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Why is the Spitfire so poorly painted?


-332FG-Red_Pilot
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-332FG-Red_Pilot

This spitfire is painted with love

image.thumb.png.f8b3690789405f7f30223d72dda436cc.png

 

But this one seemed to have not enough paint!

 

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What happened to him? Is this a limitation of the game engine? Why is the metal visible through the paint, as if someone covered the plane with a monomolecular layer? I wanted to get a well-painted aircraft in the default version, but this seems to be a shadow of a real Spitfire. I see the same thing on some other planes, where the paint layer is so thin that it seems you need a microscope to see it from the cockpit

 

P.s. And I'm not talking about scratches or weathering..

 

P.s.2 At least, if almost the entire paint layer was erased due to weathering, then these planes should have been flying for 10 or 15 years? After all, many of them were not even six months old at that time!

Edited by -332FG-Red_Pilot
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6./ZG26_Custard

Operational aircraft would get dirty, grimy, sun bleached and weather stained extremely quickly. Airshow aircraft and posed shots would invariably use nice shiny aircraft in the photos. 

1200px-15_supermarine_spitfire_r6923_qj-s_15836050395.jpg

Supermarine Spitfires of 111 Squadron undergoing maintenance at Comiso, Sicily, in July 1943 CREDIT MOD.jpg

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4cfc0a342cc27625aecdb60be855ac8e.jpg

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Missionbug

Skin makers and scale model builders refer to this as weathering, trying to portray a in service aircraft at a specific period in time, from a photograph for instance taken on a set date.;)

 

Aircraft flown at airshows are invaribly in impecable condition due to the fact they are lovingly restored to something close to how a brand new aircraft would look straight off the production line, they more often than not will use modern equivalent paints that are to a much higher standard than the original back in the Forties.  Operationally during war time the ground crews did what they could to keep the aircraft in good flying condition but in many instances far from home and a precarious supply line it was difficult to keep things to a high standard on many occassions particularly the paint work.

 

Personally I like to see a weathered skin in game as to my mind it would be more natuaral for a type that had been in service even for a short time, however, some prefer a new look, skinners will try and give you their own particular feeling of how it is best depicted at the time from their reference material.

 

Take care and be safe.

 

Wishing you all the very best, Pete.:biggrin:

Edited by Missionbug
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AEthelraedUnraed
13 hours ago, -332FG-Red_Pilot said:

P.s. And I'm not talking about scratches or weathering..

If not talking about scratches or weathering, I do wonder what you *are* talking about. What is it that bothers you so much about the Spitfire skin?

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Cybermat47
41 minutes ago, jollyjack said:

Haluter's is full of 'look ma' skins;

 

I like the symbolism of the starbirds using those colours.

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-332FG-Red_Pilot
16 часов назад, AEthelraedUnraed сказал:

If not talking about scratches or weathering, I do wonder what you *are* talking about. What is it that bothers you so much about the Spitfire skin?

It's very simple.

Question: did all combat aircraft of that time have such a strong weathering?

Answer: obviously, not everyone had such a thin layer of paint.

 

The next question is: do we see such a thin layer of paint on all the black-and-white photos presented, or maybe in some cases the paint layer is still sufficient not to see metal through it? And maybe the degradation of the paint layer does not always mean the literal disappearance of this paint?

Answer: yes, of course, paint degradation is not always a significant thinning of the paint layer.

 

So, if you followed this thought, it becomes obvious that I just want the plane to be at least painted.. I understand that someone likes rusty things, I would even like these pilots to enjoy the same worn-out engine and the failures of various worn-out systems. But nevertheless, I do not see anything wrong with having a well-prepared and properly maintained aircraft.

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AEthelraedUnraed

Now that just confuses me.

 

7 minutes ago, -332FG-Red_Pilot said:

a thin layer of paint.

What do you mean with "a thin layer of paint"? Are you talking about weathering or not? If not, then what in the Devil's name *are* you talking about? If you are, then why do you say you're not? Also, in that case, @6./ZG26_Custard and @Missionbug already provided excellent explanations why the aircraft in IL2 look the way they do.

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PatrickAWlson

When I pick a skin I always like the weathered versions.  Looks businesslike.  

 

I always got a kick out of going to my white collar job and seeing a nice, shiny, completely pampered dualie pickup in the parking lot.  Just looks wrong.

Edited by PatrickAWlson
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6 hours ago, AEthelraedUnraed said:

Now that just confuses me.

 

I'm confused as well. There is just no way you can compare the paint job on a plane that sits inside a museum hangar for the majority of the year and receives the utmost attention and care because it's a rare and prized relic, versus one that's being operated from a sandblasted airfield in North Africa, a hot, dusty airstrip in Normandy or Russia, or an airfield hacked out of the jungles of New Guinea.

Edited by LukeFF
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6 hours ago, AEthelraedUnraed said:

Now that just confuses me.

 

What do you mean with "a thin layer of paint"? Are you talking about weathering or not? If not, then what in the Devil's name *are* you talking about? If you are, then why do you say you're not? Also, in that case, @6./ZG26_Custard and @Missionbug already provided excellent explanations why the aircraft in IL2 look the way they do.

 

I think Red_Pilot may not be referring to weathering (i.e., worn-away paint, such as seen on the fairing between the wing root and fuselage) but rather the look of the paint all around compared to the first real-life picture above. In between the riveted edges of each panel in the in-game Spit IV, you can make out the subtle light and dark variations of the metal underneath, but maybe this is supposed to be the "weathering" of the paint. I like the in-game paint jobs just fine though.

Edited by JimTM
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On 7/28/2021 at 9:19 AM, -332FG-Red_Pilot said:

This spitfire is painted with love

 

Actually its painted with gloss. And likely some modern compound thereof.

 

Helps  with with durability of the finish on display aircraft, possibly slightly reduces transit fuel consumption and makes the aircraft pretty. 

 

As already stated, service aircraft of the period were not so pampered, usually finished in a matt or semi gloss coat (sometimes polished by erks),  often shotblasted daily during takeoffs with sand and dust, left out in all weathers on FOBs , crawled over by mud covered ground crew, pelted with heavy rain and hail and usually flown at much higher alts for much longer periods thus increasing the effects of UV on the paint even more.  Wouldnt take too long to look worn. If you consider something like a Lancaster had an average expected service life of 7 weeks, its surprising to see so few photos of them looking pristine so one can conclude its a hard life that takes a quick toll.

 

However, thats not the entire truth. B/W photos accentuate dirt and wear and a person looking at those subjects "in the flesh" would likely perceive the aircraft to be in a somewhat better state (but nowhere near the state seen in the first image). 

 

I think the current "ICDP'd" stock skins are a great balance and an intelligently imagined representation of what was likely. I dont perceive the paint as being thin but rather bleached and blasted which is entirely within my expectation of what I would have seen had I been there at the time.. Most pleasingly the old reliance on "Chipping" to denote wear and tear (making the 3D model look something akin to an old diecast toy after a life at the bottom of the box) is now beautifully restrained and harmonized with many other subtle techniques.  . 

 

 

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AEthelraedUnraed
23 hours ago, JimTM said:

I think Red_Pilot may not be referring to weathering (i.e., worn-away paint, such as seen on the fairing between the wing root and fuselage) but rather the look of the paint all around compared to the first real-life picture above. In between the riveted edges of each panel in the in-game Spit IV, you can make out the subtle light and dark variations of the metal underneath, but maybe this is supposed to be the "weathering" of the paint. I like the in-game paint jobs just fine though.

Ah alright, that may be the case yes. I didn't quite get that from Red_Pilot's post though. Yes indeed, the paint looks different, mostly glossier.

 

I think it's important to remember the purpose of the two aircraft that are compared, i.e. the "modern" Spitfire and the WW2 Spitfires. The main purpose of the modern Spitfire is to entertain people. It has to look good, and that's it. More paint and more gloss is better.

 

The main purpose of a WW2 spitfire is to fight. The paint is just there as camo. Camo that only has to work at large distances. Extra paint beyond the bare minimum required just adds weight, cost and manufacturing/maintenance time. It's for a reason that the Americans largely did away with paint altogether late in the war.

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Confused_2018

I remember seeing pictures of R6915.  According to the museum, she is in her original OTU Paint.

 

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/70000222

 

Some shots

 

https://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?/topic/72158-tamiya-spitfire-mk-ix-kicked-up-a-notch-last-post/&do=findComment&comment=1004127

 

Over the years, Mr. Edgar Brooks studied and researched the Spitfire.  He as always happy to share what he found.  Anyone skinning  a Spitfire may want to read these comments from various forums.  Much more was lost regrettably.  RIP Mr. Brooks.

 

Page 4 of the pdf speaks to paints and finishes.

https://www.jonbius.com/edgar-brooks-spitfire-notes/

 

I've read pages of arguments about WWII aircraft and weathering and while not completely accurate,  a weathered aircraft looks a bit more interesting.  At least to me.

 

We all have our opinions.

 

 

 

 

 

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AEthelraedUnraed
1 hour ago, Confused_2018 said:

Those are some nice pics! If that's indeed the original paintjob, I think it actually matches the in-game skins pretty well.

 

Also, interesting pdf!

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Confused_2018

I forgot to say that I do not think that WWII combat aircraft looked that chipped and worn all the time. We see a photo of that aircraft in that instant.  I do believe that the aircraft were kept clean and touched up if time and circumstance permitted.  That is my 2 cents.

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357th_Dog

Here's a bit of a scientific moment, and it ties into history. 

Over the course of the war paint quality shifted dramatically due to the lack of cadminum as a paint stabilizing agent. Cadminum was needed as a critical element in armor production as it was/is a hardening agent. With the need of armor exceeding high quality paint, the war production boards both in the US and UK had to substitute less resolute composite materials. As the war went on that is why you saw paint degrade faster on late war aircraft, the paint simply was not as strong, as such it would fade, chip, degrade and thin excessively compared to early paints. 

Spitfires were not maintained well in the field, and after June of 1944 they were more or less run ragged. If you all wish I can post 10-15 examples of beat to dirt Spits that were entirely functional and they had time to clean them. 

They simply didn't

 

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Noisemaker
15 hours ago, 357th_Dog said:

 

 

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Well, at least one armourer there made the effort to protect the paint job by kneeling on a cloth.  ;)

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Even with "well-maintained" planes, the paint is going to wear down quickly. As an example, this an Fw 190 operating in Finland - look at how worn the paint is below the cockpit and all the stains up by the cowling (click to enlarge):

 

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155671.thumb.jpg.0274514e863d90af4e2bd830935830c2.jpg

Edited by LukeFF
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[CPT]Crunch

It's an old technique amongst scale modeler's, over detail, since the model is extremely small and suffers from lack of resolution.  Our models may be big enough, but the skins are horridly small to stretch over em, and suffer the low resolution effects.  Easiest way to overcome it, add complexity and contrast and over do it.

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Knarley-Bob
On 8/1/2021 at 4:44 AM, Noisemaker said:

Well, at least one armourer there made the effort to protect the paint job by kneeling on a cloth.  ;)

Sorry, but I would disagree. He is protecting his knees from the plane. A little padding goes along way. :)

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  • 3 weeks later...
Trooper117

I've read through this whole thread and can't find a single reason why it should even exist...

Can someone direct me to a decent thread that is worth reading... (kindly remember I have limited working brain cells).

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2 hours ago, Trooper117 said:

I've read through this whole thread and can't find a single reason why it should even exist...

Can someone direct me to a decent thread that is worth reading... (kindly remember I have limited working brain cells).

 

This one ---> Decent thread   :)

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