My question pertains to how airliners are painted, especially in the past decade or so with the fancy "cartoon" graphics and the like.
For example, how is the "faded U" painted on the tail of the latest United Airlines' paint scheme? The way the white "U" fades to the top, it would appear that someone either used some sort of 'peel and stick' printed graphic, or they practiced a lot with the spray gun to get that effect to look just right. As an airbrush modeller, I can attest to how hard it is to control a small spray gun, let alone attempt to create such an effect on a large surface as a vertical stabilizer - it would appear to be an extremely daunting task.
Likewise, the fancy "Wunala" schemes that Qantas uses, how do the painters get the proportions and scales of the miscellaneous graphics correct on such a large canvas? Do they use some kind of "light projection system" to mark the aircraft prior to the taping process? Or are some of these elements hand painted with a brush?
Basically, my curiosity is based on how the painters are able to successfully transfer a design on paper to an actual aircraft, and be able to maintain the proper scales and proportions to create the end product.
If anyone has some insight on this subject, I would be interested to learn more about the process ... thanks!
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