How to Paint Wood Grain

By Dave Johnson

Before I started at Wingnut Wings, if someone asked me to paint a Wood grain finish on a model... I would mostly likely painted it with one tone of brown! As most WW2 aircraft didn't have a lot of bare wood showing I never learnt or really used this technique until now.

This wood grain technique is very simple, all that is required is the following -

Acrylic Paint for the base:

Image 01

Artist Oils and Mineral turpentine (not pictured) for the wash mixture:

Image 02

With the base colour now being dry, its onto the next stage...

I am going to use 4 different oil colours out of the tube to show the different tones that you can achieve using the different base colours. I will be using Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber and Burnt Umber.

Image 03

The oil colours are applied in the following order - Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber and Burnt Umber.

XF-57 Buff base:

Image 04

XF-59 Desert Yellow base:

Image 05

XF-51 Flat Flesh base:

Image 06

XF-3 Flat Yellow base:

Image 07

My technique for wood graining is pretty simple and very easy to do. Its very similar to a technique that armour modelers use for weathering.

I start off spraying the base colour to the part/s, this case I have used Tamiya's XF-59 Desert Yellow.

Image 08

Next I thin down the oil colour with some turpentine to a very watery thinned mixture:

Image 09

I apply the watery mixture the to the part to tint the base colour.

Image 01

Then I apply dots of the oil paint onto random areas of the part and brush them back and forth to get the grain look onto the part. You can add different colour dots of oil paint to achieve dark grains.

Image 01

It should look something like this one you have finished:

Image 02 Image 03 Image 04

Since the oil colours have been thinned drying time is a lot quicker. Normally I find that it is tacky dry in 15-30 minutes and 24-48 hours dry to handle. You can also cheat and use a hairdryer to speed up the drying time. I normally do this method and will spray a clear varnish over the parts to seal them in around 4 hours after using the hairdryer.

© Dave Johnson 2012

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This article was published on Sunday, November 01 2015; Last modified on Sunday, November 01 2015