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;

   

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Marine Corsair

Finally, another kit completed this year.  That makes 3 this year.  Normally I build 7 – 8 per year but my Boy Scout hours and other things have kept my modeling hours short.

I finished a Tamiya F4U-2 on the heels of the Monogram TBD I documented in a previous post.  This kit had some interesting challenges.

I built this kit once before many moons ago and it went together like a dream.  I decided to use a True Details resin cockpit on this kit and in my mind, it wasn’t that much of an improvement over the kit parts, and the trouble I had putting it in even detracted a bit from the overall completion.

Here are some comparisons between the kit and resin.  Other than the built-in seatbelts in the resin (which are out of scale), I think the Tamiya cockpit had crisper detail.

I also had a wild hair about using hairspray to do the chipping.  This had worked wonderfully on a previous build (see https://dlloseke.wordpress.com/2017/09/09/hasegawa-hurricane-mk-iic-night-hurricane/ ) but I had a couple of problems with this.

First, the original build was a single color aircraft.  To use the hairspray you paint the kit the chipping color (silver here) and then cover it with hairspray.  You then paint a water-based paint (I use Vallejo) and by wetting the paint before it is fully dry use a stiff paintbrush or toothpick to remove the chips (the hairspray “melts” under the top coat and allows the paint to be removed.

With the tricolor of the Corsair, I had to create multiple layers of paint which then were harder to remove.  Spraying the Vallejo too heavy in certain areas caused the hiarspray to melt under the wetness of the paint.  I think I overdid the chipping.

Two other issues; 1) if you are not careful the brush will remove a big chunk of paint all at once – oops, and 2) the Vallejo Sea Blue color did not cover the silver very well in thin coats which gave me more of a dark metallic blue top coat than the weathered flat sea blue I was trying for.

Finally, after decals,  the kit received an oil dot filter coat of paint and then my standard raw umber panel line was to grub it up.  Once dry that was followed by various pastel highlights to finish the weathering.

I enjoyed the Tamiya kit!

Next up, on to the desert!  Maybe I can get a couple more done before the end of the year!

Hasegawa Hurricane Mk. IIc – Night Hurricane – Hairspray chipping method

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

 

Hasegawa Spitfire Mk. Vb Night Fighter – Salt Chipping Technique

I built three single seat black aircraft and used them to test paint chipping techniques.  This one is the Hasegawa Spitfire Vb Night Fighter and my chipping method of choice was to use salt masking over aluminum Alclad before black paint.

Much like the Bf-109E in the previous post this kit was built straight from the box.  The kit went together well with very little fitting, sanding, and filling required.

This kit like the other two was given a coat of primer straight from the can.  You can see here how rough that turned out to be.  My previous post discusses the primer choices.  You can also see where I didn’t quite sand out the wing root – needed to be fixed.

After priming, areas of Alclad aluminum were sprayed on the kit.  I like using Alcad because it’s thin and it’s tough.

The kit is then coated a small area at a time (preferably where the Alclad is!) with water and Morton Kosher salt is sprinkled on the water.  Wherever the water is the salt sticks.  While still relatively wet the salt can be pushed around with the same brush I used to apply the water.  I applied more heavily in the areas of the wing root as you can see in the shot.

The aircraft is then given a coat of black paint.  I used the same Scalecoat used in the previous post as well as following on with streaking using ever lightened colors of black to produce a weathered look.

The salt is then brushed away with a stiff brush and ta-da paint chipping.  After a coat of Future floor polish, the decals were then applied.  I normally use Solvaset decal solvent on my decals and I really sweated this one out as you can see it wrinkled the marking up and it wasn’t un-wrinkling very fast.  It took a lot of Solvaset to make the decal finally sit down.  I think the Solvaset slightly remelts the Future and the Future sets back up before the decal has worked through the setting process.

I think I could have done a better job at arranging the salt crystals to make it look more organized.  As put on the chipping was rather random except for the wing root area.  But after a blast of Testors dullcoat, the kit actually came out looking quite nice.

What did I learn;

  • The salt method is easy to see where to put the salt on silver.  The next method documented (hairspray)requires you remember where the Alclad is or paint it all Alclad)
  • Organize the salt better, maybe along panel lines.  The salt works pretty good and produces pretty good results (see hairspray in next post!)
  • Find a different way to set Hasegawa decals.  The Solvaset works well on the OWL decals I have been using but might be a bit too strong for the Future/Stock decal mix
  • Drop using Rust-oleum primer

Thanks for your interest!

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!

Messerschmitts decalled and started weathering

A quick update on the Bf-110s;

They have decals and I have started weathering.

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For weathering both have a blue and green oil dot filters applied.  It didn’t look that well on the black but highlighted the RML76 on the gray 110 well.

I tried a light gray wash on the Black one and then streaked it with white oil paint.  I still need to do a bit more airbrush streaking with various black/gray shades.

On a side note, I counted my shades of gray and only have 19.  I’m not sure what that guy with 50 shades is modeling.

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The RLM 76 oversprayed kit was given a pin wash of dark gray then subtly filter washed with burnt sienna to give it a slightly “dirty” shade.  I will need to do more weathering in the next few days while I finish landing gear and other parts that need to be added.

Decals are from OWL (72013); same sheet for both kits.  The sheet also contains complete markings for a Bf-110G4 and I’m tempted to get the Eduard overtree for that kit and build it with my Hasegawa Me-262B to finish off the summer of Messerschmitts.

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Kingfisher hits the shelf

The Kingfisher is done!  I’ve been working on this build since March 15th and it is nice to see how well it turned out.  I built one of these as a kid (I built ALL of the Monogram 1/4″ kits in my youth) so this  was fun.  I actually still have another bagged one to donate to some kid in the future.

I used the Lone Star Cockpit for this build and it was a pretty good fit.  Lots of additional plastic butchering needed to be done to use it but the results were worthy.

I additional I learned ;

  • using clear resin to model water
  • more brass soldering (the boarding ramp structure was soldered together – had a really hard time until I used guide wire to hold it all together)
  • don’t drop an open bottle of Steel Model Master paint on your shoes

Here are some shots

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Now on to completing the Bf-110s.