The plastic propeller on Pete Schumann’s beautiful Albatros D. II looks as though it is made out of
wood. He developed a great technique for painting propellers on his WW I airplanes.
The author designed and built this small
1:450-scale T Gauge steam locomotive
using parts and techniques that he
learned from building model airplanes.
The body is made from Durobatics
foam, as is his 1.5-inch wingspan
triplane that is also shown!
In my September 2016 “Micro- Flying” column, I discussed how I make some of the propellers that
I use on my micro RC designs. In this
column, I would like to discuss how
to add some color and detail to your
The color and look of the propeller
on your scale micro RC airplane are
as important as adding a pilot or other
scalelike details. Seeing an RTF scale
model with a plain black propeller or
a scale model with an orange plastic
propeller just doesn’t look right!
However, it is easy to add some color
and detail to your propellers to make
your aircraft stand out.
Coloring Plastic Propellers
The basic orange plastic propellers
from GWS or other manufacturers
are easy to color. I use a brown
Sharpie permanent marker to color
the propeller and give it the look of a
wooden propeller. I might also use a
paint marker on the tips, depending on
the aircraft I am modeling.
To color propellers black, I have used
a black Sharpie with good results, but
airbrushing a flat black color produces
a more realistic appearance. Before
airbrushing, I lightly sand the propeller
and clean it before applying paint. I
After adding the final color, you can
sand or lightly scrape some paint off
the edges to show some metal like a
worn propeller would. I like to use
Testors Model Master or Tamiya plastic
model paints for most of my work.
World War I Propellers
Pete Schumann builds some
beautiful World War I aircraft. His 14-
inch wingspan 1/24-scale
Albatros D.II was a joint
with his friend,
The model is
tissue for the
great technique to color plastic black
propellers and make them look like
He first trims a propeller to match
the subject, then lightly sands the
propeller and brushes on a flat white
coat of Americana acrylic white paint.
Pete paints the propeller with Testors
Model Master Wood Acrylic Paint
To add the dark wood color, he uses
a brown Sharpie marker and sprays
on a coat of Tamiya clear yellow X- 24
for a light wood color, or Tamiya clear
orange X- 26 for a darker wood color.
The result is a realistic-looking wood
I purchased the new compact 1S
voltage meter from Ready Made RC. It
features a bright blue LCD display and
allows you to quickly check the voltage
of your batteries. The unit has two of
the most popular plug sizes— 1. 2 and
2.0—that are mounted at each end of
the voltage checker. See the “Sources”
for more information.
97 Model Aviation JULY 2017 www.ModelAviation.com sponsored by HOW-TO issue
Adding color and detail to propellers