Prop Blur

1/48 Simulated spinning props

Product Article by Steve Bamford on Jan 23 2008

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1/48 B-17 Model by Kelly Quirk

 

When I first heard of this product, I must admit to being more than a bit skeptical.  Afterall....how could any PE product replicate the look of a spinning prop?  Until this point we've had 4 options.......props sitting still, props spinning by use of an electric motor, props spun for photos by a fan of some sort or plastic discs to simulate spinning props.  These are all valid techniques, but they aren't the best option for everyone in every situation.  For instance.....I'd like to have the look of spinning props on some of my in-flight models.  Until this point I had resigned myself to just having the props sitting there not spinning.  The nacelles on many kit look too small for electric motors....clear discs just don't look convincing enough for me.....blowing the props with a fan for photos is fine but that's hardly an option you could use 24 hours a day in your display cabinet.  Then along comes this new product and I figured it was just interesting enough to give serious consideration for my next in-flight model.

Below is a blown up photo of the product.  As soon as I saw the product, I knew I would be using them.  The edges are nice and random looking and the props are quite see thru...very neat concept.

Click on images below to see larger images

  

  

  

Kelly Quirk clearly shows the magic of this product with his B-17 with one engine shut down and it makes it's way for home.

The below photos show promise, but also raised questions.  It's obvious that the company selling these wants modellers to clearly see the product, so painting them flat black with a white background is the best way to show the product .  But this is not how real props look.  Real props can be seen through and you can do this with this product, so it's very good in that respect!!!

Click on images below to see larger images

  

  

  

  

Then I got to pondering this whole thing during a modelling session....what if the modeller painted these with dark paint (black?) down the centre of the prop and lighten the colour out to the edges.  That is how real props look.....dark in the center (black?) and the colours get lighter as you move closer to the edge of the prop.  Then add yellow prop tips....but not masked sharp...the yellow has to have a feathered edge where it meets up with the black or at least this is what I think props look like....reference photos will be a big help here.  Masking the tips is a good idea to paint them, but a raised mask is probably the best option.  Again...the yellow prop tips should be solid yellow in the center of the prop blade and feather to a lighter less solid shade of yellow....or maybe transition to a different shade or colour....again....consider reference photos as well as the background colour where these will be photoed or displayed.

PropBlur is currently available in 1/48 scale (1 1/4 inch length) only. 

PropBlur is sold in sets of two blades. You will need one blade of PropBlur for each kit blade you intend to replace. A P-51 will require two sets of PropBlur to replace all four blades of the kit propeller. An SBD requires two sets as well. Yes, you end up with one more blade than you need, but if you've got a TBM in the works you'll only need three sets of PropBlur to complete both aircraft.  A P-38 or B-25 would require three sets as well. B-17 or B-24 would need 6 sets. You get the idea.

Steve


Below you'll find ordering information from the PropBlur website.

Price: $3.75 per kit. Each 'kit' includes 2 PropBlurs, and you need one PropBlur for each prop blade. 1/48th scale. Other scales will be available soon. Sales tax applies to orders shipped to California addresses. Instructions included with purchase.
We send the PropBlurs via First Class Mail and International First Class Mail. First Class Mail does not include tracking or insurance. If you want tracking &/or insurance, request Priority Mail / Int'l. Priority Mail. We will quote.
For a detailed quote including postage, send an email to
propblur@comcast.net telling how many PropBlur kits, include your exact mailing address and how much insurance on your Priority Mail package. Insurance is an option only with Priority Mail. I will email you a no obligation 'invoice' telling you exact amount. If you want to buy, just click on the PayPal button and follow the instructions. 7.375% Sales Tax applies to orders shipped to California addresses.
If you have questions, please email.
No minimum order. Thanks for your interest.

David Barnes   PropBlur Team

Photos and text by Steve Bamford