Project: Tinkle Bug-Battering The Bug

I started this project a long time ago and during the time it has sat, waiting my return, my plans for it have changed some what. Instead of adding the bug eyed blister windows (which I never got finished) I decided to stay a little less complicated ( can still add them later since the door are separate pieces from the main canopy). This is a civilian CH-46, one acquired and restored to use in heavy lift operations such as fire fighting, aerial crane and logistical support for industry applications.

barebugSince this ship was going to get battered, that is show a lot of wear and tear I knew that I needed to prep the fuselage with a Nature Metal Finish as a base. I used SnJ Spray Metal Aluminum which once dry…a matter of a few minutes after spraying I started to polish with a blend of my Steel and Aluminum Polishing Powders.

Using a my Dremel rotary tool equipped with and alternating between a cotton buffing wheel and a felt wheel I worked the finish into a nice shine. You can see the basics of how this is done in this video. I wiped it down with a paper towel dampened with water and let it sit for a day or two to fully cure.

hivisbugAt first I was thinking an elaborate and colorful paint scheme, but that meant hours of work masking, painting, masking, painting which I really didn’t feel like doing knowing that I was going to beat the paint to death during the weathering process. So I decided to stick with one base color, a light gray as well as some of my SnJ Spray Metal Fluorescent Red Orange for some high visibility accents.

I applied the gray and let it cure…for a couple of days. Oh, I previously masked the window plexi with liquid mask and tape then stuffed some foam into the openings to prevent over spray from getting inside the fuselage.

Once the gray (Model Master enamel) I use masking tape to mask for the panels that were to receive the HiVis Orange. A band around the forward fuselage a patch on the upper and another narrow band around the aft fuselage.  There will also be a black band down the center length of the fuselage. I’ll explain the reason for these bands later.

After I painted on the HiVis Orange I started to remove the masking tape immediately after cleaning my airbrush. I encouraged the masking tape to pull up the gray paint…if it didn’t pull even the slightest amount I would burnish down the tape and try again. I was after a chipping effect as the first stage of heavily battering this Bug as part of the weathering process.

chipeffectOnce the HiVis Orange had cured I used masking tape again, applied over the orange to induce paint lifting. I will say it didn’t want to lift even after repeated burnishing and removal of the tape! I had to use a scribe to etch at the panel lines to get it to chip some to give the tape a chance at lifting it.

I used a scribing tool to run along all of the recessed panel lines to induce more chipping. I let the tool do the work and the paint chip as it wished. After I had done that, I went around and again using a piece of masking tape worked the seams to see if I could pull more paint away.

Then using a pen I highlighted the panel lines and details, working in small sections and wiping the excess away in the appropriate direct as it would be influenced by rotor wash and gravity. I next applied the registration markings and “Rescue” decals which I sourced from my spares stash. Then I applied the walk ways from the kit’s sheet. Not sure if the “Rescue” decals will stay, they didn’t lay down as well as I had hoped, they weren’t in the best shape to start with having been salvaged from a damaged sheet from a Rescue 911 Huey kit. I may replace them with dry transfers.


I’m at the point now of slipping in the seats and control sticks so I can install the nose blister and doors. I am also going to either find or make some anchor points to hold a lifting frame which I am going to scratch build under the helo. I’m having fun, hope you are in your modeling efforts too. More to come on this project soon.


  1. Nice, Gerald! If I wanted the stuff to lift, I couldn’t get it off with a chisel, but go for a perfect finish, it looks like it got sandblasted! You really hit a home run on this weathering!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge