Today we welcome a new contributor!  Eric Jager provides an article on how to paint bombs, something I'm sure we all have problems with from time to time!

Paints and Materials used in this Lesson:-

  • Humbrol Paints 86 155
  • Revell 12 Gloss Yellow
  • Tamiya X-22 Gloss Varnish
  • Brush number 3

For painting bombs & missiles use a No.3 brush 3 is best for 1/72 and 1/48. Paints used are Humbrol 155 and Revell 12 Gloss Yellow. Humbrol 86 is used for tail sections of the Mk. 82 Snakeyes. Revell Gloss Yellow is very bright and thats what we need in most scales. Also get hold of a styrofoam block - it is very useful for holding everything whilst you are painting it!

Mostly found on packaging electronis or buy an large plate of it in the stores. It has to be at least 3cm of thickness as you insert the bombs in it while drying.  I only mention the USAF type here on the forum. Get all the bombs from the kit you are building. For example MER racks = Mutliple Ejection rack. MER holds 6 mk. 82 and for Vietnam most kits 12 Mk. 82 are included. If the bomb is good for you to use, than work on it like on a model. Keep details, but if there's no detail like hangingpoints or fuses than make sure you sand the bomb and get rid of flash. Find on the bomb a marking point where its safe to drill an small hole. 1mm should do it. Drill not to deep but deep enough so that a cocktail stick can be inserted. It has to hold the bomb, and it should clamp as you will handle it this way during painting of the bomb. 

Once you have done this, you can start painting the whole bomb with Humbrol 155 Olive Green. Thin the paint (but not in the tinlet - use a small container for this, otherwise the paint will go off in the tin). Once you are happy with the paint thickness you can start painting the bombs. Painting them altogether like 'series production' makes it a lot easier, especially if you are building a fully 'bombed up' aircraft and have to paint 12 bombs or more. Let everything dry for a day and paint it again. Doing it this way means that you ensure the paint has covered well, and the top is finished as well so we can leave that alone. If fuses are on the bomb, than we can paint them with aluminium paint. Metalics do not adhere well to bare plastic, but the dry olive green acts as a good base to paint the fuses. 

After letting the Olive Green dry for a few days, you can start to paint the Yellow. The reason for letting it dry so long is to prevent the Yellow paint mixing with the Olive Green. Start painting the Yellow about 2mm away from the top. Do set the brush somewhere safe and make an straight line while turning the bomb. Its ok to hold the bomb between your fingers as you roll the bomb while painting, as you paint over the green and fingerprints do no harm once the green has dried. As the paint is gloss and thin, it will not cover immediately, and you will need several coats (often 2 or 3). The next day add the second coat and let that dry again. If you have thinned the paint well, it will settle evenly and cover well. This is important as the yellow will stand out and it will be obvious if you have made errors.

Now you can start again painting the Humbrol 155 Olive Green, keeping about 1,5 to 2mm away from the edge of the yellow. So set the brush somewhere safe and do the same as you started painting the yellow.

Varnish the bombs with Tamiya X-22 Gloss - this dries hard within about 20 minutes. Now it is safe to remove the cocktail sticks and return them into the box of the kit and you can add them to the model. If you want to add decals you need a gloss finish, or you can write text on them as well. After that Matt Varnish them and they can go onto your great looking fully armed fighter!

Article and photographs by Eric Jager