Desert Done

Happy Old Year!

I finished the two desert aircraft just under the 2018 clock.  This makes only five models for me this year, off my normal of about 7 – 8.

The Hasegawa Cardoor Typhoon was finished in a rare desert scheme which required I paint a Skyblue “Y” and find other decals.  The serial number isn’t correct for this Typhoon and I was too cheap to go buy the decals needed to just have the serial number.  I think the British desert scheme turned out very nicely.  Vallejo paints with a final overcoat of Testors Dull coat after oil dot weathering and pastels.

The A-20 is the AMT kit built as a “-C”.  The markings are based on those found in an A-20 book I have and finally replicated by FCM in their new decal sheet.  Paints are all Model Master with the exception of a jar of Floquil Military Colors (Desert Sand) I have had on the shelf for 10+ years waiting to do this scheme.

Here are the photos of the Typhoon and A-20.

What I learned in these builds….

  • the Blu-tack I use to help with the camouflage demarcation reacts and leaves a residue with Vallejo paints.  It can be removed carefully with mineral spirits.  The mineral spirit wash also lightens the Vallejo – might be a good weathering tool in the future.
  • I probably should have penciled in the desert sand over splotches on the A-20 as this would have kept them tighter and more like the original.
  • Primer straight from the can is best instead of trying to decant it to the airbrush.

Finally, here is the other part of the 2018 set of completions.  See you next year;


Hasegawa Typhoon Desert Scheme Painted

I finished painting the Typhoon.   I’ve been trying to push the end of the year builds so anything that might show up under the tree can be fair game to get started.

I used a combination of things I haven’t tried before; Blu-tack for masking the color boundaries and Vallejo Model Air paint.

The blu-tack is rolled out into long strings and flattened.  It is then pressed onto the aircraft as a masking guide for the paint.  As you paint along the edge of the blu-tack it forms a soft edge camo separation from the other colors.  I used this very effectively on an F-21 Kfir I built a few years back.  You can see the article here

This time the results were not as easy as the blu-tack and the Vallejo reacted by leaving a lot of residues which discolored the Vallejo.  You can see the process and the results in these photos…

After fiddling around with it I found good old mineral spirits were able to take the residue away but also removed a small amount of paint which showed through to primer where the paint was thin.

As a good side effect (which I’ll remember) is rubbing down the Vallejo paint job with mineral spirits gave it a nice faded look.  I might use this as a weathering step in the future.

The kit is now ready for a shot of future and decals.

Messing around with Messerschmidtts

In my last post I was working on putting squiggles on a 1/72 Bf-110.  Even though the true camo calls for some very tight olive squiggles on sand I  decided to play around with Blu-tack and create some myself.  It was very hard to roll this stuff out fine enough to duplicate the real camo so I decided to go for more of a relaxed look.  I think the very tight squiggles in 1/72 would probably need to be done with an olive colored wide pen.  Need to experiment more at some point but for now I am just trying to move the kit the along.

Here it is with a couple of coats of Future.  I’m waiting for the Future to cure then decals.

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In the meantime I’ve started my next big build of Messerschmidts.  I mean big it is.  I’m normally not a 1/32 scale guy but I’ve had these kits hanging around for awhile and I’m ready to build them;


Starting with the engines of each, the Matchbox 109E kit has about 25 parts associated with the engine.  The parts come in all assorted colors of of multiple trees but once it is paited you’ll never see it.

The other two have exactly the same parts for the engine although different colors, probably 30 years apart, and strangely on different sprues.  Also note the relative size of the Matchbox 109E engine compared to the Revell 109F/G engines.

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Sadly while looking through the old Revell 190G kit I noticed that it does not contain a propeller or spinner.  Looks like I got the old eBay stiff a ways back and just now am catching on.  But adversity presents challenges.  I think I am going to have to figure out how to resin cast the prop and vacu-form the spinner.  Time will tell the the “G” is propless.


Messerschmitt squiggles

I’ve been working on the third Eduard Bf-110 I’ve built this summer and I am working on the desert scheme.  The decals for this kit from Owl show a very fine sets of squiggles; olive over sand.  Other than getting an olive colored pen and drawing them on I’m not sure I get them as fine as the pictures in 1/72 but I am trying something new.


My newly discovered fondness for the blue poster tack has led me into rolling this into fine strings and using this to mask the squiggles.  After painting the kit Olive I am rolling this and adding it to the kit.  Once I get it all done I will clean it up a bit with some tweezers and spray sand.

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The main issue I have is that it is about 85 in the garage tonight and it make the blue stuff really tacky so it sticks to everything but the model.  But it’s starting to look good.

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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