Profile Photo
Josh Patterson
36 articles

F-89D Scorpion in the paint shop!

February 22, 2014 · in Aviation · · 16 · 1.5K

I've had this D sitting on the shelf ready for paint for a while waiting to finish my C version. Just got the urge to get it done. I took photos of the steps I use when doing a natural metal bird. This kit lends itself well to metalizer because it generally fit together well (to reduce sanding scratches) and the plastic polishes up very well. One thing I do on these or similar kits (like Revell's Intruder) is I'll glue the keel piece to one half of the fuselage instead of installing it after they're joined.

As far as painting goes, I do all my trim colors first. I does mean you'll have to mask everything twice, but the aluminum plate metalizer and tape do not play well together! Next I'll paint all my non-aluminum metalizer colors, buff and mask. They are fairly resistant to lifting and the 3-M blue painters tape works well. (Just stick it to a table or window first to get rid of some of the tack. Don't leave it on too long either. Just long enough to paint and buff your aluminum. After all that is done I buff before unmasking and viola! Small latches and access panels will get picked out with a brush in various metalizer colors after the polishing. On this one I might leave the dull/scuffed areas to the kick steps on the left side and the DC power connection cover on the right. Also the a few of the scoops and inlets were made of a fiberglass material and will be painted silver.

Reader reactions:
8  Awesome

11 additional images. Click to enlarge.

16 responses

  1. turned out beautiful

  2. That's a mighty fine lookin' NMF ya got on there. Nice finish!

    • Thank you very much! The impetus of getting it started was a comment by someone building an F-82 and being frustrated about NMF. He asked about the difference between buffing and non-buffing metalizer, so I just wanted to show what it can do! I used to get frustrated as well, but now I have a system down that works for me and if it helps someone else enjoy what they're doing a little more, I'll gladly share!

  3. Since those airplanes were painted with aluminum, lacquer, you can paint them with Metalizer Aluminum and then apply sealer. A better alternative is Alclad White Aluminum with Sealer to give the "paint" look. For an aluminum finish, Floquil Old Silver or Platinum Mist will give you a rock hard finish you can mask on with actual masking tape (which you should not be using - to to your local art supply store and get low-tack Drafting Tape).

    • " For an aluminum finish, Floquil Old Silver or Platinum Mist will give you a rock hard finish you can mask on with actual masking tape ..."

      A FYI the Floquil line of paints has been discontinued. Leaving many A/C modelers and RR modelers sad and perplexed. Apparently, Floquil was bought out by the competition with the idea of steering the hobbyist into buying the new owners line of paint products. If you can find a bottle of Reefer white,Silver,Platinum mist ,engine black at your LHS snap it up while you can. Its the best damn paint in enamel for airbrushing ...

    • For airplanes with aluminized lacquer I use Testors metallic silver right out of the spray can. I have done an F-105F and MiG-21 in that manner. I think it has just the right look! I'll have to post pictures if the MiG. It's all over silver lacquer except for the rear which was left unpainted. (I also use it for a base on my landing gear if they're silver.) I have actually seen very few pictures of Scorpions in the A.L. paint. Some (like Polar Prowler #1)were polished very nicely (though not to the level I'm showing!).

  4. Looking good. Can't wait to see the finished product.

  5. Terrific start. Keep us posted.

  6. That looks great Josh, looking forward to the finished build.

  7. I have to correct myself! The scoops on the bottom, and rear of the engine cowlings are both metal, not fiberglass. We have one at the museum here in town, so I went to have a peek!

  8. Josh,
    Looks great so far. I am eager to see the finished project. Nothing better than a good old NMF to drive one nuts.

  9. Thank you. I used to hate doing them! Now that I kind of have a system, they're not so bad. I just do a lot more sanding and polishing than normal. Too bad I like colorful jets from the 50's, huh!?

  10. Dang, I've got a 1:72 B-36 that I'd like to paint in a natural metal finish. I've never had much luck in application, and my results are no where near as nice as yours. Would you share your technique with us NMF challenged builders? Thanks!

  11. To all those who like NMF airplanes, go on YouTube and search for Carl Bachhuber. He builds RC planes (hey, a model is a model) but mainly ones in bare metal. He covers them with aluminum and the panels are depicted by sanding them in different directions to get different sheens as the light hits it. His C-119 (which I've seen in person) is especially convincing!

Leave a Reply