• How to (step by step): 6 SPAD XIII by Reviresco in French 5 colours camo (longish !)

    Hi there,

    I was asked by a friend to build 6 French SPAD XIII for him. Here's how I did it...

    These are all the pieces I got out of the bags. As you can see, there are even some spares.


    Most parts had a reasonable amount of flash, but there have been some exceptions.


    These are the parts after flash has been removed. The Scottish Munro represents the total amount of flash. Just kidding, it's not a "mountain"! Actually, I've had far worse.


    Assemble the two halves of the fuselage and glue the bottom wing.


    Add the tail plane and the fin.

    Off for priming.

    Paint as many parts on the sprues as possible.

    Add a coat (or two in this case) of the lightest camo colour. As the difference was very tiny I have chosen to use the same colour for the camo as for the underside of the planes.
    Historical accuracy is good, but this is 1/144...

    Everything is ready to start the camo masking on the upper wings.

    Masking is fun... but can be quite time consuming.

    What I did was to make about 6 pairs (one positive and one negative) of templates.

    These pairs enabled me to use one for the first colour and the second (negative) as a delimitation for the next colour.

    (it's always a good idea to number your pairs...)

    Here's the finished 4 coulour camo of the upper wings. I tried to emulate the shapes used on the real planes.
    The colours are the best match I could come up with without buying special ones just for it.

    But the camo scheme has 5 colour, no? Well, just paint some almost black "kidneys" on the right side of the top wing (and stabilizers late on).

    Make sure that the underside remains "clean" and retouch if necessary.

    (Attention, fiddly bit: this is a bit difficult, especially if your finger look like big sausages like mine do!)
    The camo on the fuselage doesn't go through to the bottom. It stops at a certain level. Therefore, we need to place a mask on both sides, going from the underside of the bottom wing to the "tailplane buttress".

    For honesty sake, I have to admit that I stopped working of these planes for some weeks at this point.


    This is what it should look like when masked.



    For the camo of the fuselage and the lower wing, I had to use another making system. The previous system is just fine for "2D" objects, but is much more difficult to use for patterns that cross over from the wing to the fuselage and so on.
    The principle is that you work your way up from the lightest colour to the darkest and that you leave the making tape on, from layer to layer.




    Layer by layer, you'll be able to add masks until the last colour will cover whatever had not yet been masked.

    For honesty sake, I have to admit that I stopped working of these planes for some weeks while I was in the middle of this step.

    This is the only negative result that came from my long procrastination: the masking tape had been on for too long and one had lifted the paint when I removed it.

    This mountain of masking tape is the result of the operation! Impressive, no?

    Of course, some "cleaning up" is inevitable.
    (For connoisseurs: the dark green paint is a very old bottle from Ral Partha! 1983 I think...)

    Some detailing.

    The six planes need to be distinguishable on the battlefield. (Notice that I found out I hadn't got any yellow acrylic paint left: the Humbrol can must be at least as old as the Ral Partha above! It needed a good stirring, that's all.)


    Some more masking for the tail flashes.
    (I've tried to do it with decals, but it never gets me the result I want, so...)


    Paint the pilots.


    And glue them in place.

    The paint may have clogged-up some holes...


    Place the struts and the lower wing. I use a die to make sure my struts are straight.

    Glue the cabane struts to the upper wing. Everything is ready for the wing assembly.

    There we are!



    Now, the wheels: I'd like them to have the same colour as the nose job I made, so more masking it is!
    By the way, did you know that the rubber used in wheels didn't sport to black colour we are accustomed to until 1908? And that was only in the UK. In other countries, the use of black pigment came quite some time later. So, if you do off-white or even pink pneumatics, nobody can say that it's wrong!



    The pins for the bases are put in in three stages.

    Place the under carriage (I hate that...)


    Place the decals.

    Finished product


    Lessons learned
    :
    • Never again a batch of six. Too repetitive! Especially if you don't have any relation towards to planes you're building. Lack of motivation!
    • Historical accuracy is good and well, but this is 1/144 and the planes are made for gaming, not displaying...
    • Don't leave the making tape on for too long.


    Happy of the result, but much moire happy that it's finally finished!

    This article was originally published in forum thread: How to (step by step): 6 SPAD XIII by Reviresco in French 5 colours camo (longish!) started by petitbilbo View original post
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