Pencil Panel Lines: P-51B Part 9

I don’t know exactly what’s wrong with the state of “internet” model building, but it has something to do with panel lines. I draw them in using a pencil, which has always been an acceptable method, but nowadays this is frowned upon. “Frowned upon” is the perfect expression of forum disapproval. You post it and it doesn’t get a response. Nobody knows what to say. It’s too “different.”

Cool kids use “panel line washes.” We don’t know what YOU’RE doing. But it’s weird.

The paint job in the canopy can be “upgraded” at any time. Any time I feel like taking a toothpick or a chisel made from a piece of sprue (whittle it to a point–you either get a chisel pointed sprue chunk or a weapon you can use on the other chimps at the watering hole) and scraping along the frames I can “clean up” the paint job and improve the canopy.

Vac canopies tend to be made of a plastic that practically repels acrylic paint. This is a GOOD thing, because it allows you to use a pointed object to “clean up” the lines. Try it.

This may be the only Monogram 1/72 P-51B on the interweb that has the proper dihedral. Look at that baby. The wings on almost all WWII fighters should swoop up at the ends. This was intended to help avoid having the aircraft go into a flat spin and improve stall characteristics.

Yeah. That’s what it did.

Anyway, it has to be there to be “authentic” and once you know what it looks like you can’t un-see it.

I added black lines to the control surfaces using an .005 Prismacolor pen. These pens are useful for all kinds of stuff. Get them at Dick Blick.

Dick Blick. Dick Blick. Dick Blick.

I’m going to go real light on the weathering to match available photos of Hofer’s aircraft. I’m still deciding on bombs or drop tanks.

I think this idea of making an “in flight” model worked really well. I wish all kits came with pilots and stands as good as the Monogram ones from 1967.


11 Replies to “Pencil Panel Lines: P-51B Part 9”

  1. Panel lines… if they’re raised they’re frowned upon. I don’t care I’m trying to become a better modelbuilder and building kits with raised or recessed panellines doesn’t matter. I don’t become a better modelbuilder by only buying Tamigawa kits; I want to try out as many different marks as possible. Some of the best models – for building – I’ve come across is the old Monogram P-40N and LS Yokosuka D4Y3 Judy. Both 1/72 or so. Both a joy to build and look at.
    What way I’m drawing up panellines doesn’t matter as I try weathering aircraft and you have to start someplace. I’ve even gone into making my own washes… I’m learning that’s why I’m here – I’m learning more. 🙂
    Keep it up. I do like the way the P-51s turned out. 🙂

  2. How do you guys bring out the raised panel lines? I have alternated between dry brushing and fine pencil lines down one side of the ridges. Looks ok, but takes a lot of concentration to get it right.

  3. As for models, since I am a cheapskate, and the newer models from Airfix and Tamigawa are hideously expensive here, I get the ancients kits from all marks and build them up. Had some rough times, but it has been fun. I just don’t get the prices for some of these models $40 plus for a 1/72 Electric Lightning? Really? I pay less for a brand spanking new Tamiya 1/35 Matilda 2. $80 for an ancient Airfix Vulcan? $28 for a BF 110? Anyway, enough whinging.

    You have done a great job on the ‘Stang Dan. And I think that old kit is great, and am still blown away by the quality of that pilot figure. Compared to the dross usually in kits, it is an excellent mold. As someone that tends to build ;in flight’ models I would be very excited if they all came with that kind of quality, rather than the deformed, alien like creatures with giant holes in them that seem to occupy most kits (not counting the kits where no pilot is included!).

  4. Hi Greg – I use Dan’s method for bringing out raised panellines. Grind pencil charcoal on a piece of sanding-paper – use a cottonswapstick to pick it up and then brush onto the panel lines. Works nicely for me. I know Dan somewhere showed it using a microfiber brush but I haven’t seen such around these places. 🙂

    Yeah I build old models too though the European brands aren’t expensive here in Denmark the Japanese ones are!!! Then BTW Airfix have turned out new aircraft models with recessed panellines that rival Tamiya; at least their Spitfire Mk.I/IIa to me does – having build both! 😉

  5. I tried all sorts of panel washes and eventually gave up on it. I found scribing and washing to be entirely too much work with no fun component. Then I discovered the magnificent pencil work of Allan Buttrick. I was converted to the pencil religion and haven’t looked back since. I sand off raised lines and draw them back in with a pencil. Not as well as Mr. Buttrick does it (look for his work at ) but I get reasonable results.

  6. Read Allan’s excellent tutorial. Inspired me too. Got me a .05 pencil/leads, and Dullcoat.
    What do you prefer Lead or Ink? And do you use a top spray?

    1. My pencil collection is somewhat limited… so I just use the old-school No. 2 lead pencil. It “shines” so a coat of Old Reliable (flat base and future) kills the shine. Spray? Shirley, you jest.

      1. Thats why I asked, to make sure I didn’t screw the pooch with a wrong coat.
        I of course will experiment with the spray and your method.

        Also using the Dullcoat to fix some home printed decals.

        Shirley never jests except at Jousts.

  7. Just viewed the youtube on shading with charcoal. Well done simple straightforward, just the info needed for the process.
    Hope to see more videos soon, thanks.

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