The Problem with Panel Line Shading

potstir

So this is the post where I get to shit all over other people’s builds!

Not really. Or at least, that is not my intent.

My intent is to talk about shading panel lines (mainly pre-shading, but also post-shading), and why – if you’re pursuing a realistic or verisimilitudinous finish, it’s a terrible technique that should be shunned and mocked.

Since there as been some confusion since I first posted this, let me elaborate on a few things.

  • I’m not saying all shading is bad. Far from it. Just the kind that tunnel visions on panel lines.
  • I’m not even saying that panel line shading is bad. If you’re doing it for stylistic reasons, fine. To each his own. I’m talking about pursuing realism or verismilitude, and then shading the hell out of panel lines.
  • I’m also not saying that panel line washes are bad. I use washes on every aircraft that I build. To me the key here is subtlety.
  • Verisimilitude – “lifelikeness”, the appearance of being real

Because Reasons

First, let me say that pre-shading actually does some good. It gets modelers – including yours truly – thinking about paint in varying layers of opacity. For that reason alone, it’s often one of those game-changers that elevates people’s build quality, and I think that may be why so many stick with it so doggedly.

I mean, I get it. It’s contrast. And unrealistic, hyperbolic contrast is better than no contrast, right? Just look at the “house style”  Hasegawa uses to show off their new kits. It’s utterly lacking in contrast or tonal variation. It’s…awful.

hsgs8883main-lg

Is it plastic, or die cast?

But for all the good panel line shading does, it’s bullshit. Here’s why.

It’s a ton of work. For any kit worth its salt, shading all those panel lines is an exercise in concentration and swearing.

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It’s unforgiving. Get a bit too happy with the airbrush and all that work is gone. Play it too cautious and you may have difficulties covering the gray primer or managing the contrast.

Hey, where'd all that shading work go?

Hey, where’d all that shading work go?

Third, it’s just not representative. Yes, the panel lines on some aircraft certainly do get filthy. But look closely. It’s never just the panel lines. And it’s very rarely all of the panel lines. The paint itself gets battered and dirty. Panel line pre-shading (and post-shading) totally misses this, and creates something that looks exaggerated and fake – like one of those overdone HDR images.

Note: I feel I should restate it here: if you’re going after a stylized representation, then by all means go to town. Just don’t make claims to verisimilitude. A Facebook commenter mentioned Monet, and I think that’s a fitting example! Monet was a great painter! But if he made claims impressionism was “realistic”, there would be a lot of laughing.

Look at this Spanish EF-18, for example.

Spanish_Air_Force_EF-18_DD-SD-00-02833_cropped

There are lots of visible panel lines…but they are not uniform. And the surfaces of the aircraft itself are filthy, especially around the wingroots.

Or consider this A-6 Intruder from Desert Storm. Plenty of visible panel lines, but they’re all fairly subtle, and there’s a lot else happening on the surface.

What I’m Talking About

Now, I hate to speak ill of others’ work. And that is in no way my intent. But…I have to show examples of what I’m talking about. I’m not commenting at all on the quality of the build or even the rest of the paintwork, which in many of these examples is quite high indeed. I am only showing them to illustrate this technique/style of shading panel lines. If you’re getting upset reading this and want to get all defensive and butthurt about it, that’s okay. One of the examples I’m going to show won at the IPMS Nationals this year, so clearly there is some subjectivity at work.

UPDATE: Before showing others’ builds, I figure it’s only fitting to show my own attempts at panel shading. I was never happy with the look it gave, so I dodged away from it pretty quickly (or tended to go a step too far and cover it up!), but I do have a few examples.

First up, my Revell PV-1 Ventura. The panel shading only really pulled through on the Intermediate Blue fuselage sides.

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Next, my Tamiya Dewoitine D.520. Subsequent weathering really saved this one, but this interim step is what really pushed me away from panel shading.

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On to some others. I should note that I’ve gone back and revised the images shown to only feature those that have been published, widely publicized, or entered into contests. Those that have already “entered the arena”, to paraphrase Theodore Roosevelt.

First up, we have a very nice 1/32 Su-25 Frogfoot that was on the tables at ModelFiesta in San Antonio back in February.

This Su-25 was beautiful…until you see those panel lines, and then you can’t unsee them. It’s like a checkerboard.

Next, this P-47:

This one not only took Best in Show at ModelFiesta, it also took it at Nationals this summer. It’s a great build, and the engine detail is just phenomenal. But to my eyes if not the judges, the panel shading on the cowl panels and inside the ammo bay doors is just way too pristine. Real aircraft don’t get dirty in such a precise and uniform fashion. They also don’t just get dirty on the painted cowl.

Here are several more examples:

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Shepway Mil Model Show 2013 036

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P-47razorback

ipms_nats_2007 025_jpg

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jpastor-beaufighter2

P8052947

MiG-21_bis

64cb4e5a2552f6799c0be99d4eba958e

IMG_1089

Again, this is just not how actual aircraft weather. It creates an unrealistic contrast that sticks out like a sore thumb, while also introducing TONAL CRUSH to the rest of the paintwork.

That’s not to say a lot of these builds aren’t stunning – I think they are. I mean, just look at that B-1. It’s in primer! And it’s glorious! But the shading between panels is just so exaggerated…not something you would ever see on an aircraft fresh from the factory or at most undergoing initial flight tests.

Want to Stop Being Shady?

I used to pre-shade, until I came to see that all it was doing was swinging the pendulum too far to the other extreme.

Since that time, I’ve found several ways to still get good amounts of tonal variation – only across the entire surface, not just the panels.

Here are a few techniques I’ve come to favor (for now):

Prime in Black. Black-basing solves the contrast problem of pre-shading just the panel lines. With it, you control shading as you paint, and can introduce it into the overall surface of the aircraft.

Shade in different colors. A few years ago when I was tackling Trumpeter’s P-47, I ran out of my preferred black primer, so instead I primed and then shaded with a whole lot of different dark grays, greens, browns and so on. The panel lines were very slightly darker, but nowhere near as contrasty as black-and-gray.

Combined with various weathering techniques, it gave me a wonderful surface finish where the rivets and panel lines were subtly called out, but not overpowering.

Use less-contrasty panel line washes. Not everything has to be black or dark brown. Sometimes a slightly darker gray, or a green-brown that matches well with Olive Drab make more sense. This is part of why I’ve become such a huge dork for Ammo’s panel line washes (that and how easy they are to use).

Let’s go back to that A-4F Skyhawk:

Before panel line washes

After panel line washes. Even these, I think, could have been toned down on the wings, but hey, I was still getting the hang of them.

Same principle with Kitty Hawk’s AH-1Z Viper

Wrapping Up

In short, my issue with all the panel shading nonsense is that it only pays attention to a specific feature of the aircraft’s surface, at the expense of the rest. As nice as the rest of the work may be, it’s a distracting and ultimately detracting element. Pay attention to the whole of the aircraft, and how all of its elements come together in a cohesive fashion.

55 thoughts on “The Problem with Panel Line Shading

  1. Would you be willing to make some videos and post them on your site? I think your work is great!! but would like to watch you do it.
    I would very much like to learn this.
    Thanks and keep up the great work!

  2. I couldn’t agree more, Matt. I largely no longer pre-shade myself, and in fact, taking your cue, have been experimenting with ‘black basing’ myself. Nothing looks more contrived, in my opinion, than heavy-handed pre-shading or excessively-highlighted panel lines.

  3. I as well, agree with what you say Matt. With my experience in Proto:87 modeling, I returned to LSP and was amazed at the leveling of modeling skill I saw. But, it was unusual to see the amount of work “preshading” was and why anyone would do it.

    Build, Paint, weather and show off the visible effort you have put into your masterpiece.

    James

  4. So, how much hate mail have you gotten yet for daring to call out peoples’ builds?

    I agree completely about pre-shading. Post shading is the way to go, which is essentially what black-basing is; you are just post shading the entire top coat color (if that makes sense). I tried pre-shading exactly twice. Both times I went to pains to go uber slowly using thin, translucent coats and all at once – poof! all that pre-shading just disappeared. Post shading lends itself much more to paying attention to the entire vehicle (aircraft AND armor) and you have complete control if you overdo it. A quick pass with the base color covers a multitude of sins.

    I am curious though… when black basing aircraft, if you over do it and apply too much base coat do you go back and reapply the black base coat? It seems like it might be easy to hit a point of no return. Just curious. I’ve been black basing armor for years and it works wonders but haven’t tried it on a flying machine yet.

    • Thanks for the comment, Pat!

      When I black base, I’m typically working with very thin paint on top of it. It takes a while to build up and so I rarely have an “oops” of covering too much. I don’t feel like I’ve had a point yet where I’ve overdone it…but if I did I imagine the process could be done in reverse (small random black “marbling”, then add a blend coat).

  5. Absolutely! You were the first black base I saw and it totally changed the way I finish models. It really highlighted to me the semi-opacity of Gunze Sangyo paints that I use. The thinned paint gives me much greater control of the final “dirtiness” of the project.

  6. I am another modeller who doesn’t preshade anymore as well. I get much better results using variations of basic colours (by add a few drops of lighter or darker colour) and creative use of artists oils. Truth is, that if the paint’s gonna fade, it’s gonna fade from the panel line towards the center, which is totally opposite to the preshading effect.

  7. I agree with most of the article, but have one question. Isn’t black-basing actually harder than pre-shading?

    The idea with pre-shading was that you could airbrush evenly over the pre-shaded panels and the effect would result, but with a black base, aren’t you reliant on being able to spray lots of individual small areas to get a similar effect? In other words, you’re no longer using the oft-taught method of sweeping back and forth across a large area when you spray. For those of us with less-than-stellar airbrushing skills, how do you overcome that?

    • Scott – I highly recommend checking out my black basing post that’s linked in the article. Yes, it requires “spraying small”, but in a looser and more randomized fashion. Personally, these days I only use sweeping sprays for clear coats or something like dust effects on tank side skirts.

    • I paint miniatures, not models, but you’re absolutely right – I never recommend starting with black primer to beginners. First, they need to learn how paint layers before they can try to properly cover a dark black base coat.

      Also.. as primer, it’s totally another form of “pre” shading.

  8. I love your work, and your philosophies about painting/shading models. I was a Crew Chief in the USAF at one time in my life and I think you’re understanding shading and weathering of aircraft better than most. I wish I could devote myself to just one hobby (photography, R/C airplanes, motorcycling, HO trains, 1/48 planes) long enough to master it as you have. Keep up the terrific work!

  9. Insightful. I’m guilty of preshading myself but I’ve tried to make the end result more subtle in the past than we see on your examples. I also use and like the black primer route. Now it’s quite some time since I painted a plane, haven’t built much at all this year. But I’ve more or less decided to leave 1:72 as my major scale and step up to 1:48 and even 1:32. But I still have kits in 1:72 that I’d hate to sell. But my reson for a change of scale is that I’m getting more and more sick with AMS and then I can move up in scale and get even more sick with AMS. But a move up in scale will demand a lot more when it comes to the paintworks and black primer will save a lot of time compared to going crazy with preshading on a larger scale. It’ll be fun and besides all that, I’ve always primed my armour black since I started airbrushing so it’s not new to me.

    Back to your pot stirring. I say keep at it as there’s so many die hard know-it-all modellers out there that need to have their pot stirred from time to time.

  10. I agree with you totally on this topic. I’ve tried your black-basing technique on a build recently, and I have to say I really like it. My go-to black primer being Mr. Surfacer 1500.
    Another technique I think puts too much emphasis on surface features is spraying a darker shade over tape strip masks to highlight rib detail on fabric control surfaces/wings. It often looks over done to me, but I’m not sure what the best way to represent them would be.

  11. I have been looking for something like black-basing for a long time. I got dragged kicking and screaming into pre-shading, then as an artist liked it (but absolutely not the “Spanish Style” which looks like a cartoon) and have always used the artistic rule of “less is more”. I think this is really interesting and I have a model coming along that will see this used. But I think one thing should be pointed out: this is also not The One Big Answer. I can think of another model that, due to the method of construction of the original, pre-shading will be the way to go over the airframe, while black-base will be good around the engines.

    But definitely, thanks for that and….

    “I’ll be back.”

  12. For those unsure about black undercoating, many miniature painters use black undercoat exclusively. Occasionally I use a darker gray, but it is rare that. I pull out the tamiya grey. Undercoat. Too light!

  13. I’ll agree that panel line shading can be overdone. It can also be very effective if done well. Personally I think it is most useful on monotone subjects such as most modern military aircraft or even the plethora of sand colored armor out there. That said, almost any panel line shading tends to look horrible on any NMF subject.

    There are different schools of thought about what exactly we are trying to accomplish as modellers. Some believe we are to attempt total technical accuracy and others that we are attempting to create a representation that is as emotionally appealing as it is physically. One side favoring the builder who sees a black and white world and the other favoring those frolicking artist types. Most of us probably lie somewhere in between the two.

    One thing we often forget is that there are people out there that are making a living doing this. Those people have an audience to appease. If you are building for a particular audience then you have to build to their liking.The battle between paying the bills and doing it how we wish is the heartache of every artist be they a painter, photographer, or even a modeller. If you’re playing in that world then you need to appease the masses, or at least the person with the checkbook.

    Personally I think each technique has its place. I have pre-shaded, post-shaded, black based, and even multi-color based kits. It all depends on what I want my end result to be. They all have there merits and they can all be done to a varying degree of success. At the end of the day any technique can be overdone.

    • This is exactly IT. As painters, we’re creating art and it’s important to break out of what is commonplace – but we also find plenty of situations where we have to paint unrealistic to create something pleasing to the eyes.I think if we ignore all the little details, then it looks like we’re lazy and missed stuff. Instead, we can treat these as opportunities to add something to the model – OK, maybe not super-noticeable, but that’s its own art style too.

      Also, while I prefer priming with black, which is the same as pre-shading, I never suggest it for beginners since this can be difficult to paint over.

  14. I fully agree about the uniform and exaggerated panel line shading. People fallow this trend because it’s easier to just watch some online tutorials and learn “the only right method” instead of discovering your own way by practicing. But hey, I don’t blame them, most people don’t have time for experiments.

    It’s very nice of you Doogs to show your way and emphasize the need for realism (of course keeping in mind this is just plastic painted too look like the real thing 🙂 Your remarks on “black-basing” has helped me on my journey towards reacquainting with a childhoods hobby.

    Recently I came across this other “shading” method called “black & white shading”. It’s been described in the The Modeling News article:
    http://www.themodellingnews.com/2015/09/takom-whippet-mka-build-pt-iii-painting.html

    It looks like more work (you have to add the white highlights layer before colours), but I think the outcome looks well. Contrasty, yet not exaggerated. What do you think?

    • So I gave “black and white shading” a try on a 1/72 Sherman earlier this year and it came out a total mess. I don’t know, maybe I don’t have the eye for it, or maybe olive drab is a bad color to experiment with. I do think it’s a very interesting technique, especially when done well. I want to play with it more, but finding a good build to do so has been a challenge!

      • To continue this digression…

        I’ve found a very elaborate tutorial on the “black & white shading” method: http://dqscaleworks.blogspot.com.es/2013/05/the-black-technique-tiger-i-148-by-jose.html

        No doubt this work is stunning, very creative and visually pleasing but also very laborious. Up until part IV I would even say it’s very realistic (or at least gives that impression), but somewhere around when the author applies oils and dirt, it went (for me) over the edge. The Tiger from nice worn panzer grey turned to “sewage grey”.

        I’m curious, what’s your and others who seek “plausible realism” opinion on this.

      • I need to narrow my question. I’m interested to hear if this could be considered real or rather an impression? The author (Jose Luis Lopez Ruiz) is a renowned modeler and in fact considered to be the pioneer of b&w shading, so without doubt the work is worthy (marvelous even, it’s in 1/48 scale !!!).

      • Yeah, I’ve seen the B&W Tiger. It’s a fascinating technique but one that I just don’t seem to have the eye for (again – tried it on a little Sherman and it was a total failure). Honestly, the weathering in Part IV doesn’t really “break” it for me. The work is stunning throughout, but to my tastes (and I guess to realism) it seems blown out, like someone’s gotten too frisky with Photoshop adjustments, cranked the contrast here, the saturation there, etc.

        To tell the truth, though, I feel that way about most light-modulated armor builds I see.

  15. I really agree with this. Not that it doesn’t LOOK good, it often makes for some very dramatic and striking models. But its almost more like impressionism than reality.
    Its an exaggerated style that ultimately makes the subject look more animated and less real. I can easily believe that many modelers want that look exactly. And no doubt, I often make “unrealistic” decisions too; like making invasion stripes “perfect” because, well, I just can’t bring myself not to.
    And I do use some post shading myself. But I think the current style is somewhat overplayed.

  16. I sort of agree. Your example of a filthy dirty EF-18 is an extreme. In Real Airplanes, you don’t see most of the panel lines. It’s true that modern non-reflective paint is a dirt-magnet, but at least in the USAF the planes are washed every 1-2 weeks (via a drive-through wash station). During WW2, washing & polishing could add 20 – 40 kn to your airspeed — maybe the difference between living & dying.
    Sitting in the sun fades paint (less color saturation), which also makes panel lines disappear.
    It has always peeved me that model competitions require rivet & panel line saturation in order to be noticed by the judges.
    Weathering uniformity is another aspect of the problem (perhaps especially on ships): great flat expanses are left bright shiny & new, while the engine & exhaust areas are black with soot and oil. Heavy weathering anywhere on a model means that the whole model should be weathered.

    • Agreed that the EF-18 is an extreme…but it also shows that even on really dirty aircraft you don’t see bands of raccoon makeup around the panels. Some panels are dark due to grime or whatnot, but it’s definitely not uniform.

      Overall – and it’s something I’m still very much trying to work on myself – I think the key is in varying the entire surface of the aircraft. Even if they’re clean, active-duty aircraft do have paint wear. They do have touch-ups. Some areas do attract grease or foot traffic. When I was at the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola last summer, there was an S-3 Viking there that, while clean, was just beat to hell. Touchups were visible, and in some areas the paint was so worn down you could see what looked like chromate primer peeking through.

  17. I completely agree with your post. Pre-shading is also being overdone in the armor community. I have used your “black basing” technique on armor one time and was not happy with the results. Having said that, I will try it many more times before I dismiss it as part of my tool box.

  18. I agree and disagree.
    I still have problems filling seams so I am by no means anywhere close to a master builder.
    This is all art. Being art, it is all subjective. It’s supposed to be fun as well.
    To me less is more, but the models are tiny and to see some detail you need to exagerate. I’m not saying that’s right, I’m just saying whatever floats your boat.
    I don’t have patience or time and I’m certainly not anal enough to worry that the rudder is too large for scale.
    I’m still building Monogram planes with raised panel lines and rivets. Most of the surface detail is goneare due sanding so my P38 looks like it has acne and patches of smooth skin.
    I forgot where I was going….oh yeah.
    Too each his own.
    I do love your work.

  19. I would tend to agree, and as you have stated, the examples are stunning models in their own right, but far from realistic. I would be interest to see how you would adapt your black basing technique to bare metal finishes.

  20. I have used the black basing technique on a 1/48 Typhoon as a first-up trial, pleased with the subtle final effect and will certainly use it again. As an artist you need an appreciation for light, shade, worn areas and I tried to achieve the same effect with the model. I’ve used black basing /dry brush aluminium for bare metal undercarriages for a few years now.

  21. When I still had an airbrush, I experimented with pre shading, but never really cared for the effect. I thought it was just me needing practice, but the more time I spent looking at the models of those much more experienced in the method, the less I liked it there too.

    I reverted to traditional paint brushes and also spend a great deal more time looking at how the weathering on the real things manifests itself and noticed that a lot of the panel junctions on real aircraft are not sharply defined by accumulated gunk in them, but often subtly indicated by a slight colour shift in their vicinity, such as touch up paint or spot cleaning might give.

    If I do decide to run a dark wash into a line; it will never be black paint, rather a darker value of the surrounding paint to avoid too stark a contrast. I also don’t fuss about getting the line totally filled, there should be some gaps and inconsistencies in the line.

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  23. IMHO, what we are facing here is an artistic trend not much different of what digitalization has done to photography: people are using special effects to enhance an image.

    In the case of models, some people would argue that shadows and highlights are needed to bring out the detail, that color modulation will give a 3D volume effect…to a 3D model! Dot filters and washes that break the monotony of a single color.

    All of these under the mighty words of the “experts”and “judges”: -“Your model is too clean…”, -“this model is too monochromatic…”

    I’ve seen tanks and ships so dark painted, that now I call these times “the dark ages of scale modeling”, and modelers that have crossed to the “Dark Side”.

    At the end it all boils down to a couple of things:

    1) Build for yourself; do what you want with your model and maybe you wont win many contests (if that is your goal of modeling) but you will win personal satisfaction.(unless you build for $)

    2) Be respectful; each modelers has his right to his own ideas and likes and we are not anyone to demerit anyone’s work…scale modeling is an art with different perspectives, not a science of the right and wrong.

  24. I’ve had the chance to read this post and the replies from it. Definitely something to keep in mind when you are building. While I have yet to even try pre/post shading on a build, I can see who the uniformity of it make a build unrealistic.
    Yet I will pose this question if possible. I can see the argument for how pre/post shading on every panel line can make a build look unrealistic. Since, a plane/helo would not weather evenly as time goes. How would you handle a build in which the panel lines are raised? I’ve seen a technique in which you sand down the top color to show the base color underneath (usually the primer and or the bare metal) Would this not lend itself to same issues as pre/post shading?

    • Wish I could help you more, Marc…my MO with raised line kits is to not build them…but I would focus more on variation in the paintwork itself, working in layers that way. The challenge is that any kind of wash on raised lines will just provide shading on both sides of the line and that looks horrendous. Not a fan of sanding, either, since to me it gets too stark too quickly.

      I LOVE raised details where appropriate – when I do my Trumpeter Dauntless I’m planning to replace all the recessed rivets with actual raised ones – but will be treating them the same as the rest of the surface.

  25. I tend to agree on the principle that I do not like exaggerated effects. But this is not limited to pre of post shading. There are a lot of other techniques that carry that risk. Like shiny NMF on operational aircraft or improper dull or flat coats.

    And biplanes without rigging. If you do not like rigging, do not build planes that had rigging.

  26. Just a Liitle note on the p47 that won the nationals … that model did NOT won the best of the show on Model Fiesta, The winner was a Ferrari transporter.

    • Thanks Alan! My memory of the final awards is a bit hazy – I do seem to remember it making off with something above and beyond best aircraft though.

      • That aircraft is a piece of art.. I dont know why it didnt won best of the show 😦
        I attended the model fiesta for the first time this year and i had a blast. Greattings from Mexico City

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  28. Good grief. Black basing, pre-shading, post-shading, it’s all so much unrealistic bullshit. Especially if you’re building a scale airplane.

    I grew up around aircraft, and I fly them. Please, someone, show me a photograph taken at 1:48 or 1:32 scale distance and show me plainly perceptible “panel lines” on any aircraft that’s not dirty. (Yes, I saw the F-18, it’s an anomaly.) Anyone who understands aircraft knows that airplanes are clean. The panels on even well-used aircraft, when seen at scale distance, are almost imperceptible unless the light is just right.

    The obsession for showing off “panel lines” is ridiculous and unrealistic. The time taken to highlight them is time wasted to depict something that doesn’t exist in nature.

    Stop it. Please.

    • I’d like to agree with you but I can’t. I have a picture of a Thunderbirds F-16 from the top and I was amazed at how stark every single panel line was. And if you look at most pictures of the t-birds you can see the panel lines pretty well. Pretty hard to say they are dirty planes. Clearly it’s not stark black lines, but if the light is right the panel lines are very visible.

      I think the issue is one of intensity, not method. Clearly in Doogs examples there are some that are too much, but that is the opposite of “nothing at all” which I think is worse and as pointed out makes the model look like a toy.

      The problem is an issue of size which is different than scale. A 1/16 inch gap in panels on a full size aircraft shows an obvious shadow that can be seen in a photograph no matter how small you make that photograph (within reason). That same gap on a model would disappear if scaled correctly (which would look stupid and toy like) so panel lines are added. Even the finest panel lines would scale out to 1/2 inch gaps on a real plane but are necessary to make the model look “real”. But a 1/100″ grove on a model is not going to show a shadow like the real plane does so it requires something like pre-shading or black basing to make it show up in a realistic manner. Execution of either method is the key, not necessarily one method over another.

      My main point is this – if you took a real plane, and shrank it down to 1/32 scale – it would look terrible. All of the fine detail and shadow you see on pictures of the real thing would literally disappear. There needs to be some artistic work done on a scale model to make it look “real”. And if you think planes are bad, try building well weathered ship models and see what kind of flack you get from the “experts”.

      IMO both methods can yield great results if done well. For me the greatest benefit of black basing is adding shadows in recessed areas.

      OK, my rant that is a year too late is over 🙂

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  31. If a warbird were reduced to a 1/48/ 1/32 scale the panel lines would be very,very faint indeed. Ican understand from an artists perspective that something should be seen . Once again, its your model so go for it, whatever that means. To shade or not to shade, that is the question. Anybody out there have a so lution?

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  33. I actually love the “house-style” of the big Japanese brands. I like the clean pure look of the models in their catalogs, for me it is a goal to strife towards. Building it like that is quite hard, good realistic weathering is hard too, but it’s also something used to hide blemishes. I do have to say Tamiya does it better than Hasegawa in my opinion.

    I’m curious if this style comes from a different culture of modelling, Japanese liking things tidy etc, or these Japanese brands just prefer to show off their models as pristine as possible.

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