I built three single seat black aircraft and used them to test paint chipping techniques. This one is the Hasegawa Hurricane Mk. IIC Night Hurricane and my chipping method of choice was to use hairspray over aluminum Alclad before black paint.
The kit was built straight out of the box and went together well. The way the wing is engineered to support different versions caused some filling and sanding around the optional parts and where the wing connected to the fuselage.
The cockpit was a pretty good representation of the complexity of the real thing however since the canopy is molded as one piece you won’t see much inside anyway.
The model was then primed with primer from a can (see previous posts) and once dry the kit was sprayed with Alclad primer in areas I planned to chip. Note I didn’t cover the entire kit with aluminum which forced me to remember where the silver was so later when over sprayed with black paint I knew where to chip. I also covered parts of the fabric covered areas with the original interior color since I guessed that this area wouldn’t chip silver since it wasn’t metal.
The model was then given a coat of cheap hairspray. Everything I read online about this method suggests using the cheapest hairspray because it is not generally perfumed – no additives. This hairspray was bought in the travel section at my local store ( because I’m cheap and didn’t need a big can!) I decanted the hairspray and put it on with my airbrush.
After the hairspray cured for a couple of days I over coated it with Vallejo ModelAir Black. You need to use an acrylic (water washable) paint for this to work and once painted you only have a few hours to work before the paint gets hard. I waited 2 hours and as I found out the black paint was still pretty soft after two hours (this was a surprising but good thing).
IMPORTANT NOTE: You need to put the paint on in a number of light coats and let them set between coats. In a few places on the model where I painted a part off the model and tried to put one coat on the paint wound up cracking ever so slightly. I believe this was because the “wet” of the acrylic melted the hairspray and caused it to flow a bit while the paint was setting.
So where is the silver? Using my iPad to took pictures of the kit before black so I could remember the areas over-sprayed aluminum thus avoiding over-spraying the whole kit with aluminum and knowing where to chip.
After the paint had set a couple of hours I took a wide soft brush and using water coated a few sections of the black paint. I was expecting the paint to set for a bit and then I would need to use my implements of destruction I had standing by to take it off. What surprised me was in putting on more water the paint suddenly started coming off quickly and in big chunks.
So from this point, as I placed water carefully on the black paint, I could use the paint brush to slowly and randomly take paint off the silver areas. I also used this fiberglass brush my artist daughter gave me to chip away at panel lines since it provided a good wide stiff straight line from which to take paint off.
Overall I’m really pleased with the result and will look forward to tuning the skill. This also worked really well chipping the propeller and I could see using it in other areas where you might want to highlight two color changes (color over primer).
The one thing to look out for in my case is the paint really melted and came off fast. Although it didn’t really come off, it just kind of melted and flowed together in different areas. If I look closely I can see where the paint looks a bit thicker where it bunched up.
Decals were off an OWL Nightfighter Experts (#48014) sheet. I love OWL decals, they come off the paper quickly and go on really thin.
What did I learn;
- Hairspray work very well for chipping
- Overcoat colors need to have many thin coats as to not melt the hairspray
- Paint can come off (or maybe move) in big areas if you are not careful