Cockpit Painting for two

The simultaneous build of two kits continues with joint cockpit painting.  Both kits, a Monogram kingfisher, and a ProModeler F4U-5N, have about the same colors so I am creating them together, like painting one big cockpit.

When I do cockpits I use a ton of colors.  This tries to break up a monotone interior greens into some subtle variation that add eye candy to an otherwise drab hole in the aircraft.  Might not be extreemly factual but it looks good to me.  The thing that gets me is all of the colors I use, from all different brands.


The F4U cockpit is a true details set.  I’ve had to be careful because I skipped the step where you wash the resin mold release off and I’ve had a few bits of paint flak off that will need repair later.  I haven’t painted the instruments yet because the ProModeler kit comes with a nice set of instrument decals that I will work with later.


The Kingfisher is so wide open that I’ve had a lot of painting inside the open cockpit.  The Lone Star cockpit set is pretty good and I’ve been slowly working it along a little dab of color at a time.  Both cockpit should be ready for a wash and highlighting tomorrow.  I think once they are done the building part should go pretty quick.  These two are my two March kits and I am a bit behind my goal of two per month.

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And just a last note; I’ve had this Kingfisher kit since longer than I can remember.  The fact Lone Star made a cockpit for it finally inspired me to do it.  And yesterday I read the announcement of a new tool Kingfisher due out later this year.  Oh well, ya pays your money….

Kinetic F-21 Completed!

Build #4 for the year is done.  I guess I’m a bit behind my two per month goal but then it’s only a hobby.  I’ll make it up with a couple of 1/72 scale kit I have in the queue.

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Learned a number of things with this one;

  • Using Blu-tack to make soft camouflage transitions
  • Color scale effects – colors are FS color lightened 10%
  • Using crappy instructions – it sometimes took me a long time to figure out how a piece went on – main landing gear was the worse

Overall a fun kit to build.  I’d like to thank my lovely bride for the kit for Christmas!  I think this is the earliest I have built one of here gifts after receiving it as opposed to popping it on the stash pile.

I had been looking to build a 1/48 scale version of this aircraft (my favorite scale).  I built a 1/72 scale model of this back in the early 90s as I got back into the hobby (maybe only had a couple of kits in the stash then!), so this was meaningful to me in that respect.  I still have that old Testors kit, here they are together.


The engineering of the main landing gear was pretty complex.  It took me a while and a few views of actual aircraft on the internet before I could figure out how the middle doors went on.

A few more shots to close out.

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And since my son is a Marine, here’s one for him.  The few, the proud, the


Kinetic F-21 on it’s legs

Decalling, subtle weathering, and overcoat be done.  I took the tape off of the windshield and put the gear on her.

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I should be able to get the gear finished and gear doors on tomorrow night.  The kits comes with some very intricate gear parts.

Finally I got the kingfisher insides ready for resin and I am starting gluing pieces together.  I had to split the lower wing and glue each half to the fuselage separately so I could start working on this without trying to add cockpit parts to a closed fuselage.


ProModeler F4U-5N

While I let the final coat of Future cure on my Kinetic F-21 and the milliput putty to harden on the Kingfisher I thought I’d open up the next kit I will add, a ProModeler F4U-5N.  I’m not sure what set of molds these came from but they don’t look like Tamiya so I am assuming Hasegawa.  Out of the box the sprues look to have pretty nice detail and this should look good out of the box.

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I plan to use the True Detail set for the cockpit, although the one on the kit doesn’t look too bad.


I plan on using the Aeromaster markings for an all black Marine nightfighter!  It will add another black aircraft to the collection.


Models on the move

Was able to cut the wing of the kingfisher in half tonight and I am setting up the guide that will keep the other 1/2 of a wing in straight once I epoxy it in over the weekend.  Looking forward to painting and putting resin into the cockpit.  The Lone Star set looks really nice and it should look great once I get it into the kit and painted up.

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I also am making slow but gradual process on the F-21.  I am adding all of the stencils and the decal count on this goes up to 90 or so with some decals occurring in multiples.  I’m up to 27 now after a couple of quick evenings of decaling.

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I didn’t use to put ALL of the stencils on the kits but lately I think they busy up the model and give it character.  Something to capture the attention of the eyes (and keep them off my subtle mistakes!)

Monogram OS2U Kingfisher

While I am starting to decal the F-21 I have started on the next build, an old Monogram Kingfisher.

This kit comes out of a box I must have bought years ago; no kit box, no instructions, parts off sprue, etc.  I’ve always had a fondness for this one as I am sure I built one back in the 60s.  I built all of the blue and black plastic 1/48 Monogram Navy kits back then and this kit still has the black plastic parts, so I know its an original.

The kit detail out of the box is actually pretty good.  The raised panel lines are crisp and the detail isn’t over emphasized.  I was worried that from my memory many of these kits were rivet queens.  This one must have been one of Monograms later releases in this genre as it has pretty good detail and no working parts, and the pilot is actually in a cockpit instead of attached to a seat and all glued to a bulkhead.  Here a show of the detail on the wing.


I am coupling this with the Lone Star Kingfisher cockpit resin.  This is a great looking set out of the box, it has detailing for both of the front and rear sections.  Here are some shots of that with the instructions before and after cleanup.  I like to use my trusty belt sander (with the shop vac running to pull resin dust) to clean up the parts quickly and keep the resin dust fairly contained.

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The only trouble with this kit’s setup is that the wing of the kit is connected through the fuselage, a one piece lower wing half; one wing goes into the fuselage from the inside, then you put the other 1/2 of the fuselage over the other 1/2 of the wing and glue the fuselage together.  The Lone Start instructions show you where you have to cut away parts of the wing in order to make the bulkhead and the side panels of the cockpit fit.  It looks like it will also make it pretty tough to paint and detail because the fuselage might have to be put together before you glue in the resin.

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I have a plan to do some tricks where I will fix one of the wings to it’s fuselage side with epoxy, so the wing is at the right position, cut the wings apart, make a connector between the two wing halves so I can get them back together, and epoxy the other wing 1/2 to it’s fuselage.  That way I can split the halves part and put the resin in and detail it.  I have the first wing epoxied and we’ll get to the rest in ou next episode.

F-21 painted and glossed

The Kinetic F-21 is painted.  It took a few day to do it and I tried a couple of things this time to try stuff out.


First, the paint colors.  In my last posting I showed the color chart for the kit as it comes out of the box and their FS colors.  If you go to the website cyber modeler they have a number of paint charts for various aircraft and for many of them they not only provide the “official” color but document the many hobby paint manufacturers and their paint number that match those colors.  Along with that, they match the color to “scale colors”.

What is scale color?  Let’s pretend you are looking at the model from the same scale distance you’d look at a real aircraft.  So looking at a model 12 inches away is the same as looking at the real aircraft 48 feet away.  As you look at things farther away they tend to fade out, or get lighter.  My best example is looking at a mountain range, the mountains in the far distance, although the exact color of the foreground mountain, look lighter or more faded.

So the theory is that a 1/48 scale kit need to be 10% lighter in order for it to look “scale” to your eye at that scale distance.  I can add 10% white to the paint, or use the cyber moderer color charts which provide alternate manufacturers paint  hues and number that will provide 10% fading.  For instance, instead of using Model Master (1726) Light Sea Gray FS36307, I substituted Model Master (2037) Flint Gray.  Same for the other two colors.

The second thing I tried was the use of Blu-tack, that blue poster sticky material used to hold posters to the wall.  The concept is to roll it up into long strings and mark the camouflage transitions.  Then when you paint you paint the next color up to the Blu-tack and it creates the soft transition between colors by allowing only some of the paint to “overspray” underneath the Blu-tack.

Usually I hand spray those transitions (and I’m pretty good at it!), but this plane has a lot of colors moving all over the place and it seemed my usual style of softly penciling in the changes then following those lines with  the airbrush would be a lot of work.  The Blu-tack allowed me to put together some pretty complex twisting and turning of colors and keep them straight.

I always start with a coat of primer and filler.  It helps the paint hold to the plastic.  I use the Alclad Gray primer (not just for NMF finishes!)


Here’s the kit with all of the Blu-tack applied while in one of the color transitions.

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The Blu-tack was a bugger to get off the lighter color.  I’m not sure why but it left residue in a number of places.  I had to use the sticky side of masking tape to “rub off ” the Blu-tack.  It also wound up in some of the panel lines and had to be worked out with my panel scriber.  If I hadn’t primed I might have been rubbing the paint off.

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Here are a couple of final shots of the painted kit.  The Blu-tack did work pretty good for this complex camo.  I have put a couple of coats of Future on it and should be ready for decaling in a day or two (I wait until the Future gets really hard)

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F-21 final parts before painting

The F-21 is about ready to start painting.  I should be able to get the primer on tonight.


The kit engineering behind the small stabilators on the intakes was interest.

First, these parts are very thin and Kinetic had to figure out how to get these on the model and provide support.  Enter photoetch

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The stabilators are backed by a photoetch piece above and below.  These were kind of a pain to fold and put on.  I tried to put them on and fold them on a stabilator first, thought was I’d get them on then glue the stabilator onto the kit.  That didn’t work and I wound up pulling it all off and gluing the stabilators on first, then putting the photoetch on.


We will see how this all looks after painting.  Should be a pretty cool paint job with a wrap around.


Kinetic F-21 mostly assembled – seam cleanup on aisle 9

As predicted, once the cockpit was painted and ready for the kit assembly went quick.

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We are into the putty and seam management phase of the project.  Most the seam of this kit are pretty good.  The covers over the air inlets have been my biggest issue.  I tried putting them together carefully but one of them set up wierd and will require some putty and sanding, I hope I can preserve the detail.

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That is the worst.  the wings went to the fuselage pretty good.  I used an old trick I learned on the DML Fw-190 kits; you first fit and glue the upper wing pieces to the fuselage and manange that so there are no gaps, then you glue the lower wing unit on and glue the upper and lower wings together.  This give you a better shot at no gaps on the upper wings and the act of stretching the upper wings to attach correctly to the lower wing can pull the fuselage apart ever so slightly and help with the dihedral.

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I’ve added the milliput putty I use to a few spot.  I mix both parts, use a metal spatula to apply, then smooth with a wet Q-tip and take off any excess.  This works better than plastering the thing up and then sanding for an hour later.


We should be ready for sanding and cleanup tomorrow and start painting moving into the week.  I still have to add the canopy and wing flaps before painting.

As a funny note, I got into a hurry and upon gling the wing I realized I forgot the engine front at the end of the intakes so you can see straight through.  A long brass rod pushed into a hole in the back of the engine face and placed way into the kit fixed that.  Whew!

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Kinetic F-21 moving from painting to construction

Just finishing up painting the small parts on the F-21 so I can start putting it together.  The painting is going well and I am trying to work with a mostly black cockpit.  Usually I have a gull gray or some form of interior green, which aids itself to dark washes and highlights.  Black is different!

Not sure I nailed it but I think it will look okay in the kit completed.  Using pastels again and really like those for color contrast as the nose gear well shows.

This kit has very wide spruce gates and they often go into the detail.  As noted some of the detail on this kit is nice and other parts are lacking.  Here’s a main gear door showing the gate into the gear door and the soft but intricate detail.

Fuselage went together pretty well.  There are some obvious spots that will need putty.  Of interest is the air scoop on the vertical stabilizer.  Not sure how I will handle that.

Finally the kit has a nice design for providing an engine front as you look down the intakes.