Warbirds in my Workshop

David Glen BSc (Hons) MSc, Model Maker, Journalist and Author

Formerly Spitfire in my Workshop

Some external stencils

Tuesday, 6th September, 2011

With most of the painting complete, I have recently added some, although not all of the external stencilling detail, using the Hendon P51-D as my reference. While the stencilling matches the NAA spec very closely, I suspect the typeface used on this restoration may not be accurate, but I copied it anyway, on the grounds that my model is of the Hendon machine as currently exhibited.

As previously, I created Quark files on my AppleMac and converted them to pdfs, which I emailed to my dry transfer supplier, taking care to create sufficient duplicates to allow for mistakes. My photos show some examples of the finished stencils.

This was a relatively straightforward and pleasurable job that occupied a couple of mornings, but it raises an issue that I have not yet resolved.  The dry transfers adhere very well to a degreased bare metal surface, but clearly some form of sealant coat is needed to protect them over the long term. In those cases where the stencil is applied to a discrete element of the airframe, such as a small inspection cover, I masked around it and applied the lacquer to the entire cover. With the masking removed the lacquered area is indistinguishable from the rest. But since I do not want to lacquer the entire airframe, I’m left with the dilemma of how to protect the remaining stencils.  Without a natural break in the polished skin, even the thinnest sealant coat shows up at certain angles of the light as a distinct patch. If anyone has found a way around this, I would be very pleased to hear about it. 

Back to P-51 Diary

A fresh A5 sheet of rubdowns, most of which are for external stencilling.
The 'no step' stencil makes sense of the red marking on the port side flap.
Stencils applied to the rear fuselage.
An example of 'invisible' lacquering. But not all the stencils are applied to discrete areas of skin such as this, the one below for example.
Here it is not so easy to disquise any locally applied spray coat without lacquering the entire wing - a problem I have not yet resolved.
Neat kill marks created from two rubdown elements, with the black applied over the white.
Mustang in my Workshop book cover

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