Before I reveal all however, the next step of design was to paint the small grass areas. Grass can be difficult as it is not a uniform colour and you don't want it to look like a piece of green tarmac. The model railway type grass which comes in sheets I have always thought is out of scale with 1:400s so I have never used it. Instead for my last model I found that using water based paint (from my son's paint set) gave a nice irregular finish especially when you stippled it on with the end of the brush. I have used that effect again for this model. You can see below the effect behind the A380:
The other thing you'll notice from above is the white outline to the gate area. It is thin and neat - something I'd never been able to achieve with masking tape, brush and paint. My big discovery for this model is paint pens. In fact I learnt about them accidentally on one of my facebook groups when someone else used them - I can't remember who it was but I owe them a beer! I hadn't known such things even existed but a visit to my local art shop gave me the opportunity to pick up pens in white, red and yellow for about NZD $10 each. The brand I have used is below:
They are so easy to use. You just shake and then press the nib down until paint arrives. They can produce a thicker line with a harder press and even better can be used with a ruler. Plus the paint dries in a matter of minutes and there is no messy cleanup. Simply replace the nib and they are good for storage. They have saved me hours and produced great results. I started with the gate area outlines, roads and the taxiway lines before moving onto the gate markings themselves. The curved lines were achieved simply by using a child's stationery protractor as a guide.
As you can see I used some no27 paint to break up the uniformity of the gate areas and had to add in some extra road over the grass when I worked out the roading layout. There's still plenty of work to do on the layout, with the rest of the gate and parking markings plus gate signage, but its really coming along and I am very pleased with it.
I'm Richard Stretton, an aviation enthusiast and major collector of 400 scale model aircraft. This blog discusses ongoing events in the world of 400 scale.
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