How to paint and create stencils RAF roundels – Great Guide Plastic Models

How to paint and create stencils RAF roundels – Great Guide Plastic Models

Welcome to another video tutorial. Today we are going to paint british RAF roundels. Roundel is a circular identification mark, painted on aircraft to identify them to other aircraft and ground forces. In one form or another, it has been used on British military aircraft from 1915 to the present. You could, of course, ask why you should paint the roundels, when there are water slide decals included in the kit? Well, the main advantage of hand-sprayed markings is that painted layer is much thinner than decals and there is no varnish around the edges. Another great thing is that you can choose any color shade you want. Now, let’s get to work. Ordinary Tamiya masking tape is nice, but it is good to have something bigger. Luckily, Tamiya makes a large A4 size stencil sheet for this exact purpose. There are two types of this paper – one is a blank yellow sheet and the second has a millimeter grid. Great tool for cutting circles is this cutting compass. You can easily change diameter of circle, so it is suitable for all basic circular stencils. If you do not have a compass, you can use simple roller with circle templates and cut out the stencils with a sharp utility knife. Anyway, I definitely recommended using a cutting compass. I measure the diameter of the circular decal with a ruller and set this value on compass. Milimeter paper helps me found the center. So easily I turn the compass and cut out such a beautiful circle. Very important is to correctly measure the diameter, otherwise the stencil will not have the same size as decals. Now, I measure the inner circle and cut it out again. I continue in the same manner with all other roundels Blank paper is partly transparent, so you can use it as a template. I can simply put in on the decal and cut it out. I also tried to cut out numbers and letters, but because they have very thin white border, I gave it up. Now, when I have all the stencils prepared, I can stick them on the model. This is crucial moment, because you must put them into correct position. When you use common water slide decals, you can simply move them a little, but you can’t obviously do it when they are paint sprayed, so choosing precise position is very important. Then you have to smooth the edges and stick them with a glue, so the paint will not get under the mask. Since I have a two-color camouflage, it is necessary to dampen the transitions with a white color. White color is also suitable as a foundation for all other colors. I start with spraying the roundel. I always start from lightest to darkest shades. In this case it is red. I let it dry for 10 minutes. The side roundel is a bit more complicated. I cover the white circle with a prepared stencil. Again, it is necessary to ensure the correct orientation relative to the center. I use previously cut out circle as a stencil. I wanted to paint the red center when I realized that I still have to spray the yellow rim. Yellow color is usually very bad for coating and I would have problems to spray it over red base color. It is better to spray it on white base. Another good tip is using Humbrol Maskol fluid over stencil edges, because paint can pour through even a tiniest gap. Great, I have it. I paint the red dot when Maskol is dried. The main roundel on the wing consists of two parts, so I put there the last pice of the puzzle. I smooth it again with a cotton swab. I finish it with a blue color. Another advantage of painting roundels is that you can make easy postshading. Now I only remove the stencils and it is done. Many times I have seen that someone removed the underneath paint too. Why this happenes? Simply because they poorly degreased the model surface before spraying. Therefore, I always wash the model in soapy water first. In addition, you should stick stencils after you sprayed the model with glossy varnish, which also helps to prevent paint peeling. I think the result is quite good. There is a difference between the color of water slide decals and my painted color. Blue on the decals is almost black, and the red is too much pronounced, so I am much happier with my lighter shades. That is all, thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “How to paint and create stencils RAF roundels – Great Guide Plastic Models

  1. Great video David and the results are impressive! Another request for the types and numbers of the paints you use please 🙂

  2. Dobrý den,
    tohle video je velmi inspirativní. Díval jsem se na to kruhové řezátko Olfa CMP-1 a prodejci na webu uvádějí, že minimální průměr řezu je 1 cm. Na videu, kolem času 2:25, jste vyřezal vnitřní průměry, které vypadají menší než 1cm.

    Jak malý průměr se dá tedy s tímto řezátkem udělat?


  3. Hi David,
    you have produced a great video lesson, it does seem a lot of work, but I have to admit the result was well worth it. keep making these videos.

  4. Šikula, ďalší pekný tutoriálik 🙂 Inak, čo sa týka strhnutia farby pri odliepaní pásky, niekedy nepomôže ani poriadne odmastenie… Lepidlo na niektorých páskach (dokonca aj niektoré Tamiye) dokáže zreagovať s farbou (Gunze H, Revell Aqua) a nadvihne ju od povrchu… Ale stačí si ju pred nalepením na model raz, dva razy prilepiť na pokožku, a problém vyriešený 🙂 Ph pokožky zneutralizuje niektorú zložku lepidla a páska už nikdy farbu nestrhne… Ale to určite poznáš, je to stará finta 🙂

  5. Super návod, děkuju.
    – pokud by to šlo, mohl bys prosím do popisu případně psát i použité barvy (včetně kódu)?
    – BTW (a můj osobní názor): Podle fotek pouštních spitů jsou v návodu pravděpodobně (na 80+ %) prohozené barvy na křídlech – viz divný přechod barev trup/křídla. Osobně bych spíš věřil rozmístění polí z odkazu níže = (zdroj Kagero topcolors) viz obrázky na následujícím odkazu:

  6. When i watched your guide for the Focke-Wulf i thought: "Is there even a next level?"

    And then i go to youtube and watched you painting the goddamn decals….

    You are an artist.

  7. David, I would certainly prefer to have my larger markings, stripes flags, insignia's painted on over decals any day!!! With roundels it feels like it might be easier to do that say perhaps what the US Air Force uses. Is there any aftermarket company that offer pre-cut mask for markings like these that you know of? Yours looked great!

  8. What' s name of the model kit that used in video, I mean which company is this? :))) Because this kit looks highly detailed, especially the engine section 😉

  9. Fantastic work! I have a quick question. I'm working on some luftwaffe aircraft from WWII. I'm trying to get the mottled or stippled effect on the fuselage. Any suggestions?

  10. I never do this. Eh, it's just too much work for my fancy. And to be quite honest, I don't think I can tell the result. After the decal is placed, and softened with MicroSol, I think it pretty much looks painted on.

    Maybe if I was working on a plane in 1/32 scale I'd consider painting them on, but for me It's too much work. I feel like you could mess it up easily too. I prefer to just use the decal, then post shade the decal. The result looks very similar to yours.

    Anyway, great video! Which scale is this Spitfire?

  11. Please could you tell me what make of paints you used in this video for the raf blue and red and what colour they are called

  12. David, i have a challenge for you. Can you make a swedish roundel using this technique and still make it look better than decals?

  13. Your models are absoloutly amazing and so inspirational. I model railways and have used loads of your techniques in my work, but I have dabbled in military modelling as well and cant wait to start my ME 109 by Hersegawa. Of course I will be applying your techniques. Thankyou for sharing them.

  14. Painted insignia have an advantage in not having the silvering around the decal but they're rarely thinner than a decal, often thicker.

  15. Thanks for your fantastic video and extraordinary model making, you are an inspiration and wonderful teacher. A quick question – what paints do you use for the roundels?

  16. Nice tips, thanks for sharing.
    I like to use a sheet of acetate over the decals, to protect them and also to make better cuts of the mask, also i use a coat of "future" gloss after and between color coats, to avoid bleeding under the mask.

  17. Great work, I wouldn't worry that much about different shades since the components and assemblies on the real aircraft had often varied too. This was because they were made by separate teams and sometimes in different locations or factories altogether. Also parts such as flaps and ailerons, rudders etc were often replaced in theater due to combat damage sustained and wear, hence the varying camouflage pattern was only corrected when time permitted, lethal purpose being the main priority during wartime.

  18. Thanks David. Was doing an older testors kit and having problems with the decals. Even used a decal restorer. Was having a little difficulty with painting the round decals. I'll give this a try

  19. Really helpful, I want to make my own decals on a 3d print I made, the waterslides I find are too much hassle and often wont print. Im going to order the tamiya sheet, I have access to a lasrcutter, I wonder if I can use the lasercutter on the stencil sheet, will test!

  20. Hi, so I have a problem that when I airbrush humbrol acrylics, they seem to congeal in the cup slightly and the paint comes out irregularly. I am using homemade thinners made of alcohol and water that no one else has had problems with. Also when I used some humbrol black enamel paint with branded thinners, I had 0 problems at all. Any help? I don't want to spend loads on thinners either.

  21. That must be really satisfying when you actually paint instead of use stencils and it turns out amazing like yours did! Great job and thanks for the info!

  22. You make this look easy David, I would`ve cussed a blue streak and went back to the kit decals…lol. You are an Awesome modeler my friend!

  23. How do you precisely tell where the decal roundels exactly go? How does anyone? How do you know when its perfect or not

  24. You truly are a very gifted model builder my friend. You never cease to amaze me with your skills and talent. I’m lucky to build what comes in the box without having to put it in the outside trash bin. And no, that’s not a joke. But hey, even if it ends up going to the local landfill, which is highly likely, what the hell, I had fun for a little while. LOL!

  25. You are very skilled modeller. And soo pacient ! Anyway, this technique works well on large scale models. I don't find a Olfa cutter able to cut the necessary circles on 72nd. Cheers !

  26. Great video. Thanks for the help.
    The rulers you show, with the circles, how are they called?

  27. well, my hands are not so precise for such work (like they say in Eastern Europe, 'hands-from-ass') so I'm glad I'm much more into AFV than aircraft =)

  28. Great video, but i have one question: why are there US and Polish markings on the decal sheet when it is a british plane?

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