Colour scheme & paint

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I am currently thinking that the tubes exposed on the fuselage will have a wood colour with hopefully a grain painted into them to make them look like timber.

All other tubing, basically in the cockpit I am thinking of making black, including the frame of the seat.

The reasons behind my thinking is that only the exposed back half needs to be timber looking, so people from a distance think its timber.

But inside the cockpit where the side walls are from ply, black tubes will look good. Still not 100{7d16e8204fe0e6723feb9d00795e42e38ac880e6f88f519e81a8ab927d02eaa1} sure about the few tubes in the “floor” as it will be a floor without anything, so looking straight through it. Possibly these ones could be timber looking but then I am not sure how that combination goes, black on the sides and timber at the bottom.

Below is a beautiful example of an original Bleriot XI. This is the look I am aiming for with my replica of the Bleriot XI. I think it’s Mikael Carlson from Sweden in one of his two originals that he restored. Its the “clear doped linen” look that makes it great !

The only obvious visible difference between Mikael’s and my Bleriot is that I will have ailerons, and my engine will sit more forward. But I will try to copy the look of the fabric on the wings. They look great. Also the light timber look of the fuselage is pretty good I think.


This is one of Robert’s tricks. This is how Eric did it:

We did no priming as we were going with latex paint on it, and it is not really necessary to prime under latex. We painted all the gussets black with spray paint. Then painted all the tubing school buss yellow, and went over it again with the brown a bit lightly so that some yellow streaking shows through and looks like wood grain. It is Robs invention and looks really good. We did all that with a brush.


I like it but might possibly aim for a lighter, more “pine” look.
Not sure yet.


Through the airdrome_builders forum, I got this advice:

A brushed look

Wow It really sounds like if you want one of those shiny new car type finishes Loehle is the way to go. I know Bert used a lot of paint what with carrying all those 5 gallon buckets. It must have been quite a work out. The Oratex sounds like a good deal but it seems like the cost is going to be about what you pay for a good Gold leaf job.

All I can do is speak for my self but I really didn’t experience any of this. I have a brushed look on my plane that looks very original. I brushed 3 fairly thick coats on our plane. It only took about 15 minutes to roll each surface on with a normal roller and then, with a 2″ very good quality brush, I brushed the surface insuring that the brush strokes started and ended off the surface and overlapped just a bit each time. After the surface dried about an hour it was dry enough to re-coat. Set up over nite and flip and repeat. The entire plane took just over 1 1/2 gallons of RNAS (Royal Naval Air Service) green. with the underside painted in light cream (just a pinch over a gallon). Red Stars and white backgrounds were 2 quarts each. All this paint included the paint for the 1/4 scale plane being built at the same time. I used a very thin coat of the Stewarts sealer prior to paint with no primer. All the paint is Lowes Exterior latex. I have found that it sticks very well and any scratches from being disassembled and trailer-ed around can be touched up with a bit of paint on a foam brush. Including the seafoam green for the fuse to blend the glue and sealer and 2 very thin coats on the outside of the fuse I paid a total of $150.00 for paint. In my opinion the easiest and least expensive way. Will I leave a trail of peeling paint accost the sky in a few years? I doubt it… Does it look like a good quality job and look to the period? I have been told that.

Just my way of painting our plane.


Soviet Sopwith Pup Project


Actually I didn’t use a true RNAS colour. Valspar colours have indicated many of their colours as Historical Colours and I cheated a bit by simply looking at the colour closest to RNAS and choosing that historical colour and called it good. All 4 colours on the plane are Historical colours for one reason or another (may not even be Aviation based at all).

As far as painting and flipping. The wings were laid onto sawhorses and the top surfaces were painted down to the leading and trailing edge. They were let dry, at least over night and then the wing was turned over so that the bottom surface of the wing could be painted. As the bottom surface was painted a cream color, most of it was painted first then outlined in the colour used on the top and blended in at the leading and trailing edge.

As a former employee of Lowes, I am still a bit partial to Lowes products and due to the Primer being built into the new DuraMax paints I feel confident that they will work to the standards of any other Latex EXTERIOR house paint.. The key is to not be able to get light through the paint as seen from the cloth side under normal lighting conditions. (trouble light is commonly used to test with a 60watt bulb). This will prevent the UV light rays from penetrating the surface and damaging the cloth below. I think the key is use the minimum coats of paint to achieve this goal. I found that 3 good coats will do that.

As I said this is just the way I painted mine.. as they say it is EXPERIMENTAL.


Soviet Sopwith Pup Project

Self-etching primer

Bert Sparrow
Gert – if you clean your aluminium, then use Latex paint on it – it’ll look great! Great, that is, until you drop a wrench, miss a screwdriver, or drop a tool, or have any pebble or long piece of grass scratch it – then it’ll look like crap. And worse – latex will peel like a band aid.

You do NOT want to use latex on aluminium. You probably already know you scrub it with scotchbrite, rub it down with MEK, and use a self-etching primer, THEN paint it – most likely with some form of automotive paint. This way, you won’t have all the scrapes and scratches, and it won’t peel off.


Latex will just peel right off aluminium

All aluminium that is in the open is painted with a self etching primer and then top-coated. I used Rustolium Camo green as it matched very close to the green latex. The axle plates and axles are painted with Rustolium Hammered Black. As stated before Latex will just peel right off aluminium, although I have not tried it over the primer. That may be worth a try as it will give it a base to stick to.


Soviet Sopwith Pup Project

Satin Exterior House Paint

Bob Olden

Here is how I did it: I used a 3″ wide brush and really “slopped” the Satin Exterior House Paint on, then rolled it out with a Finish Roller pressing fairly hard, and lastly, used the finish roller very lightly only in the direction of air flow. Don’t roll to fast or you will get air bubbles.

The paint that I like is from Ace Hardware Store, their “Royal” brand. I find the coverage to be better than say, Sherwin Williams. I don’t have a picture of the DR1 but attached are a couple of my 3/4 scale Stearman N2S (built on a FFP Classic).

Thanks, F R O M Bob Olden