Simulating unpainted plywood covering.

Victor G Annas (
Wed, 3 Aug 94 16:34:06 EDT

Jesse wrote:
>Question for y'all: How do you simulate unpainted plywood covering on your
To my knowledge, there is only one way to get close to an unpainted
wood grain pattern. Use artist oils. I'll explain the method I follow.

1) Prep the surface as usual.
2) Paint the parts of the model that will have the wood grain with
Floquil flat white. This forms a surface that will let the artist
oils bite, or cling to the model.
3) select several artist oil colors that will make a good wood coloring.
I use Grumbacher's Titanium White, Titanium Yellow, Tan,
Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Red, Black, and Light Brown.
4) After the floquil has dried for several days mix up a Light Tan to
Sand color and apply this to the entire area to be wood grained.
5) Then start applying small amounts, and I do mean SMALL AMOUNTS, of
Brown, Burnt Sienna, and/or Burnt Umber over the lighter color in
a wood grain pattern. With each bit that you apply to the lighter
tan you should go over it with a DRY brush and "Blend" the darker
color slightly into the lighter color. You will need to experiment
with this until it suits your eye. You can also apply small amounts
of the lighter color over the darker color to lighten it up.
6) Try to make it look like wood. I've found that (on 1/48th scale
models) it looks better if you try to make an airplane look as if
the wooden parts were one piece of wood instead of a bunch of
wooden panels all screwed together. For some reason the panel lines
just don't work well here. One might experiment with a light pencil
line after all the painting is done and the oils have had time to
7) Once you have the grain pattern about the wat you want it seal
everything with clear flat. I use testors because it flash dries
in 30 min. and I can handle the model in about a day.
*) It takes about two weeks for the oils to dry but with the flat coat
you should be able to do final construction on the plane in two to
three days.
The key to this proccess is your imagination and experimentation. I
stumbled onto this method via experimentation, and it works well for me. The
thing that I like about the oils are the blending qualities that they have.
I built Voss's Albatross DIII (Yea the Glenco Kit) useing this
method. I took it to a show last year in Dayton Ohio and took second place
with it. The judges hovered over it for quit a while and then called me over
and asked if it was a plastic kit or if I had substituted the original
fuselage for a wooden one. I showed them the nstruction sheet and my entry
form stating that it was SOB. Finally one of them said "You need to get an
award just for building this stinking kit and doing it right." That was worth
more than any trophy I took home. If anyone tries this, let me know how it
works for you.
Hope it helps,