How To Paint Instrument Panels

In 7 Steps…

Although these days most modellers prefer to use prepainted PE cockpit panels for their models to speed up the building process, i prefer to paint by hand the cockpit panels, since i believe that a hand painted panel is better than a PE one.  Anyway this is my personal opinion. I will show you how i paint cockpit panels in 7 easy steps…

The examples you see in this tutorial are from Hasegawa F-4E kit, modified to represent the cockpit panels of the F-4E AUP of the Hellenic Airforce. For the modification i used plastic sheet and spare dials from other panels from spares box.


Step 1

First step is to paint the basic cockpit colour, in this example is the standart light grey. The first layer is usually acrylic painted by airbrush.


Step 2

In second step, i paint with black enamel the gauges and dials. I paint with brush and can correct easily any mistakes with a wet brush and Humbrol enamels thinner.



Step 3

Before step 3 a layer of acrylic gloss varnish is welcome but not required. Next i apply a layer of dark brown oil wash around dials and gauges to give some depth and represent the usual wear of instrument panels.



Step 4

After cleaning the wash with a brush moistened in Humbrol enamels thinner i drybrush the panels with light gray enamel or oil colour to highlight the details.



Step 5

In the Next step i paint with Humbrol enamel white or white oil and a fine brush the details of the instruments. Don’t worry if you overpaint some details, you can easily clean the excess paint with a fine brush moistened in Humbrol enamels thinner.

DSCF1592 DSCF1593

Step 6

In Step 6, I paint all details of instrument panels with enamels. Have in mind that I never use white colour for the buttons. I prefer to paint the buttons with shades of light grey.



Step 7

Last step is to apply a layer of acrylic matt varnish to seal everything and to represent the glass of the instrument with a drop of gloss varnish on each instrument. My instrument panels are ready to be installed in the cockpit.




Thank you for reading this article.


One thought on “How To Paint Instrument Panels

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: