DH Vampire Mk9 – Build Completed
After my ever first post, with the positive comments I received, I was encouraged to crack on with the Vampire as and when spare time allowed. I always like to learn lessons, new techniques and improve on every build, and with this one I certainly managed to do that.
Lesson 1 - "don't worry it can be fixed"
After a disastrous first camo scheme, trying out blutac to mask soft lines, I redid the whole paint job using my tried and tested Tamiya tape method to achieve a much cleaner finish. I like to stick the tape to vinyl pockets to help cut it more easily an enable tracing over the aircraft to get the right pattern. The kit came with (unusually i think) top/bottom halves of the fuselage, instead of the more usual side/side. This did help with the painting as i did the underside silver, and the camo top separately without any making required and then stuck them together - in hindsight i might have stuck the part together then masked - in this way I could have got a cleaner mating on the tail booms - but its a lesson learned.
Lesson 2 - "always listen to advice who have gone before you"
Thanks to a comment (from Mike Wilkes) on my first post, I made sure a stacked in fishing lead weights into the nose to prevent tail sitting. Even then I underestimated the amount required and ended up having to jam more through the cockpit later in the build.
Lesson 3 - "give something new a go"
I decided to try and enhance the panel lines on a model for the first time - I used Tamiya Black Panel Line Accent Color. It took a few goes, and I found i could only get the color defined enough if i really loaded the colour into the lines and left to dry overnight, and then removed all the splurges with white spirit. I think I got an acceptable result - and it even added a slight weathering effect. Will be persevering with this technique
Lesson 4 - "Calm down and relax"
I normally enjoy the decalling activity, but I found this one a little stressful as some of the decals (those with clear gaps such as the underwing numbers) started to disintegrate and misbehave. So the numbers aren't perfectly aligned but the main colour markings went on well.
So all in all an enjoyable build of an iconic and unique aircraft. A Sea Vixen and Venom are already in the stash to complement the Vampire at a later date. There is also a DH115 Vampire Trainer scheduled to fly all four days at Air14 in Payerne in September - so more inspiration and photos!