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THE SHARK HAS LANDED! Curtiss Tomahawk 112sqn RAF


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…and the beat goes on …:lol:


Time to try something new.
We all know about the current black basing method: starting with an overall black background and building up the definitive colour in successive layers of swirling, mottled touches. The purpose is to break the uniformity of a monochromatic surface by varying the contrast between the final colour and the black background and give the final result a realistic and less toy-like effect.

So far so good.

Yet there’s another factor that can be added to this disruptive scenario: COLOUR.

As the impressionist painters taught us, a colour applied next to -or underneath- another can change the viewer’s impression of it.
For exemple: Red on a field of green will appear ‘redder’ than the same red on a field of yellow, etc…

So my idea is to replace the black in ‘black basing’ by a background of various colours. Hopefully this multi-coloured base will add a new dimension in our final coat of paint.


Let’s try and see.

The model is given a coat of Mr Surfacer 1200 gray. Dark grey shading added


Thin coats of violet and and lemon yellow added


Green and pink builds-up


Our final undercoat ready for the Dupont Sky colour

Building up the Sky.
My version of the Dupont Sky is a mix of AK Light Ghost Grey + AK Ivory  + a dash of Hataka Willow Green. All paints lacquer
First Light Ghost Grey is applied by random swirls and dots. This colour is slightly darker that the final result.



Next the home-brew Dupont Sky is applied to reduce the contrast in the first layer and to lighten it.

Finally I applied a heavily-thinned coat of Dupont Sky to adjust or reinforce the contrast.
The photo may not show it but under the naked light, spots of green, yellow, pink and tan should be discernible underneath the seemingly grey overcoat.

Of course, one can vary the effect by playing with the transparency of the successive layers.
This final coat is ready for the weathering which will be applied later after the camouflage is duly completed.



They’re fairly simple to do… if you have the suitable colours.:D i didn’t.

My red had an orange tinge, my blue was a tad electric. For the white I used US South East Asia light gray which is perfect for a used off-white.

Masks were cut from the AK airbrush film with an Olfa circle cutter.


First coat: white overall. The white part is masked and a mix of red and green (to darken the orange red) applied

The red part is masked and the blue applied. The electric blue is suitably darkened by the red undercoat.

The finished underside

That’s it folks. Let’s call it a day.

Next time we’ll deal with the upper camo.

Until then, keep well!



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  • quang changed the title to DESERT SHARK! Curtiss Tomahawk 112sqn

Hello again, the beat goes on…

Time to deal with the upper camouflage. The chosen scheme is the RAF Temperate Land . The colours are Dark Earth and Dark Green (or rather the Curtiss interpretations using US-made Dupont paints).
I’ll leave the debate about how these colours looked like to the experts and will simple settle on AK Real Color Dark Earth and Nato :P Green which look to my eye like a good combination for a start. 


The first step: basic foundation with a slight shading



Brown and tan build-up. Additional colours: pink, lemon yellow, turquoise… obviously too discrete for the ipad camera to discern B)

In provision for the later chipping/scraping effects, the metal parts exposed to weathering (leading edges, wing roots,…) are painted in aluminium. Walkways in black to represent the linoleum material.



I discovered at this step a discrepancy about the length of the walkways as shown on the instructions of the Airfix 1/48 kit.


Curtiss expert @waroff told me on a French forum that my walkways were nonetheless too short.:wacko: Of course he was right! 
Red arrow: my version
Green arrow: the real life


Walkways corrected

Laying out the pattern with Earth and Green using paper masks



Refining the pattern with accentuated colours. I know that the colour edges should be hard …

…BUT I find a slightly softer edge looks better :P


Roundel time. Thin white undercoat


Red base


Blue overlay

And voilà 


Next time we’ll finish off the rest of the markings … and the moment of truth: we’ll take off the masks from the sharkmouth to finally see how it looks like with the complete camouflage.

Until then,




Edited by quang
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Looking good Quang! I can understand that the camera perhaps couldn’t capture it, but has your underlying colour variations had the desired effect on the upper wing finish?  

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27 minutes ago, mozart said:

has your underlying colour variations had the desired effect on the upper wing finish?  

Hmmm yes and no.

I was relying on the thinness of the subsequent camouflage coats to let the variations show through. That would work for a single, monochrome  camouflage.
But in the case of a bi-colour scheme like this one, I had to put more coats to adjust the contrast between the two colours. Therefore the underlying base did not show through as much as I would like albeit it’s enough to give a good indication for the future variations ( post-camouflage and before weathering). 
It’s one of the reasons I always thought there’s no point in looking for an exact colour reference like FS or BS or RAL standards because the resulting colours would shift with every coat.

There’s another reason that I added the roundels this early on: the camouflage looks different WITHOUT the roundels. The red and blue of the roundels helps adjust the contrast between the brown and green of the camouflage.

I admit that this method is not an instant-formula, shake-and-bake solution but rather a building-up process. The beauty of it is, while slow, it allows you to see the canvas taking life and rising from the depths (who said ‘like the Titanic’? :coolio: ).






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29 minutes ago, Alex said:

especially like the fact that you have not used an opaque layer of primary color for the roundels.

As a matter of fact, I ‘greyed’ the colours a little bit to give them a faded look.


The painted roundel compared with the Barracudecals.


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Now that the wings are done, it’s time to finish off the rest of the markings.


First is the unique Indian head insignia uncannily reminiscent of the 1940 Pontiac automobile logo.








Fuselage roundel added. Note how the bottom of the insignia is hidden by the wing root, a peculiarity  of the earlier British Hawks.


Now the moment of truth, the mother of all fears: overspray, bleeding, paint lifting …you name it.

Before revelation…






Edited by quang
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  • quang changed the title to THE SHARK HAS LANDED! Curtiss Tomahawk 112sqn RAF

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