Exhaust Stains

First I want to say thank you to everyone who has been answering all my questions. I know I have been asking a lot of them. I have a few more though. Anyone have a good video about exhaust rusting and staining on WW2 aircraft? I have never attempted this before. Thanks.

Well you won’t see rust, aeroplanes were built from aluminium. Not uncommon to find fabric control surfaces and wood at that period of time either. You might get steel used on some internal components, but the airframes and skins would largely be aluminium.
Aluminium does corrode, it usually goes a dull metallic grey. But it would have be left in the elements for quite a while for that to happen.

Exhaust staining can be done easily with chalks, pastels or weathering pigments. Put some on a cotton bud and streak it back from the exhaust. Your best reference is wartime photos. Copy what you see in photos. Don’t use modern films or re-enaction, as sometimes fake weathering is applied. The most famous of this is the Memphis Belle from the early 90’s. The effects department painted exhaust staining coming out of the air-vents on the upper wing. Something which would never happen, but is commonly done in models.

Best of luck with it.

Visible is the exhaust which angles down and back. Note the vibrancy of the colours, especially the blue and middlestone. Very little fading, but some discolouration on the azure blue undersides, probably from oil and paint touch ups. Interesting is the chipped and peeling paint along the inboard leading edge, exposing more of the blue. The only chipping through to the aluminium visible, is along the cowling fasteners, vokes filter and tip of the spinner. Wear and tear from maintenance, sand and grit.

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Your exhaust will be typically discolored but its from heat not rust. Stains on WW2 aircraft will typically be centered around landing gear, oil and fuel caps and engines and cowlings. It may be handy if your in the US to go by a Barnes and Noble. Over in the discount books they have a nice volume w the cutaway drawings of major planes in the military with lots of allied and axis air craft from WW2. Look at how the control surfaces are controlled, you see alot of wire/pulley set ups vs hydraulics. That will help kerp your staining more accurate.

Likewise this let’s you also see the different materials of the ‘skin’ so you can vary your OD accordingly for logical differences of the surfaces. What i did on a Hellcat was spingfe chipping in just a slightly darker and lighter shade of blue to add a touch up paint’ feel sense they weathered hard in that environment.

Just remember you had more manual controls vs mechanically assisted systems in WW2 aircraft so why you could take a jet and be kind of liberal w hydro and related fluid stains and streaks it wasnt the same for those beautiful radial and piston prop planes. You still can fade surfaces for some fun finishes, lots of patching went on to keep the birds airborne. In fact in one of my many B-17 books i have a picture of a G that is OD to behind the bomb bay and the rear fuselage is bare metal. And formation planes were usually worn put B24’s and 17’s that were painted in stripes and polka dots, these would run a race track pattern for the wings to form up on before heading out.