Painting a simple cockpit might seem like a topic that is too… simple. And at the heart of it, the task really is just that – simple. However, like so many tasks in our hobby, sometimes it is the thinking behind that simplicity that reveals a bit more depth.
I have painted a lot of cockpits- hundreds of them. Spitfires, P-40s, P-47s, F-18s, JL-9s… somewhere around 275 aircraft cockpits made their way across my workbench. And that was prior to my “rebirth” as a scifi modeler.
So I’ve had many, many opportunities to make mistakes. And I’ve had a few successes. All of them add up to experience – and experience in our hobby is pretty close to gold.
Painting A Simple Cockpit
The key in successful cockpit painting is to think in terms of contrasts. Most models that do have an interior will generally pack some (or a lot) of small detail into a tight space. So making some choices about colors and methods can really determine how much of the work can be seen.
Even if the space is quite small, with little chance of visibility, we can still get benefit from this exercise. For one, it is a great way to hone skills and try things out simply because it won’t be seen. The space becomes a training canvas. Even if it’s not a cockpit, making use of “unseen space” for learning and experience gathering is quite beneficial.
Another reason I like to do this work, even if relatively invisible, is that it’s jut fun. I recall when I built models as a kid that I loved a detailed interior. That was so fun to paint and detail. Many of you may recall the Monogram 1/48 scale bombers that were released in the late 70s and early 80s. Those were some of my favorite modeling memories simply because of the sheer amount of detail inside.
So while this video only covers painting a few parts, I think if you take the basic concepts and apply them to your cockpit work, you’ll lay down a solid foundation for fun and growth.
Take a look at the other articles available in the Tutorials category.
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