.

Because of the Satin finish these paints give, they are especially good for carrier planes. If you would like to give them a try, they can be found in specialist model shops like Hannants or can of course be hunted down in ebay.

Coming soon...    

Russian Winter Camouflage made easy

USS Enterprise Painting Guide

Airbrushing Camouflage

Rob's Painting Guides

One of our customer's Rob Atkinson has kindly made these painting guides available.

RAF Desert Air Force

US Navy 1941 (Dauntless)

Italian Air Force

Russian Air Force