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Hints & Tricks 1: How to paint hub wheels

by Wolfram Bradac

The painting of hub wheels of airplane tires takes a lot of time and rarely leads to a really satisfying result. There do exist some masking sets on the aftermarket but not for all types - and they cost a lot of money. The best solution would be a stencil. I have tried first with a stencil for circles from the paper shop - it does work but the disadvantage is that the diameters of the circles rarely fit ; futhermore - as these stencils are made of plastic - they do not endure the cleaning with turpentine very well.

By chance I found the road wheel stencil by ROYAL MODEL - an Italian company for AFV accessories - which is originally made for airbrushing the road wheels of tanks. With the numbered circles on the stencil it is possible to airbrush the road wheels of all common german and allied tanks in standard 1:35. The smalles circles in the lower part of the stencil can perfectly be used for the airbrushing of aircraft hub wheels. The stencil is made from white metal and instead robust and insensitive to each kind of solvents.
  Image 1: - Royal Model Road Wheel Stencil:  
  Royal Model Road Wheel Stencil  
Instructions for painting hub wheels: first of all the whole wheel is airbrushed in the wheel colour. Next you search on the stencil the circle which fits best and cover the nearby circles with tape - I always cover with the sticking side on top as the handling of the stencil is much more easy then.
  Image 2: - Stencil with masking tapes:  
  Stencil with masking tapes  
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After covering as a.m. you can start the air-brushing! I put everything flat on the table, fix the stencil with one hand and spray as vertical as possible using not too much colour. As most of the hub wheels are deeper it is possible to turn the wheel around and do the backside as well in one step. And here is the result:
  Abb. 3: - the result: left 1:48, right 1:72:  
  the result: left 1:48, right 1:72  

For this exact result I accept the cleaning procedure of the airbrush because in total the time involved - including the cleaning - is much less than the work with a paint brush. In Austria and Germany it is hard to get this stencil instead please find below 2 supply sources - I have of course ordered mine in USA at Discountmodels - received it after 4 days by air-freight without any customs - and this merchant has very low forwarding expenses so that the whole matter was not more expensive than it would be when ordering in Austria (the difference is the delivery time - and I do not like to wait 3 months).
  Sources: Royal Model Nr. 048 - Roadwheel Masking Stencil  
  Price approx. US$ 14,00 (both stores accept credit cards)  
  meet the author      

Wolfram Bradac

  I was born in 1962 in Vienna. During my school time I started modelling with Airfix kits. After a long break I restarted modelling. My main subjects are aircrafts of the German Luftwaffe of WWII, also military vehicles.

Like most other modellers I stored a lot of kits, more than I built. Beside modelling photographing is my main subject.
  Wolfram Bradac  
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This page:  THEMES: Hints & Tricks 1: How to paint hub wheels - by Wolfram Bradac
was last modified on: Feb 14, 2001
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