Hasegawa Bf-109E Night Fighter – Micro-Mask chipping

I built three single seat black aircraft and used them to test paint chipping techniques.  This one is the Hasegawa Bf-109E Night Fighter and my chipping method of choice was to use micro masking solution over aluminum Alclad before black paint.

The kit was built straight from the box.  I’ve built a 1/48 Hasegawa Bf-109E before (previous Hasegawa Bf-109E post) and remembered to be careful at the wing-root fit.  There was still a bit of sanding and filling needed to make things perfect.

  

I use mostly these sanding sticks I buy really cheap at the local mega-store.  The nail file works great for working the putty as it has many different grits and I often will follow up with a nail polisher that has three really fine grits and can make the plastic and putty shine!

I then primed the kit from a rattle can primer.  I have used the Dupli-Color “Fillable and Sandable” primer out of the can with good success.  At $7 a can it’s a lot cheaper than the primers for scale models.  On this pass, I tried the Rust-oleum and it made for a rough finish on the kit as seen in the earlier photo.  I might try to decant and thin it on another kit but I think I’ll stick to the Dupli-color.

After priming the kit was sprayed with Alclad Aluminum in spots I wanted to show chipping and after drying Micro Mask was applied in chipping patterns over the silver.

The aircraft was then sprayed with black enamel paint from Scalecoats and weathered with increasingly lightened and thinned paint (added gray to black) to produce a streaking effect that can be seen well in the photo.   We are ready to chip!

What turned out very wrong in this test was the Micro Mask was put on so thin it actually leveled under the paint and that made it very difficult to see where I needed to peel it away.  I started using a wooden stick to try to scrape the mask away and it either wouldn’t budge or I couldn’t find it.  What occurred then was I wound up literally scraping the paint off and left deep gouges in the paint where there should have been chipping.

     

Had this not been a test build I would have attempted to take the paint off and repainted the plane.  Instead, I recovered by over spraying the damaged paint and roughly scrapping it off while still wet.  Not the best looking up close but not too shabby on the model shelf.

The model was finished off with a nice set of OWL decals (I really like their thinness and way they perform) and overshot with Testors Dullcoat.

What did I learn;

  • Put the Micro Mask on thicker.  (I know, tough being a cheapskate!)
  • The weather streaking looks very nice.  I used the same cup of paint in the airbrush and added a touch more gray paint and a drop of thinner before each run of streaking
  • Test fire the primer before you commit to three models!